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Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out: ‘In Cold Blood’

Truman Capote’s 1966 nonfiction novel In Cold Blood is considered controversial for a number of reasons, among them the pretty disturbing descriptions of violence and questions about Capote’s accurateness in writing the book. Although not one of the most widely challenged books, In Cold Blood is one of the top nonfiction books on the ALA’s list of banned or challenged classics — it’s at 53, right behind The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

To help celebrate Banned Books Week, I decided to participate in a virtual read-out, where people around the world can upload short videos with readings from challenged books. I hope the volume for the video is ok; on my computer it’s really, really quiet!

Interestingly enough, In Cold Blood is still a controversial book. Just this week, a school district in California is debating whether they should add the book to the school’s 11th grade AP English reading list. The book hasn’t been banned, but we won’t know until October whether it will be allowed. I’m curious to see how this plays out, and I’m glad the administrators involved are taking the time to read the book before making a decision.

If you haven’t read In Cold Blood, I definitely recommend it as a great, classic example of narrative nonfiction that is entirely creepy enough for an October read. In fact, I’ll be waxing nostalgic about the book as part of an upcoming guest post for Jenn’s (Jenn’s Bookshelves) “Murder, Monsters & Mayhem” celebration next month!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog September 28, 2011, 7:30 am

    Great video (and the volume was fine), and an excellent choice of book, Kim!

    • Kim September 29, 2011, 8:32 pm

      Thanks! I enjoyed your video as well — thanks for tipping me off to the Virtual Read Out 🙂

  • Jenn's Bookshelves September 28, 2011, 1:37 pm

    I agree, great choice of book!! Kudos to you (and thanks for the Mx3 mention!)

    • Kim September 29, 2011, 8:39 pm

      Of course! I can’t wait to read all the guest posts and hopefully find some good Mx3 books to add to my own piles.

  • Florinda September 28, 2011, 7:02 pm

    I’m a contributor to the group blog MomsLA, and found out about about the Glendale controversy over In Cold Blood via a post from one of our other bloggers. I have a post about it going up tomorrow, and I’m linking back to this :-).

    • Kim September 29, 2011, 8:40 pm

      Sweet, thanks! And your post about the issue was great — well summed up.

  • Jeanne September 28, 2011, 7:06 pm

    I like being read to.

    • Kim September 29, 2011, 8:40 pm

      Me too! I should get Boyfriend to do it more often, although in the past I’ve ended up reading to him.

  • Erin September 29, 2011, 8:37 am

    Love the video! It’s always fun to “meet” other bloggers, plus I haven’t read In Cold Blood. Though, honestly, I’m not sure I will…I tend to avoid creepy books because, well, they scare me! I’ll go for a different Capote book.

    • Kim September 29, 2011, 8:41 pm

      I always feel like such a dork doing vlogs (which perhaps is appropriate!). In Cold Blood is a very, very creepy book. I found it unsettling in a lot of ways, so maybe not a book for you.

  • Care September 30, 2011, 7:26 am

    Being a good Kansan, I HAD to read In Cold Blood. I actually have relatives near Holcomb.

    • Kim October 2, 2011, 9:46 am

      Wow, that’s crazy. What did you think of the book?

      • Care October 2, 2011, 11:24 am

        Oh, very good book. Fascinating, chilling.

  • Pam October 1, 2011, 5:38 pm

    I read “Party of the Century” by Deborah Davis several years ago, about a black and white ball Truman Capote threw. Having never read any of his books and knowing very little about him, I found the book a really entertaining read. I have meant to get around to In Cold Blood ever since.

    • Kim October 2, 2011, 9:47 am

      Thanks for the recommendation. Truman Capote is such an interesting and eccentric guy; I always want to learn more about him.