Banned Books Week

Banned Book Week US

Now over in the UK we don’t seem to celebrate this week of Banned Books as it is done in the US. So I thought that I would delve into the google archives and see if the UK actually had a list. Turns out that we do. There are a couple of books that appear on both lists and quite frankly a lot of the books I was quite shocked to see especially with such pathetic reasoning behind their banning.

Some of the titles that have been ‘banned’ in the UK seem to have only been done so following US persuasion which to me seems like a poor reason to add such titles to such a damning list. The one question I have been asking myself tirelessly whilst trawling the list is if there are such websites as Amazon and Play how is it that books remain banned but can still be purchased from around the world for that extra charge of overseas delivery.

Secondly as the US website states in so many words – it is our right to read what we like and that is something that should not be taken away from us.

There are many influential titles that take up unnecessary space on both lists and personally I think if people let their guard down a little and opened up the passageways of their mind such books would be embraced and maybe even ‘taken with a pinch of salt’.

The lists below consist of books that I have either read of have a strong compulsion to read just because they are banned. Click on the titles of the lists to gain access to the websites where the full lists are available. A search has been done for the most up to date US list but so far the books below are from the 2010-11 list. The UK list is not dated but I think it is just updated as and when.

US List

Running with Scissors – Augusten Burroughs
The Perks of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins – ridiculous as a parent complained it gave her daughter nightmares – well you should have read it first and then not let her read it? No?
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen
Vegan Virgin Valentine – Carolyn Mackler – Never read but looks funny!
The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut

UK List

In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
Ulysses – James Joyce
The Perks of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Not Without my Daughter – Betty Mahmoody
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Fun Home: a Family Tragicomic – Alison Bechdel
Borstal Boy – Brendan Behan
Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
Fanny Hill/ Memoirs of a woman of pleasure – John Cleland
A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway – Just got my review copy of this beautiful book – yay!
The Gulag Archipelago – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
The Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest – Ken Kesey
Wild Swans – Jung Chan

As mentioned before there are many books on both lists that I have already read and think that their placing on such a list is damning and slightly ridiculous but each to their own. May I also point out that some extremely successful films were made off the back of these titles.

Now I think I may go to the library with a list of said books just to see what I can find!

Have A Great Day!

Fay

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