Archive | April 2014

Free Comic Book Day

Don’t have plans yet this weekend? Saturday, May 3rd is Free Comic Book Day, a day dedicated to comics, encouraging comic book readership, and getting the next generation of fans and readers involved. For more information, check out the official Free Comic Book Day website. Many comic book retailers have special events planned, so check out what’s going on at your local store. If you don’t have a friendly neighborhood comic book store you frequent, you can use the store locator to find one. Last week marked the 60th anniversary of the US Senate putting comic books on trial, a case that would lead to the Comics Code Authority and the near collapse of the industry, so what better time to get back in the comic book store and reclaim your freedom to read.


Blackballs, Scarlet Letters, and Other Things on Your Bookshelf

How many books on your bookshelf right now have been challenged, banned, censored, outlawed, or burned? If you’re curious just how scarlet your bookshelf is, then take Buzzfeed’s How Scandalous Is Your Reading History quiz and find out. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. No doubt you have other objectionable reads lying around that are not listed here, but the quiz is fun and gives you some idea just how many classics and old or new favorites have found themselves on the chopping block (and how well-read you are). Read More…

Moral Compass Distorted by Northern Lights?

I used to stare covetously at this cover in Borders

I used to stare covetously at this cover in Borders

THE DEFENDANT: The Golden Compass (a.k.a. Northern Lights), Philip Pullman

THE VERDICT: The His Dark Materials series as a whole was the second most frequently challenged book of 2008, with The Golden Compass itself coming in at #4 on the list in 2007, according to the ALA. In addition, Philip Pullman was the second most challenged author in 2008 and the fifth most challenged in 2007. He has also been called the most dangerous author in Britain. So, why the sudden interest in the books in the late 2000s when they were published in the mid-90s? Much like The Hunger Games, ire against the books reached fever pitch when the movie adaptation thrust it (back) into the public eye. It also became the target of Catholic groups going on the offensive against the movie, which, given the plot of the book, may have only proven its point.

Read More…

I Am a Librarian

Look, I… I may not be an explorer or a treasure-seeker or a gunfighter, Mr. O’Connell, but I am proud of what I am… I… am a librarian.

– Evelyn O’Connell, The Mummy

Happy National Librarian Week! Go thank a librarian.

The Perks of Looking for the Bluest Underpants

Big news in the banned books world. The ALA’s list of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2013 has been released. You may recognize a lot of familiar targets, including The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianFifty Shades of Grey, The Hunger GamesLooking for Alaska, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (almost all of which we’ve reviewed on the blog). Captain Underpants has also hung onto its place at the top for reasons I’ll never entirely understand. Graphic novel Bone joins the list, along with other fresh kindling. Read More…

The Girls’ Guide to Horror; Full Interview with Shannon Barnsley

I sat down with writer, blogger, and fellow Hampshire alum Lydia Hadfield to talk about women in horror. You can read the full interview on her blog here. And, if you happen to live in the Brunswick area, quotes from me, local librarians, and local teenagers will appear in her article on the matter for The Brunswick Citizen.

Table Top Day

Happy Table Top Day, readers! For those who don’t know, Table Top Day (also known as International Table Top Day), is a day dedicated to table top games. This includes board games, card games, table top RPGs, and other table-based gaming that involves live human interaction. Last year the event was marked with festivities on every continent (those paladin penguins are hardcore gamers, you know) and the goal is to make this year’s celebration even bigger. Read More…