It’s Banned Books Week: here’s a list of 100 banned books

This is Banned Books Week. It seems the last time I posted anything about this was in 2010, so I think it is time to mention it again with a list of 100 banned books. I know if a book is banned … or challenged, as it is usually called in the USA … it is drawn into focus more than it would have been if left alone.

The following paragraph and list is from which you may wish to check out.

On July 21, 1998, the Radcliffe Publishing Course compiled and released its own list of the century’s top 100 novels, at the request of the Modern Library editorial board.

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  6. Ulysses by James Joyce
  7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  9. 1984 by George Orwell
  10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
  12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  13. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  17. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  22. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
  23. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  24. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  26. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  27. Native Son by Richard Wright
  28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  32. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  33. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  34. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  35. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  36. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  37. The World According to Garp by John Irving
  38. All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
  39. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
  40. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  41. Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
  42. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  43. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  44. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
  45. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  46. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  47. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  48. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
  49. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  50. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  51. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  52. Howards End by E.M. Forster
  53. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  54. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  55. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  56. Jazz by Toni Morrison
  57. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  58. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
  59. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  60. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  61. A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
  62. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  63. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  64. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
  65. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
  66. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  67. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  68. Light in August by William Faulkner
  69. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
  70. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  71. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  72. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  73. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
  74. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  75. Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
  76. Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
  77. In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
  78. The Autobiography of Alice B. Tokias by Gertrude Stein
  79. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  80. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
  81. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  82. White Noise by Don DeLillo
  83. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
  84. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  85. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  86. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
  87. The Bostonians by Henry James
  88. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  89. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  90. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  91. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  92. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  93. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
  94. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
  95. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  96. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  97. Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  98. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster
  99. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
  100. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

For someone who loves to read my record is poor: six I have read, seven I have seen as movies, eight I have on hand to read – four of those I started.

Have you read any of these? Do you agree with any of them being banned, or do you believe banning books is a bad practice?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂


18 responses to “It’s Banned Books Week: here’s a list of 100 banned books

  1. I’ve read twelve. Maybe more. Some I’ve read twice. I’m horrible at remembering titles of books, especially from many years ago. What are these books banned from? Your post doesn’t say. From schools?

    I do agree with banning books for extreme reasons. I would never want “Fifty Shades of Grey” to be part of the English course in high school for my kids. I’d rip them out and home school them.

    But it seems they have replaced many of these great books (such as Lord of the Flies) with trashy books that may be considered literature, but are too dark and depressing and without hope. No wonder kids are depressed.


    • It seems these books were banned as not good for anyone to read.

      Children/young adults are influenced by everything around them. Anyone who believes that what is read does not have an influence has blinders on, in my opinion. Why write at all then, if not to influence someone in some way? Even if to give someone a good read, that is an influence on the reader’s happy place.

      Thanks for your comment, Diane.


      • I agree: what you read does influence your life. I’ve often said, “You are what your read.”

        I’m not sure who made up this silly list, but…but how could they include Winnie the Pooh? I love Winnie! This is just one more list by people who have no real influence in my life that I will ignore.

        If this is their list of banned books, I wonder about their list of ‘recommended books’. I bet it’s not impressive.


        • In some US states Winnie-the-Pooh was considered “an insult to god” because of the talking animals. In some institutions in Turkey and UK it was banned because Piglet was offensive to Muslims. And somewhere someone got the notion Winnie-the-Pooh revolved around Nazism! And this was in 2006! I know, it gets ridiculous.

          The banned books lists are compiled from years of books being banned, so lists vary because of ones selected from among the many. I’m sure the complete list of banned and challenged books is too extensive for one blog post, or two or three. It is interesting, though.


  2. When you look at some of the titles on here you can understand that some people may be offended.I myself have a poor tolerance of bad language if used excessively but it’s when I have a book in my hands I can make that choice for myself. Why would I want some other person to elect themselves as arbiter of what I can and cannot read? If that were the case I would not know of the bravery of Otto Schindler and perhaps never have the example to follow should such events arise again. And rise they might with people who carry the power to make decisions for the rest of us in this way. We only need remember how the Nazis burned books they thought others shouldn’t read.
    xxx Hugs Lynn xxx.


    • Thanks for sharing your good thoughts, David. It’s when I am told I can’t/should not do something that it takes on a strange and curious ‘must’ for me. Or at the least, I look into it to find out why. I do like having the choice.
      (((Hugs to you, David)))


  3. I’ve read 45 of them and have about another 20 on my TBR list. The others I’m not interestd in. I was not aware many of them were banned. Charlotte’s Web???


  4. As I read through this list, I kept thinking about how much so many of these books enriched my life — as a writer and as a human being. Thank you, Lynn. This is an incredible post!


  5. I’ve heard of two – Lord of the Rings and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but I’ve read Charlotte’s Web and Winnie the Pooh and some others. I can’t believe some of these are banned!


  6. If they are not on your shelf, buy them now.


  7. So many great novels banned?!
    I’m led to believe that in the past anything about sex,racism or rebellion was enough to get a book banned,regardless of the way such topics were being treated in the book.


    • It seems that is exactly right! And some reasons make little sense, but there tends to be an over-sensitivity about some things, as if books are searched through LOOKING for something to use against it.
      Thanks for your comment.


  8. I’ve read a few books on this list. The one book I’m a bit surprised to find on this list is Charlotte’s Web. I never read the book as a child, but I did watch the movie and it seems harmless to me. Also Winnie-the-Pooh. Hmm… One book I did read though that kind of disturbed me was Brave New World. Thank you for sharing this list. I copied it and hope to read more.


    • Welcome to my blog, Chrys!
      Two reasons I learned for both Charlotte’s Web and Winnie-the-Pooh being put on the banned list are that the pig characters are offensive to Muslims, and the talking animals are an insult to God. Neither of those reasons make much sense to me for different reasons. I have not read Brave New World yet.
      Thanks for your comment.


I look forward to reading your greatly appreciated comments. Thanks for making my day! :)

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