I am waiting for Books that Should be Banned Week


With all the posts observing Banned Books Week, I couldn’t help but imagine what books SHOULD be banned. (Of course I don’t believe in banning any book for any reason, so save your opprobrium for another day.)

1. Self-Help books. Need some perspective on life? Read a novel.

2. Anything “written” by a politician that wasn’t actually written by said politician. If you can’t articulate your point of view on your own you don’t deserve to have your name on a book. (I accept ghost writers for other types of books like gossipy celebrity autobiographies. Their stories must be told!)

3. Books about websites or iPad apps. As in, The Best iPad Apps or Travel Resources on the Web or other such dated-before-the-ink-dries kind of book.

4. Tuesdays or any other day with Morrie and anything with Chicken Soup in the title.

5. A memoir by anyone under 60. (Unless you have lots of gossipy, snarky things I need to know.)

What would you add to the list?

23 thoughts on “I am waiting for Books that Should be Banned Week

  1. Ti September 29, 2011 / 2:10 pm

    Celebrity Memoirs… especially reality show celebs.


  2. Karen K. September 29, 2011 / 2:18 pm

    Biographies of pop stars under the age of 20. Seriously, what have they DONE to merit an entire book??


  3. rhapsodyinbooks September 29, 2011 / 2:33 pm

    Books by “the next [anyone]” such as “the next Stieg Larsson!”


  4. The Writer Currently Known as Rory September 29, 2011 / 2:34 pm

    Biographies of pop stars under the age of 20.

    These all think it's amazing that these kids have become pop stars way ahead of the “ancients” (i.e., anyone over 20), and therefore merit an entire book. They don't even merit half a news story. Damn pop culture tide.


  5. LUCEWOMAN September 29, 2011 / 3:19 pm

    Any book which the author happily refers to as 'Chick Lit'. I just hear the end of the phrase – 'clit'.


  6. Gardener in the Distance September 29, 2011 / 4:46 pm

    Books that tell me how to become superhuman, books that tell me I can have whatever I want and specious pseudo-mysticism masquerading as miraculous fact.


  7. StuckInABook September 29, 2011 / 6:14 pm

    Nice idea ;)
    I would throw into the pile any misery memoirs.


  8. Susan in TX September 29, 2011 / 6:37 pm

    LOL! I think you've got a pretty good list.


  9. Kerry M September 29, 2011 / 10:36 pm

    “Tuesdays or any other day with Morrie”… I laughed out loud! Great list.


  10. music-books-steve September 29, 2011 / 11:01 pm

    As you know I work at a used bookstore. You can imaging how funny these trendy books look 10 or 20 years later when people bring them expecting us to want to buy them.


  11. skiourophile September 30, 2011 / 6:46 am

    Anything involving a life change filled with witty tales of rustic plumbing + crafty peasants and (/or) having 'Tuscany' or 'Provence' in the title.


  12. Amy September 30, 2011 / 10:17 am

    Gossipy celeb ghost-written memoirs are OK, but let's be done with the novels by writers who used to write their own books but now delegate out the actual writing to others while still having their own name in big font on the cover. You didn't write it? You don't get credit for it.


  13. Margaret Evans Porter September 30, 2011 / 2:48 pm

    I heartily endorse all of your suggestions with the possible exception of the memoirs of under-60s, because that would exclude some amazing and insightful books with real literary merit.

    The commenters' additions are similarly spot-on!


  14. JoAnn September 30, 2011 / 6:02 pm

    LOL! This post just made my afternoon… a perfect wrap-up for Banned Book Week!


  15. Thomas at My Porch October 1, 2011 / 8:16 am

    Ti: I think you are so right about reality show celebrities. Not only are they not that interesting but I think they stage manage their “reality” even more than real celebrities.

    Karen: I would stand in line for a Bieber Bio :)

    Jill: Yes!

    Rory: Fodder for rabid kiddie fans no doubt.

    Lucewoman: Funny thing. Back when I was an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota each of the departments had an abbreviation in the class schedule. The department of Comparative Literature was CLit. I just can't imagine how a group of people who live to dissect the written word never noticed how ridiculous that was.

    Gardener: Like The Secret.

    Simon: I think I would leave Angela's Ashes out of that but would put in all the copycat, poor Irish kid with abusive drunk father books that Angela inspired.

    Susan: Thanks.

    Mrs. B: I would definitely add her to the list.

    Kerry: I am glad it had the intended effect.

    Steve: I can only imagine the umbrage.

    Skiourophile: LOL. Not that I didn't enjoy a little bit of Peter Mayle and Frances Mayes, but it did get out of hand didn't it?

    Amy: I employ people to comment on other blogs in my name, so I don't know what you are talking about.

    Julia: Thanks.

    Margaret: You are totally right. I made a mistake with this one. I should have found some other way to qualify this one. My friend Tanya pointed out Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves which was written when he was 34.

    JoAnn: I am glad Banned week is over. Sometimes a meme can get out of hand. Of course if International Anita Brookner Day was that popular, you wouldn't hear me complaining.


  16. Karen K. October 1, 2011 / 11:18 am

    There IS a Bieber bio. I am not joking, but I sincerely hope that you are.

    And I did enjoy Peter Mayle's Provence books, but I've always thought of Frances Mayes as This Old Italian House — she's just writing to make payments on those home improvements.


  17. Karen K. October 1, 2011 / 11:21 am

    And I just saw Amy's comment — I agree wholeheartedly. If you didn't write the damn book, DON'T PUT YOUR NAME ON IT. I'm talking to YOU, James Patterson!!

    Though I will excuse Felix Francis as he's just taking over the writing for his late father.


  18. winstonsdad October 3, 2011 / 1:35 pm

    great choices I have reality tv stars memoirs ,books by mr brown as well ,all the best stu


  19. nipernaadiagain October 12, 2011 / 6:15 am

    I disagree about memoirs.

    While it ended as failure when I attempted to write memoirs at age of 10, it was not for my age, but for my poor observation skills.

    Sure, there are people who make boring reading of most exiting events they go thorough, but a person with good observation and written description skills is priceless, no matter their age.


  20. nishitak October 14, 2011 / 8:08 am

    Agree with all your points except the memoirs one. Am currently reading Hemingway's A Moveable Feast and it's absolutely enthralling.


  21. Thomas at My Porch October 17, 2011 / 12:33 pm

    I think in general I was wrong about memoirs from the young. I too can think exceptions to my rule. I was thinking more of the Justin Beiber type books.


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