What I Read in March 2023 & My Thoughts about Book Banning

After reading three good historical novels in February, I was disappointed that I didn’t get to read as much in March. That’s just the way it goes. As I try to do every month when I blog about the books I read the previous month, I repeat that I am not a book reviewer. I merely like to share with you what I read. Perhaps your interest will be piqued and you’ll decide to read some of the books I’ve enjoyed.

The Girl From the Channel Islands, by Jenny Lecoat

The Girl From the Channel Islands, by Jenny Lecoat

I listened to this historical novel on CD borrowed from the public library. I enjoy listening to a disc late at night, even though I have to deal with an occasional scratch on the disc which causes me to miss bits of the story.

Hedy Bercu, the protagonist in this novel, flees Austria in 1938 to escape the Nazis. She thinks she’ll be safe in Great Britain’s Channel Islands but, as World War II drags on and the islands are occupied by Germany, Hedy lives in constant fear that the wrong people will discover that she is Jewish.

The author, Jenny Lecoat, was born in the Channel Islands 16 years after some members of her family were deported by the Nazis and taken to concentration camps due to their resistance activities. This is Ms. Lecoat’s debut novel. I look forward to reading whatever she has in store for us next.

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Although Banned Books Weeks is six months away, the increasing attacks on books in the United States prompted me to reread Harper Lee’s masterpiece. Instead of reading it in printed form this time, I decided to listen to Sissy Spacek’s performing of it on CD. I haven’t quite finished it, but I decided to include it in today’s post so The Girl From the Channel Islands wouldn’t have to stand alone.

It baffles me why people in 2023 want to ban To Kill a Mockingbird from school and public library shelves because it portrays the discrimination black people suffered in the 1920s or 1930s and, because at the same time, it portrays a white lawyer defending a black man who has been wrongfully arrested and charged.

I am against all book banning. One only needs to look at what happened in Germany in the 1930s to see what the results are.

If you don’t want your child to read a certain book, that’s your prerogative; however, you don’t have the right to dictate what anyone other than yourself and your children read.

Just because you are offended by a word in a book doesn’t make it a bad book. If you think you can erase the history of slavery, prejudice, and civil war in the United States by removing those references from books, you are mistaken.

If you think by removing sex education from school curriculum you will end all teen pregnancies, you’re only fooling yourself.

People who are afraid of knowledge and try to force their fears on the masses are the most dangerous people in the world.

Since my last blog post

I’ve tried to start overcoming the toll the challenges of the last eight months have taken on my limited energy.  Getting my two local history books published and working toward the publication of a family cookbook have been fun, challenging, frustrating, draining, and rewarding — all at the same time. April 25 will mark the 36th anniversary of when I first became ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Please don’t laugh. It’s a real illness. I have pushed myself too much since last July to accomplish some long-term dreams to get my local history writings published, and now I’m paying the price.

I’ll continue to push myself because that’s what I do and I don’t know how to live otherwise; however, in the coming weeks I’ll try to be a little kinder to myself and take some time to smell the roses.

Until my next blog post

I’ll start preparing for my Author Meet & Greet scheduled for April 15 at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, North Carolina.

I’ll reevaluate the family cookbook my sister and I have compiled. I’ve encountered a problem in the formatting for a paperback edition, so it might just be an e-book. That would be disappointing.

I hope you have a good book to read. If you’ve purchased Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1 and Book 2, I hope you’re enjoying them.

If you’ve subscribed to my newsletter and, therefore, downloaded a free copy of my southern historical short story, “Slip Sliding Away,” I hope you’ve enjoyed that small sample of my fiction writing.

Remember the three children and three adults murdered in that private school in Nashville, Tennessee. Remember how your local, state, and national politicians vote on assault-style weapons designed for war when the next election rolls around.

Remember the people of Ukraine.


22 thoughts on “What I Read in March 2023 & My Thoughts about Book Banning

  1. I don’t understand book banning either. From what I’ve read, in the majority of cases, the people calling for a book ban haven’t even read the book! Books about difficult subjects are meant to be read and discussed. I couldn’t agree more with this statement: “People who are afraid of knowledge and try to force their fears on the masses are the most dangerous people in the world.”

    I hope you’re able to get the rest you need!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great minds, Carol! LOL! I’m trying to remember now if I heard about Girl From the Channel Islands from you. I try to make a note of such things and give credit where credit is due. I hope to read more books this month than I did in March, but my calendar looks fairly busy…. I always have good intentions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Liz. I’ve been forced to slow down, but I have a Meet & Greet scheduled at a bookstore on April 15. The book banning issue drives me up the wall! Why anyone in the USA thinks they have the right to dictate what other people read is just beyond me! As I was writing the blog I came to the conclusion I voiced about the most dangerous people in the world. Bombs kill the body, but censorship kills the spirit. Thanks, as always, for reading my blog and taking time to comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful post Janet, and “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a classic and a book which should be assigned reading in HS. Banning is spreading ignorance and should be banned. That would be a useful banning! Trying to sanitise history is teaching lies and perhaps even propaganda.

    Best of luck with the book signing! Exciting event, I’m sure you will do well and be quite pleased. And for someone with Chronic Fatigue, you certainly have a lot of energy. Wishing you all the best, may God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Janet, I’m very sorry that you must suffer so much pain with what seems to be such little relief from the pain. But you are still working, and that’s very important to continue to do..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, David. Someone recently said to me, “You surely get a lot done for someone with chronic fatigue syndrome.” I suppose it was meant as a compliment, but it made me wonder if that person thinks I’m a fraud. I read that for many years people with MS were made fun of. And so it is with chronic fatigue syndrome. I’ve had it more than half of my 70 years, but it still hurts when someone makes light of it. I just keep plugging along. I don’t know how else to live. I appreciate your concern and morale support!


  7. Thank you, Rebecca. Fahrenheit 451, 1984…. none of them seem like fiction. It’s getting worse by the day. I just read tonight that 40% more books were challenged in 2022 than in 2021. It is frightening that so many Americans are afraid of knowledge!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That statistic blew my mind, too. I suppose you heard about the school in Miami that banned Amanda Gorman’s poem she wrote for President Biden’s inauguration. Just because one parent complained that it contained the word “race.” I hope all the students at that school secretly Google it and read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Isn’t that the truth? Or perhaps Florida needs to pull out and form its own country. The other day I was on the phone with a DIRECTV employee. He asked where I was calling from and then volunteered that he was in southern Florida. I had to bite my tongue to keep from telling him how sorry I was. It was one of those “Bless your heart” moments we southerners have.

    Liked by 1 person

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