September 29, 2005

Arrrh! It Be Another Book Meme!

Oh, what the hell. Below the fold is a list of 110 "top banned books" - I don't know who did the banning or why. The deal is to bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you've read in part (from consuming multiple chapters down to just skimming, I suppose), and ignore the rest. As always, I reserve the right to toss in the occassional comment as I see fit.

(BTW, above-the-fold Yips! to Lemuel.)

Ready? Here goes:

#1 The Bible - Right, like YOU don't suffer a MEGO moment trying to work your way through the Levitican Code. (BTW, KJV rulz!)
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights - Not 1001. More like 3.
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift - Oh, the fun we had with this one when I read it with the visiting, assistant feminazi professor!
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer - Took a college course on it. Got an A on my oral pronounciation test.
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon - Still in the middle of it. Who the hell bans this?
#23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - His best, IMHO.
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway - Remind me to tell you how terribly over-rated I think Hemingway, especially later Hemingway, is one of these days.
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Capital by Karl Marx - I once had a professor who, rather neatly, commented that Marx witnessed the birthpangs of industrial capitalism and mistook them for its death-rattle.
#37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence - I, er, saw the movie. Well a movie, anyway.....
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - See above, dammit.
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou - Your secret is safe from me, dear.
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabinthia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 A Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - She was a nut.
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck - Well, "The Gift" anyway. This is the sort of thing that gets a certain type of high school student very teary-eyed.
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder - Is there something we don't know about Pa?
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse - After having to read Siddhartha, I refused.
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Émile by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Émile Zola - No, but I saw a stage adaptation of it one time.
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Posted by Robert at September 29, 2005 02:06 PM | TrackBack
34. Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway - Remind me to tell you how terribly over-rated I think Hemingway, especially later Hemingway, is one of these days.

Yes!YES! YES! It's so nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way! THANK GOD!

Posted by: Kathy at September 29, 2005 02:39 PM

21 for me. Plus another four movies (F-451, 1984) So do movies count?
Wait, there was another movie "Women in Love." Er, scratch that, that was "Women in Lust"

This year one of the highlighted "banned" books is Besilies (however it's spelled) gun book, banned for "controversy and criticism" No, it is "banned" because it is a fraud. He lost his Pulitzer for it, a very rare thing, something that hasn't happened yet to that old NYT reporter who shilled for Stalin. One might as well say that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is "banned".

And why was the Scarlet & Black banned, aside from being a boring piece of tripe with no sympathetic characters.

Posted by: rbj at September 29, 2005 02:45 PM

" 34. Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway - Remind me to tell you how terribly over-rated I think Hemingway, especially later Hemingway, is one of these days."

We could set up a Carnival of Hemingway Haters. I really can't stand the scribblings of that sentimentalist drunkard. (And I don't think I ever met someone who actually praised him.)

Posted by: lemuel at September 29, 2005 02:56 PM

I have read The Bible. Almost in order, too (except for the first part of Genesis, which I had read not too long before on a false start, and Job, because I had read it also not long before becasue I wanted to see what all the fuss about that guy was). Even the Levitical Laws. And all the "begats." Don't ask me about all that stuff though - I count reading those parts as "running my eyes over it several times trying to gain comprehension but just not getting any at all."

Hey, F451 was a good book! Farewell to arms, not so much. Interesting story, once you get past the message and theme.

Posted by: TheRoyalFamily at September 29, 2005 03:53 PM

I figured that Anarchists Cookbook would be on there. I guess its not banned, but Sherlock Homes, thats the Devils work.

Posted by: Big Mac w/ an Egg at September 29, 2005 04:15 PM

Well, whatever my shortcomings, when it comes to banned books I'm reasonably well read.

Sure would be interesting, though, to know the rationale behind banning some of those titles. In the case of Aristotle's Metaphysics, I'm guessing it might have been a marketing gimmick by the publisher, hoping to drum up sales.

Posted by: utron at September 29, 2005 04:46 PM

I've read complete Hemingway.

I am of two minds about him. I think that Hemingway actually had very little native talent. His earliest stuff, especially the short stories, are all pretty poor. I think his writing at its worst is brutally ugly. And at its best, it is simplicity itself. I think of his writing as being like Shaker furniture.

But I think he learned quite a bit through the years, and got better. I think For Whom The Bell Tolls is a fine book -- one of my favorites. And I think it is remarkable how many imitators he spawned.

What I like about him is that he tried to write authentically -- he tried to base his writing firmly on experience. He's almost completely apolitical as a writer -- he doesn't give a sh*t about ideas or causes -- and that, in my book, makes him worth ten John Steinbecks.

Posted by: The Colossus at September 29, 2005 04:57 PM

The best way to get through the Bible is the multi-voiced, "dramatized" Zondervan audio book of the Living Bible paraphrase. Exquisite. It has started me on an audio book craze to listen to "all" of the Western Cannon while driving.

Posted by: Dave Babbitt at September 29, 2005 06:05 PM

Okay, I'll admit to skimming over the begats in the Bible, but otherwise I read it straight through at least twice (I always was a bit of the overachiever in my church youth group...)

Posted by: LDH at September 29, 2005 11:51 PM

Little House on the Prarie?? WTF? Geez -- great list, I have only read about 4 books in total myself. Still shocked at the banning of the Ingals though ... geez

Posted by: Jo at October 2, 2005 02:13 PM