Booking Through Thursday: Decorum

This week’s Booking Through Thursday:

Do you have “issues” with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) “romantic” scenes in books? Or do you take them in stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them? (grin) 

Well, I think we all know how I feel about swearing (scroll down for that answer). For me, it all has to do with the “higher good” of the story. Does it fit? Does it contribute? Is it crucial to the story?

What I don’t like is sex scenes added simply because the everything must be hot, Hot, HOT these days. But I’d feel the same way if these were car chase scenes, scenes taking place in a church, scenes where the heroine is communing with her bunny friends*. Whatever. Anything can be gratuitous.

*This isn’t a euphemism for anything (that I know of), but I’m thinking it should be.

Today’s Banned Author

Banned in Oklahoma: Maureen Johnson

Since it’s still Banned Books Week, I’m highlighting another author, another one not on the top 100 list, but a case that is both current and very interesting.

I’m not going to say a lot about it here because you can read Maureen’s entire series about her book being challenged in the tagged posts here on her web site/blog. If you want to start from the top, so to speak, you have to scroll to the bottom. However, her last post gives a good overview of what happened and the current situation. It’s a blow by blow book challenge/banning in real time.

From Maureen’s blog:

One of the more bizarre aspects of all of this is the secrecy in which this action was conducted. Without the actions of the librarian, no one would have known this happened. Book banning often happens in small meetings, out of sight. If you’re going to do something like this, I think you have the responsibly of making it public. It’s amazing what happens when you just add public knowledge to the equation.  

5 Comments

Filed under Books, censorship, Memes

5 responses to “Booking Through Thursday: Decorum

  1. I sort of covered this yesterday, LOL (were you reading Deb’s mind?), but I agree completely.

    There are times it — both sex and profanity — forwards the plot, stays true to the character and his/her motivation and isn’t gratuitous… I can accept it then.

    But when it’s used for shock value or punctuation? Yuck… you lose me.

    Happy BTT!

  2. Ick, I can’t even talk about this right now. It’s not about the gratuitousness, but the banning. The right to write, versus writing hateful stuff. Not bad stuff, racist, hateful awful stuff. Just happened in my DS’s school newspaper and since the newspaper is “unmonitored” there’s no claim of responsibility for this kid writing hateful stuff. But, then, under freedom of speech it’s his right to write hateful stuff, and I’d defend that. But I don’t like it in a school newspaper. And I’m feeling like an awful hypocrite right now. And believe it or not, it’s even more complex than I’m describing. UGH.

  3. Any goes for me as long as it is tastefully done. No hard core stuff though!

  4. Charity

    Jen,

    Not having the particulars, it’s hard to comment. Although, I think there’s a difference between allowing a letter to an editor to be printed, no matter how hate-filled, and a student using the paper as his/her platform to spew hate. The “unmonitored” part confuses me because I always thought (wrongly perhaps) that a student newspaper was a tool for teaching responsible journalism.

    Silence isn’t the answer. But I know you already know that.

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