Monday, 26 September 2011

Banned Books Week

Banning books is like trying to suppress people's thoughts, which seems like a pretty stupid and fruitless thing to do- the authors have already had the thoughts, the readers are definitely thinking it too (that's why their words resonate so much with the readers) and, quite frankly, there's nothing wrong with sex! Since this week is Banned Books Week, and I haven't read any banned books recently (and so can't really review them) I was just going to let it go by, and enjoy everyone else's posts about it (like this one, where Amanda from Dead White Guys reads a bit of Gone With The Wind- JOY!). Luckily for me, and of course for you, Alley from What Red Read has come to the rescue and posted a list of the top 110 banned books, which I am definitely going to replicate for you and tell you which ones I've read and stuff. Added bonus of this? Practically no work for me to do! We all win! Sort of...

So, anyway, here's the list! I'm going to copy Alley once more, and put the ones I've read in bold, and the ones I've read parts of in italics, and the ones I own and am all ready to read I'll underline. Then we will easily be able to see how much of a rebel I am (in books anyway- I'll save you some time about how much of a rebel I am in real life, and tell you- not. at. all.)

1. The Bible
2. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
4. The Koran
5. Arabian Nights
6. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
7. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
8. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
9. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
10. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
11. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
12. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
13. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (I'm pretty sure that banning this one borders on evil...)
14. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
15. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
16. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
17. Dracula by Bram Stoker (I am reading it next month though!)
18. Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin (Really?! Banned in the US?!)
19. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
20. Essays by Michel de Montaigne
21. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
22. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
23. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
24. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
25. Ulysses by James Joyce (This was probably just for public safety, no? I joke, I joke!)
26. Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
27. Animal Farm by George Orwell
28. 1984 by George Orwell
29. Candide by Voltaire
30. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
31. Analects by Confucius (Science is evil! And scary!)
32. Dubliners by James Joyce
33. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
34. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
35. Red and the Black by Stendhal
36. Das Capital by Karl Marx (But I wish I had..)
37. Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
38. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
39. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D H Lawrence
40. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
41. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
42. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
43. Jungle by Upton Sinclair
44. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
45. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
46. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
47. Diary by Samuel Pepys
48. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
49. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
50. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (The most ironic banned book ever)
51. Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
52. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant (This should have stayed banned. Seriously.ARGH!)
53. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
54. Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
55. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
56. Autobiography of Malcolm X
57. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
58. Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
59. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
60. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
61. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn
62. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
63. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
64. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
65. Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
66. Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
67. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
68. The Talmud
69. Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
70. Bridge to Terabithida by Katherine Paterson
71. Women in Love by D H Lawrence
72. American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
73. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
74. Separate Peace By John Knowles
75. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
76. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
77. Popol Vuh
78. Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
79. Satyricon by Petronius
80. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
81. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
82. Black Boy by Richard Wright
83. Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
84. Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
85. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
86. Metaphysics by Aristotle
87. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Really?! But why?!)
88. Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
89. Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
90. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
91. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
92. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
93. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
94. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
95. Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
96. General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
97. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
98. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
99. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
100. Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman by Ernest J Gaines
101. Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
102. Nana by Emile Zola
103. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
104. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
105. Gulag Archipelago by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn
106. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein
107. The Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
108. Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
109. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Hmm, I make that only 109 books... Nonetheless, I've read 32 of them, read parts of 6 of them, and have 5 all ready for reading, one of them very soon. That's not bad, but I could do better- I'll start with those 5. How many have you read? Any that you're really surprised were banned (Little House on the Prairie? Really?!)?


  1. I'd like to know why Julie of the Wolves is on the list. I read (reread?) it a few years back, and I have no clue.

    I wonder if some of these are on the list for some of the old time bannings. Because I just can't imagine that many people reading Popol Vuh who aren't specializing in Mayan archaeology.

  2. I love BBW. I was at the library today and they had a display set up with a little tab saying why each book was banned. Did you know that Where's Waldo was banned because in one of the pictures it shows a woman at the beach wearing a bikini. For shame.

  3. 50. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (The most ironic banned book ever)

    I'm pretty sure people who advocate book banning don't understand irony...