“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” – Benjamin Franklin

birthday boy – Ben Franklin turns 300 this year, and the NYT is gives us a rundown on some new books about the old boy.

birthday girl – NZ Author Margaret Mahy has celebrated her 70th birthday with a host of friends.

smiley face – Jane Smiley makes an appearance in Cleveland.

interviewNerve.com has Norman Mailer and John Buffalo Mailer hanging around.

reviews
Robert Browning a life after death
by Pamela Neville-Sington
The Scavenger`s Guide to Haute Cuisine by Steven Rinella
Bloodline by Fiona Mountain
A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller
by Frances Mayes.

NPR Barbara Wallraff author of the “word fugitives” column in the The Atlantic Monthly talks about her new book, Word Fugitives

contenders • ALA’s list of 10 Most Challenged Books of 2005:

  • It’s Perfectly Normal” for homosexuality, nudity, sex education, religious viewpoint, abortion and being unsuited to age group
  • Forever” by Judy Blume for sexual content and offensive language
  • The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger for sexual content, offensive language and being unsuited to age group
  • The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier for sexual content and offensive language
  • Whale Talk” by Chris Crutcher for racism and offensive language
  • Detour for Emmy” by Marilyn Reynolds for sexual content
  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know” by Sonya Sones for sexual content and being unsuited to age group;
  • Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey for anti-family content, being unsuited to age group and violence
  • Crazy Lady!” by Jane Leslie Conly for offensive language
  • It’s So Amazing! A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families” by Robie H. Harris for sex education and sexual content

giggle NYT Lee Siegel speculates what a publisher’s fact-checker would have thought of the Bible, Marcus Aurelius and the Framers of the Declaration…et al.

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