97 Banned Books of the 20th Century

Dear Readers, as you probably know, this week is Banned Books week where thousands of people come together to rally against the banning of books and support our freedom to read what we like. Even as recently as 2013, people are still trying to ban books. A few from last year are:

Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey, Looking for Alaska, by John Green, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.

Drugs, violence, inappropriate for age group are the reasons sited for many of the challenged books. Who decides what’s appropriate and what’s not? Aren’t we old enough to choose what we do or do not want to read? As a mother, I can choose for my children but I wouldn’t dare choose for someone else’s child. And I certainly don’t want to hear their opinion.

Below is a message from the ALA.org with a list of some of the books that have been challenged over the years. About half of the challenged or banned books listed below are on the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century (see link below). I am happy to say that I have read several and plan on reading more.

According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts.

The titles below represent banned or challenged books on that list ( see the entire Radcliffe Publishing Course list here). For more information on why these books were challenged, visit challenged classics and the Banned Books Week Web site.

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 hope you will join me in reading (or re-reading) a banned book this week. Visit your local library and join the rally for our freedom to read whatever we choose!

As always, happy reading!


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