New Look for Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451'

Hailed for its bracing portrait of a future media-addled society victimized by the systematic burning of all books, Ray Bradbury's classic science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 is the perfect work to highlight issues of censorship and the freedom to read. And in August, Farrar, Straus & Giroux's Hill and Wang imprint will republish the book to do just that. The house will publish a comics adaptation of the novel—“a graphic translation”—created by artist Tim Hamilton, overseen by Ray Bradbury himself and supported by an elaborate marketing campaign that will peg the book to the American Library Association's Banned Books Week in September as well as a host of educational, book trade and comics industry events and promotions.

Full story at Publisher's Weekly

Free Speech Groups Criticize Dismissal of WI Library Board Members

Four members of a library board in West Bend, WI were dismissed last week for refusing to remove controversial books from the library’s young adult section—and yesterday, the ABFFE, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Association of American Publishers and PEN American Center criticized the firings.

The groups sent a letter to the West Bend Common Council stating that the dismissals threatened free speech in two ways: punishing the board members for attempting to apply objective criteria in the selection of books, and pressuring the library to remove the controversial books. The letter said, “The role of a public library and its board members is to serve the entire community and to evaluate books and other library materials on the basis of objective criteria. By removing half the members of the library board, the Common Council is imposing its opinions on the rest of the community.”

The controversy began in February when two patrons complained that the library’s YA section included fiction and nonfiction books about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues. Publishers Weekly has the story.

In Defense of Baby Shaking on the iPhone

Apple pulled a baby shaking application from the Apple App's Store recently. The NYT Bits blog has a piece titled, "In Defense of Baby Shaking on the iPhone" that makes comparisons to libraries and bookstores. Some of the library refrences are in the comments to the piece.


Books: The Sexy 'Secret Identity' Of Superman's Creator


Author Craig Yoe explores the risque art of the man behind Superman in his new book, Secret Identity: The Fetish Art Of Superman's Co-creator Joe Shuster.

As Yoe explains, artist Joe Shuster did not earn much money for his part in the creation of the man of steel. After suing D.C. Comics over the copyright for Superman, Shuster drew art for an obscure series of magazines called Nights Of Horror. In Secret Identity, Yoe collects Shuster's racy drawings and details the scandal and murder trial related to Nights Of Horror.

Full piece here.

Related item at The Book Calendar: The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America

Fijian Censorship Update

Following up on the discussion in LISTen 68, reporting by Radio New Zealand International notes that military-backed censors are supervising newsrooms in Fiji.

A territorial delegate to the United States House of Representatives, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, is now advising US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the matter.

Kindle Orwellian Nightmare

This post at Technovelgy ask the question, Could Amazon, via the Kindle, end up being the Big Brother of 1984 fame? Or at least his proxy?

"The apparent success of Amazon's wonderful Kindle has everyone's head full of blissful visions of instantly updated newspapers, books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs - every last error corrected and every last and most recent version included.

Well, maybe not everyone's head.

Topeka's library board votes to leave 4 sex-related books on shelves

Four sex-related books will remain on the shelves at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

The Board of Trustees voted 7-3 Thursday night to keep "Sex for Busy People," ''The Lesbian Kama Sutra," ''The Joy of Sex" and "The Joy of Gay Sex" on the library's shelves. The board passed an amended version of a recommendation from Gina Millsap, the library's executive director.

2008 CLA Survey of Challenged Materials and Policies

Kenneth D. Gariepy: You're invited by the CLA Advisory Committee on Intellectual Freedom to participate in its annual Survey of Challenged Materials and Policies.


Dirty Books


Spider-Man Faces Being Banned In Nebraska Public School

Follow-up blog entry at Comicbook.com to this story.

After watching the news story on Omaha’s KETV Channel 7 website, I did some research into the title of the book, since it’s never mentioned but the cover appears on air. The graphic novel is Spider-man Volume 2: Revelations. Written by J. Michael Straczynski, with luscious curves provided by John Romita, Jr., Revelations was published in 2002 in hardback. Both Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the Marvel Comics website do not list the book as having been published within the last 6 years, so I don’t know why the book was reported as being new, other than the fact that it was apparently new to that library’s collection.

Now here’s where the school district might have dropped the ball in a big time way. On the copies I have been able to find, the book says in big white letters “Rated PG, Ages 12+.” This book would have been fine in middle or high school, just not in the hands of a 6-year old! Whoever reviewed this book didn’t do their job. Mrs. Svendsen has a right to complain.

Full blog entry here.


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