Ever wanted to join a book club or reading group but never got round to it? Here’s your opportunity! It’s quick, easy and doesn’t require venturing out in dismal weather.
I am talking about the OverDrive Big Library Read, which is coming back from 7 to 21 October. The Big Library Read is a global book club: during this period, millions of readers around the word have unlimited simultaneous access to the selected eBooks – no need for waitlists or holds.
And, this time, the Big Library Read offers not one but two titles to choose from. You can place a hold now and you’ll be notified when the eBook is available:
The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley
(Suitable for ages 10 and up)
Ensorcelled princesses … a frog that speaks … a magical hind — Newbery Medal winner Robin McKinley opens a door into an enchanted world in this collection of original and retold fairy tales.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters (Suitable for ages 14 and up)
Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.
‘Twas a damp and misty Christchurch evening, supposedly Spring but feeling more like Winter, when a gathering of Christchurch people came to a WORD Christchurch event to hear celebrated columnist and author Joe Bennett talk about his new book – King Rich.
Despite nearly giving up partway through, Joe was persuaded by his publisher to continue the story that had begun – where else ? – at the pub.He’d written a column about the man living in the Hotel Grand Chancellor Hotel, since demolished, and the nub of the story had stayed lurking in the back of his mind. Was it an urban myth? Who knows? Does that matter?
It was fascinating to hear the process of how the column had grown into a novel. No, he hadn’t met any red zone dwellers, hadn’t felt the need too. No, the dog Friday was not a kindred spirit and could not have been a cat, but yes, the name was based on Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.
“As the writer you are the puppeteer, but you’ve got to be invisible: to write yourself out it, which is very different from writing a column.”
“I’m a literary bastard,” he said, ” I read stuff and I want to be moved by it.”
“It’s a book about love, that’s the nub of where we live.”
I love the biennial public art festival SCAPE. You can read about what’s coming, but there is nothing like seeing the art in situ. I disagree with Christopher Moore’s column in The Press. Our central city is the ultimate canvas – art within it gives us a sense of possibility, of imagination, of beauty. We need that.
Isaac Asimov once said that “Any book worth banning is a book worth reading”. And here at Christchurch City Libraries we like to give readers the choice!
Did you know that before being green was in, Dr Seuss’ The Lorax was banned? Yep, you read that right… The Lorax!!! It was banned in 1989 because it portrayed the forestry industry in a bad light.
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden rise in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries in the United States, and more than 11,300 books have been challenged since.
You might be forgiven for thinking that New Zealand, being such a freedom loving country, would reject the idea of censorship of any kind, but there have been several instances of it through the decades. You can see some of them here: Banned Books in New Zealand.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”.
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”.
Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”.
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit.
“You want weapons? We are in a library. Books are the best weapon in the world. This room is the greatest arsenal we could have. Arm yourself.” – The Doctor.
We have all these titles and plenty more challenged books in our catalogue if you dare to read them. Do you agree with censoring books for their content?