How Many Banned Books Have You Read?

It is banned books week, as the ACLU has informed me, and of course the first thing I did was look at the list of banned books they have on their website. Not surprisingly, I’ve read a startling number of books on that list already. What does that say about me? Or rather, what does that say about the States who tried to ban them? Funnily enough, I’ve read 8 of the books on the list because they were part of my high school curriculum. Does that also say something about my high school? Whatever it says, I like it.

It never ceases to amaze me that modern books keep making the list. The US Constitution and the First Amendment are legendary and, while I know that the 50s saw a severe regression and full-fledged ignoring of the Bill of Rights, I was under the impression that the country had somewhat caught on since then. There might be discussions about new technologies, like the right to record cell phone footage, for example, but books? Come on, First Amendment people, no book can be banned.

And yet, 2015 got its own category in the ALCU’s list of banned books, looks like some parts of the States at least never really got the message.

So, in honor of Banned Books Week do tell, how many banned books have you read?

Personally, I’ve read 35 of the 99 books listed in the link above. That’s a start, but not good enough. I’ll just have to order a couple more this week, I’m thinking I Know Where The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, American Indian Myths and Legends, and Beyond Magenta: A Transgendered Teen Speaks Out sound interesting.

Of the ones that I have read, I highly recommend the Toni Morrison books, The Color Purple, The Invisible Man, The Kite Runner, and, obviously, the Harry Potter Series.

Fifty Shades of Grey and the Holy Bible, on the other hand? Meh, you can go ahead and skip those IMO. For similar reasons of creepy, actually. The Pervocracy’s take on Fifty Shades, on the other hand, are highly entertaining.



  1. quotetheunquote says

    I didn’t count, but quite a few of the ones on the list – Kite Runner, Their Eyes were Watching God, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Of Mice and Men, etc.* All really good books, wonder why the Watchers are so keen on keeping good literature out of our hands?

    * That last one was a bit of surprise – what got that on the list?

  2. Kreator says

    I’ve got just two: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and one of the Captain Underpants books. If we counted partial readings, then I’d add a condensed version of The Great Gatsby and a few parts of the Bible.

  3. says

    I read a bunch of De Sade at an unusually early age.

    Of their “classics” list: all of them.
    Of their “people of color”: 3
    Does reading enough of “50 shades” to throw it against the wall count?

    Also: the anarchist’s cookbook was banned for a while. It may still be. My 1st edition sits on my bookshelf with my special editions, right next to my publisher’s review copy of Orwell’s 1984.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    quotetheunquote @ # 1: * That last one was a bit of surprise – what got that on the list?

    Rape, attempted lynching, and murder, maybe?

  5. whirlwitch says

    32 for me, doing my best not to count any twice since the listings overlap. And many others are ones I’ve been meaning to read. One could do worse than use a banned books list as a reading guide.

  6. inquisitiveraven says

    NB: The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison are two different books. I’ve read both, but the Ellison is the one on the list.

    I’ve read quite a few of the others, some of them for classes (including the Ellison). I haven’t read Native Son, but I did read another by the same author for a class.

    ISTR starting James and the Giant Peach on the basis of liking the Willy Wonka books, but I never finished it.

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