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05 October 2012 @ 07:10 pm
there are worse crimes than burning books, like not reading them  
It’s Banned Books Week over in the US until 6th October. I like having a look through the lists of what books have been challenged to see which books I’ve read and to find more books to read, because when people get passionate about books those are the books that made them think, that challenged their world view, and that engaged with them. It’s unsurprising then that, according to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, people have attempted to ban at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century.

The American Library Association says that the ten most challenged titles of 2011 included The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I recommend both! Challenged/banned books of 2000-2009 include the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, and a bunch of books by Judy Blume. All of which are fantastic. Who hasn’t read a single banned/challenged book? And if you haven’t, you’re missing out :) Head OVER HERE if you’d like to explore lists of frequently challenged books and add to your reading list.

And if you fancy a meme to get you started, of those 46 Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century that people attempted to ban I’ve bolded the ones that I’ve read – all of which were brilliant – and put in italics the ones currently in my to-read pile (I still have a way to go *grins*):

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
11. Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
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
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
33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
38. All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
45. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
48. Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
53. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
55. The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
57. Sophie's Choice, by William Styron
64. Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
66. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
67. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
73. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
74. Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
75. Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence
80. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
84. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
88. An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
97. Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
I'm not weird, I'm limited edition: renner bwanuna_81 on October 6th, 2012 02:23 pm (UTC)
I am in love with this list. These are undisputed classics, I'd dare saying, and it's kind of amazing how these books (very good books) somehow made it to banned lists. I think there's a quote that goes something like "a good books should be an ax for the ice inside of you". Or someshuch. Good stories move and shake and make you uncomfortable, make you ask yourself questions. That way you don't forget them. Sometimes, books even change you, and I think that's the best gift you can get.

I read some of these - I'm actually embarrassed! There are books I should go and read! My cousin flailed at me about Rushidie's Satanic Verses not too long ago and that one is definitely on my list. From what he told me, it reminded me of "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (which I did read and loved it).

Why would someone try to ban Lord of the rings, though?
inkvoices: dr who:arm yourselves (with books)inkvoices on October 8th, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
Ooo, interesting quote. I think that's how some of these get challenged/banned, that they make some people uncomfortable because some people don't like their views of the world being questioned or challenged and that's what a book does, it shows you the world, or even new worlds, through someone else's eyes. They show you other ways of being, not always better ways, just other ways.

I know, there are so many books I need to read! But I also like that there are plenty left to explore :)

Further details on the banned/challenged classics are here and my there are some longs lists for some of those books. The Lord of The Rings though just says: "Burned in Alamagordo, NM (2001) outside Christ Community Church along with other Tolkien novels as satanic."