This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Tuesday, September 23You know something has gone terribly wrong with the lunatic fringe in this country when a book entitled The New Joy of Gay Sex can only make it to number 28 on the top 100 list of Most Frequently Challenged Books, but the Harry Potter series can place in the top ten. Compounding the puzzlement is the fact that former Poet Laureate of the United States Maya Angelou's renowned I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ranks third on that same list. But then you shake your head and remember that banning books, or even attempting to ban books, is never going to make sense: this is America, and the First Amendment protects all of us from would-be thought police and mother hens. But that doesn't stop 'em from trying, and so you have to flex your rights every now and then. Banned Books Week is this week, and tonight, you can participate by attending the free readings from frequently challenged books with a lesbian/gay/bi/ transgendered focus at Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue, 314-367-6731) at 7:30 p.m. Guest readers include Pam Schneider of the Vital Voice and Anthony Galloway of St. Louis Black Pride, and the emcee is the scrumptious Dieta Pepsi. Someday, your kids will thank you for going.

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