Banned Books Week is an event that explores censorship in relation to literature and this year it runs from 27th September - 3rd October. Throughout the week, you're encouraged to read books that have been banned or challenged for their content. If you're stuck for ideas, a quick Google search will help you find an abundance of books to choose from. Seriously, it would seem parents try and protect their children from reading about frigging anything!
This year's theme is YA fiction that has been challenged or banned but since I don't tend to read all that much of it I've decided to create my own TBR from unread banned books on my shelf. These books aren't exactly underhyped, so you've most definitely heard of them before, but they're books that I really want to get round to so suck it.
1984 by george orwell
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skillfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true piece of freedom is betrayal.
I know, pals. I know. Will I ever read 1984? I meant to read this for the #bookbuddyathon but I didn't get round to it so hopefully this week will finally inspire me to pick it up. 1984 was banned in various places across the world for social and political reasons, with some criticizing it for being anti-communist, and others criticizing it for being pro-communist. Censorship is confusing.
beloved by toni morrison
Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.
Beloved is another novel that I was meant to read a while ago, for the Bout of Books 14.0 readathon, but, again, I didn't get round to it. Beloved is a text that is usually assigned to students at some point in their education and, as such, it frequently comes under fire for its sexual and violent content. I personally believe that it's important for teenagers to read about a variety of experiences either as a way to identify themselves within literature, or as a way to experience a world so very far removed from their own.
one flew over the cuckoos nest by ken kesey (1962)
Tyrannical Nurse Ratched rules her ward in an Oregon State mental hospital with a strict and unbending routine, unopposed by her patients, who remain cowed by mind-numbing medication and the threat of electric shock therapy. But her regime is disrupted by the arrival of McMurphy - the swaggering, fun-loving trickster with a devilish grin who resolves to oppose her rules on behalf of his fellow inmates. His struggle is seen through the eyes of Chief Bromden, a seemingly mute half-Indian patient who understands McMurphy's heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them imprisoned.
My last few TBRs haven't been particularly successful because I just haven't been making enough time to read throughout the week, but I'm really hoping to get back into the groove with these titles. What banned books have you read?