I’m fairly certain, in a completely un-scientific way, that if you asked anyone worth asking what the two best things are in the world (bar oxygen and anything that merits an NC-17) they would agree: books and food. As made obvious by the mere existence of banned book week, one way books have been made increasingly compelling over the years is (ironically) when groups of moral decide to ban them.
So now here’s another to make those banned books even better: pair them with cupcakes, or a tart! Following is a carefully curated list of some truly delicious baked goods with literary aspirations.
Since the dawn of time, people have been marketing activity books to young boys: The Dangerous Book For Boys, The American Boy’s Handy Book, even The Boy Scout Handbook. But for me, one book occupied me for hours, providing me with infinite activities on long summer afternoons: The Anarchist Cookbook.
Your grandchildren should thank you for many things, but there’s one that’s left quite an impact: instilling a love for magic. I’m referring to Harry Potter.
I can’t remember what we were doing or how the topic came up. I only remember your words, your facial expressions, and the dim light as I read in the corner. I remember After so vividly that Before is hazy. So for the sake of entertainment, allow me to embellish the story, to take some creative liberties.
About thirteen years ago, we were rolling out the crust for one of your delicious Thanksgiving pies when you asked me how school was going. I told you all about my class, my friends, Girl Scouts, and the latest American Girl book I was raving over. I was a reader – not as big as I am now, but definitely read more than my classmates. You smiled and asked if I’d read Harry Potter yet.
I was offended. “Ugh! No! Why would I want to read a book about a boy who goes to a magic school? It’s not even real!”
You stopped rolling out the crust and looked at me square in the eye. I’m still intimidated, even though I tower over you now. It’s that look you get when your grandchildren have crossed the line, and rather than dig a hole to try to get back on your good side, we attempt to stand as still as possible and wait for your calm, disappointed reprimand.
Leaves are falling, pumpkins are plumping, and books are being banned. It must be fall. This year, if you’re going to survive Banned Books Week, I thought I’d provide you with ten essentials featured prominently in ten of the most challenged young adult novels. This way you can arm yourself with the knowledge, and items, that the parents in your community are protecting you from. Because as we all know, if you don’t read about taboo things in books, then of course, they will never affect you.
So get your flashlights, bottled water, and canned goods ready, then be sure to add the following items to your Banned Books Survival Kit.
Ah yes, that time of year when booklovers honor books that have been banned or challenged throughout the ages and celebrate their freedom to read whatever they like. Many of the most important books in my life have been banned at one point or another, and it makes me wonder who has missed out on the opportunity to be inspired by one of these frequently challenged works of literature because it was banned in their county or their country.
By taking part in Banned Books Week, we’re honoring our ability to live free from censorship and embrace new ideas in the best way we can, through reading. But there are a lot of other ways to embrace your love for banned books too. If you’re a baker you could make banned book themed cupcakes, or if you’re interested in film you could have a movie marathon of all the classic films inspired by banned books. If you’re feeling especially inspired, you could even take a road-trip to the cities and towns where your favorite banned books are set.
My second love (after books, of course) is fashion, so I have taken it upon myself to create a weeks worth of looks based on my favorite banned or challenged books. If you like them, feel free to let me know in the comments! Mimicking my favorite fashion bloggers, I will have links for where you can buy all of the pieces featured in this post (or, if I can’t find them, alternatives to all of the pieces).
So, without further ado, here are a week of outfits based on banned books.
Gentle readers: get your smelling salts. Writers: hang on to your berets. This is a whirlwind of a week! And as always, remember this is but a gust of the exhilarating literary weather of Philadelphia, back in full force for fall.