This week marks the thirtieth anniversary of Banned Books Week, an annual remembrance of attempts to censor published books, both great and not so great. For those Americans who still read books, it’s a time to dust off those old copies of The Great Gatsby and Harry Potter and give them the once-over once again.
I found a list of the most commonly banned books on Wikipedia. Three of the books in The Well-Read Man Project are identified as targets of frequent censorship. I thought that many more of my selections would make the bonfire pile, but it turns out that many banned books aren’t great, so they never found a place on my list of reading options. Being offensive doesn’t always equate to being great literature.
Here are the three books from the project that I will read with one eye looking out for rabid mobs.
- All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren
- The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger
- The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
To find out more about Banned Books Week, visit the American Library Association’s information page.