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. 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.