As someone who has been an avid reader since childhood, I’ve always found one of the most nightmarish scenarios in literature the one that Ray Bradbury presents in Fahrenheit 451 where all books are banned.
To that end, September 25-October 1 is Banned Books Week, which makes it the perfect time to cross that requirement of reading a banned book off your library challenges list.
Books get banned for reasons that span from profanity to violence/sexual content to, my personal favorite, the author having the misfortune of sharing his name with someone else. The American Library Association (ALA) has a lot of resources on books that have banned (or that people have tried to ban), including yearly lists of the most-challenged books, most-challenged classics, and most-challenged authors, which makes for some interesting reading.
For this challenge, I ended up picking George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones, mainly because I was both amused and confused by the news that until 2013 it was banned by the Connecticut prison system. (What had me stymied is why the first book was off-limits but the rest of the series wasn’t. Have they read the other books?!)
Personally, I have a hard time picking a favorite banned book because so many of my favorites are on those lists of frequently-challenged books provided by the ALA, including but not limited to Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, Brave New World, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and In Cold Blood.
So, for the sake of discussion:
- What’s your favorite banned book(s)?
- What banned book are you reading for this challenge?
Be sure to tell us in the comments!