Book Review: ‘Before a Million Universes’ by T.W.R. Shelton

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Credit: Read, Sav, Read. 

Before a Million Universes by T.W.R. Shelton

Warning: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

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I Read Banned Books and You Should, Too

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Credit: Read, Sav, Read. 

Today is the final day of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week. Throughout history, books have been challenged and banned from schools and libraries. When this happens, our freedom to read is threatened. Check out the ALA’s list of the Ten Most Challenged Books by Year. How many of those books have you read?

While the challenging and banning of books has decreased over time and is much less of an issue today, Banned Books Week is a time to reflect on and appreciate our right to read the books of our choice. I have, personally, found many of my favorite books to be those that have been challenged and/or banned. The ALA defines a book challenge as a “formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.”

Books that are banned offend people. They go beyond telling the stories of straight, white, Christian males who live bland lives and that is offensive to some. When I pick up a book, I want to read about characters who have varied genders, sexual orientations, classes, belief systems, races, states of mental health, and overall backgrounds. When we read, we are better able to empathize with others who exist and have existed through the human experience. Readers live thousands of different lives and are better people because of it.

In my opinion, a handful of offended people shouldn’t determine the entire public’s ability to access books that they could relate to or could help them better relate to others. What is distasteful to some is life changing to others. Celebrate Banned Books Week by opposing censorship and reading whatever you want!

You can get this I Read Banned Books mug here.

What are some of your favorite banned books? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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Contributor Book Review of ‘The Night Circus’

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Review by: Jamie Gogocha

Warning: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

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My Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2017 (So Far)

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Last year, my goal was to read 25 books and I ended up reading 41. This year, I upped my goal from 25 to 40. As of today, September 8th, I have read 46 books and am expecting to finish up three more within the next few days. I hope to read at least 60 books by the end of the calendar year, but that will depend on how busy my new M.F.A. life will be, a few weeks from now. With that being said, I’ve read quite a few books this year and wanted to share my top ten 2017 favorites, in no particular order, with all of you.

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Credit: Read, Sav, Read. 

I just read this book in a little over a day and I really loved it. I’ve read quite a bit of YA fiction, which only occasionally have featured a gay relationship and when they have, they’ve always been male. While I have read a few books (“The Price of Salt”, “The Hours”, etc.) that included lesbian relationships, that has never been the case in my experience with young adult fiction. Annie on My Mind was published in 1982 and was one of the first young adult books with a lesbian protagonist in a healthy relationship with a happy ending.  I really appreciated this book and thought it was well written, in addition to being extremely important and needed. I can see this book being a comforting, relatable read for teens who are queer or questioning their sexuality.

You can purchase Annie on My Mind here.

Contributor Book Review of ‘Natural Born Charmer’

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Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Review by: Jamie Gogocha

Warning: This review contains spoilers. Read at your own risk.

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