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wonders never cease

Banned Books Week Redux

Thursday, September 29, 2016

It's that time again: we're heading to MLK Library tomorrow evening for UNCENSORED, and we'd love for you to join us. We're very proud to co-host this awesome annual shindig celebrating Banned Books Week, trumpeting the right to intellectual freedom, and benefitting the DC Public Library. Books are such a vital part of our lives and our business; we are deeply alarmed when the people who oversee the education of our children deign to limit access to them.

Here's a playlist to get you ready for the party: we’ve chosen songs named for great banned or almost-banned books (annotated with a reason it was banned/challenged). We invite you to read (we’ve included a choice passage from each), listen (spotify player below), and enjoy -- then join us on Friday night at the Martin Luther King Library for music, art and crafty cocktails. Tickets are available online or at the door.

See you there!

Animal Farm by George Orwell (Communist)
1. Animal Farm – The Kinks
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” – George Orwell

Howl by Allen Ginsberg (Homosexual Acts)
2. Howl – Florence + The Machine
What is obscenity? And to whom?”  ― Allen Ginsberg

The Call Of The Wild by Jack London (Too Radical)
3. The Call Of The Wild – David Byrne
He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.” – Jack London

Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein (Adult Themes)
4. Stranger In A Strange Land – Blitzen Trapper
The slickest way in the world to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time - and then shut up.” ― Robert A. Heinlein

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Racial Slurs)
5. Gone With The Wind – Ella Fitzgerald
After all, tomorrow is another day!” ― Margaret Mitchell

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (Racist)
6. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – The Pones
Perhaps it is impossible for a person who does no good not to do harm.” ― Harriet Beecher Stowe

Beloved by Toni Morrison (Adult Themes)
7. Beloved – April Smith and the Great Picture Show
Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” ― Toni Morrison

The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger (Undermines Morality)
8. Catcher In The Rye – Datarock
I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it.” ― J.D. Salinger

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Racial Slurs)
9. Huck Finn – The Statesboro Revue
Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons  attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.” ― Mark Twain

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown (Anti-American)
10. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – Buffy Sainte-Marie
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it.” ― Dee Brown

Native Son by Richard Wright (Sexually Graphic and Violent)
11. Native Son – John Hiatt
You asked me questions nobody ever asked me before. You knew that I was a murderer two times over, but you treated me like a man...” ― Richard Wright

Go Tell It On The Mountain by James Baldwin (Profane and Sexually Explicit)
12. Go Tell It On The Mountain – Bob Marley & The Wailers
It’s a long way,” John said slowly, “ain’t it? It’s a hard way. It’s uphill all the way.” ― James Baldwin

Ulysses by James Joyce (Immoral)
13. Ulysses – Mason Jennings
Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.” ― James Joyce

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (Obscene)
14. Lolita – Throw Me The Statue
He broke my heart. You merely broke my life.” ― Vladimir Nabokov

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (Disturbing Imagery)
15. Where The Wild Things Are – The Other Kids
Oh, please don't go—we'll eat you up—we love you so!” ― Maurice Sendak

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley (Anti-White)
16. Malcolm X – Miriam Makeba
The ability to read awoke inside of me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.” ― Malcolm X

Moby Dick by Herman Melville (Conflicted With Community Values)
17. Moby Dick – Led Zeppelin
Talk not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me.” ― Herman Melville

Tropic Of Cancer by Henry Miller (Obscene)
18. Tropic Of Cancer – Megan Reilly
I believe that today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it.” ― Henry Miller

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (Immoral)
19. The Sun Also Rises – The Ventures
How did you go bankrupt?"
Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.
” ― Ernest Hemingway

The Words of César Chávez by Richard J Jensen (Anti-American)
20. César Chávez – El Vez
When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of men we are.” ― César Chávez

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Pornographic and Obscene)
21. Scarlet Letter – Atlas Trees
No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne

1984 by George Orwell (Pro-Communist)
22. 1984 – Van Halen
The best books... are those that tell you what you know already.” ― George Orwell