The best 11 Banned Books books

We believe in the freedom of expression, and yet throughout history, countless books have been banned or censored. In this thought-provoking book list, we explore the stories behind some of the most controversial and influential works that have been banned. From classics to modern literature, this collection encourages us to reflect on the power of words and the importance of intellectual freedom. Join us on this journey of discovery as we delve into the world of banned books.

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1
Banned Books Books: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck
4.6 (90 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
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What's Of Mice and Men about?

Of Mice and Men (1937) is a poignant tale that traces an unlikely friendship between two impoverished workers in California during the Great Depression: compact, quick-witted George Milton, and huge, childlike Lennie Small.

Who should read Of Mice and Men?

  • Lovers of classic literature
  • Those entranced by the American dream
  • People curious about one of Steinbeck’s greats

2
Banned Books Books: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood
4.7 (70 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Handmaid's Tale about?

The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) is a contemporary classic – the story of a patriarchal dystopia that inspired the hit television series of the same name and remains as relevant today as it did when it was first published.

Who should read The Handmaid's Tale?

  • Literature lovers who want to brush up on a modern classic
  • Feminists seeking an introduction to this iconic critique of the patriarchy
  • Speculative fiction fans who want to learn more about a notable literary dystopia

3
Banned Books Books: Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks

Go Ask Alice

Beatrice Sparks

What's Go Ask Alice about?

This book is a fictional diary that follows the life of a teenage girl who becomes addicted to drugs. It offers a raw and honest portrayal of the struggles and consequences of drug abuse, as well as the importance of seeking help and support. The book serves as a cautionary tale and a reminder of the dangers of substance abuse.

Who should read Go Ask Alice?

  • Individuals who are curious about the realities of drug addiction and its consequences
  • Teenagers and young adults who may be navigating peer pressure and making important life choices
  • Those seeking a thought-provoking and emotionally impactful read about personal growth and self-discovery

4
Banned Books Books: Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

Tropic of Cancer

Henry Miller

What's Tropic of Cancer about?

Tropic of Cancer is a semi-autobiographical novel that follows the life of an American expatriate living in Paris in the 1930s. Through vivid and often explicit language, Henry Miller explores themes of freedom, sexuality, and the human condition, offering a raw and unapologetic portrayal of his experiences and observations. The book is considered a classic of modern literature and has sparked both controversy and acclaim since its publication in 1934.

Who should read Tropic of Cancer?

  • Individuals seeking an honest portrayal of the human experience
  • Readers who enjoy immersive and poetic writing styles
  • Those interested in exploring themes of sexuality and existentialism

5
Banned Books Books: Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

Fallen Angels

Walter Dean Myers

What's Fallen Angels about?

Set during the Vietnam War, "Fallen Angels" follows the story of a young soldier named Richie Perry as he navigates the harsh realities of war. The novel explores themes of friendship, loss, and the moral complexities of combat, offering a raw and honest portrayal of the experiences of soldiers in war. Myers' powerful storytelling sheds light on the emotional and psychological impact of war on young men.

Who should read Fallen Angels?

  • Readers interested in realistic depictions of the Vietnam War
  • Young adults who enjoy character-driven coming-of-age stories
  • Those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the emotional toll of war

6
Banned Books Books: Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence

Lady Chatterley's Lover

D. H. Lawrence

What's Lady Chatterley's Lover about?

Lady Chatterley's Lover is a controversial novel that explores themes of love, desire, and class in early 20th century England. The story follows the passionate affair between Lady Constance Chatterley and her gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors, as they defy societal norms and seek fulfillment in their relationship. D. H. Lawrence's novel delves into the complexities of human connection and the struggle for personal freedom.

Who should read Lady Chatterley's Lover?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking, controversial novels that challenge societal norms
  • Individuals interested in exploring themes of love, sexuality, and class divisions
  • People looking for a literary work that reflects on human desires and relationships in a deep and introspective way

7
Banned Books Books: Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

Bless Me, Ultima

Rudolfo Anaya

What's Bless Me, Ultima about?

Set in rural New Mexico during World War II, "Bless Me, Ultima" tells the coming-of-age story of a young boy named Antonio. When Ultima, a curandera (healer) comes to live with his family, she teaches Antonio about the spiritual and natural world, challenging his beliefs and shaping his understanding of good and evil. The novel explores themes of identity, religion, and the clash between tradition and modernity.

Who should read Bless Me, Ultima?

  • Readers interested in coming-of-age stories set in a culturally rich context
  • Individuals fascinated by the exploration of identity, religion, and spirituality
  • Those looking for a thought-provoking and beautifully written work of literature

8
Banned Books Books: Out of Darkness by Kate Kiesler

Out of Darkness

Kate Kiesler
The Story of Louis Braille

What's Out of Darkness about?

Out of Darkness is a beautifully illustrated children's book that tells the story of a little bat who is afraid of the dark. Through a journey of self-discovery, the bat learns to embrace the darkness and discovers the beauty and wonder that can be found within it. This heartwarming tale encourages children to overcome their fears and find the light within themselves.

Who should read Out of Darkness?

  • Readers who are interested in exploring the depths of darkness and the triumph of the human spirit
  • Individuals who enjoy reflective and thought-provoking literature
  • People who appreciate strong character development and nuanced storytelling

What's The Perks of Being a Wallflower about?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is a poignant coming-of-age story that follows Charlie, a shy and introspective teenager. Through a series of letters, Charlie shares his experiences as he navigates high school, friendship, love, and loss. The book delves into themes of mental health, identity, and the complexities of growing up.

Who should read The Perks of Being a Wallflower?

  • Teenagers and young adults navigating the ups and downs of adolescence
  • Individuals who appreciate introspective and emotionally resonant storytelling
  • Readers who enjoy coming-of-age narratives with complex and relatable characters

10
Banned Books Books: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Friederike Poziemski

Lolita

Vladimir Nabokov, Friederike Poziemski

What's Lolita about?

Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov that delves into the controversial and taboo topic of a middle-aged man's obsession with a twelve-year-old girl. Through beautiful prose and intricate storytelling, Nabokov challenges the reader to confront their own moral boundaries and raises questions about the nature of love, desire, and the power dynamics in relationships.

Who should read Lolita?

  • Readers with a strong stomach for controversial and challenging subject matter
  • People interested in exploring the complexities of human nature and obsession
  • Those who appreciate masterful and thought-provoking storytelling

11
Banned Books Books: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury

What's Fahrenheit 451 about?

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel that takes place in a future society where books are banned and 'firemen' burn any that are found. The protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman who begins to question the status quo and ultimately rebels against the oppressive government. This thought-provoking book explores themes of censorship, conformity, and the power of knowledge.

Who should read Fahrenheit 451?

  • Readers who enjoy dystopian fiction that explores themes of censorship and intellectual freedom
  • Those interested in thought-provoking stories that raise questions about society and technology
  • People who appreciate poetic and evocative writing that sparks the imagination

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