courtesy Amazon.com

Books That Every Artist Should Own

After consulting with fellow artists, professors, historians and college syllabi, ARTINFO has put together this list of books all artists should own. With an eye toward a balance of theory, history, reference, and practical guides this list includes over 22 books covering a multitude of subjects surrounding art.

Top 10 Most Banned Books: 2010

Banned Books Week again. Last year I put together a list of the 100 Most Banned & Challenged Books Of The Decade by aggregating several lists from the American Library Association. This year I’ll keep it a little more simple and display the top 10 most banned books of 2010 (determined out of the 348 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom).

2010

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint and [unsuitability] to age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit
  4. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
  6. Lush, by Natasha Friend
    Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
  8. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, and religious viewpoint
  9. Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
    Reasons: homosexuality and sexually explicit
  10. Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
    Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence



I have also posted top 10 lists for the years 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001

Top 100 Most Banned & Challenged Books Of The Decade

For my final posting during Banned Book Week, and with help from the American Library Association, I have put together a list of the 100 Most Banned & Challenged Books Of The Decade (with links to the books on Amazon).

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Myracle, Lauren
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, by George Beard
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

Top 10 Most Banned Books: 2009

Banned books week is here again. Every year, there are hundreds of attempts to remove books from schools and libraries. Celebrate your freedom to read and right to choose your book during Banned Books Week, September 25th to October 2nd. For more information visit the American Library Association.

Last year during banned books week I posted the top 10 most challenged books for each year spanning 2001 to 2008. Below you is the most recently updated list of the top ten most banned books for 2009:

2009

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: drugs, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  2. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality
  3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group
  4. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group
  5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
    Reasons: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  6. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  7. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
    Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
    Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  10. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
    Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Child Hunger: Watching Wal-Mart At Midnight

Historical US Poverty Rate
source: US Census Bureau Current Population Reports

This is what a rising poverty level looks like. Bill Simon (Head of Wal-Mart operations) says more Americans paying necessary goods with government assistance. The desperation in the U.S. consumer can be seen in their current buying behaviors.

The paycheck cycle we’ve talked about before remains extreme.

And you need not go further than one of our stores on midnight at the end of the month. And it’s real interesting to watch, about 11 p.m., customers start to come in and shop, fill their grocery basket with basic items, baby formula, milk, bread, eggs, and continue to shop and mill about the store until midnight, when electronic — government electronic benefits cards get activated and then the checkout starts and occurs. And our sales for those first few hours on the first of the month are substantially and significantly higher.

And if you really think about it, the only reason somebody gets out in the middle of the night and buys baby formula is that they need it, and they’ve been waiting for it. Otherwise, we are open 24 hours — come at 5 a.m., come at 7 a.m., come at 10 a.m. But if you are there at midnight, you are there for a reason. And we have to look at that and we have to watch that and we have a commitment to serve those customers who need that. And we are very, very focused on that.

I think this says a lot about the tepid U.S. economic recovery (or lack thereof). You can download a full transcript of the the talk Simon gave at the Goldman Sachs Retail Conference last week.

15 Delicious Wine Pairing Suggestions

Wine rules are more like the pirate’s code: more of a set of guidelines.There’s considerable room for experimentation and expression of your own personality in pairing food and wine. The rules for wine pairing have relaxed a bit, but the fact remains that certain flavors of food and wine mix better together than others. Remember, rules are meant to be broken and the best pairings are the ones that bring you joy.

Syrah: Matches with highly spiced dishes
When a meat is heavily seasoned—like Asian-Spiced Pork Shoulder and Cumin-Spiced Burgers—look for a red wine with lots of spicy notes. Syrah from Washington, Cabernet Franc from France and Xinomavro from Greece are all nice choices.

Grüner Veltliner: Pairs with dishes that have lots of fresh herbs
Austrian Grüner Veltliner’s citrus-and-clover scent is lovely when there are lots of fresh herbs in a dish. Other go-to grapes in a similar style include Albariño from Spain and Vermentino from Italy.

Pinot Noir: Is great for dishes with earthy flavors
Recipes made with ingredients like mushrooms and truffles taste great with reds like Pinot Noir and Dolcetto, which are light-bodied but full of savory depth.

Dry Rosé: For rich, cheesy dishes
Some cheeses go better with white wine, some with red; yet almost all pair well with dry rosé, which has the acidity of white wine and the fruit character of red. This makes it the go-to wine when serving a wide range of hors d’oeuvres, from crudités to gougères.

Sauvignon Blanc: Goes with tart dressings and sauces
Tangy foods—like Scallops with Grapefruit-Onion Salad or Sour-Orange Yucatán Chicken—won’t overwhelm zippy wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde from Portugal and Verdejo from Spain. The bright, citrusy acidity acts like a zap of lemon or lime juice to heighten flavors in everything from smoked sablefish to grilled salmon.

Zinfandel: For pâtés, mousses and terrines
If you can use the same adjectives to describe a wine and a dish, the pairing will often work. For instance, the words rustic and rich describe Zinfandel, Italy’s Nero d’Avola and Spain’s Monastrell as well as Creamy Chicken-Liver Mousse.

Pinot Grigio: Pairs with light fish dishes
Light seafood dishes, like Seafood Tostada Bites, seem to take on more flavor when matched with equally delicate white wines, such as Pinot Grigio or Arneis from Italy or Chablis from France.

Malbec: Won’t be overshadowed by sweet-spicy barbecue sauces
Malbec, Shiraz and Côtes-du-Rhône are big and bold enough to drink with foods brushed with heavily spiced barbecue sauces like Chicken Drumsticks with Asian Barbecue Sauce

Chardonnay: For fatty fish or fish in a rich sauce
Silky whites—for instance, Chardonnays from California, Chile or Australia—are delicious with fish like salmon or any kind of seafood in a lush sauce. Try Sizzling Shrimp Scampi or Crisp Salmon with Avocado Salad.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Is fabulous with juicy red meat
California Cabernet, Bordeaux and Bordeaux-style blends are terrific with steaks or chops. The firm tannins, the astringent compounds in these red wines that help give the wine structure, refresh the palate after each bite of meat.

Champagne: Is perfect with anything salty
Most dry sparkling wines, such as brut Champagne and Spanish cava, actually have a faint touch of sweetness. That makes them extra-refreshing when served with salty foods.

Rosé Champagne: Is great with dinner, not just hors d’oeuvres
Rosé sparkling wines, such as rosé Champagne, cava and sparkling wine from California, have the depth of flavor and richness to go with a wide range of main courses.

Off-Dry Riesling: Pairs with sweet & spicy dishes
The slight sweetness of many Rieslings, Gewürztraminers and Vouvrays helps tame the heat of spicy Asian and Indian dishes. In addition, when confronted with dishes like a fiery curried chicken or Thai stir-fry, wines that are low in alcohol keep the oils that make food hot from being overly accentuated.

Old World Wines: Are intrinsically good with Old World dishes
The flavors of foods and wines that have grown up together over the centuries—Tuscan recipes and Tuscan wines, for instance—are almost always a natural fit.

Moscato d’Asti: Loves fruit desserts
Moderately sweet sparkling wines such as Moscato d’Asti, demi-sec Champagne and Asti Spumante help emphasize the fruit in the dessert, rather than the sugar.

This was (mostly) stolen directly from Food & Wine and reprinted here so you don’t have to click 15 times to see it all. If you are looking for more specific pairings check out the table at Gourmet Sleuth.