Sunday, September 27, 2009

Banned Books Week

Read a banned book, or just be aware of the reasons that books are challenged for their right to be in libraries or classrooms. Top three reasons for targeting a book:
  1. the material was considered to be "sexually explicit"
  2. the material contained "offensive language"
  3. the materials was "unsuited to any age group"
Reasons for the thousands of challenges from 2001 through 2008 (24% to public libraries):
  • “sexually explicit” material
  • “offensive language”
  • “unsuited to age group”
  • “violence”
  • “homosexuality”
  • “anti-family”
  • “religious viewpoints”
According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 42 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts. Read the reasons here, and explore the site for a lot more info year-by-year listings of challenged books.

Classics list is below.
  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
  10. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
  11. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  12. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  13. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  14. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  15. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  16. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  17. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  18. Their Eyes are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  19. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  20. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  21. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  22. Native Son by Richard Wright
  23. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
  24. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  25. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  26. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  27. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  28. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
  29. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  30. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
  31. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  32. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  33. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  34. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
  35. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  36. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  37. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
  38. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
  39. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
  40. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
  41. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  42. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

For some reason, The Bible has not been put on any lists, even though it has the whole list of qualifications for being challenged.


Lemmy Caution said...

The Bible has not been put on any lists, even though it has the whole list of qualifications for being challenged..

HAH! Good one.

Oddly enough it is the book that is usually embraced by those doin' the bannin' !


Blueberry said...

Almost worth going through the process of getting the Bible challenged, but in truth I don't think the Bible should be banned - just treated as mythology the way other mythology/religion books are treated.

I guess I am not completely against the concept of banning certain literature, since I am currently boycotting for continuing to sell dogfighting and cockfighting promotional and instructional materials (books, videos and magazines). I guess everybody has their own line in the sand.

mexican said...

I remember while working at a Barnes & Noble we had a banned books month, organizing book clubs around the material and raising awareness on how wrong it is to ban information in general.
Tales are a new point of view, which some people want to ignore. When banning happens it is because the banner wants to impose his point of view and enforce it, no matter what happens.
The reasons for banning also say a lot about how this people are frustrated or feel they are better than others.
I think that the best way to teach others is living as an example, not telling others how to live their life.

Hill said...

Outrage meter burned out long ago.

HOWEVER, still manage to be somewhat surprised at the sheer stupidity of it all.

And ditto what Lemme Caution said.


Frogette said...

I think if they appear on Oprah's booklist they should get a buy.

Blueberry said...

...unless it's called "Going Rogue"

Anonymous said...

I haven't some of those books under 'threat of being banned'. Thanks for giving me more reading material.:)