I'm preaching to the choir here when it comes to the topic of reading and books and their importance to not just literacy but also understanding. Books are many things, but at their core, they are ideas - ideas to ponder, to explore, and to inspire.
Last year, I posted the list from the ALA of the 100 most frequently challenged books from 2000-2009.
Here's a few more lists from the ALA. Check out the ALA site for more lists and info on Banned Books Week (which also has its own separate site).
The ones I've read have been bolded.
The ones I own are italicized.
Top 10 most frequently challenged books of 2010.
1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
- Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group
- Reasons: offensive language, racism, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
- Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, and sexually explicit
- Reasons: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit
- Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and violence
- Reasons: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
- Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
- Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, and religious viewpoint
- Reasons: homosexuality and sexually explicit
- Reasons: religious viewpoint and violence
Also, take a gander at banned and challenged classics.
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Ulysses, by James Joyce
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
1984, by George Orwell
Lolita, by Vladmir 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 Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
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
The 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 D.H. 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
This list of classics also includes the only book I have ever professed to hate: John Knowles' A Separate Peace. (Well, I might have to add Breaking Dawn to that very short list. I really...just...couldn't...)
But though I did not particularly enjoy A Separate Peace the first or second times I read it, I'm glad I had the choice to read it. And read it again - a third and fourth time (at which point, I think it started to grow on me and I've since promoted it to my "generally dislike" category).
So, support choice! Live dangerously. Read Banned Books! :)
How many of these books have you read? Any you loved? Any you hated?