Top Ten Tuesday- Books With Red, White and Blue On The Covers

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s list is all about celebrating the 4th of July! I’m not American but the UK has the same colours in its flag. I’m not going to comment on the books individually. I’m just going to appreciate the pretty covers! So here we go…

I’m not as creative as some who I’m sure are going to make it look like the US flag! I’ll just appreciate the pretties.

The only book out of this selection that I haven’t read is The Life Lucy Knew. All of the others I can recommend! Especially One and Me Before You. 

What did you do for your list this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Round up of Challenges 2016- How did I do?

Finishing The Series Challenge 2016

I have been working on finishing series for a few years now and I joined in with this challenge which was hosted by Bea’s Book Nook (Finishing The Series )

I signed up for the experienced challenge which meant that I aimed to finish between 3-6 series.

I finished:

I did add on Bad Girls Don’t Die because I couldn’t get on with my original pick which was The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater. I was really pleased to finish these series and I’ll definitely be looking at a similar challenge for 2017.

The British Books Challenge 2016

This was hosted by Kirsty at Overflowing Library. I read 66 British books in 2016! I will be continuing this challenge into 2017. It’s one of my favourites!

Banned Books 2016

My sister Beth and I read 12 more Banned Books this year. On every last Monday of a month we read a banned/challenged book and we talk about the reasons why!

  1. Persepolis– Marjane Satrapi
  2. It’s Perfectly Normal– Robie H.Harris and Michael Emberley
  3. Saga, Volume 1– Brian K.Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  4. A Stolen Life– Jaycee Dugard
  5. Drama– Raina Telgemeier
  6. The Adventures of Captain Underpants– Dav Pilkey
  7. A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl– Tanya Lee Stone
  8. Bless Me, Ultima– Rudolfo Anaya
  9. Bone– Jeff Smith
  10. The Glass Castle– Jeannette Walls
  11. Gossip Girl– Cecily von Ziegesar
  12. My Sister’s Keeper– Jodi Picoult

It’s been a great year of reading challenges which I feel really vary my reading choices. I’m hoping for more of the same in 2017.

Banned Books #19- Perespolis by Marjane Satrapi

banned books

Welcome to the first Banned Books feature of 2016. Beth and I take on reading a banned book and then answer questions about it.

This month we read Perespolis by Marjane Satrapi.

The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis, #1-4)

Synopsis:

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming–both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.

Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom–Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.

First published: 2007
In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2014 (source)
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint.
Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions.”

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: For our first banned book of the year, Chrissi and I have chosen a graphic novel, partly because we have always wanted to try one and perhaps broaden our reading horizons and partly because the subject of this memoir fascinated us. It’s one of the more recent books that has been challenged/banned in schools and I don’t believe viewpoints (both political and religious) have changed that much since its publication in 2007 but I have to admit to being slightly taken aback at some points through the novel. I wasn’t necessarily shocked or disgusted however… it made me more intrigued to read on.

CHRISSI: Yes. I can totally understand why a book like this is banned in schools. I think I’m looking at that from a teacher viewpoint though. I don’t see how this book could be comfortably taught in a school. I mean, I’m all for challenging children’s thoughts and mindset and exposing them to a range of material and subject matter, but I’m not so sure I would feel confident to use this book if I taught teenagers.

How about now?

BETH: The fact that this book is still on the banned/challenged list as recently as 2014 is a dead give-away that the subject matter could be slightly sensitive depending on your own moral viewpoints or religious affiliation. As an agnostic myself, I did not find anything in it that alarmed me too much. I went into it knowing ashamedly very little about Iran’s tumultuous history and I did feel like I got a lot out of it educationally speaking. I think nowadays after everything that is going on in the world some people might find a book like this offensive, depending on your religious beliefs. Marjane is an independent, intelligent and forward-thinking woman who after seeing her country at war and having family members in jail/executed is stridently against fundamentalist regimes and not afraid of saying what she thinks. I found her a very brave and intriguing woman and enjoyed seeing how her life developed from childhood. Some of the graphic depictions did make my eyes pop out a little but this made me want to read on, if anything.

CHRISSI: Again, yes. I can see why it is challenged, even up to fairly recently. There is so much in this book that could easily offend. It of course, as Beth says, is very educational, but at the same time I think it would offend SO many people. Is it worth takng that risk in school? Perhaps put it in the library, where students and parents can make their own decisions, but to teach it as part of a lesson? No, I wouldn’t agree with it. I do agree with Beth that Marjane is a fantastically brave, intelligent women, so there is a lot to be learnt from it. I learnt a lot as an adult reading this book.

What did you think of this book?

BETH: It took me a little while to get into I have to be honest. At times, it’s quite political and the subject matter is heavy going. I found myself slightly confused at times with the politics of it all, but that’s a personal thing – politics has never been one of my strong points! As I got about halfway through I started to really get into it a lot more and found her life both in Iran and Vienna absolutely fascinating.

CHRISSI:  I found it incredibly heavy going. I know a lot of my friends turn up their nose over graphic novels, thinking that they’re light and fun or babyish, when in fact the subject matter of Perespolis is incredibly deep.

Would you recommend it?

BETH: Probably!

CHRISSI:  Yes!

 

 

BANNED BOOKS- the 2016 reads are revealed!

Banner made by Luna @ Lunaslittlelibrary

Beth and I have really enjoyed reading Banned Books and with the amount of Banned Books out there, there’s certainly scope for us to continue reading them. We get the lists from the American Library Association. For the books read so far in this challenge check HERE. Here are the 2016 reading choices:

JANUARY – Persepolis- Marjane Satrapi

FEBRUARY – It’s Perfectly Normal-Robie Harris

MARCH – Saga Volume 1- Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

APRIL – A Stolen Life- Jaycee Dugard

MAY – Drama- Raina Telgemeier

JUNE -Captain Underpants- Dave Pilkey

JULY – A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl- Tanya Lee Stone

AUGUST – Bless Me Ultima- Rudolfo Anaya

SEPTEMBER – Bone- Jeff Smith

OCTOBER – The Glass Castle- Jeanette Walls

NOVEMBER- Gossip Girl-  Cecily Von Ziegesar

DECEMBER – My Sister’s Keeper- Jodi Picoult