Thursday, September 29, 2016

Books of Controversy

Today I was reading on Facebook. Yes, I do that occasionally. Not nearly as much as I used to. Because it is filled with rhetoric about the election. And hatred! Too many cop killing related posts. And so much media crap. But, today I came across a blog post on one of my favorite pages BookBub Blog. (Try saying that five times fast)

The title of the post was  The Most Controversial Books Published in the Past Decade. It listed these books:


  1. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Peterson. This book is about a same sex couple in the animal kingdom
  2. In the Line of Fire by Pervez Musharraf. This book was written by Pakistan's President at that time.
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexi. This is the story of a budding cartoonist who grew up on a Indian Reservation.
  4. Wetlands by Charlotte Roche. This is the story of a sexually precocious 18 year old recovering from an operation.
  5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. This book tells the story of a black maid from Mississippi in the early 1960's. 
  6. Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo. In this book a father relates the story of his young son, recovering from an emergency operation, where he says that he visited heaven, while he was being operated on. 
  7. Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. This is a novel about a man's erotic tastes.
  8. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. A novel about a husband and wife's actions upon the sudden disappearance of the wife.
  9. Eleanor and Parks by Rainbow Rowell. This story is about two teenagers in the 1980's who fall in love over the course of a year.
  10. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. This book is written by the producer and star of HBO's The Girls.  
  11. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. This book is a follow-up to the famed book To Kill A Mockingbird by the same author.

From this list of "controversial books" I have read Heaven is For Real, Gone Girl, Eleanor and Park. I can see why Gone Girl would be controversial, although it is just a novel and shouldn't be taken as anymore than that. The reason it is on the list is because it fostered gender stereotype. Whatever!! I don't read books for that reason. I read for enjoyment. And this book was one I GREATLY enjoyed. I, also, loved Eleanor and Park and have recommended it to my granddaughter. It is on this list because of the cursing and the sexual content. It's not like most high school kids don't already know this stuff. As for Heaven Is For Real, I can totally understand the controversy. While I was reading this book I doubted it. I thought, at that time, this was exploitation on the part of the child's parent. I didn't believe for one moment that child had visited heaven. But it made a good story. 

From this list I have The Help on my TBR list. I've heard a lot about the movie. And Barnes and Noble had the book on sale a while back so I bought it. I'll let you know what I think after I read it. It's on the list because of it being a "watered-down" version of racial segregation. 

I haven't paid any of the other books any mind. But now that they have made this list I might be looking into reading them. That is what I think these kinds of list do for books. They make them more attractive to people who wouldn't have ever given them the time of day.

What do you think?? Have you read any of these books?? Do you want to read any of them?? I hope you will share your thoughts. 


26 comments:

  1. I did not care for Gone Girl or Girl on a Train (two popular books right now). I've read the Help, seen the movie, and listened to the book on audio. In order, I prefer, reading the book, then the audio version (so good) and then the movie. Good, but to me, not as good as the book. But the movie versions rarely are. One exception for me - Love the movie of Bridges of Madison County (disliked reading the actual book tho)!! LOL!

    Linda in VA

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    1. I did like Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. But I love mysteries and thrillers! I like most books better than movies. I am not a huge movie fan!

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  2. I've read all but one of the books on the list. I resent lists like this for passing judgement on MY judgement. I don't need anyone to "protect" me from fiction.

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    1. I totally agree with you Kwiz. And it will only probably make me more likely to read the books when I know that someone is encouraging me not too!

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  3. Initially, I was cracking Up - both at the titles and subject matter. Where on earth do they get these ideas?!

    I may(?) give Gone Girl another chance.
    I read Girl on a Train (meh ...), so I'm curious to read the movie reviews. When we went to see Sully, they were showing teasers for Girl on a Train, and it struck me almost as almost desperate; like the producers didn't quite believe in it themselves.

    Heaven is for Real and The Help were both OK flicks, but neither left me burning brain cells. Like Linda said, Bridges of Madison County is my all-time favorite movie - but I couldn't get into the book.

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    1. I haven't seen any of the movies. I am much more of a book person. I might need to look into watching Bridges though!

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  4. I read The Help and really enjoyed it; also read Gone Girl, that was an interesting one. I'd like to know subjectively how they felt these were the books of most controversy; seems subjective. I might agree with some and have my own list, so who makes the list right and me wrong?

    betty

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    1. I totally agree with you Betty! I have my own ideas about what I will read or not and my own reasons why!

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  5. I like Kwiz's answer. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. If you live anywhere near Indian Country, this is a must read. And if you don't...well, even more reason for reading it.

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    1. Lisa! So good to see you! I will add True Diary to my TBR list. Thanks for giving it a thumbs up!!

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  6. Gone Girl, Go Set a Watchman, and The Help all failed my 50-page rule - which states that if I am not engaged at page 50, the book gets returned to the library. Never had any interest in reading any of the other books you mentioned.

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    1. There were be way to many really good books that I wouldn't have read if I had quit reading by page 50. Thanks for visiting

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  7. I read some of these. Girl on a Train annoyed me. I thought the main character grew more stupid as time went on. like one of your other responders, I have an 80 page rule. I give an author 80 pages to make me care about their story/characters. Girl on a Train almost got set aside out of annoyance. The Help as good. Not sure why it is on this list. Fifty Shades never appealed to me. Won't read it.

    I guess I think "controversial" means generating conversation and opposing opinions ... Not discouragement from reading. Looks like these books did that. Ha.

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    1. Girl on the Train annoyed me too. But I ended up liking it as a story. There were so many of the things about the main character that just made her BAD. Like I said to Denise, if I had quit reading a book by page 80 I would have missed a lot of really good books. It is hard for me to give up on a book. And yes, controversial does seem to mean just different views. Fifty Shades isn't one I'll read either. I am just not into that kind of book

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  8. I've read Gone Girl and the Help and enjoyed both. I won't be reading 50 Shades of Grey mainly because it seems the writing is pretty dire. There are a few on the list I might try.

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  9. I haven't read any of them, but I've seen the movies. And I've heard of all but 2. Controversy happens because some people have too much time on their hands and like to be offended.

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    1. LOL! Liz, that is one take on the matter!

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  10. There are three on the list you shared that I've read and they will likely be the only three from that list. I'm not opposed to reading controversial books. The deciding factor for me is not someone's 'banned' list or 'controversial' list. It will be one/or a combination of: writing style, subject matter, author, and publication date that usually influence my decision to read or not.

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    1. Which three books have you read Gram?? I find your deciding factors to be interesting. Especially publication date! Are there certain dates you like best??

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    2. Good questions! I read The Help, Heaven is for Real, and Go Set a Watchman. As for publication date as one deciding factor - I love most old literature. Old is a loose term in that regard for me... before my time and before I was reading adult books probably best describes what I mean. I do read current literature, both fiction and nonfiction, but I fall back on literature from the 1800sand or earlier. Not sure where that comes from, but...there are days I can read a dictctionary and enjoy it. ;-)

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  11. The Help was a great movie! By all means, see it. I'm sure the book is just as good.

    I agree with you about the list: it intrigues people to read them and find out why they are considered controversial.

    I also saw the movie Gone Girl and liked it very well. What a twist that I didn't see coming!

    As mentioned in a previous comment, I just can't seem to read anymore: I fall asleep within the first few pages so it takes me forever to finish a book!

    Thanks for the list!

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I usually am not a big movie person. I like to read much better. It takes me awhile to finish a book too!

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  12. I've read Gone Girl, Go Set a Watchman, Heaven is for Real, The Grey Trilogy. I've seen the movie, The Help, but haven't read the book. This list makes me wonder who exactly determines what constitutes controversial.

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    1. I think there are many out there who are making these lists Wendy!

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  13. I've read Fifty Shades and Heaven is for real. My daughter bought me Fifty Shades...not the English professor...the other one. It was way to sexually intense/almost abusive of a book for me...I have not read any more of the books in that series nor will I go to the movie.
    As for heaven is for Real, I expected more but I really thought the little boy was truthful. I did not see the movie:)

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I love to hear what you might think. Leave me a comment. I guarantee though that I will delete your comment if you are just here to cause trouble. So tread lightly!