The Definitive Ranking of Buzzfeed’s Banned Books Week Posts; Or, To Beat Buzzfeed at Their Own Game

Well another year another Banned Books Week come and gone. In commemoration of my second holiday (#1 is Channukah and #2 is January 25th) I feel it’s only appropriate to rank the Banned Books Week 2014 posts from Buzzfeed (Hey, if you wanted thoughtful pieces on the meaning of Banned Books Week you should be reading Kelly Jensen over at Book Riot.) You know, in case you were curious about what was Buzzfeed’s BEST Banned Books Week post.

7) John Green’s Response To The Banning Of His Book Is Perfect This post is literally just a screen captures of a question and answer from John Boring Nerd Man Green’s Tumblr plus a gif, a “humorous” parody of The Fault in Our Stars‘ cover and a little bit of context. That’s all I have to say.

6) 14 Honest Banned Book Titles Right off the bat I want to say that I understand the word “ratchet” to be an AAVE (African-American Vernacular English) word and I believe that the author of this post is not black (I could be wrong and would like to be corrected if anyone knows otherwise) and am not on board with the term being attached by someone who isn’t black to a book by a white author with a white protagonist. Other than that I’m going to say, “YAWN.” The closest that I came to finding a title  change funny or interesting in any way was Upton Sinclair’s How Much Do You Really Like Hamburger? [The Jungle].

5) 22 Mind-Boggling Facts About Banned Books In America I realize that this is silly to say about a Buzzfeed post but I really think they could turn down the hyperbole on the title of this post. While the whole challenging and banning books thing is a bit mind-boggling to me in general these facts aren’t really that shocking or mind-boggling to me. I’d suggest the title “22 Sad, Sad Facts About Banned Books In America.”

4) Can You Guess These Banned Books By Their Emojis? Now normally I enjoy Buzzfeed spelling things with emojis but I can’t stand how it was done in this post due to their awful inconsistencies. Some of the emojis spell out the title (ex: #6) while others spell out the plot or main theme(s) (ex. #3) and I am just not able to deal with it. Am I supposed to guess the plot or the title or what, Buzzfeed? Are you trying to give me a heart attack that will send me into the grave at a young age? I mean one is just a description of the Main Fucking Character! This is not acceptable.

3) 19 Banned Books If They Were Made Appropriate Buzzfeed was a little late to the party (this was posted on Tuesday, the third day of the week) but they get points for trying. This post was a bit hit (“Afternoon Nap of a Salesman”) or miss (“The I’m Very Full, Thank You Games”) for me although they did break out their very impressive new slidey magic hidden image technology so that was nice.

2) 16 Banned Books, Ranked By Sexiness Their ranking system drops the old Puritanical 1-5 stars and moved to 1-50 Greys, as in former adult film performer Sasha Grey. (I think we should convert all rating systems into Greys, I mean it just makes sense.) However we have no idea how each rating was arrived at so the findings might not hold up to peer review scrutiny. Probably handy for picking which classic book not to give your Nana for her birthday (or for picking a present for your Nana, I don’t know your Nana and I’m not judging.)

1) How Well Do You Know Your Banned Books? Alright I’ll give it to Buzzfeed, this was actually pretty darn good. This could even be used as an introduction to the subject of modern book banning and challenging as it illustrates the variety of bizarre complaints that get leveled. I scored only 2/10 (I was a bit hungry when I took it so I’m blaming this on low-blood sugar) which was… surprising…

And you? Do you agree with me ranking? What did  you think about Ms Jensen’s post? Do you care about Banned Books Week? Leave a comment or tweet at me or talk to me on my Facebook page or yell at me when I go to check the mail tomorrow.

World War II propoganda poster quoting from Franklin Roosevelt's declaration that

I came across this on the Magpie Librarian’s Facebook page. [This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code. Image links back to its Wikimedia Commons page.]

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