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Banned: More Than Books – Bookmans Entertainment

With one day left in September we figured we would go out with a bang and highlight a bit more banned material. Banning doesn’t apply just to books. The censorship axe can fall on movies, music and video games as well. In fact any form of creativity, expression or entertainment can be subject to scrutiny. What is appropriate and for whom? Who decides?

Call us crazy but we kinda thought that it was up to you to decide what you want to see. It’s this crazy concept called Freedom, maybe you read about it somewhere, like in our Constitution. The root word of the term Freedom is FREE; as in unrestricted and of one’s own design. If no-one is forcing you to listen to that wicked Bob Dylan (yes, his music was banned) or making you learn code to create a people eating alien attack video game then you are good. Yes, we can hear the arguments and some are valid but only when they concern the violation of the free will of another being. We take censorship seriously, and alas the final episode in our Banned Books (and other things) Month.


Here are a brief sampling of music, movies and video games that have been challenged and/or banned. Some may surprise you while others not so much. However, ask yourself why? There is inherent bias in all of us. You might say that you can understand why Marilyn Manson’s Antichrist Superstar was challenged but in the same breath be astounded that Cher was also banned. Cher?? We loved the Sonny and Cher variety show, yeah her costumes were a little skimpy but it was the ’70’s! Read More…

Harry Potter: Fight Censorship with my Favorite Youth Series!

Posted in Bookie Blog on 28 Sep by

Bookmans fights censorship every day but especially in the month of September, we spends time promoting the right to read. In celebration of continuing our freedom to read, view, and listen to what we want, I was looking over a list of past banned books to help prepare an in-store display. Many of the titles jumped out at me as favorites from my grade school self; from scary stories to the entire Harry Potter series and even to Captain Underpants. These were all shockingly on a previous list of banned books.

harry potter

For me and a lot of others in my generation, these books produced a lot of emotion and laughter, taught valuable lessons all while triggering a mind of imagination. In a sense, so much that it helped discover an adventure for reading. Growing up the Harry Potter series was monumental to me! I remember the excitement of each book being released, and then begging my grandfather to go with me to be one of the Potter fans waiting in line at the nearby Barnes & Noble. (It wasn’t ever really that hard cause deep down I know he was a Potter fan too.) Read More…

Be Prepared!

Posted in Merchandise, Uncategorized on 27 Sep by

If an emergency occurred tomorrow, would you be ready? September is National Preparedness Month as sponsored by FEMA. At Bookmans, we would like to take this opportunity to empower you to be prepared for all types of emergencies, fact or fictional. We are still in the midst of Monsoon Season, which continues until the end of this month. What better time than now to make sure you’re prepared if there is a random flash flood, if you’re heading on an adventurous trek, or have a freak zombie complication? Whether you are braving the wild or just reading about it, Bookmans has you covered with a lot of the items you’ll need to forage for the ‘just in case’. We have a wide array of merchandise including a lot of items you might not expect.

All around the store there are gizmos and gadgets a plenty to assist you in your quest to be ready for anything. There are a few sections in all of the Bookmans locations that you should pop into for such items.

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Punk Rock Review: The Coneheads, by Flavio. Bookmans Entertainment

Posted in Musical Notes on 26 Sep by

Hey, guys. Flavio’s back…and guess what? He’s written another album review! Want to take another guess? It’s about a punk rock band! So predictable!

Take it away Flav…
I was scouring through the depths of the internet and came across a band that I never thought would exist in this year (and this universe).

They call themselves The Coneheads and their album LP 1 aka 14-Year-Old High School Hype Lords Rip Off Devo for the Sake of Extorting $$$ from Helpless Impressionable Midwestern Internet Peoplepunks L.P. Yeah, it’s quite a mouthful, but it’s probably one of the best punk rock albums I’ve heard of in quite some time. It’s strange to think this band exists in this modern era. Their sound is something irreplaceable. It’s almost hard to describe in many ways. Read More…

I Wanna be a Cowboy Baby – Part 3 – Bookmans Entertainment

Posted in Bookie Blog, Merchandise on 23 Sep by

We continue on with part 3 of our series on the American Cowboy by guest local author David Grasse. We have covered some of the history of the American West, the practical aspects of cowboy life and now we will discuss how the legend and lore became so deeply entrenched in the imaginations of millions. Why is the American Cowboy such a powerful icon and how did it maintain it’s appeal? Author David Grasse addresses these questions.


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Censorship: The Banning Of America’s Toys

Posted in Uncategorized on 21 Sep by

Censorship can rear its head in many facets of life, not only just in books. Toys fall victim to censorship as well, and although this month we celebrate the right to read and encourage getting caught reading with a banned book, we want to open up the conversation of all censored media and help you understand just how far reaching it is. Over the years many things ranging from Barbies to chemistry sets, games to candy have been banned and pulled from the shelves due to public outcry. Here is a look at five of the most challenged (and strangest) toys ever made, and some of these might be for good reason.


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Ticket Tuesday Giveaway- Tucson Children’s Museum

Posted in Contests & Giveaways on 20 Sep by

***Contest Closed***

This past weekend Bookmans was fortunate enough to attend Love of Literacy at the Tucson Children’s Museum. A day guaranteed to ignite the joy of reading for families of the Tucson community. The event was filled with fun and reading from local acclaimed authors like Adam Rex and Enrique Feldman. There was performance story telling with Stories That Soar, book giveaways at the Bookmans tent and of course the museum itself, where admission was free and learning was imminent. We couldn’t have asked for a more fun-filled afternoon as we shared some of our own favorite stories with the Love of Literacy attendees.

Children’s Museum

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Censorship: Does This Offend You?

Posted in Core Values on 19 Sep by

Imagine a Twilight Zone world in which what you can and can’t do is mandated by authorities. A world that doesn’t allow you to learn about new things, listen to what you please, or watch mind-opening media. This world is seemingly unbelievable, and yet the world we live in today is not far from this scenario. Whenever books aren’t allowed in certain libraries, when language is omitted from music, or when images are deemed socially unacceptable, one could argue that our essential liberties are challenged. Conversely, some view censorship as a public service, shielding us from corrupt content for the greater good. This poses a question: What is the motivation for censorship?

Monitoring what children absorb psychologically is widely accepted, but why do we feel that certain “offensive” elements need to be held from the masses? To delve deeper into this enigma, let’s take a look back at the recent history of censored media and seek an explanation.


One of the sole reasons that The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka was banned in Czechoslovakia was that Kafka refused to put out a copy written in Czech. Seems a little extreme to ban it altogether, but they stood firm, and so it was. Censorship and banning can happen for any reason – even language barriers, and a book could be unavailable to you forever. Read More…

Tales From the VHS Video Vaults – Final Chapter | Bookmans

Posted in Reel Chat on 16 Sep by

August is Movie Madness all month long at Bookmans! Sure, everyone is talking about Suicide Squad, the all-lady Ghostbusters or the latest Hollywood hits – but what about those films that are very often overlooked? We’re talking about those oddball films filled with nostalgia, usually made with no budgets, the not-very-common, yet have built a cult following in their own right. With the recent announcement that the Japan based Funai company would cease production on the very last made VHS player, and the production of VHS tapes officially ended in 2008, my Movie Madness is raging. If you missed Part One, you can rewind to here, check out Part Two here or dive head first into Part III, here. Otherwise grab the remote, sit back and enjoy Part IV of Tales from the VHS Video Vaults.

Frankenstein Sings – The Movie, Candace Cameron Bure, 1996
What isnt there to love about this movie? It is best described as a family fun version of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The storyline is familiar, where a young couple finds tons of musical fun when they are forced to seek shelter in a spooky mansion on Halloween night. Once there, they find it filled with some of Hollywood’s favorite ghouls, all of whom love to sing and dance. Starring Full House’s Candice Cameron this is musical lightheartedness at its best!

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Finally, a Frank Ocean Review – Bookmans Entertainment

Posted in Musical Notes on 15 Sep by

With brand new music from Frank Ocean flooding our radios and ears, it was only appropriate to delve into the newly released albums and give an honest review while he’s still hot. Frank Ocean has been making music and infecting the R&B world for years, before a four year hiatus when R&B artist Frank Ocean hadn’t released any of his own new music. With everyone creating enough rumble about his new releases I found myself diving myself into Endless, enjoying the ripe glory of it, when not even a day later; a second album was released.

Blonde or Blond, no matter the spelling, people will continue to wonder. The artwork of the album features a title different than the title seen on Apple Music, and people are curious – is it preference or an intentional artistic way to reference sexuality from Frank Ocean himself? In his song “Nikes” Ocean sings “there are two versions of me” which may allude to his semantic choice. As for me, it be clever or a preference but still doesn’t change the album.

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Winner Wednesday: Arizona Underground Film Festival – Bookmans

Posted in Contests & Giveaways on 14 Sep by


The Arizona Underground Film Festival is Arizona’s only premier genre cult film festival, and one of the biggest underground film festivals in the country! We are now celebrating our 9th year from September 16th to the 24that The Screening Room at 127 E. Congress in the heart of downtown Tucson.

We will be screening world premieres, North American premieres and Arizona premieres, along with several local Tucson filmmakers premiering their work for the very first time. Including the post-apocalypse film Gun Driver, the horror comedy Knock, Knock, and The Trolls which was filmed in Tucson and has gone on to gain national attention on CNBC and Bloomburg for its attention on patient trolls. Filmmakers will be in attendance for Q&A after the films.

Underground Film Festival

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Bookmans Attends Arizona’s Local First’s Farmer to Chef Connection

Posted in Community Events on 13 Sep by

For some, Arizona may seem barren. A dusty wasteland with sweltering heat and little for the land to offer. However our beloved Grand Canyon State couldn’t be more the opposite. With large regions of the state enjoying warm weather year round, winter vegetables are in abundance. Indigenous and native foods and produce are utilized to the fullest. Don’t believe us? Prickly pear margaritas. ‘Nuff said. And we are ranked second in our lettuce, romaine, cauliflower and broccoli production.

No one knows this better than Local First Arizona. An organization striving to build Arizona’s economy at the local level, facilitating relationships with local businesses through out Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff. Through their Rural Development Council, LFA helps builds businesses in smaller communities such as Pinetop and Snowflake. At the recent Farmer + Chef Connection nothing was more clear than the outstanding amount of local foods, produce, dairy and meats grown and fed on Arizona soil. Bookmans, a Local First sustaining member and self proclaimed Arizona Fangirl was happy to attend the second annual Farmer + Chef Connection at Tucson Convention Center recently, where we got to taste test many of the delicious delicacies Arizona has to offer.

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Ticket Tuesday – Jared & The Mill

**Contest Closed***

Celebrate the release of a new album by hometown heroes, Jared & The Mill with free tickets to see this Americana outfit live! Jared & The Mill released the Orme Dugas EP on September 9th along with dates to their three-month national tour. Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Jared & The Mill got their start in the summer of 2011 as a fun way to hang out with friends, play music and have a good time. Little did they know that they would soon become a fixture in the local scene, playing with other up-and-coming bands throughout Arizona. After three years of touring, Jared & The Mill is now playing along side legendary acts and some of their most admired musicians. Catch these roots rockers while you still can! This Ticket Tuesday, we give away two tickets to see Jared & The Mill on September 17th at Livewire in Scottsdale with a melange of local Arizona bands.

Jared & The Mill

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I Wanna be a Cowboy Baby – Part 2

Posted in Bookie Blog, Core Values, Merchandise on 12 Sep by

As part of our ongoing four-part series on the history of the American Cowboy, Guest writer and local author David Grasse continues his look at the history one of America’s most powerful icons. The history and lore of the American Cowboy is especially relevant to Arizona because so much of it happened right here in our backyards. Don’t be fooled however, the lure of the American West found it’s way all around the globe. So let’s look deeper into the fascinating origins of the original American Hero – The Cowboy… take it away Mr. Grasse…

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Bookmans Recommends: Christmas All Year

Posted in Musical Notes on 09 Sep by

It may not look like it just yet, but Fall is right around the corner. Nights are getting cooler and the days are getting a little bit shorter. The eminent fragrance of pumpkin spice is just chomping at the bit to make its way into every coffee house. All around Arizona, it’s getting closer to sweater weather, people, and that means that Christmas isn’t as far away as you may think. What better way to pass the hot remaining summer days then to bust out the Christmas music a little earlier than usual? The delightful tunes have proven to make seasons bright, add a cup of cheer, and make your troubles seem miles away. What Christmas selections would make for the merriest and happiest holiday feeling? Stop in to your local Bookmans to check out what treasures await on vinyl, cassette and CD. We are counting down the top five Christmas songs you should listen to when it’s not quite Christmas in the real world.

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Graphic Novels Highlighted for #ArrestedReading

Posted in Uncategorized on 08 Sep by

September is Banned Books month at Bookmans so we are taking a closer look at Arrested Reading. These are graphic novels that have been flagged for one reason or another by the American Library Association or have been challenged on whether they should be allowed in school libraries. Readers might find themselves shocked at what titles have been challenged and/or banned by the association or schools nationwide. Many titles are considered classics to modern audiences, and even more are considered essential reads given that they challenge social, political, and religious norms of their eras.

Many of these brave authors dared much to bring their ideas to fruition. Here we will have a look at a relatively new genre, graphic novels. Graphic novels have come a long way since their humble beginnings when they concentrated on superhero characters and themes. The genre has since grown dramatically to include not only memoirs and fiction but the retelling of classic titles. These works not only challenge the mind and push the boundaries of thought, but they now give our eyes a good time. Here are three of our favorite challenged graphic novels:

graphic novels

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A Challenged Graphic Novel: Batman: The Killing Joke

Posted in Uncategorized on 07 Sep by

I never realized that Batman: The Killing Joke was considered a challenged book. The comic book received the label because someone in Columbus, Nebraska asked for it to be removed from circulation. Fortunately, the library board voted to keep it. We like to include challenged books in our list of must-reads, especially during our Banned Books Month where we highlight the importance of fighting for the right to read – and in conjunction with our #ArrestedReading and #BannedBookMugshot campaigns across all Bookmans locations. batman


Alan Moore and Brian Bollands’s 1988 Batman: The Killing Joke is an unsettling Batman comic book that has remained a classic to this day. The comic took a headlong dive into the depths of darkness in the Batman universe that had never been seen in a DC comic or any other publication/outlet before. The cover features the Batman’s arch-nemesis Joker smiling malevolently with his rictus grin behind a SLR camera that makes you feel uncomfortable and exposed. It’s a story about duality, violence and justice. Read More…

Censorship Challenged: Our Top 5 LGBT Titles

Posted in Core Values, Merchandise on 06 Sep by

In the year 2016 it seems completely preposterous that we’re still talking about books that have been banned, challenged or censored. With nudity and profanity on almost every television ad, magazine cover or roadside billboard, literature shouldn’t be what we focus on when trying to shelter our youth from inappropriate content. A 2014 study released by the Office for Intellectual Freedom showed that “offensive language”, “sexually explicit content” and a general “unsuitability for age group” were the top three reasons behind challenged books. All three of these things could be said about any video game, movie, comic book, or music album. Not to mention the things kids hear out of each others’ mouths. Where do we draw the line in what we allow in schools, libraries or on our own shelves?

Among 24 other reasons for being challenged, “homosexual content” was number seven. While we respect every parents decision to monitor what their child reads, the importance of having access to materials that relate to sexuality, at a very integral time in finding who they are, is a big deal. We all remember what it’s like to be in elementary, middle and high school. Not only balancing school work with family and friends, there’s the daunting task of figuring out who you are as an individual.

Sure, we’re a book store, so we’re biased, but we want all readers to find solace and comfort in the pages of a book. When titles go through the process of being challenged and removed from shelves, we lose access to vital content. As we celebrate censorship awareness this month we want to highlight some titles we consider to be the best among challenged Young Adult Fiction, laden with what is classified as “homosexual content.” These are great reads with much more to their stories than same-gender love. They’re coming of age tales that will bring tears to your eyes, let laughter erupt from your lips and bring an understanding to those who are just trying to figure it out.


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Bookmans Grant Pop-Up Gallery

Posted in In Our Stores on 02 Sep by

*Calling all artists!* Bookmans Grant takes on a pop-up gallery to show talents from every medium, highlighting the importance of fighting censorship and our love for speaking out through art that is inspired by your favorite banned books.

Every September Bookmans takes pride in bringing awareness to topics such as censorship and banned or challenged books. Not only have classics such as All Quiet on the Western Front, 1984 and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn shown up consistently on the list of banned and challenged books each year, children’s favorites like Green Eggs and Ham, The Fault in Our Stars and P.C Cast’s House of Night series have too. These are titles that have been challenged just within the past two years! Can you imagine a world without these magnificent reads? A world where creativity has a limit? We try not to think about it -because that can be just as dangerous.

pop-up gallery

This year we’re pushing the envelope and taking it a step further. We’re calling all artists of any level to participate in our “Challenged ‘Idea’ Pop-Up Gallery”. For a total of four days our Grant & Campbell store will be transformed into a gallery with pieces themed after challenged or banned books. Why not express ourselves while also exposing great titles that have shockingly appeared on the ALA’s (American Library Association) list of books?

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Celebrate #ArrestedReading at Bookmans

Posted in Core Values, In Our Stores on 01 Sep by

Bookmans promotes avant-garde expression all year around, but September holds a special place in the hearts of rebellious readers. In conjunction with Banned Books Week, we focus on the freedom to read, watch, play and listen to whatever media we want. This month, each Bookmans location hosts free events as homages to our favorite banned books, movies, music and video games. Stop by your fave store to snap a #BannedBookMugshot with your book of choice. Liberate literature from the #ArrestedReading displays at each of our locations. At Bookmans, we encourage the right to speak up and speak out. Discovery, knowledge and enlightenment are never crimes. We want you to help us keep it that way.

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