Sunday, January 3, 2010

Banned Books

I'm not quite ready to take on this particular challenge yet as its own special project, but I'm intrigued by the Banned Books Challenge.  I ran across it reading At Home With books (here). It originated on Lost In Books (here).

Love the idea. Basically, the challenge is to read 50 books that have been banned at some point in time. They don't have to be new books -- the ones you're read before count as well, if you like. The list is quite extensive, and includes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Lovely Bones, The Great Gatsby, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Little House in the Big Woods, to name a few that I've read before (and consider completely harmless).

Now, there are some censored books where I can understand the desire to ban them (All I can say is, I read the Marquis de Sade in college, and it's not erotic -- it's just horrific). But I think it's interesting that so many books have been marked as inappropriate for kids or teenagers at some point.  I read excessively widely as a kid (including some graphic sexual scenes in adult novels before I even understood what the act entailed).  Some of it may have been over my head, but I can't imagine any book -- not J.K. Rowling, the Bible, Shel Silverstein or Maya Angelou -- forever altering my values and ruining my childhood.  When it comes to books I haven't read before, I'd like to do the challenge to explore why they were considered inappropriate, but mostly, I like the idea of the challenge as a way of supporting these books, and celebrating freedom of speech. This is not a 2010 project, so I'm in no rush, but I am going to keep track of books as I read them.

As long as I never have to touch de Sade again. *Shudder*

Banned books, read so far:
1. Alice In Wonderland
2. The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn 
3. The Lovely Bones
4. How to Eat Fried Worms
5. "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding
6. James and the Giant Peach
7. The Catcher in the Rye
8. To Kill a Mockingbird
9. Animal Farm
10. The Great Gatsby
11. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia)
12. Little House on the Prairie
13. The Da Vinci Code
14. Bridge to Terabithia
15. Diary of Anne Frank
16. Flowers in the Attic


shopgirl101 said...

I've read 11 of the 16 books listed. Wow, I feel so controversial :)

Guinevere said...

You know, I would, but all of those books seem so harmless. Little House on the Prairie? Yes, nothing as subversive as Laura Ingalls Wilder... :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

I've got 12 read from your list. I had no idea The Lovely Bones was banned. I can't even think of why, except for the graphic violence in the beginning.

The Rejection Queen said...

Huh? The Lovely Bones was banned???

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I have twelve of those read, too. Interesting. The banning of books has always fascinated me.