• fiction,  reviews,  writing

    Putting Deadlines on Dreams

    November is almost over which, for me, brings the end of a frenzied month of writing. I signed up with several writer friends for NaNoWriMo, which means we each committed to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Some of us (like me) started with a work in progress. Some started new novels and some wrote nonfiction. What we have in common, though, is that all of us tapped into the positive peer pressure of making a public commitment–much like people do when they train for a marathon. I don’t run marathons; I write them. Novelist, screenwriter, and memoirist Dave Eggers sent an email today to all NaNoWriMo participants. I found…

  • books,  fiction

    Celebrating Banned Books

    In celebration of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, I offer you the following list of my favorite banned books, and the reasons they were challenged or banned. What are your favorite banned books? The Bell Jar‘s discussions of suicide, mental illness, sexuality, and “questionable” life philosophy landed it a solid place on banned book lists worldwide¬† from its publication in 1963. Blume’s Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret? (1970) was banned because of its discussion of menstruation, puberty, masturbation, and treatment of religion. Salinger’s classic (1951) was banned for language, sexual references, and descriptions of drunkenness and mental illness. Ginsberg’s 1956 poems were banned for obscenity. The…