Banned Books: Most Challenged Classics

Read a Banned Book

This week is Banned Books Week. There seems to be less publicity for it than in years past so I thought I’d share a list of the most challenged classics and highlight which ones I’ve read. This list if from the American Library Association.

Bold = I’ve read it.

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Ulysses, by James Joyce
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
1984, by George Orwell
Lolita, by Vladmir Nabokov
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller (tried to read)
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Animal Farm, by George Orwell
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
Β A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
Native Son, by Richard Wright
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
Go Tell it on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess (tried to read Β 2x)
The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
Sophie’s Choice, by William Styron
Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
A Separate Peace, by John Knowles (favorite book ever)
Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence
The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
Rabbit, Run, by John Updike

Not an eye-opening amount but I’ve read several. I lean towards content that challenges me in different ways so I suppose it’s not surprising that I’ve read a handful of these.

The one book on here that I’d really like to read is A Clockwork Orange. I have tried to read it two times but rather unsuccessfully. I think both times, I gave up on it less than fifty pages in. It’s just a challenge I’ve set for myself.

What’s the one book on here that you’d like to read?

18 thoughts on “Banned Books: Most Challenged Classics”

  1. Hi Ti, it’s amazing that some of these were banned. Crazy. I wouldn’t mind reading Song of Solomon or Brideshead Revisited, but don’t think it will be this week. Still I will get to them! Good luck on Clockwork O.

    1. I think I may have read Song of Solomon but couldn’t remember for sure. Clockwork is like my white whale. Two failed attempts. Third time’s the charm.

  2. Great job on having read so many of the classics on this list already! πŸ™‚ I have read less than you, but I’m working on it πŸ˜› And Clockwork Orange is one of my favorite books of all time, so I really hope your next try will be successful πŸ™‚

    1. I could have sworn my book club read it but then I didn’t so I don’t know. There were at least three books on this list that I had to look up to see if I had read them. That’s not great.

  3. I have read 37 of the list…most in High School. I abhor Hemingway and barely tolerate James Joyce

  4. God, I should reread A Separate Peace. It’s been dogs’ ages since I read it; I wonder what I would make of it on a reread.

    Good luck with The Clockwork Orange! I have always suspected I wouldn’t like that book, and I feel like I’ve absorbed enough information about it by cultural osmosis that I’m okay giving it a miss.

    1. A Separate Peace holds up well to the reread. I have reread it at least six time from age 22-40 and each time it gets better. I read the sequel one year because yes, there is one, and it’s nothing like the original.

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