2013 Banned Book Reading Challenge

The gorgeous Carine gave me the banned book mug that prompted this reading challenge. Printed on the mug are the titles of 23 books which have been banned from libraries and schools. My challenge is to read all 23 books listed, except those I’ve read in the last three years. Update from May 2017. New challenge is to read each book first published after 1900. some of the much older ones are enormous, dry, and not necessarily in English.

To see more banned and challenged books, check out the American Library Association’s list. If you want the mug, it’s here.

TitleAuthorYear PublishedReason BannedRead
UlyssesJames Joyce1920Obscenity
Nineteen Eighty-fourGeorge Orwell1949Pro-communist and contains explicit sexual matterYes
The Origin of SpeciesCharles Darwin1859Evolution theory
Catch-22Joseph Heller1961References to women as “whores”
Kritik der reinen Vernunft (Critique of Pure Reason)Immanual Kant1781opposed to the literal doctrines of the Lutheran Church
And Tango Makes ThreePeter Parnell and Justin Richardson2005Pro-homosexuality Yes
To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee1960use of racial epithetsYes
Lady Chatterley’s LoverDH Lawrence1928Obscenity
Adventures of Huckleberry FinnMark Twain1884Use of the word “nigger” and racial depiction
HowlAllen Ginsberg1956Many references to illicit drugs and sexual practices
The Satanic VersesSalman Rushdie1988Blasphemous references to the Islamic faith
Tropic of CancerHenry Miller1934Pornographic
Madame BovaryGustave Flaubert1856Obscenity
Animal FarmGeorge Orwell1945Political TheoriesYes
Naked LunchWilliam S. Burroughs1959Obscene language
Du Contrat Social (The Social Contract)Jean-Jacques Rousseau1762Criticized religion
Doctor ZhivagoBoris Pasternak1957Independent minded stance on the October Revolution
Uncle Tom’s CabinHarriet Beecher Stowe1852Condescending racist descriptions of the book’s black characters
An Essay Concerning Human UnderstandingJohn Locke1689Empirical Ideas
Falun GongLi Hongzhi1992Cult
Les MiserablesVictor Hugo1862Political Grounds (negative depiction of royalty)
LolitaVladimir Nabokov1955Erotic
Diaolog di Sopra i due Massimi Sistemi del mondo – (Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems)Galileo Galilei1632Grave suspicion of heresy


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More about Bianca

Bianca Smith lives in the cold and occasionally snowy Pacific Northwest - and she loves it. She's adventuring life in her adopted country and blogging along the way. Currently, she's in Melbourne, Australia working with a microfinance nonprofit and studying for an Executive MBA degree.

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