Have you read a banned book lately?

One last post for Banned Books Week, this time an article that was published in today’s issue of Manila Bulletin:

Banned Books Week!

By BLOOEY SINGSON, Contributor
October 1, 2010, 3:13pm

MANILA, Philippines – The last week of September is Banned Books Week, an annual event spearheaded by the American Library Association (ALA) to celebrate the freedom to read.

Founded on the principle of intellectual freedom, Banned Books Week draws attention to the threats of censorship by showcasing over a hundred books that have been subject to banning, challenge, or any attempt to restrict the access of others.

Banned Books Week is a constant reminder of the importance of “the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular,” and the power of literature to shape minds.

Banned Books Week encourages people to pick up one of the banned books on the list, to think for themselves, and allow others to do the same.

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Love, love, love


For some reason, a bunch of books I’ve read recently has been about love. So in an attempt to hack off a chunk of the reading backlog, this post will tackle four books that revolve around this theme, namely: Aspects of Love by David Garnett; Oliver’s Story by Erich Segal; Forever by Judy Blume; and Shakespeare in Love: The Love Poetry of William Shakespeare (books # 91-94 of 2009).

aspectsAspects of Love is the novella on which the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of the same title is based. I’ve never seen the musical, but I remember reading about it when it was staged by a local production here in the Philippines, so I was curious about the book.

Aspects of Love deals with different forms of love, involving the web of relationships that involve the sultry actress Rose Vibert; her young admirer Alexis Dillingham; his uncle, the wealthy gentleman George Dillingham; George’s mistress, the fiery artist Giuletta Trappani; and Rose and George’s daughter, Jenny.

It was a quick read for me, but I wasn’t fully invested in it because I felt that it was merely narrating a story and didn’t really break the surface of what the characters were supposedly feeling. It was hard to empathize with the characters because the brevity of the novella (which spans 17 years) didn’t really give you much to work with, and it really reads as if it were meant for another medium, such as the stage, or even film.

I imagine it works better as a musical, as the characters can break out into song and act out their feelings. My officemates seem to love it though, as the book is currently making the rounds at work.

The next two books are two I’ve wanted to read for some time now, both mooched from Tina.

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