I Read Banned Books

Today marks the end of Banned Books Week (BBW), “an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment”.   The American Library Association’s Website provides some background:

“Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.”

I hadn’t realized it was BBW until I visited Village Books this afternoon on a mission for a cheap thesaurus.   The bracelet featured above was an impulse buy at check out that sparked a conversation with one of the VB employees, who showed me their window display of some banned favorites.  Among them were Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  

Later I found a list of banned books online including Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, which I just finished this week.   Lolita is a thematically difficult read, even today, but the writing is so beautiful, it would have been an absolute shame to have never experienced it.   Check out the list…are any of your favorites on it? 

All of this gave me an idea.  Wouldn’t a book club that focused on banned books be an interesting?  There are plenty of books, representing a variety of genres for nearly every reader.  I may have to start one…

The bracelet above was made by Carolyn Forsman, if you are interested in getting one of your own!

Finish Me

I have this problem.  I pick up a book, enjoy it for a short time, and then end up perusing the shelves at Village Books and buying more before the current read is finished.  Now I have this stack of half-finished novels that cover everything from African refugees to parents with cancer.  

This doesn’t mean I’m incapable of finishing anything.  I probably did get through 15 books or so in the past year.   However, new goal:  stop visiting Village Books, dust of the covers, and make my way through this stack by the end of 2010. 

With only 50 pages left, I’ll start with “Around Africa on My Bicycle”.  Riaan’s journey became a bit arduous through Kenya and my attention waned.  If I can just get through Mozambique, I can ride the rest of the way to Cape Town with him.   I know I can…

Visit Tony’s Coffee House!

I’ve stated often throughout my blog that I love living in Bellingham.  Most of my spare time (when not out on a photowalk) is spent in Fairhaven at places like Tony’s Coffee House, Harris Avenue Cafe, Village Books, Abbey Garden Tea Room, and a long list of other favorites. 

I’ve noticed that in many of the local coffee houses and eateries, photographers and other artists are able to display their work.   Thinking it would be great exposure, I decided to inquire at Harris Avenue Cafe if they would be interested in allowing me to display my work.  Tony’s Coffee Shop and Harris Avenue Cafe are under the same owner and business manager.  So, I was invited to display my work at Tony’s in September and then at the Cafe in December!  

After the initial excitement of being accepted, I started pouring through my photos trying to narrow down a few to actually frame and display.  Here are some of the choices I’ve settled upon.   You can view my galleries on Smug Mug if you’d like to view additional work.


So, go visit Tony’s Coffee House in September!  Aside from my photography being there, they have great coffee and a delicious selection of pastries.  Make it one of your next local hang outs!!