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.

Title Author Year Published Reason Banned Read
Ulysses James Joyce 1920 Obscenity
Nineteen Eighty-four George Orwell 1949 Pro-communist and contains explicit sexual matter Yes
The Origin of Species Charles Darwin 1859 Evolution theory
Catch-22 Joseph Heller 1961 References to women as “whores”
Kritik der reinen Vernunft (Critique of Pure Reason) Immanual Kant 1781 opposed to the literal doctrines of the Lutheran Church
And Tango Makes Three Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson 2005 Pro-homosexuality  Yes
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee 1960 use of racial epithets Yes
Lady Chatterley’s Lover DH Lawrence 1928 Obscenity
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain 1884 Use of the word “nigger” and racial depiction
Howl Allen Ginsberg 1956 Many references to illicit drugs and sexual practices
The Satanic Verses Salman Rushdie 1988 Blasphemous references to the Islamic faith
Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller 1934 Pornographic
Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert 1856 Obscenity
Animal Farm George Orwell 1945 Political Theories Yes
Naked Lunch William S. Burroughs 1959 Obscene language
Du Contrat Social (The Social Contract) Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1762 Criticized religion
Doctor Zhivago Boris Pasternak 1957 Independent minded stance on the October Revolution
Uncle Tom’s Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe 1852 Condescending racist descriptions of the book’s black characters
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding John Locke 1689 Empirical Ideas
Falun Gong Li Hongzhi 1992 Cult
Les Miserables Victor Hugo 1862 Political Grounds (negative depiction of royalty)
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov 1955 Erotic
Diaolog di Sopra i due Massimi Sistemi del mondo – (Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems) Galileo Galilei 1632 Grave suspicion of heresy


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More about Bianca

Bianca's a nerdy, book worm who is constantly curious and appreciates being alive while the internet exists. During the day, she's a content writer for a huge multinational tech company. The rest of the time she's reading, and running, and bike riding, and sipping coffee, and taking photos around Melbourne, Australia.

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