Sunday Morning Paper: The Book I Did Not Write

Books By People of Color Are Disproportionately Likely to be Banned

What kind of books are most likely to be banned? Books that focus on diversity. The ALA points out that 80 percent of 2014’s most challenged books include “diverse content”—meaning they have main characters who are LGBT, people of color, or have a disability and/or the book deals with issues like racism, mental illness, and religion.

Four of this year’s most-contested titles were written by people of color and two were challenged specifically for containing homosexuality. Seven were challenged for being “sexually explicit.”

In their press release, the ALA stated that their Office of Intellectual Freedom analyzed complaints about books from 2001 to 2013 and found that “attempts to remove books by authors of color and books with themes about issues concerning communities of color are disproportionately challenged and banned.”

The Tim Burton-Directed Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Starts Filming

Production is underway on director Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, based upon the best-selling novel by Ransom Riggs. …

The unforgettable, thrilling and haunting tale centers on 16-year-old Jacob (portrayed by Asa Butterfield), who follows clues that take him to a mysterious island, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores the abandoned bedrooms and hallways, he discovers that its former occupants were far more than peculiar; they possessed incredible powers. And they may still be alive.

A Beginner’s Guide to Invisibility

If you choose to be invisible, it’s a superpower; if it’s forced upon you, it’s a plight. The same goes for being visible. We typically speak of visibility as an asset—but the subjugated are not always overlooked, and they do not always want to be seen. … As Foucault or any bullied school kid could tell you, the powerful often wield scrutiny as a weapon, punishing the powerless for any deviation from an exacting code of speech, dress, behavior, and physical appearance. For those thus rendered visible against their will, the dream of invisibility is not about attaining power but escaping it. Camouflage is, after all, an adaptation not only of predators but also of prey.

For Expats, Spice is the Spice of Life

Japan scored extremely well. Sushi and ramen are super popular: 93% of expats there said they loved the local food, and 68% said living there had improved their diet.

Gender Gap

There is a book I did not write when I put all my energy into not-eating, and there is a book I did not write when I felt weird because I was in love with a girl. There is a book I didn’t write when I was dodging sexual comments, and there is a book I didn’t write when I was feeling inadequate for not receiving sexual comments. There is a book I didn’t write when I was sick with what I thought was love.

The Real Image

There are certain qualifications that a film or television show must meet in order to cause this slippage of reality. As with the example of CGI, or with the skill of an actor, the fictional scenario presented must be “real” enough to adequately fool my senses. A Claymation fantasy film, for example, won’t cause an equivalent level of existential angst as would a big-budget, computer-generated extravaganza, because the more aesthetically complete the fiction is, the more difficult it is for me to extricate myself from it.

And yet it’s not simply aesthetics that trigger my confusion, either: As in the case of Lucy, the film or show must also challenge reality in an anxiety-producing way for the wall to dissolve.


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