Banned Books List

September 26th-October 3rd is Banned Books Week.

I read over the titles of books that have been BANNED/CHALLENEGED here and was surprised (and not so surprised) by some of the choices.

Being an avid reader, I have read many of these books and some of them, multiple times. I will save you my opinions on whether books should be banned at all…(but would enjoy your thoughts on the topic).

What I want to know is:

Which of these books means something to YOU?  




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23 responses to “Banned Books List

  1. Amber

    Great list! Most of those books can be found in my bookcase! Most of the “scandalous” subject matter in these books blanch in comparison to most chick-lit books today. I love to read! When I am in a bookstore I must feel the same way a starving person feels in a grocery store.

  2. lauren

    We read like 10 of those in High School and I loved all of them! I agree with Amber…not nearly as scandalous as stuff today…including the cover of magazines in the grocery check-out aisle!

  3. Kat

    HAHAHA I read like the first 15 of those in High school. Guess my teacher never got the memo.

  4. I love To Kill A Mockingbird. Just reread it a few months ago…

  5. Wow! So many of those are so good!

  6. Nicole

    This list reminded me that I actually do love books and really want to pick up a novel to read…hmmmmmm what to read?

  7. Such wonderful books – oh, to be an English Literature major again.

    And I completely agree – the cover of Cosmo month in and month out is WAY more scandalous than most of these books.

  8. jenn

    of mice and men is an INCREDIBLE book! i may just have to re-read it now just because…

    and i just started Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs…i hope it lives up to being “banned” :).

  9. chris

    books should never be banned. ever. i don’t care what the reason is. i’ve read books that disgusted me but that didn’t stop me from learning something about this world and something about myself in the process. there are definitely some books that may be innapropriate for people of a certain age but i think even that has a lot of wiggle room as everyone matures at different rates.

  10. Huh, I was surprised to see how many of those I’ve read too…many in high school. Gotta love the public school system for that!

    I’m a HUGE Kurt Vonnegut fan. Huge. His satires make me think about the world in a different light while I laugh and cry, I love him. I’m in the middle of Galapagos right now. Cat’s Cradle is one of my all time favorite books. I’ve also read Slapstick, Breakfast of Champions, Mother Night, & Slaughterhouse Five. Excellent.

    Lolita I absolutely hated. It took me forever to finish it because I wanted to see if I could find something in it I found interesting but mainly I was just turned off by the perverse subject matter. I’m not easily offended, but that one did it for me.

    I fully believe that Catcher in the Rye is overrated. I read this just because I wanted to. I didn’t have to read it for school, it wasn’t ruined by the institution, I just simply thought it was less than.

    I’d rather see the Twilight books banned than any of these. Heaven forbid we should actually read something controversial! Think for ourselves? Oh no no no. These are just my kind of books, I love a great number of them. Some I’d even read again!

  11. Song of Solomon, Beloved…wow. Those are two of my forever favorites.

  12. Hey, I’ve been reading your blog…can’t remember how I found it. I really enjoy and agree with soo many of your posts!

    I love Gone With the Wind and To Kill A Mocking Bird. I remember To Kill a Mocking Bird being very impacting when I was in high school. It opened my eyes and gave me more understanding in how our world works. So many people who are considered low in our country’s status are treated soo differently than those accepted (sometimes even by we who are Christians). Anyways, where I work now uses a quote from the movie version (Gregory Peck…umm, love me some Gregory Peck) for training on worldview for our mentors.
    This is the quote…
    “You never really fully understand someone until you crawl inside their skin and walk around in it for a while.” -Atticus Finch (TKAMB)

  13. i’m with Melissa – so many of those were required reading in High School…if those books are banned now then I’m guessing they won’t be required reading in schools – what are they going to require them to read, the Harry Potter series – not that anything is wrong with that series – i’ve not read it, so i’m not judging.

    Gone with the Wind is my favorite on this list – I read it in the 7th grade – my 7th grade teacher actually gave me the book – and I still have that copy….

  14. I have to say that while there are some on that list that I have given my kids to read (To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone With The Wind) there are others that I really wouldn’t want them reading until they are 16+ (Catch-22 which is a terrific book) so from that standpoint, I suppose that yes – I would want them “banned” from a middle school or possibly even high school library.

    Some things are just not age-appropriate.

  15. Erica

    Wow, it is aaaaaamazing, that mass majority of these books were all required reading in school!

  16. I completely agree with Chris. Books should never be banned.

    I read so many of these books in high school (the one time I was happy to be in an AP English class!). I can’t imagine someone telling me it was forbidden. Whatever books my child ends up reading in jr. high and high school, I’m actually planning on reading it at the same time. I’ve been reading tremendous amounts of kids lit right now so I can really grasp what types of new lit are out there and maybe even influence his choices.

  17. Janelle

    formerly banned book – requirement for the next book club selection?

  18. Just read The Color Purple…what an amazing read. Well done movie, too. I have to laugh at people banning LOTR because it was “satanic.”

  19. “To Kill A Mockingbird” is one of my favorites. And “whore lady” is a perfectly good name.

  20. chris

    this may be a little off topic but how do my fellow book fiends feel about “digital books”? i think it’s really cool to get the stories all down online but i couldn’t imagine purchasing a sony reader and downloading a book. i want to feel the pages between my fingers and, more importantly, i want to smell that beautiful worn book smell.

  21. I love As I Lay dying… it is one of the few books with multiple narrators that I can actually get into.

    @Chris – while I love reading an actual book, my Dad LOVES his Kindle (he wrote a review on my site). Additionally, I am a teacher and was speaking with a student Friday who does not like reading books. He “doesn’t like to touch the paper.” Instead he reads anything he can on his computer. I guess to each his own!

  22. Although The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye are no longer on my favourites list, I absolutely cannot imagine NOT having read them. Salinger isn’t really considered “cool” anymore, but his narrative style had such a huge influence on modern fiction (and you’ve gotta love some of his hilarious dialogue).

    Check out last year’s most challenged list:

    Think any of these will end up being taught in high school classrooms?

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