Banned Books Week was started by the American Library Association and is sponsored by folks like the American Booksellers Association, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (1).
Among the books to appear on the banned or challenged list?
Kurt Vonnegut's modern classic Slaughterhouse Five. The book was seen by some as being obscene and irreverent. Something about lines like: "The gun made a ripping sound like the opening of the zipper on the fly of God Almighty."
I don't get it either.
And now a new collection of short stories by Vonnegut is on its way to bookstore shelves (2). The fourteen previously unpublished stories is called Look at the Birdie and, for those of us who started reading Vonnegut (3) well before we could understand what was actually going on, it's pretty darn exciting.
It's not just a new hardcover book...it's a piece of history and a strike for First Amendment rights every where.
It would be wrong not to buy it.
1. There are others. They're all listed here.
2. Wood and virtual.
3. And Norman Mailer. What can I say...I never got into Pink Floyd.