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 modernlibrary.com 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.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- 1984 by George Orwell
- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
- Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- Native Son by Richard Wright
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
- On the Road by Jack Kerouac
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
- Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
- Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
- The World According to Garp by John Irving
- All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
- A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally
- The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
- Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
- Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- The Awakening by Kate Chopin
- My Antonia by Willa Cather
- Howards End by E.M. Forster
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
- The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
- Jazz by Toni Morrison
- Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
- Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
- A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
- Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
- A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor
- Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Orlando by Virginia Woolf
- Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
- Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
- Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
- A Separate Peace by John Knowles
- Light in August by William Faulkner
- The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
- A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
- Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
- Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
- Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe
- In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
- The Autobiography of Alice B. Tokias by Gertrude Stein
- The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
- The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
- Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
- White Noise by Don DeLillo
- O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
- Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
- The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
- Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
- The Bostonians by Henry James
- An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
- Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
- Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
- Kim by Rudyard Kipling
- The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Rabbit, Run by John Updike
- Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster
- Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
- 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! 🙂
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.
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)))
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???
Good for you, Darlene!
I know! Charlotte’s Web? Surprising, isn’t it?
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!
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!
I know, Erik, it’s amazing isn’t it? As our thinking and social ideas change so do people’s view of books to read or not read.
Crazy! (but logical 🙂 )
If they are not on your shelf, buy them now.
haha If a book is banned it makes me curious as to why, and some of those ARE on my shelf waiting to be read.
Thanks for stopping by!
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.
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.