Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Challenged Books: or, what to read now

gayinpublic's recent post commenting on a Wisconsin "Christian Civil Liberties" groups desire and lawsuit to win the right to burn a library book reminded me about this list from the ALA. Every year, the American Library Association compiles a list of books that are challenged in libraries; meaning, books that someone has requested be removed from the library collection. (That's a nice way of saying 'books that someone wanted banned.') The ALA top ten most frequently challenged books of 2008 are:

1. "And Tango Makes Three," by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Anti-Family, Homosexuality, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
2. "His Dark Materials Trilogy" (Series), Philip Pullman
Reasons: Political Viewpoint, Religious Viewpoint, Violence
3. "TTYL"; "TTFN"; "L8R, G8R" (Series), Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group
4. "Scary Stories" (Series), Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Occult/Satanism, Religious Viewpoint, Violence
5. "Bless Me, Ultima," by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: Occult/Satanism, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Sexually Explicit, Violence
6. "The Perks of Being A Wallflower," by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Drugs, Homosexuality, Nudity, Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Suicide, Unsuited to Age Group
7. "Gossip Girl" (Series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons: Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group
8. "Uncle Bobby's Wedding," by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons: Homosexuality, Unsuited to Age Group
9. "The Kite Runner," by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive Language, Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group
10. "Flashcards of My Life," by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Unsuited to Age Group

I expect that Baby Be-bop will make an appearance next year, what with all the press it's getting in Wisconsin. (Do these book burners know it's part of a series they might want to burn? I doubt it. These don't sound like folk who bother with a lot of "research.")

So there you have it- the books folks most want banned. Don't wait for Banned Books Week to get started on them. It sounds like a summer reading list to me!*

*All except His Dark Materials, which I've pointed out before- but it bears repeating- was just plain disappointingly awful.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Solar spring

It's been a bad spring for solar, mostly. Usually this is the season of the $2 electric bills, where I bank a lot of energy against the summer when the air conditioning is running. Unfortunately, with the rotten weather, even when it's not raining it's been overcast- no good for solar!

The good news, however, is that the SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificate program) is up to about $675 each- so I just got a big ol' boost in my repayment schedule. I'm on track to get this completely paid off (through energy savings) this summer. After that- FREE ENERGY!

That is, if the sun returns to Central NJ.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

New Central Jersey Farmers Market

Hightstown is starting its own Farmers Market, Fridays through the summer from 3-7, by Peddie Lake. (That's the corner of Morrison and Main Streets, aka the corner of Rt. 33 and Rt. 539, aka the park by the library.) They're starting small but hopefully more farmers will join in soon. Come out and get what's fresh!

(cross-posted to sfoodblog)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Today is Primary Day in Our Fair State. Polls are open NOW until 8 P.M. Are you registered to vote?

There is more than just the Governor's race on the line today- many Assembly, county and local offices have contested primaries. So, find out about the issues in your local races, and GO VOTE!

Make your voice heard.

Monday, June 01, 2009


Funniest thing I've seen in quite a while. Enjoy.