Sunday, January 4, 2015

Banned Books Challenge for 2015

I must stop signing up for reading challenges - but I just keep running across more challenges that sound so fun and that I know I can meet with my current TBR pile and my other current challenges, so I justify all these sign-ups that way. To be honest, I have avoided a few challenges that look really, really, cool and fun just because they won't help me with my ongoing TBR pile reduction plan, so I feel OK caving in to others, like this great one. As an avid reader I am glad to take part in this challenge and to reflect on censorship while I read. I am so thankful every day that I am able to read just about any book I want to read, and I wish everyone had that same opportunity.

This challenge is straightforward - it's reading banned and/or frequently challenged books. The challenge is hosted by Christine at Buckling Bookshelves, and the signup post has a lot of great resources for determining books that have been banned or challenged - and you won't believe some of them, particularly the classics! I'm going to keep it simple and sign up for the Trouble-Maker level of 3 - 5 books to ensure success - I have already seen several of my planned books on various lists, so I'm sure to be successful. What are your recommendations for me for this challenge? I'd love to start a list, so please feel free to leave a comment!

As always, I will keep track of the books I read for this challenge in this post as I go along.

1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon (appears on the ALA Challenged or Banned books list for 2010 - 2011 for "foul language" and for 2005 - 2006 because "the book could 'pollute' young minds" - ???)
2. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress - Dai Sijie (appears on the ALA list for 2004 - 2005 because it's "sexually explicit and inappropriate")
3. Native Son - Richard Wright (appears as #27 on ALA's most frequently challenged classics list; has been challenged multiple times for being "sexually explicit and violent")
4. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (#88 on the ALA's most frequently banned/challenged list)
5. 1984 - George Orwell (#9 on the ALA's list of most frequently challenged classics)
6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie (#1 on the ALA list of frequently challenged books)
7. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank (has been challenged since its original publication as being a "hoax" by Holocaust deniers; has been challenged for being "depressing" - see this link for some details)
8. The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition - Anne Frank (challenged multiple times for being "pornographic" and "inappropriate" etc. - here's a link to one article about this, there are many more!)
9. Women in Love - D.H. Lawrence (#75 on the ALA list of the most frequently challenged classics)
10. Tartuffe - Molière (was banned from being produced by the King of France; was considered offensive and frequently banned/challenged in its time)
11. The Eighth Day of the Week - Marek Hłasko (all books by this author were banned for many years in Poland by the government)
12. Lord of the Flies - William Golding (#8 on the ALA list of the most frequently challenged classics)


  1. Thanks for joining! I'm glad the challenge fits in with your TBR pile -- I struggle with that too and make sure to sign up for challenges accordingly :)

  2. Hi Christine! Thanks for hosting this challenge, I think it's really important for all readers to be aware of how many books get challenged and banned and often for really crazy reasons. My TBR pile is what caused me to start this blog - so I could do the TBR Pile Challenge - so it's both a blessing and a curse! :)