In Defense of Technology, A.K.A, Why I Would Totally Go To Jurassic Park

First, full disclosure, I haven’t seen the new Jurassic Park film, so this is specifically about the older film.  Also, in a surprisingly related note, it is about the movie Chappie.

I have this theory that the nature of humanity is to irrationally fear those that are different from us.  We live in this idealistic world where we think “everyone deserves a chance” and then, when one representative of a group different from our own does something terrible, we file it away under “things people who are different do that make them evil/dangerous/crazy/untrustworthy (etc.)”.  Because, when someone of our “group” (however you choose to identify yourself) does something equally terrible, we demand that the label not be applied to everyone.  Before I continue, stop for a moment and think about it.  Think of the media, and think of current international relations.

Moving on.

That same prejudice is applied to our concerns over technology, or more specifically, automated technology.  There is a wide berth of films related to technology and artificial intelligence gone wrong, and I am not  going to write a dissertation.  I will argue that those films are representative of irrational and unproven fears of humanity that we will create artificial life that will then attempt to take over the planet.  I am specifically speaking of films that display functioning technology that only becomes dangerous when acted upon by an outside rational force, in this case humanity.

You see it in both Chappie and Jurassic Park.  In Chappie, we have a robotic police force that is highly effective and has been proven to be safe.  Straying from the plot line of the title character, I am focusing on the standard robot police officers.  They were fine.  They were safe.  They were supervised robots only programed to take instruction and follow certain algorithms to determine the best and safest course of action.

BUT THEN, an outside force, a human being, interceded and rewrote that program and chaos ensued.  How did humanity react?

“NO MORE ROBOTS, OMG. WE CAN’T TRUST THEM.”

Despite the fact that the beings we can’t trust are humans.  Had the human been trustworthy, the events that led people not to trust the robots were 100% caused by humans.

Same thing with Jurassic Park.  A human intervened, from greed, took down the system and let the dinosaurs loose.  Had that not occurred, had the automations not been tampered with, it can be argued that the island would have been safe.

Yes, the dinosaurs are dangerous and we know nothing about them.  But, what makes humanity so successful is our ability to learn and adapt.  We change as needed, so we could change the processes and hardware keeping people safe from the dinosaurs until more knowledge is acquired, because that is what we have always done with dangerous situations and predators.

The problems of Jurassic Park are caused by humans.  The book goes into more detail about the problem of John Hammond, who dreamed of creating the park, but his problems are purely human.  He wanted a legacy, he was more concerned with the awe inspiring part of the park than the safety of it.  Plus, he was a bit of a nutter.  Then, of course, the obvious problem of Dennis Nedry whose greed caused him to let the animals loose.

The one thing our technology rarely takes into account?  Human nature.  We create failsafes for technological failures, but not for human interactions.  We trust the least trustworthy group, humanity.  Then, when a human does something to cause a technological failure, we blame the technology.

So, that is why I will totally go to Jurassic Park.  I don’t doubt that the park itself would be safe.  It’s the people I would be concerned about.  I wonder if the Jurassic World movie will explore more of this.  I’ll find out soon enough.

It’s Valentine’s Day Time! Show Some Love

If you’ve read anything here, you know I am a fan of Valentine’s Day.  The only thing I hate about Valentine’s Day are those annoying people who do nothing but complain about it.  If it’s not your thing, don’t celebrate it, but stop being an ass to the people who actually enjoy it.

 

However, I hope that you do celebrate Valentine’s Day.  Whether it’s giving someone an honest Valentine’s card, or making Stud Muffins for your Stud Muffin, show someone some love.  Seriously, especially those people ranting that it’s an over commercialized holiday, or the single people tearing down those in relationships,  please go out and celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.

 

What I’m suggesting here is not that you find a date in the next 24ish hours and pretend to be in love or anything.  What I mean, is go out and show some love to people who need it.  Maybe bring some chocolates or baked goods, or flowers to your local hospital for the nurses and doctors, or fire houses or police departments.  The Boy and I often bring treats to our local military bases/posts for those on duty during a holiday.

 

Other awesome ideas, leave those cheesy kids Valentines around town for people to find with notes like, “I hope your day is great!” or “No matter what, remember you’re loved.”.  Or, go to a Children’s hospital with those and candy and maybe some books from a thrift store and give them to the nurses for distribution.

 

My personal favorite idea?  Find a local women’s shelter and find out what they need and donate whatever you can spare.  Offer to spend some time there, get to know the women and children going through one of the darkest periods of their lives.  These women are brutally alone on a day filled with love.  You may not have a significant other, but they were betrayed and hurt by the person who was supposed to love them the most.  Spend time with those women and remind them they’re special, and worth the difficult .

 

But, it honestly doesn’t have to be this complicated, maybe just buy coffee for the person behind you, or compliment someone on their shoes, or hair.  Just spend Valentine’s day making someone feel loved.  Trust me, this is 10 times better than other ways of celebrating.

 

So, there you have it.  The gauntlet has been cast, all you horrible naysayers.  Go out and put some more love into the world.

Corn and Black Bean Salsa and Baked Tortilla Chips

There is something so wonderful about having shaved leg and painted toe and finger nails AT THE SAME TIME. Guys don’t get this, but ladies do, it’s a lot of effort, so having it happen all at the same time is like a magical eclipse or alignment of planets.  I wonder what the astrological sign for that is.

 

I told you I would think of something to write as soon as I said I had nothing about which to write.  Granted, this actually wasn’t plan A, but it came up and weaseled its way into the forefront with its awesomeness.

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

 

I made this salsa on a whim to have a snack during the week.  Turned out it was a brilliant idea because it is fantastic.  I also had a whole mess of leftover corn tortillas, so I did what I usually do and made chips out of them.

 

I brought a batch of the salsa and chips out to The Boy so we could snack on it some and taste it.  Pretty much, every batch of chips I made was eaten very quickly.  I kept thinking eventually we’d stop and then whatever chips were left would go to snacks and lunches this week, except we didn’t.  We ate a good 2/3 of the chips I made as they came out of the oven, because the chips and salsa are that good.

 

Seriously, this salsa is amazing and super easy and will go well on a lot of things, salads, tacos, quesadillas, soup, chips, a spoon, just to name a few.  These are really healthy recipes because you can control what goes into them.  Fresh tasting, low fat, high protein, and for those with celiac disease (or even those without it who just want a gluten-free lifestyle) this is gluten-free.

 

This recipe naturally makes a lot of salsa, and it won’t freeze too well, but if you’re like us, you’ll just end up eating so much of it, you won’t need dinner, so it goes pretty quickly.

 

You can adjust the salsa to meet your needs, say you want to add a third type of beans, just add another can of tomatoes.  If you want to subtract a can of beans, also subtract a can of tomatoes.  In the images, I only used 1 can of tomatoes for the 2 cans of beans, but I think the ratio was off.  The best ratio will be a 1:1 ratio of beans to tomatoes.

 

I left the juice from the tomatoes in the salsa, and that’s a matter of how soupy you want your salsa.  I’d say 1 can of tomatoes with the juice is best, and then drain the additional cans, but that’s totally up to you.

 

The jalapeno is totally optional.  We have fresh jalapenos on hand basically all the time (The Boy is from Texas, so it’s kind of a staple), so I just cut a few rounds from it and minced it.  If you like spicy salsa, add more, if you don’t, add none.  Salsa is forgiving that way.

 

There are PDF recipes at the bottom if you want to print them out.

 

So yum.

So yum.

 

Corn & Black Bean Salsa

 

INGREDIENTS

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

2 cans tomatoes and green chilies (I used Rotel)

1 can whole sweet kernel corn, drained

1 small, or half a medium red onion, diced

1 table spoon minced fresh cilantro

1 clove of garlic, minced

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Minced jalapeno to taste (I used about ½ teaspoon)

Salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

 

  1. In large bowl, combine all ingredients, stir to combine.
  2. You can enjoy it immediately, but it is best if given at least an hour to rest and chill in an air tight container.

 

Chips and Salsa

Chips and Salsa

 

 

You will note in the images how brown my chips are, that’s because I didn’t air dry them before cooking them.  The drier they are, the faster they will cook in the oven and therefore be more of a golden brown than this color.  However, these chips were fantastic, they did not taste over cooked or burnt at all, so feel free to save time and not dry them out.

 

These chips do take practice.  I’ve made them several times, so I’ve had practice.  What I’ve learned – the time they take to cook is based on the mood of my oven on that day.  Also, the type of pan used will have an impact, so babysit the first few batches until you get the timing right.  Start with shorter times, and add a minute or two until you find the groove.

 

Making a lot of these chips takes a while, I spent half a Sunday in and out of the kitchen making them.  However, seal them good in a bag or tupperware and they’ll last a while, so they’re a great make ahead snack, and for some reason they really impress people.  They’re really easy to make, just time consuming.

 

Oven Baked Tortilla Chips

 

INGREDIENTS

Corn Tortillas

Oil

 

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning mix (any brand)

½ teaspoon paprika

 

 

DIRECTIONS

 

  1. Cut the tortillas into triangles, they will shrink when baking. I usually cut mine in halves and those halves into thirds for 6 chips per tortilla.
  2. Set the uncooked chips out for an hour or overnight to air dry (this will speed up the cooking process.
  3. Combine the seasonings in a small bowl and stir for even distribution.
  4. Preheat oven to 350. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil and a thin coat of oil.
  5. Place tortilla chips in 1 layer on the baking sheet (I highly recommend having more than one sheet to speed things up.)
  6. Drizzle the tops of the chips lightly with oil and place in the oven. Back for 7-10 minutes, flip the chips, and then bake for 3-5 minutes more.  Chips should be crisp all the way through.  Monitor them until you get a feel for how your oven will cook them.  There are only a few seconds between crisp and burnt.
  7. Set fresh batch in a large bowl and sprinkle with seasoning mixture.

 

So, go forth my lovelies and revel in salsay goodness.

 

Tortilla Chips

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

HI. Miss me?

So, it’s been months since I posted something here, and a lot of it has to do with me not knowing what to post/being really lazy.

Plus, my mom totally bought me Firefly on BluRay, and it has been taking up all my time.  Granted we only got it last week, but I think it’s safe to say it’s all my mom’s fault.  Freud would be cool with that.

I noted a trend in my previous habits that whenever I would post an “I don’t know what to post, so here’s a witty comment, I’m a terrible blogger, and here’s a cat video post,” I would immediately think of something awesome to post.  So, here it is.  The “I have nothing interesting, but here’s a catch up  on my life post.”

Christmas was awesome, I hope you enjoyed yours.  Mom and Dad bought me my very own KitchenAid mixer and it has made my life (and my waistline) more robust.  I have been baking like crazy.  Good stuff, but nothing really postable because I still am getting used to baking at such a high altitude in such a dry climate.  My next attempts are poptarts and english muffins, so if any of that works out, you’ll be the first to know.  Sort of.

New Years was lame because The Boy totaled Bernie (my Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder).  I mean TOTALED.  He hit a deer, it hit the driver’s side, went over the hood, through the windshield, and his antlers through soft top.

To answer your questions (in the order The Boy and I most often received them):

1. No, he didn’t keep the meat, it likely would have been bad due to the impact.

2. He’s fine, and I wasn’t with him. (If I had been, I would likely have gotten an antler to the face, so it’s for the best.)

3. The car is gone.  We knew this before the official word from the insurance company because of the damage and age of the car.

The good part of this is that I finally got my dream car, a Mazda2.  No joke, that’s my dream car.  Her name is Princess Rosemary and she’s Tardis Blue.  We’re besties.  I love that car so much.

From my bedroom window the morning after we got her.

From my bedroom window the morning after we got her.

Princess Rosemary 2

More about The bald-headed Boy in a moment.

Princess Rosemary 3

He’s not angry, just confused, he didn’t know I was going to photograph the car.

Last point, The Boy shaved his head.  About 3 Saturdays ago, I woke up to a strange bald man in my bed.  I think my exact words were, “You’re really fucking bald.” before I went back to sleep.  He’s convinced he’s balding (he has a mildly receding hair line, but it’s not that bad) so, he decided that he was going completely bald and he’d rather do it on purpose.  He’s ridiculous, but it doesn’t matter.  Whatever makes him comfortable is fine by me.

So, that’s it, hopefully more to come.  Maybe some interesting black history month things, and some ideas for Valentine’s Day, which you already know I love.

I slugged my husband in the face this morning.

That title really makes me seem like a horrible person, but in my defense, I was totally asleep.

Every morning, before leaving for school or whatever activity he has planned at the ungodly hour of 5ish in the morning, The Boy kisses me good bye.  Most mornings, I am very far into dreamland, but on occasion, it will wake me up, or I will have stirred a bit while he was dressing, etc, and am aware of it.  On those mornings, I typically, kiss him back and tell him I love him and to have a good, albeit way too early, day.  Other times, I sleep right through it, and only have his word for the fact that it occurred.

I’m going to derail a bit here, and let you know that this unfailing activity of his, is precious to me.  If he ever were to stop, it would break my heart.  The Boy is not a romantic man, he doesn’t show a lot of emotion, and he shows his affection differently from what I’m used to.  As a matter of fact, sometimes, he will look at me and say, “what are you doing?” and I will have to explain that I am showing him affection.  It has taken some practice for me to be able to identify the ways he does this, and the morning kiss goodbye, regardless of my state of consciousness is one of them, and I cherish it.

However, this morning, I was in the midst of a nightmare when he tried to kiss me.  The action woke me up, as it sometimes does, but I was in such a state of panic that I punched him.  Fortunately, I was asleep, so it was a weak punch at best.  He immediately apologized for scaring me, and I recall apologizing to him, getting my kiss, and quickly falling back to sleep.  When I woke up to get ready for work, I didn’t remember the  nightmare, but I did remember taking a swing at my husband.

I’m not supposed to laugh at this, but I totally did.  Hopefully, this won’t cause him to rethink the morning kiss ritual.  I think 8 years of kisses with only 1 punch in the face is a record most men strive to achieve.  Plus, I get elbowed in the face by him while he’s sleeping almost bi-weekly, so, I think we’re even.

When I Think About Love

There are a lot of accusations flying around blaming tv, movies, books, and even fairy tales for giving people an unrealistic view of love.  It’s probably true, there are a lot of people I know who live in a fantasy land that love is easy and no one is ever disappointed or hurt when they’re in love.

But, I think the true problem isn’t any form of media, but that these people weren’t raised by my parents.  My parents love one another very deeply.  They’ve been married over 30 years and have been through hell and back, and then for some reason decided to take the trip a few more times.

My parents’ relationship has withstood many things that lesser people would have divorced over, and as such, I was raised to understand that a marriage is hard work, but it’s worth the investment.  I think that’s one of the many reasons I took my relationship with The Boy so slowly, because I understood the importance and value of it.

That’s why this picture is my favorite picture in the world of my parents.  It was taken a decade and a halfish ago, on my mother’s 50th and my Sweet 16 celebration in NYC. We’d both had those milestone birthdays within a month of one another.

 

photo(1)

My mother probably hates this picture, and will  be upset that I’ve posted it online, but I don’t care.  I adore it.  I just rediscovered it while sorting things that had been boxed and stowed away when we moved and knew I had to frame it.  So, it sits on a place of honor right by my desk.  It’s actually the only family photo framed on my desk, or even in my office for that matter.

I look at it, and I see my parents’ relationship.  I see love.  I don’t remember what made my mother laugh so much, but I can almost guarantee my father said something ridiculous.  That has been their standby during the natural ebbs and flows of marriage –  a laughing embrace.

To me, movies and romance novels, and all the gushy things in the world don’t depict love as eloquently as this image.  This is love, holding onto one another while you laugh so hard you can’t open your eyes.

I just hope that The Boy and I can live up to this example in our years together.

Happy Banned Books Week!

Did you know there are people out there still trying to ban books from schools and libraries?  Have you noticed how there is always someone trying to infringe upon the freedom of others because they are afraid?  I’m not just talking about books, but pretty much we’re always trying to prevent people from doing something that makes us uncomfortable.  Human beings suck.

 

But, let’s get back to the primary topic here.  It’s time to celebrate your freedom and stick it to the man (or in this case, more likely soccer moms, which, in many ways, are sooooo much worse than “the man”).  This one week a year, libraries and schools nationwide celebrate the freedom to read and learn by encouraging people to read banned books.  This also is a way of drawing attention to the problems that banning knowledge can cause.

 

Did you know Harry Potter has been banned, or at least several requests have been made for the popular and amazingly awesome series to be banned (go, Ravenclaw!).  I shit you not.  The primary reason?  People claim that it encourages the Occult.  Seriously.  I’m not even going to get into the fact that there are people who honestly still believe in the occult and magic because it’s ridiculous, and sadly true.  A friend of my first college roommate once lectured me because I had a book of “magic” – it was a souvenir I’d gotten from Salem, Mass.  She genuinely believed it was evil because she genuinely believed in magic.

 

But, more importantly than the ignorance and intolerance of those who refuse to read Harry Potter, there is actual science that shows that kids who have indeed read the series grew up to be better people.  Shit you not, it has been studied that those who read Harry Potter have a stronger moral ground, and are more accepting of those that are different from them.    Scientific American published the results, so you can pretty well trust this as an accurate source.

 

The reasons people ban books are preposterous.  Typically, what it boils down to, is a bunch of parents who are afraid to be invested in their children’s lives.  They don’t want to have to discuss something difficult, or keep up with what the child is studying, so they try to prevent all children from being exposed to reading and learning to broaden their perspective.  Things like, “offensive language” (which can be something as innocuous as “underpants”), “violence”, and “homosexuality” are some of the top reasons books get banned.  Parents say their children aren’t ready to learn of such things, but here is something I have learned from being around education my whole life (my parents were both teachers, and I too taught for a while) – children are sponges, they are eager to learn and figure things out on their own.

 

They pick things up from everywhere, so you can’t in any way protect them from everything.  Further, you can’t protect them their entire lives.  They need to learn the world, and they should be exposed to these very difficult topics while they have a trusted adult to help them understand it.  Seriously.  Ever seen a sheltered kid in college?  Buck, fucking, wild.  Compare that to a kid whose parents didn’t shy away from life, and you see someone who may enjoy some of the wilder things, but has a firm grasp on how to cope with them.  If you don’t talk to your kids about these things, they will experiment and figure it out on their own – without you there to help.

 

Which is worse?  I suppose that’s up to you.  But, my advice?  Even though I have no children, and cannot, in any way understand what a parent goes through, I can say, as a human being raised by a mother and father who hid nothing from me, that I always appreciated being treated like a human rather than a porcelain doll.  My parents trusted me to listen to them and understand that some things are important, but, ultimately, they knew that I would need to make my own decisions about difficult topics, even at a young age.

 

Now, I’m not saying you should go out and scar your children or subscribe them to Playboy, but if a kid stumbles upon something in life, or is exposed to a difficult topic earlier than you’d hoped, talk to him or her about it.  Don’t pretend like it didn’t happen, or punish him or her for questions, openly discuss it.  Ask and answer questions and encourage your child to think.  Hand him or her a banned book – maybe not 50 Shades of Grey, but something like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie would be a great start.

 

Remember, just because you aren’t ready to talk about something, doesn’t mean your child isn’t ready to understand it.  Adults tend to cling to childhood longer than children do.  Trust your child to be the good human being you are raising him or her to be.

 

Want some more information on Banned Books Week?

 

The official page is bannedbooksweek.org

 

And here’s an awesome page for the American Library Association that has some Top 10 Lists for the Most Frequently Challenged Books.

 

Here is my own personal Top 10 Favorite Banned Books.  I’ve linked them to Amazon in case you’re interested in reading any of them.

 

10. Blood and Chocolate – Annette Curtis Klause

This was banned no doubt for the sexual content – but also as being “anti-family”.  This clearly shows that the people demanding this be banned never read the damn book.  Granted, this is something more tuned to older children due to the many sex scenes, but it is a great book about family and the conflicts of love and family that every teenage will go through at some point.

 

9. Fallen Angels – Walter Dean Myers

Based on his preferred writing topics, I’m not surprised that people are requesting Walter Dean Myers’s books be banned.  However, I have also never seen a writer so in tune with young men and their reading interests.  Yes, there is violence and racism (it’s a freaking period piece about the Vietnam “conflict”, for christ’s sake).  But, all of his books were big hits with my students when I’d recommend him.  Even now, young black men don’t really have a voice in adolescent literature, but Walter Dean Myers gives them that voice.  Talk about a way to understand others – I highly suggest you go find all of his books and read them.  Immediately.

 

8. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

Are you fucking kidding me?  This book is on the lists?  UGH.  If you haven’t actually read Twain, go out and do so before you ever talk to me again (no, movies don’t count).  He’s an amazing author, and was one of the first to truely put American Literature on the map globally.  Yes, there is nasty racist language in this book, but remember, it was a product of its time.  I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of the saying: “those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.

 

7. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things – Carolyn Mackler

If I see another complaint for “anti-family” in an adolescent novel, I’m going to cut someone.  First, the obvious, there is nothing more “anti-family” than adolescence.  Seriously.  Teenagers are assholes. They’re thrust into this awkward point in their lives where they’re too old to do some things, but too young to really set out on their own.  It creates angst and frustration, generally pointed at the family.  Not reading a book that shows compassion and understanding for those feelings won’t make them not happen.  Sorry, you’re teenager is going to hate you at some point, but he or she will get over it as long as you’re not a jackass about it.  More importantly than your insecurity as a parent is the fact that this book tackles body image issues, which every human being could use a little compassion on.

 

6. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

Eyeroll.  Have you read this?  Or is this something you say you’ve read so you sound like you’re well-read on the classics?  Be honest with yourself, and then go read this book.  Again, movies/plays don’t count.  The books we deem classics are important, they show us honest reflections of times past, and teach us how to be good human beings.  Typically, as with Of Mice and Men, these books ask a seriously difficult moral question.  I’m not going to answer it for you here.  That’s kind of the point.  Go read this book.

 

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

There is a reason this book is so popular – it’s funny, and real, and makes you feel less awkward about your own life.  It’s a cult classic, that is bound to become a modern classic as it will only continue to remain popular as its original audience ages and passes it on.  Life sucks, and it’s difficult, and no matter what anyone says, no one has any idea what the fuck is going on, much less on what they are doing.  Books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower let you know that all of that is ok.  I don’t understand why that would be viewed as an invaluable lesson.

 

4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

Shut up.  Maya Angelou is really the only answer you need as to why you should read this book.  Seriously, you’ve never read something to beautiful and poignant.  The fact of the matter is, this is a memoir, which makes it even more important because it’s not “inspired by true events”, it is true events.  Read it, grow compassion, and fall in love with a book.

 

3. Boy Meets Boy – David Levithan

I cannot say enough how much I love this book.  It is delightful, and fantastic, and well-written.  But, it is, as the title so clearly states, about love between to teenage boys.  What makes this book so special?  Well, the fact that these boys are gay is not the primary topic of the book.  It’s a love story, it just so happens to be about a same-gendered couple.  They crush, they fall in love, they fight, just like every other teenage relationship.  It’s a great way to show how normal homosexual relationships are.   It tackles more difficult topics about being young and gay too, but in a way that shows that support and understanding are the best ways to help someone.  No tragic ending, no didactic lessons about life or love, just a normal romance.  Plus, there’s Infinite Darlene (we’re besties).

 

2. Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling

You’re probably surprised that I put this at number 2, but only because my absolute favorite book of all time was also on a banned books list.  We’ll get there.  I put the link on why Harry Potter makes you a better human being, but there is something more.  Harry Potter has a habit of turning young people into book lovers.  And, let’s be honest, book lovers are the best kinds of people out there.

 

1. To Kill a Mocking Bird – Harper Lee

Yes, this is legitimately my favorite book of all time.  I have 4 copies because they occasionally release a special edition, and I can’t help myself.  I legitimately love classic literature, which is why I don’t always list my favorite books, because I end up looking like a snob who wants people to think she’s smarter than she is.  But, that isn’t true.  Like I said before, classics are typically classics for a reason.  In this case, we have a wonderful story about small town America, overcoming prejudice, growing up, and finding your own voice.  This story enraptures me every time I read it.  If you haven’t read it before, or haven’t read it in a while, go back and do so.  It’s what I’m reading in celebration of Banned Books Week this year.

 

I have some honorable mentions (because I can never just pick 10 books):

 

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins

And Tango Makes Three – Peter Parnell & Justin Richardson

The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier

Farenheit 451 – Ray Bradberry (a book that shows the dangers of book censorship)

His Dark Materials Trilogy – Philip Pullman

 

Do you have a favorite banned book?  Why should I read it?  I’m always looking for new ways to piss people off.