Banned Books Week: John O'Hara Story, and Win an Amazon Gift Card!

Saturday, September 24, 2011
To commemorate Banned Books Week, The Muffin is participating in the Banned Books Week Blog Hop sponsored by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer. All of the posts and prizes are related to banned books so stop hopping and see which of your favorite reads might have once been banned. So after you enjoy our post, stop by I Am a Reader, Not A Writer and start hopping!

Blog Hop Giveaway:

If you would like to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your favorite banned book, please leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered in a random drawing. The giveaway contest closes Saturday, October 1 at 11:59 PM, PST. For an extra entry, link to this post with the hashtag #bannedbooks, then come back and leave us a link to your tweet. We'll be announcing the winner here at The Muffin on Monday, October 3. Good Luck!

John O'Hara -- Banned in His Own Hometown

Small towns are usually inordinately proud of their native sons (and daughters). They name streets after them, they erect statues, they have festivals celebrating them. Pottsville, Pennsylvania does all this for John O'Hara, author of short stories and novels such as Appointment at Samarra, BUtterfield 8, and Ten North Frederick from the 1930s to the 1970s. Pottsville didn't always think of O'Hara so fondly.

You would think an area known as the home of the country's oldest brewery and anthracite coal would be excited to add "home of famous author" to the list. Perhaps...if it had been anything except O'Hara's books. Like William Faulkner, O'Hara wrote novels thinly based on the area where he grew up. Pottsville became Gibbsville, and other towns and businesses in the Schuylkill County area were re-christened with easy to decipher names. Readers around the country loved O'Hara's novels filled with sex, drinking and scandal. The people of Pottsville, certain the characters of Gibbsville were THEM, were not as in love with books they felt were revealing all the town's secrets to the world.

So the area libraries "restricted" O'Hara's books. Yes, they had them but they didn't want them to fall into "innocent hands" so the librarians kept them hidden behind the desk. You had to come up and ask specifically for these books so scandalous they couldn't even be placed on the shelves! It was the 1950's...asking for an O'Hara book was the same as marching up to the bespectacled librarian and shouting, "I'm a sex maniac! Give me Playboy! Give me the Kama Sutra! Give me O'Hara!" And, since it was a small town, within days everyone--including your mother and your minister--would know what book was on your TBR pile. I can't imagine many people checked out O'Hara's books. By restricting O'Hara's books, the libraries effectively banned them.

Thankfully, restriction has gone the way of bespectacled librarians shushing visitors to the library. John O'Hara has claimed his rightful place on our shelves and no one is shocked to see a patron checking out Ten North Frederick. In fifty years I wonder how many of the uproars over books will seem laughable to us?

Tell us, what banned books have you read? Which do you intend to read to celebrate Banned Books Week? You can find a list here.

Blog Hop Giveaway:
Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

1. For your first entry, just leave a comment on this post! Leave a comment or tell us what banned book you've read (or intend to read) to be entered in the random drawing.

2. For an extra entry, link to this post on Twitter with the hashtag #bannedbooks, then come back and leave us a link to your tweet.

This blog hop giveaway closes Saturday, October 1 at 11:59 PM, PST. We will announce the winner in the comments section of this post on Monday, October 3 and if we have the winner's address from the comments section, we will also notify the winner via email.

Good luck!


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Texas Type A Mom said...

I love Harry Potter!

Angie said...

Oh and my email is: osnapitzAngiex3 [AT] aol [DOT] com

Becca said...

I intend to read The Hunger Games. Thanks! sbcashortie at hotmail dot com

bbrittbrat1398 said...

I read a couple of harry potter banned books.

Julie D. said...

I've read lots of banned books, including Brave New World and 1984. Would love to read some more!
luckyjd2k at gmail dot com

Theresa said...

I've read quite a few of the banned books, Harry Potter and The Color Purple have been my favorites.

paradise459 (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Theresa said...


paradise459 (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Krysykat said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I think that banning books is horrible, if someone doesn't want to read books with content they don't like then they can just go and not buy the book and read something else.



Mona said...

Thanks for the giveaway :)
I've read and enjoyed ANIMAL FARM, LORD OF THE FLIES, and several Judy Blume books. I have many banned books on my TBR list:

. The Hunger Games
. Crank
. Lush


Charla said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I have read The Lovely Bones and plan to read The Perks of Being a wallflower!

LSUReader said...

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and GONE WITH THE WIND are my favorite banned books.

Thanks for the giveaway and for publicizing banned books week.


imaclutz89 said...

I've never heard of banned books before. It's good to learn about this sort of thing. Thanks!


Chen Yan Chang said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway! One of my favorite banned/challenged books is The Hunger Games! It's such an awesome giveaway!

jadedlittlegirlx AT gmail DOT com

Chen Yan Chang said...

Oh, I tweeted here:!/nodizzies/status/119985706847313920

jadedlittlegirlx AT gmail DOT com

Kellie Conklin said...

I've read many of the banned books as well! And most of them were books I have enjoyed the most! I plan on reading Speak soon. Thanks!

Erica C. said...

Great giveaway! The Giver is a great book on the banned list.

SarahSparrow said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

I just finished the Harry Potter series.

captainsarahsparrow at hotmail dot com

Cweller75 said...

I have read The shining. I plan to read a few others soon.

Heather W said...

I've read most of them, but my favorite is Catcher in the Rye
Lovefool827 (at) yahoo (dotcom)

susan1215 said...

I have read Harry Potter books and The Catcher in the Rye

s2s2 at comcast dot net

susan1215 said...!/susan1215/status/120179265974173696

s2s2 at comcast dot net

clynsg said...

Several of those on the list surprise me, including My Friend Flicka, which I think I read when I was about 10. I don't think it scarred me for life, and I really can't figure out what was in it to have it show up on a banned books list!

cgclynsg0 at gmail dot com

susansmoaks said...

i've read a few banned books, most recently the hunger games
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Breanne said...

I like Lord of the Flies by William Golding

bmweida at yahoo dot com

annemarie562000 said...

I would love to read Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm!


annemarie562000 said...



AEKZ2 said...

I'd like to read Crank.

Brian E. said...

Thanks for the giveaway...time to re-read "One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich" !

senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

Brian E. said...


senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

Anonymous said...

I've never read one I dont recall

Melanie_McCullough said...

This week I started reading Harry Potter with my 8yo niece.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Melanie.M.McCullough at gmail dot com

geschumann said...

I loved the Twilight series. Thanks! Gloria

geschumann at live dot com

Liz said...

I've read lots of banned and challenged books, but my favorite is Huck Finn!

eemoody77 at gmail dot com

Liz said...

I tweeted!

eemoody77 at gmail dot com

Racquel Henry said...

I've read a ton of banned books including The Bluest Eye, Push and Crank. I was surprised to learn exactly what books were on the list. Sad that people are trying to stifle good literature.

1993wel said...

I have read many of the books on the banned books list, including A Wrinkle in Time, A Separate Peace, Catch-22, The Pigman, Silas Marner... too many to mention! In my opinion, there is no such thing as a book that should be banned, there are just books that fit certain audiences better than others.

Roxann said...

I read all of the Harry Potter books and will be reading Lovely Bones soon.

yadgirl said...

Count me in. I've read The Color Purple, The Catcher in the Rye, and Huckleberry Finn

WOW! said...

Wow! What an awesome turnout! Thanks everyone for sharing your favorite banned books! It's so interesting to see how many of these books have touched our lives.

We held a random drawing via and the winner is... Reading Addiction! Congratulations! We will be sending you an Amazon Gift Card for $20 via e-mail so you can purchase your favorite banned book. :)

This is the first time we've done a blog hop, and it's been a ton of fun. I think we'll do more of these in the future.

Thanks so much for participating and helping bring awareness to a good cause!

Also, thank you to our hosts--I am a Reader, Not a Writer and I Read Banned Books--for organizing this terrific event.

Happy reading!

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