Banning the Wrong Books

…the truth is, that when a Library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn’t anger me.”
Mark Twain – concerning the banning of “Eve’s Diary,” a comic short story by Mark Twain

There has been much news about the banning of books of late. A sort of totalitarian energy in our world has emerged in a way reminiscent of earlier times. The “thought police” is hard at work. With opinion becoming increasingly confused for truth and a reactionary strain has entered the body politic. There has been the  banning of books on civil rights, African American history, gay rights and history and queer memoirs one of which is Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe perhaps the most banned book in recent years.

Curious what all the fuss is about, I checked out Gender Queer from the public  library.  The book is actually a comic book. It is memoir of a young person in rural Northern California discovering their gender identity and becoming transgender.  It is poorly written, rather naïve and the illustrations leave a lot to be desired. You can read the entire book in a few hours. I highly recommend that people check this book out from the library and read it as this topic will continue to be in the news. It will certainly influence future elections. While you are at the library also check out some Calvin and Hobbes and perhaps Captain Underpants –  far better literary works.

Indeed, I think the problem with the books bans, is the quality of the books they are banning. The banning of books seems only to shine the light on these trendy  low quality books which few adults have actually read. The book banning types need to go after bigger fish and bring interest to higher quality work. There are so many to choose from. Without further adieu:

SF Journal Official Short List of Banned Books 2023

#1: Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
The notion that in the future we will become these sex-crazed perverts is simply unacceptable. The explicit drug use is out of control as well. Do not read this book! It will ruin your brain.

#2: Slaughterhouse Five – A Children’s Crusade
Kurt Vonnegut
Random House
One of those books that has been banned, and should be banned because there is perhaps a little sex and nudity, but probably because Vonnegut, a pacifist, takes the whole notion of war to task. In our war-mongering world, peace is simply unacceptable.

#3: Free People of Color of New Orleans : An Introduction
Mary Gehman
Margaret Media, Incorporated
This “woke” book goes way too far. Why in the world would we even mention New Orleans in the context of geography, Black history or American culture. That the book points out that African Americans were actually free in New Orleans throughout the history of the United States is just plain preposterous.


Of course there are many more books that need to be suppressed. To all the censors out there: please work harder at identifying higher quality books to ban.