What are you reading? Banned Book Week

This post isn’t like most of my posts.  It doesn’t talk about me, but it does talk about something close to my heart, Reading and Censorship.

I read – A LOT!  I believe reading is one of our fundamental rights.  I do not believe any book should be censored.  If you don’t want to read it, don’t.  If you think your children shouldn’t read it, don’t let them.  But banning books is wrong, and goes against the First Amendment.


Take Action!  Protect your right to read!
September 24 – October 1, 2011 is Banned Book Week.

Sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA):

“Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.”

As some of you may know, I made  out a list of 101 things I wanted to accomplish in 1001 days.  Reading 3 books that have been banned is on that list.

Here’s a partial list of the most often Banned or Challenged Classics:

  1. The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger
  2. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  4. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  5. Ulysses, by James Joyce
  6. Beloved, by Tony Morrison
  7. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  8. 1984, by George Orwell
  9. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
  10. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
  11. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
  12. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
  14. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
  15. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
  16. A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
  17. Their Eyes were Watching God, by Zora Neal Huston
  18. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
  19. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
  20. Gone with The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
  21. Native Son, by Richard Wright
  22. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
  23. Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
  24. For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemmingway
  25. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
  26. Go Tell It on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
  27. All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren
  28. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkein
  29. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
  30. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
  31. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
  32. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
  33. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
  34. Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
  35. Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron
  36. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
  37. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
  38. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
  39. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
  40. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
  41. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence
  42. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
  43. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
  44. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
  45. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
Here’s a link to the Banned and Challenged Book List by the American Bookseller’s Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) http://www.abffe.com/bbw-booklist.htm
Top ten most frequently challenged books of 2010

Out of 348 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom

  1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited 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, 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
Hummm, what to read, what to read?
What are you reading?  Is it on a banned list?  Do you think some people would think it should be?  (I personally think that almost any book could be challenged by someone.  There are even some books that I’ve read, and thought, this book should never be read by anyone!  But that’s not for me to say. ‘ I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it’, – Voltaire’s philosophy loosely paraphrased.)
What do you think about banning books?

10 thoughts on “What are you reading? Banned Book Week

  1. Pingback: What are you reading? Banned Book Week (via Picnic with Ants) « colinusspadarius

  2. If it’s so close to your heart, how do you get it so wrong? No book has been banned in the USA for about half a century. Fanny Hill got that honor a long time ago. Challenged books in schools that are removed is different from banning. Setting aside that Banned Books Week is propaganda, the creator of BBW said:

    “On rare occasion, we have situations where a piece of material is not what it appears to be on the surface and the material is totally inappropriate for a school library. In that case, yes, it is appropriate to remove materials. If it doesn’t fit your material selection policy, get it out of there.”

    See: “Banned Books Week Propaganda Exposed by Progressive Librarian Rory Litwin; ALA Censors Out Criticism of Its Own Actions in a Manner Dishonest to the Core.”


    1. I am aware that books haven’t been federally banned in the US in a long time, however, I never said that these books were banned in the US. Many of these books have been banned in other countries, have been challenged in the US, and banned by different groups. And no one can deny that there have been many cases of burning books in the US.
      see for more information about why these specific books were chosen.

      I don’t believe that it’s is “propaganda”, but if Banned Book Week makes people think, and read more…I’m all for it!

      I am against censorship. (or I wouldn’t have approved this comment.)



  3. Wow! I am surprised to see that I have read many of these books. Funny, I am not in any way traumatized, immoral, or antisocial for it.

    I see The Hunger Games on one of the lists. I very recently read this book and was thinking how much my 10-year old son would like it.

    People are strange… (think with the tune of The Doors)


    1. I agree! I’ve read many of these books too. I’m reading a couple that have been on previous list right now…Still reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin, it’s deep, I have to read it in parts, but very well written. Also, The Picture of Dorian Gray…they banned it for homosexual relations…I haven’t seen any yet, and I’m almost through with the book. There are some hints, but nothing concrete.

      (btw, I automatically had the Doors theme in my head when I read “People are Strange”)

      so what’cha reading? wendy


  4. I’m reading The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton – hard SF. I read somewhere that it should be banned…lol. Maybe they just meant they didn’t like it.
    Some of the books on the list amazed me but then again some people amaze me (for the wrong reasons).


  5. I have Brave New World sitting on my shelf. I read it in school, saw it at a yard sale and bought it so I could reread it.

    It’s great that we are able to challenge books, but there are so many lessons and conversations that are not held because a book was banned from the school, library or even the home.


    1. I am glad that we can challenge books, because not all books are appropriate for all ages. That’s why we have teachers, and most importantly Parents, who should be involved with what their children are reading.

      As an adult with a fully functioning brain, I think I should be able to decide for myself what I think is appropriate for me.

      Brave New World is a great book. I did a term paper on it in High School.

      So many of these books I’d like to read again. w


  6. deb

    Wow! I can’t believe how many of those books I read for English class in High School. My daughter even read To Kill a Mockingbird in Grade 9 just like I did! I read Lord of the Flies, Catcher in The Rye, 1984 and A Farewell to Arms all in English class. Other classes at the same time read Catch-22, The Sun Also Rises, Brave New World and Animal Farm. Goodness..I read Gone With The Wind in my Grade 8 Reading Club (ok I was a bit of a geek and in the chess club too!) 🙂 I had no idea with the exception of Catcher in The Rye that these books were so internationally controversial.


    1. My favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird. Right now I’m reading a few that have been banned/challenged in the past but aren’t on this year’s list. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (been reading it for a while, keep taking time out because it’s so emotional for me), I’m reading The Memoirs of Fanny Hill (this book was federally banned at one point). Fanny Hill is pretty sexually graphic. I told Stuart I was reading porn. : )

      I haven’t read Catcher in the Rye or The Sun Also Rises..perhaps…well I better decide today! I just have a week.

      There’s a kick-off celebration at my library today, they are reading excerpts from some of the books. I wanted to go…but having a rough day.


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