I've been spending alot of time at the library lately with the hubs. Which means I've spent some time int he ladies room there. Directly across the way from the ladies room is a poster for Banned Book Week. It piqued my interest.
Banned Book Week is "an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the first amendment," and is sponsored by the American Library Association. (Thanks by the way to the lego head guy over on the left, courtesy of the same ALA).
Anyway, every year, the last week of September, is Banned Book Week. Books featured during BBW are those that have been the targets of challenges or attempted bannings, based on content. Very interesting. This year, Banned Book Week is September 24 - October 1, 2011.
So I try not to do things simply to challenge the beliefs of others, but I have to say, I am interested in what topics in these books cause offense. Some are books that were part of my required reading in high school and college. Add that to the fact that I've been reading books intended for teenagers, and voila. I've come to the decision that it's time to branch out and read some of the 'classics,' or books that are somewhat controversial. Rather than reading Twilight for the fiftieth time.
So obviously the list is huge. Much huge-er than I would have thought. So I decided to start with the 46 books that have been challenged from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Books of the 20th Century List. Lucky for me, I've already read 4. So that leaves me with only 42.... (Author's note: Several others were on the 'required reading' list, but I may or may not have glossed over those if there wasn't a test or paper required.)
We'll get there. Here's the list. Anyone want to join me? I thought about starting with Sophie's Choice, by William Styron, purely because I used to live on William Styron Square, but in reality, I am just going to print out the list and start with whatever book the library has. They are in order per Radcliffe's list, so maybe I will just go in order. I'll leave that up to my local library to decide.
Seriously, please join me. Or give pointers on which ones you've read and liked.
46 Banned Books from the Radcliffe Top 100 List
The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Ulysses, by James Joyce
The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
1984, by George Orwell
Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Animal Farm, by George Orwell
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
Native Son, by Richard Wright
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
Go Tell It on the Mountain, by James Baldwin
All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren
The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie
Sophie's Choice, by William Styron
Sons and Lovers, by D.H. Lawrence
Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
A Separate Peace, by John Knowles
Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
Women in Love, by DH Lawrence
The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller
An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
Already read. May read again IF I get through the first list.
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee