Do You Read Banned Books?

On to the Banned Books. I was unsurprised to discover that I’d read nearly all of them. Have you?

On the Forbidden Library website, Janet Yanosko has been maintaining a list of banned (or challenged) books since 1998. The Forbidden Library details the (often hilarious, frequently sad, usually ignorant) excuses for banning these books.

A quick scan of the most-banned books indicates that I have read a lot of books that make some people very uncomfortable. Uncomfortable enough to try banning them so no one else can read them, anyway. Ideas are scary!

The List:

1984. George Orwell. I own it.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Mark Twain [Samuel L. Clemens]. I own it.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain [Samuel L. Clemens]. I own it.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll. I own it.

Analects. Confucius. I have not read entire book.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank. I own it.

Arabian Nights or The Thousand and One Nights. Anonymous. I own it or a similar work.

Beloved. Toni Morrison. I own it.

The Bible. I own it.

Brave New World. Aldous Huxley. I own it.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Dee Brown. I have not read the entire book.

The Call of the Wild. Jack London. I own it.

Canterbury Tales. Geoffrey Chaucer. I own it.

Catcher in the Rye. J.D. Salinger. I own it.

The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies. Vito Russo. Unaware of this book. Will now seek it out.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Roald Dahl. I read it.

Clan of the Cave Bear. Jean Auel. I read it.

The Color Purple. Alice Walker. I own it.

The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Jacob and Wilhelm K. Grimm. Translated by Jack Zipes. Bantam. I own this or another translated edition.

Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. Galilei Galileo. Have only read exerpts for classes.

Different Seasons. Stephen King. I own it.

A Doll’s House. Henrik Ibsen. I own it.

Don Quixote. Saavedra Miguel de Cervantes. I read it.

Earth Science. American Book. This is a textbook challenged by Creationists. We didn’t use it, it was published after I had any classes on earth science, but ours did not mention creationism as a valid scientific theory. Because it isn’t. It’s ridiculous.

The Egypt Game. Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Never heard of it.

Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury. Ballentine. I own it.

The Figure in the Shadows. John Bellairs. Never heard of it.

Gone with the Wind. Margaret Mitchell. I own it.

Grapes of Wrath. John Steinbeck. I am ashamed that I haven’t read it all.

The Graphic Work of M.C. Escher. M.C. Escher. I like Escher’s art, have no idea which books I have read.

Grendel. John C. Gardner. I read it.

Gulliver’s Travels. Jonathan Swift. I own it.

Hamlet. William Shakespeare. I own it.

The Happy Prince and Other Stories. Oscar Wilde. I read it, own other Wilde stuff.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Maya Angelou. I own it.

It. Stephen King. I own it.

James and the Giant Peach. Roald Dahl. I read it.

King Lear. William Shakespeare. I own it.

The Koran (Qu’ran). I have read selections from it.

Le Morte D’Arthur. Sir Thomas Malory. Have not read it.

The Life and Times of Renoir. Janice Anderson. I don’t know that I’ve seen this particular edition, but paintings of naked people don’t bother me.

A Light in the Attic. Shel Silverstein. I read it.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. C.S. Lewis. I read it.

Little House in the Big Woods. Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read it.

Little House on the Prairie. Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read it.

The Lorax. Dr. Seuss. I read it.

The Lords of Discipline. Pat Conroy. I have not read it.

The Martian Chronicles. Ray Bradbury. I read it.

My Friend Flicka. Mary O’Hara. I read it.

The Odyssey. Homer. I read it (in translation).

On the Origin of Species. Charles B. Darwin. I read a lot of it.

Paradise Lost. John Milton. I own it.

Raisin in the Sun. Lorraine Hansberry. I have not read it.

The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll. Jim Miller, ed. I believe I read it; I may own it.

The Satanic Verses. Salman Rushdie. I read it.

Slaughterhouse-Five. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I own it.

Song of Solomon. Toni Morrison. Have not read it.

The Stand. Stephen King. I own it.

The Talmud. I have read parts of it.

To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee. I own it–re-read so often it is literally falling apart and held together with elastic bands.

Tom Jones. Henry Fielding. Attempted to read it, got distracted and never picked it back up.

Twelfth Night. William Shakespeare. I own it.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Have not read it.

Vasilissa the Beautiful: Russian Fairy Tales. Haven’t heard of it.

Welcome to the Monkey House. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I own it.

Where the Sidewalk Ends. Shel Silverstein. I read it.

Where’s Waldo? Martin Handford. Not that there’s much text, but I’ve seen Waldo books. I own a spoof: “Where’s Elvis?”.

The Witches of Worm. Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Haven’t heard of it.

A Wrinkle In Time. Madeleine L’Engle. I read it.

Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings. D.T. Suzuki. I THINK I own it.

Seriously, some of the excuses for banning books are hilarious. Check out the link. People are dumb.


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