Banned Books Week: Read the most-highlighted passages from popular banned books

This week is Banned Books Week, a celebration and a call to action for readers across the globe. When you think of banned books, a few images probably standout in your mind but you may be surprised to learn which books get the ban-hammer in this country most often. From “Harry Potter” to “The Origin of Species” there are dozens of award-winning novels and books that are being kept out of the hands of children in both the United States and abroad.

To bring attention to Banned Books Week, Amazon has released a few selections that offer terrific insight into the minds of readers.

The company stated that the “Amazon Book Editors (the team who reads hundreds of books a year to make recommendations for readers) pulled together a list of their favorite frequently banned books”.

Working off that list, the Kindle team took a look at the most highlighted passages within those books using Kindle’s highlighting system.

If you are new to the system, Kindle users highlight millions of book passages that are meaningful to them, in order to remember them or possible for school work. Amazon combines those highlights and identifies the passages with the most highlights. The resulting “Popular Highlights” help readers see the passages that are meaningful to the greatest number of people. It’s a terrific system to have in place and brings a community of readers closer together as they experience books at their own pace.

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson –

· “that accident ruled every corner of the universe except the chambers of the human heart
· “Rain, the spirit of the place, patiently beat down everything man-made.”
· “He decided then that he would love her forever no matter what came to pass. It was not so much a matter of deciding as accepting the inevitability of it.”
· “The law said they could not own land unless they became citizens; it also said they could not become citizens so long as they were Japanese.”
· “Mrs. Shigemura taught her to seek union with the Greater Life and to imagine herself as a leaf on a great tree: The prospect of death in autumn, she said, was irrelevant next to its happy recognition of its participation in the life of the tree itself. In America, she said, there was fear of death; here life was separate from Being. A Japanese, on the other hand, must see that life embraces death, and when she feels the truth of this she will gain tranquillity.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

· “Number one, as I said, quality of information. Number two: leisure to digest it. And number three: the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the first two.”
· “That’s the good part of dying; when you’ve nothing to lose, you run any risk you want.”
· “Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them, at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”
· “School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?”
· “If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none.”

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

· “You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There’s nothing to that.”
· “It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing.”
· “This wine is too good for toast-drinking, my dear. You don’t want to mix emotions up with a wine like that. You lose the taste.”
· “It was like certain dinners I remember from the war. There was much wine, an ignored tension, and a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent happening. Under the wine I lost the disgusted feeling and was happy. It seemed they were all such nice people.”
· “I mistrust all frank and simple people, especially when their stories hold together,”

Cujo by Stephen King

· “But in high school the business of irrevocable choices began. Doors slipped shut with a faint locking click that was only heard clearly in the dreams of later years.”
· “It was all a lie. The world was full of monsters, and they were all allowed to bite the innocent and the unwary.”
· “He was a Saint Bernard in his prime, five years old, nearly two hundred pounds in weight, and now, on the morning of June 16, 1980, he was pre-rabid.”
· “that time was a myth and death was a dream, that everything was okay.”
· “fear was a monster with yellow teeth, set afoot by an angry God to eat the unwary and the unfit.”

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

· “There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it.”
· “How easy it is to invent a humanity, for anyone at all. What an available temptation.”
· “We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.”
· “Better never means better for everyone, he says. It always means worse, for some.”
· “Sanity is a valuable possession; I hoard it the way people once hoarded money. I save it, so I will have enough, when the time comes.”

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

· “District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety,”
· “The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins.”
· “It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love.”
· “I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.”
· “He tells of the history of Panem, the country that rose up out of the ashes of a place that was once called North America. He lists the disasters, the droughts, the storms, the fires, the encroaching seas that swallowed up so much of the land, the brutal war for what little sustenance remained.”

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