Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Banned Books 2011

Saturday begins Banned Books Week 2011, a subject that is near and dear to my heart. It is a good time to think about censorship and the implications that has on our reading lives.  To help folks along, I have listed the 110 most frequently banned or challenged books of all time.  It has been circulating around the internet for a while and no one seems to know where it came from.  I traced the list back to the OCLC website in 2005.  Somewhere along the line, someone came up with the idea to 1- Bold the ones you’ve read. 2- Italicize the ones you’ve read part of. 3- Color the ones you specifically want to read.   

1- The Bible
2- Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3- Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
4- The Koran
5- Arabian Nights
6- Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
7- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
8- Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
9- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
10- Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
11- The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
12- Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
13- Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
14- Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
15- Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
16- Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
17- Dracula by Bram Stoker
18- Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
19- Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
20- Essays by Michel de Montaigne
21- Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
22- History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
23- Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
24- Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
25- Ulysses by James Joyce
26- Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
27- Animal Farm by George Orwell
28- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
29- Candide by Voltaire
30- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
31- Analects by Confucius
32- Dubliners by James Joyce
33- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
34- Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
35- Red and the Black by Stendhal
36- Das Capital by Karl Marx
37- Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
38- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
39- Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
40- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
41- Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
42- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
43- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
44- All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
45- Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
46- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
47- The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys
48- Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
49- Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
50- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
51- Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
52- Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
53- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
54- Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
55- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
56- Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
57- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
59- Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
60- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
61- Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
62- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
63- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
64- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
65- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
66- Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
67- Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
68- Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
69- The Talmud
70- Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
71- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
72- Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
73- American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
74- Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
75- A Separate Peace by John Knowles
76- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
77- The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
78- Popol Vuh
79- Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
80- Satyricon by Petronius
81- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
82- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
83- Black Boy by Richard Wright
84- Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
85- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
86- Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
87- Metaphysics by Aristotle
88- Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
89- Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
90- Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
91- The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
92- Sanctuary by William Faulkner
93- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
94- Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
95- Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
96- Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
97- General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
98- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
99- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
100- Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
101- Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
102- Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
103- Nana by Emile Zola
104- The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
105- Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
106- Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
107- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
108- The Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
109- Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
110- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

This is an interesting list, but the fact is that a lot of these books are the kinds that are assigned in school. I know I would never have read #52 The Critique of Pure Reason otherwise. So here is a more up to date video from Thomas University for Banned Books Week 2011


  1. If they're banned they must be book.

  2. Little House on the Prairie? Who knew?

    Fascinating list. I guess I'm not surprised that Anne Frank's diary is on there. But it's my all time fave - if I had to pick a fave which, of course, is impossible.