Best banned books

I’ve found that the controversial books that were banned by governments, schools boards, church leaders, and other political leaders, have been the best books I’ve ever read.

February 23, 2019

The book called “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” was banned and removed from required reading lists. The main character didn’t believe in god, and the adults used foul language, so it’s easy to see why it was banned.

Of course, that naughty notoriety piqued my interest, so I bought a copy for myself. It turns out that I shared some of the same “behavioral problems” that the main character endured, so I became even more interested.

Here are my thoughts on this well-reviewed book, and why I think it didn’t quite live up to the rave reviews.

October 23, 2018

As a child, my family definitely would have banned this book. In addition, our church would have put it on their “Books to Burn” list.

Sure, the Life of Pi has lots of graphic violence between members of the animal kingdom, including humans. But, the most controversial aspect of this book was Pi’s religious philosophy. He found good points in all religions, as well as bad points in all religious dogmas.

Read my thoughts about the Life of Pi book, and see if you agree with my interpretations.

October 10, 2018

Despite having brutal episodes of violence and other forms of barbarism, as well as a few forbidden incestual love affairs, I don’t think One Hundred Years of Solitude was ever banned.

However, I suspect that a few local school boards have considered just such a ban on this remarkable book. I have to confess that some of the topics made me a little uncomfortable.

Because of the author’s political beliefs, however, he was not permitted to travel in the United States for a few decades. So, while his book was not banned, García Márquez was banned from the U.S.

It was only after Bill Clinton was elected President when the author’s travel ban was lifted. It turns out that Márquez’s book was one of the President’s favorite books. Read my review of One Hundred Years of Solitude, and see if I was enamored, repulsed, or both, by this renowned classic.

July 27, 2018

As far as I could tell, The Devil in the White City was never banned

The language is mostly PG, but there is suggestive adult language along with suggested, and sometimes graphic, violence. After all, this is a book about a serial killer.

Well, actually, this is not a book about a serial killer. Mostly, it’s a book about the 1893 World’s Fair, with some serial killer information woven into the mix. Read my review about The Devil in the White City before you buy this intriguing book.

July 17, 2018

Outliers, the Story of Success, was never a banned book

So what is it doing on the Best Banned Books page? Well, if there were laws against common sense backed up by statistics, then this might be a banned book.

Despite never having been banned, this book is one of the most entertaining and eye-opening books I’ve read in my life. I really enjoyed the author’s engaging writing style. Plus, I really enjoyed reading about the people whose successes and failures were scrutinized.

But, I’ve already written too much — please read my full review to see what I really thought about Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, a Story of Success.

June 30, 2018

We Were the Lucky Ones was never banned, but should be required reading

Georgia Hunter wrote a book about one extended family, and their struggles to survive the Nazi occupation and the Holocaust.

Like all realistic novels, this book does contain some adult language, along with subtle adult situations. However, I don’t think the adult language was enough to get this book banned like some other more controversial books.

Read my review of this best-selling novel, and my thoughts about current nationalistic parallels we are seeing throughout the world, and even in the United States of America.

June 19, 2018

Anthony Bourdain profanities cause a bluster

Have you ever been banned from entering a country? Well, I think there is one county in the United States that would rather not see me return, but I’ve never been banned from a country. However, Anthony Bourdain does have that dubious distinction.

Because of his “…disrespect of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Bourdain has been banned from entering Azerbaijan (according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmet Hajiyev, who spoke with Agence France-Presse).

In addition, Bourdain’s profanities have gotten his account banned from Twitter. I have never understood the popularity of Twitter, despite its popularity around the world.

But, as far as I could discover, Bourdain’s books have never been banned from a public library in the United States, despite his blatant honesty, stellar journalistic standards, and his occasional use of well-placed expletives. Maybe there is still hope for our country, after all.

June 16, 2018

Ordinary Grace had adult themes

I don’t think the 2014 best-selling novel, Ordinary Grace, was ever banned. But, it did have adult situations, some violence, and some adult language.

In fact, instead of being banned by local school boards, Ordinary Grace was nominated by the School Library Journal as the Best Book of 2013.

While I wasn’t as impressed with the book as many other people were, it did have some redeeming and memorable qualities. Please read my review of Ordinary Grace.

June 9, 2018

Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog and my thoughts

Shoe Dog was a surprisingly good book, and it even had some adult language and adult situations. Despite all that, I don’t think this book was ever banned!

That’s a good thing, because this book has so many redeeming qualities. Read my review and my thoughts about the engaging writing style. Phil Knight, the founder and CEO of Nike, wrote the book. It was so well-written that I think he could have been a successful, best-selling author.

In fact, I guess Knight’s success with Shoe Dog does make him a best-selling author.

May 9, 2018

In Cold Blood is a disturbing account of murder

In a way, I can understand why it was banned. However, In Cold Blood is a well-written documentary book that every adult person should read.

I read In Cold Blood for the first time when I was in ninth or tenth grade. While the violent acts were disturbing and the criminals were despicable, Truman Capote’s book inspired me to be a writer.

Still, I can understand why parents in a Savannah, Georgia community wanted it banned. If I were a parent of an impressionable teenager, maybe I’d want them to not read it, or at least have them delay reading it. That is how overwhelmingly good Capote and his true story of In Cold Blood is.

April 1, 2018

Seabiscuit, an American Legend, created some controversy but was never banned

The author told the true story about Seabiscuit, the race horse that overcame great odds to become a champion.

Despite it’s optimistic tone in the face of possible defeat, the book did arouse some controversy. In an effort to accurately tell the story, the author wrote about prostitutes and bordellos that the jockeys enjoyed after their races. Both the book and the movie had some adult language, alcohol use, and of course, the prostitutes.

So, while this book or the subsequent movie were not banned, both were shunned by conservative religious groups.

March 1, 2018

J.D. Salinger’s controversial book made a big impact on me as a teenager

The Catcher in the Rye’s main character had many of my same personality traits.

The book was banned for being too profane, pornographic, and communistic. For me, the book was simpler with no hidden agendas. It was a book about Holden’s descent into mental illness. I loved this book, and the contrived controversy only fueled my interest even more.