[Libs-Or] Tuesday Topic: Intellectual freedom beach reads for 2017

Ross Betzer rossbk at multcolib.org
Tue Jun 13 14:04:49 PDT 2017

Welcome to Tuesday Topics, a monthly series covering topics with
intellectual freedom implications for libraries of all types. Each message
is sponsored by a member of OLA's Intellectual Freedom Committee
<http://www.olaweb.org/if-home> (IFC). Questions can be directed to the
author of the message or to the IFC chairs (ifc.chair at olaweb.org).

Tuesday Topic: Intellectual freedom beach reads for 2017

Freedom of speech includes the freedom to read, so why not exercise that
right this summer by reading some books related to intellectual freedom?
We’ve separated our suggestions into two lists: one for adult readers and
one for children and teens, although of course we’ll be the last ones to
tell you to limit yourself to either one.

Books for adults (or kids who like to read up)


   Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction by Nigel Warburton (2009,
   nonfiction). Questions about “free speech” have been coming up a lot in the
   news, and this slim book will give you an overview of the main arguments
   about what free speech is and why it matters.

   Free Speech: Ten Principles For A Connected World by Timothy Garton Ash
   (2016, nonfiction). Want something more than a very short introduction?
   Maybe an in-depth, international exploration of free speech and how it can
   be a tool to combine freedom and diversity in our ever-more-connected
   “cosmopolis” of a world? Then this is the book for you.

   The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to
   Return a Literary Inheritance by Anders Rydell, translated by Henning
   Koch (2017, nonfiction). The Nazis infamously burned books, but there is
   much more to the story than that. They also undertook massive programs to
   plunder, collect, and catalog massive libraries of books written by Jews
   and others whom they despised. The goal of the Nazis was not just to remove
   these books, but to control the knowledge within them in order to tell
   their own Aryan history of the world. This book documents work by current
   librarians and historians to identify the stolen book collections and
   return them to their rightful owners.

   Watchlist: 32 Stories by Persons of Interest, edited by Bryan Hurt
   (2016, fiction). A big collection of short stories by an international
   group of literary and science fiction authors (Aimee Bender! T.C. Boyle!
   Charles Yu! Lots more!) speculating on a present and future where everyone
   is watched and also, many times, simultaneously watching.

   Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring by Bassem
   Youssef (2017, biography). Bassem Youssef has had a fascinating life:
   former heart surgeon turned social media star and political satirist, and
   now an exile from his home country of Egypt.  Both a biography and a
   personal account of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, this is a story of
   satire, free (and not free) speech, and the man who Egyptian officials
   believed was a CIA operative on a “secret mission to bring down the country
   through sarcasm.”

Books for kids and teens (or adults who like to read young)


   Ink and Bone: The Great Library by Rachel Caine (2015, young-adult
   fiction). Get your road trip fix by traveling through time into history
   rewritten where the omnipotent Great Library of Alexandria is now found in
   every city, monitoring and controlling the movement of knowledge and
   information through alchemy. This dystopian has it all – alchemy, secret
   tunnels, treason, adventure, spies, friendship, and books upon books. And
   at the heart of it all, readers follow Jess Brightwell who is being
   confronted with the importance of loyalty, knowledge, freedom, and human

   The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand by Jen Swann Downey (2014,
   juvenile fiction) is exactly what it sounds like: a secret society of
   swash-buckling, time-traveling, karate-chopping, evil-fighting librarians
   on a mission to protect anyone throughout history who has gotten into
   trouble over words. So, just the typical day of all librarians, right?

   This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki (2014, young-adult
   graphic novel) topped the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Top Ten
   Most Challenged Books of 2016.  Nominee and winner of multiple awards,
   including the Michael L. Printz and the Caldecott Honor, this book contains
   the classic “sins” of drug use, profanity, LGBT characters, and sexually
   explicit and mature themes. All this over the course of a summer at a lake
   house on the beach, where Rose watches her parents fall apart. If that
   doesn’t pique your interest, nothing will.

   Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2008, young-adult fiction) is the first
   book in the Little Brother series by longtime intellectual freedom
   proponent Cory Doctorow. In this opener to the series, the Department of
   Homeland Security has created a police state in San Francisco following a
   major terrorist attack. Every citizen is now monitored as a potential
   terrorist.  Following long interrogations and unjust imprisonment, Marcus
   and his friends must take down the ruling DHS because, like Doctorow
   writes, “It’s not about doing something shameful. It’s about doing
   something private. It’s about your life belonging to you.”

   Candor by Pam Bachorz (2009, young-adult fiction) takes readers to sunny
   Candor, Florida, a model community with a secret: teens are brought to this
   picturesque town to be transformed into polite and submissive citizens
   through the power of subliminal messages. But what the town’s founder
   doesn’t know is that his son, Oscar, is using messages of his own to help
   the clients escape before they’re reprogrammed. When Oscar falls in love
   with a classic bad-girl client, he’s challenged to recognize his own
   cruelty and the freedom of thought required for love.

You can find all of these titles, along with previous years’ picks, on the OLA
Intellectual Freedom Committee’s Goodreads page

Happy reading!

-Ross and Shun-Sho

Ross Betzer

Chair, Oregon Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee

Information Services Librarian, Multnomah County Library

rossbk at multcolib.org

Shun-Sho Fong

Youth Services Associate II, Crook County Library

sfong at crooklib.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://omls.oregon.gov/pipermail/libs-or/attachments/20170613/07b68124/attachment.html>

More information about the Libs-Or mailing list