Any idea how many you've read?

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Any idea how many you've read?

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Out 23, 2006, 12:30pm

I've only read 8%, so I'll have to work on reading more.

Out 23, 2006, 1:31pm

It depends on the list your taking them from.

Out 24, 2006, 10:46am

The ALA one? 15%. The "Most Harmful Books of the Century" one? 16%

I did a little bit better on banned books than I did on the "books you're supposed to read" lists. I guess if you tell me not to read something, I'll read it just to spite you.

Out 24, 2006, 11:31am

I've read 21% from the ALA list.

Out 29, 2006, 10:22am

I was thinking of the ALA list of the 100 most challenged books from 1990 through 2000.

Out 29, 2006, 10:43am

I've read 14% of them. There are several still on my TBR list but also one of the very few I've given up on from sheer, mind-numbing boredom, The Pillars of Earth by Ken Follett. I have no idea what the appeal is.

Out 29, 2006, 11:23am

I've read 26% of them. Wow, I can't believe anyone finds In the night kitchen offensive - that's one of my favourite books ever! As for Mummy laid an egg - that's one of the funniest, most informative books available for small children.

Who are the people trying to ban these books? Are they sane?!

P.S. I am English...

Nov 3, 2006, 3:10pm

27%. I'm also English. Most of the teen sexuality books (and some of the teen fiction) are not published over here. I'm astonised by the number of Toni Morrison books on the list. Is there any other Pulitzer prize winner who has been so frequently challenged? Who do her books upset, apart from recidivist racists?

I want to go and reread all of Judy Blume's books now...

It'll be interesting to see how this list looks from 2000-2009. Want to bet that there are lots of perfectly sane and safe books translated from Arabic, or by people with Islamic sounding names?

Or perhaps just all books.

Nov 6, 2006, 10:11am

Usually, the challenge to Toni Morrison's books are not based on race, but on the disturbing themes running through them, such as child molestation. Some schools and parents want to 'protect' their children from reading about these situations. These are generally challenged/banned in schools attended by young children (as opposed to high-schoolers). It's not something I agree with, but the best the best way to come to an understanding with another group is to find out why they really feel the way they do, not assume they are of a certain mind set (racist, sexist, etc.).

In the Night Kitchen was banned for the 'nudity' (I hear there is a naked hiney). I think that's pretty silly, too. Shel Silverstien had a picture of a pants-less man in one of his books, and somehow I didn't become a raving pervert or emotionally scarred.

We live in an overprotective society where even the game of tag is no longer allowed because 'somebody might get hurt'. The effects of physical and mental softness have already got a strong hold on our nation. And since our children are not as strong as they should be mentally and physically, we see this as more of a reason to protect them, instead of strengthening them. This is just a very broad generalization, of course, but the downward spiral is still evident.

Nov 6, 2006, 12:15pm

Actually, In the Night Kitchen feature full frontal nudity! (GASP!) Shel Silverstien also advocates breaking dishes so you don't have to wash them, and sassing your parents...

I've read 34%...

Editado: Nov 6, 2006, 3:27pm

Okay, I did sass my parents. I guess poor Shel should be burned with the rest of 'em.

Are you saying there is a wing-wang in In the Night Kitchen?!? Now I REALLY have to find it! (Did I say I wasn't a pervert? :D )

BTW, I'm assuming the fully and frontally nude person is an adult.

Nov 6, 2006, 8:11pm

I'm looking at In the night kitchen right now. The full frontal nudity is of a child, who's fallen out of bed into the eponymous Night Kitchen. It's a wonderful, psychedelic, dreamy book that I adored as a child. Presumably, children see their own anatomy and don't die of shock: where's the harm in seeing pictures of nudity? It's almost as if these censors think there's something perverse about the human body!

Bookishbunny, I grew up reading voraciously and also running wild, climbing trees, climbing walls and fences and making dens in the local wild area (an old bombsite overgrown with trees). No adults supervised me and my friends in the summer holidays, we ran in a pack all day long. Similarly, I was allowed to read what I chose, with the collusion of our local library staff, who let me take out adult books at the age of nine when I'd read everything in the children's section. I feel sorry for children who are being over-protected from perceived dangers whilst the real threat is to their development as fully rounded human beings.

Nov 6, 2006, 10:11pm

36% from ALA, 20% from Most Harmful Books of the Century. I wish I'd read more from the latter, though. I've got to get on that immediately.

14randomarbitrary Primeira Mensagem
Nov 7, 2006, 12:12am

31% from the ALA list...some of them absolute favorites, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Wrinkle in Time and Are You There God I read repeatedly as a preteen and teenager, and reread Mockingbird about every two years. I will be showing this list to my teenagers so they can start on their own list of banned books they have read...although my oldest kid has been studying banned books in his school and even came home with an "I read banned books" sticker on his chest.
The boys' book about their bodies is a favorite, too, since it guarantees my teen boys will squirm when I bring it up. I wonder where it is...I think they finally hid it from me.

Fev 2, 2007, 9:07pm

20% ALA--not sure where the "Most Harmful List" is..

I'm in shock at some of these! {spoilerish}

Face on the Milk Carton and The Great Gilly Hopkins..why? because she's an adopted child wanting to find her birth parents?

Shel Silverstein remains one of my fave authors..I think it's hilarious that growing up, my priest would read us The Giving Tree and yet people are having problems with him getting kids to like poetry.

Bridge to Terabithia for introducing death to kids?!

...won't touch upon books like Are You There, God? It's Me Margaret and Carrie that I'm guessing there's a problem with menstruation.

..and I don't EVEN want to guess why Where's Waldo is on there..sheesh!

I do have to say, I'm very curious about Scary Stories Boxed Set and Daddy's Roomate (Alyson Wonderland)--I'm putting them on my to-buy list as we speak. :P

Fev 2, 2007, 9:40pm

Punky: (spoilers)

Face on the Milk Carton has a part where the girl and her boyfriend check into a hotel with the intention of having sex. They don't stay, but I would imagine that's why it's on the list.

And I heard there's a woman sunbathing topless on one of the beaches in Where's Waldo.

I read the Scary Stories when I was little, and I can't think of why they'd be listed, unless some easily frightened child read them and then the parents complained.

Fev 2, 2007, 11:00pm

I've only read 13% that I can recall from the ALA one, maybe one or two more of the children's ones but I don't remember any more... Any idea why the Anastasia Krupnik books are on there though? I can't think of any reason... unless hating your name is now banned? :P

Fev 3, 2007, 4:37am


Hi ArmyAngel!! Thanks so much for refreshing my memory. It's been so long since I've read Face, that I can't even remember that part..

So I was googling trying to find that other list, and came up with this instead. Wikipedia has a page dedicated to banned books, with listings on why..pretty interesting read!

Fev 3, 2007, 11:05am

on ALA I have only read 4% and own about 12% I thought it would be more but I think I have read more books on other banned books lists.

Fev 3, 2007, 11:58am

Thanks for the link Punky! My favorite: Black Beauty banned in South Africa for having the word "black" in the title! *eye roll*

Fev 18, 2007, 2:20pm

Does anyone know where there's a list of the most frequently BANNED books. On the ALA site I can only find the most frequently CHALLENGED.


Editado: Fev 18, 2007, 10:42pm

Here is a one list of the top 10 and 5 runners up of the "most harmful" as put together by a panel of 15 scholars at the request of the website Human Events Online.
I'm not sure if that is the list being referred to.

Editado: Fev 20, 2007, 5:17am

Please include all relevant information! Replace "scholar" with "conservative scholar" (as it is in the original article) and the meaning of the list changes significantly. It is not a list about "harmful books." It is a list about "books harmful to the conservative way of life."

Read the original article at .

Edit: Actually I would be interested to see similar lists put together by libertarian and other political and philosophical scholars too.

Mar 27, 2007, 1:15am

I've read 14%, maybe 15% if I can remember if I've read Julie of the Wolves. It sounds REALLY familiar, and I think I may have read it when I was younger. Some of those I'm really surprised are on there.

Perlle: I'm having waay too much fun with this list of best sites!

Abr 5, 2007, 11:56pm

31% - I'm pleasantly surprised! I really thought it would be fewer.

Abr 6, 2007, 11:25am

I've read 29% and own a few more that are on my TBR pile. It just amazes me what is on this list.... I grew up with the Night Kitchen as well, and just adore it. As for Where's Waldo, sheesh. How long do you think they hunted for the one topless person in the book?? Time better spent elsewhere me thinks.

Abr 14, 2007, 12:57pm

13% from the ALA site

If there's one issue today that pisses me off to no end, it's banned books. Judy Blume is banned for talking about puberty and sex? Hate to break it to ya, but it happens.

Just about everyone has read their share of banned books, and I don't see all of us running around like crazed psychopaths just because we *gasp* read about people having sex or something.

Is there a book that ISN'T considered offensive in one way, shape or form? I mean, even the Bible talks about prostitutes and violence and death...why isn't that one on the banned books list?

Abr 15, 2007, 8:22pm

I don't know why it's not on the list, because a librarian I know said the Bible is one of the most frequently challenged books.

The challenge usually occurs when someone sees it as violating separation of church and state (tax money bought a religious book ...).

Sometimes people think that just because a book is in the library that the library is endorsing the ideas or beliefs in it.

Unabridged dictionaries get challenged frequently. Kids go into the library and look up all the expletives for laughs, somebody sees them, and a parent wants a "nicer" dictionary instead.

Editado: Maio 8, 2007, 2:01am

I've read 21% of the ala list. I own at least 38% of them. I'm happy to say that 6 or 7 of the ones i've read were assigned reading in elementary through high school. I'm kind of surprised because my schools were in a small, ultraconservative, nonmulticurtural district in Indiana. (I mean i can literally count on one hand the number of non-white students and the number of non-christians who attended my schools). Wow, one thing to look back on fondly!;) (meaning the reading of books, not on the nonmulticulti part--just thought i'd clarify:)

Maio 8, 2007, 2:10am

Are you folks manually calculating these percentages, or is there a site where you can keep track? Sounds interesting.

Maio 8, 2007, 2:22am

I've read little more than a third of the books. What's scary is how mundane these books are. I can't imagine why anyone would even want to ban them in the first place. Who are these people who want to decide what other people read?

Maio 8, 2007, 7:03am

#30 - Atomic, it's from They have a list called American Library Association's "The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000" and it will let you calculate your total.

I've read 30% myself, but more surprisingly I've read at least 5 of them to my children over the years.

Here's the link:

Editado: Maio 9, 2007, 8:16pm

Thanks for the link, clam. *waves at clam* I'm going to calculate my percentage now.

Maio 9, 2007, 9:17pm

*waves at GD*
I just copied the link from perlle's post so folks could find it.

Maio 10, 2007, 10:59am

I'm kind of impressed with myself... 24% (off the List of Bests site)! That's not including the couple of books I'm pretty sure I read back in grade school, but honestly can't remember one way or another so I didn't claim them. I thought it would be a lot less but it helps that many on the list were YA and children's books. ;-)

Gosh-golly, that Judy Blume sure is a menace to society... Does she have to walk the streets with a bodyguard? :-)

Maio 10, 2007, 11:25am

I've read 6 of them with 7-8 more I plan to read, most don't interest me I guess.

Maio 10, 2007, 12:21pm

I haven't read 37% of them, mostly the middle grade/young adult books that were released later, after I stopped reading middle grade/young adult books. But I have a habit of reading everything I can find by authors I like, so just the fact that I like Judy Blume and Stephen King accounts for why I've read so many. (And I'd love to know why "Where's Waldo" is on the ALA list!)

Maio 10, 2007, 1:18pm

>37 southernbooklady:: there's a woman sunbathing topless in one of the beach pictures. She's laying on her stomach, so you can't even see anything, but you never know what will corrupt a young person's mind... :P

Maio 12, 2007, 8:59pm

I've read 37% of the books from the link above. My husband asked if that made me weird! (He was joking...I think!)

Maio 17, 2007, 12:36pm

I have to laugh, I have read 1/4th of them, mostly by the time I was a teen, and have read many of them to my children.
My mother forbade me to read two books - Catcher in the Rye and Fanny Hill. Naturally I broke my neck to read both of them by the time I was in the 8th grade.
Actually she wanted me to read them and knew that forbidding them would peak my interest.
I allow my children to read anything they want (even if it is a Victoria Secret catalog ha ha)

Editado: Jun 9, 2007, 5:33am

I've read 29% of the ALA list. That course I took on Toni Morrison a year or two ago didn't hurt...or did, I suppose, depending on how you look at it. Ha. ;)

Jun 15, 2007, 12:28am

I don't have kids myself, but I have always bought books from various banned book lists for my nieces and nephews. These were some of their favorite books, and my siblings never objected.

>10 kidsilkhaze:, >11 bookishbunny:, >12 Hera:
I just noticed this thread, so am rather late to comment on the nudity issue, but I can't resist. As a young kid, my oldest nephew was very fond of dolls. My Dad violently objected to having his first grandson play with dolls. Dad was also quite bigoted, and rather prudish.

I am sure it was more to annoy my Dad than to please my nephew, but my sister bought the kid an anatomically correct black male baby doll (we are white). I guess she just wanted to push all of the buttons at once! The kid survived this "traumatic" experience, and has grown up to be a very nice young man. My Dad was very relieved when my nephew outgrew the dolls and got interested in fishing and baseball.

Jun 15, 2007, 1:48pm

#42 - Great story. What a brilliant move on the part of your sister. How did your father react?

Jun 15, 2007, 6:01pm

>43 clamairy:

About as you would expect. Lots of cursing and swearing, dire predictions of the effect this would have on my nephew and on the world in general. Once he realized the entertainment value we were all getting from his ranting, he pretty much kept his thoughts to himself.

My nephew eventually moved on to more stereotypically boyish interests, and does not appear to have any adverse effects.

Jun 22, 2007, 8:28am

to oregon:

and they say there are no more hero(ines)

Ago 15, 2007, 1:06pm

I've read 18%, but I several more are in my to-be-read pile.

I don't get why James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl is on the list. I read that for the first time in grade 3, and it's been a favourite ever since.

Ago 15, 2007, 1:58pm

I did a quick google search (james and the giant peach banned) and found out several things...

The children disobey adults (cruel and abusive adults -- that doesn't matter I guess). The magical elements are enough to trip some objections. And this really disturbing bit...

"The Times of London reported that James and the Giant Peach was once banned in a Wisconsin town because a reference to Spider licking her lips could be "taken in two ways, including sexual." "

is from this website:

The dark humor and morbidness also can factor in...some parents want nothing but politically correct sunshine and daisies for their kids.

And thanks! I found that bookslut website rather intriguing, and I found it because of you and James, and that Giant Peach!

Ago 15, 2007, 3:38pm

Only 20%. My complete lack of interest in puberty-angst in my YA years would count all of Judy Blume out, but I might need to go back and read some more Robert Cormier one of these days; I always liked Fade. I need to read some Toni Morrison one day, too.

Ago 15, 2007, 3:46pm

Though not legally banned, a Bookmobile librarian took it upon herself to ban me from Norah Lofts' The Concubine: A Novel Based on the Life of Anne Boleyn. I was about 13 and had just come off of watching the BBC series of the Six Wives of Henry VIII on PBS. She proceeded to direct me to the children's section. I was highly insulted. I never did go back and read that book, so I suppose I should add it to my TBR list.

Ago 17, 2007, 11:47am

21% on that list site, 26% from the Top 100 of the 20th Century on ALA's website.

And you know, I hate to say this, but I can see how you would ban Judy Blume. I remember reading her books in grade school - Forever had scenes more graphic than anything I've read in adult literature. And of course, once I got to high school and people caught up to my reading level, the only reason anyone read it was because there were the sex scenes, the orgasm scenes!

Granted, I can't seem to remember it having a plot further than the sex scenes and the orgasm scenes anyway...

Out 29, 2007, 6:12pm

I’ve read 60% of the “Most harmful books of the century,” plus parts of two more, 44% of the ALA’s 100 most challenged books from 1990 through 2000.

Nov 24, 2007, 2:21pm

I almost laughed out loud when I read the "most harmful" list and saw Democracy and Education. Horrifying, indeed!

I happen to be sitting here at my local public library branch, enjoying the fast wireless Internet access and returning three books. Didn't have anything on the list to borrow today, but I will look for something from the ALA list before I leave. (And I requested Democracy and Education, as it's not in this collection.)

Dez 5, 2007, 2:56pm

Atomicmutant (msg 30) states: "Are you folks manually calculating these percentages, or is there a site where you can keep track? Sounds interesting."

Sounds like a feature request. Maybe something for our stat block? *halo*

Dez 5, 2007, 9:10pm

I've only read 24%. Guess I have some work to do...

Jan 9, 2008, 4:58pm

I have read every book that has been banned in this country in the past 60 years.

Jun 29, 2008, 9:16am

Follow up to my post at 52. Democracy and Education arrived at my library not long after I requested it (there wasn't a waiting list) and it turned out to be.... very dull. At least, it was dull to someone not involved in elementary education. Maybe if I were a teacher it would have resonated.

Yes, it does propose teaching children to think for themselves and be autonomous, which I suppose some people (especially the sort who like to ban books) would find threatening. But it does so in the context of having them grow up to be responsible citizens. Difficult, from my perspective, to see anything controversial.

Jun 29, 2008, 9:50am

Karen, People that think for themselves make very bad puppets. We can’t have bad puppets now can we? That would be un-American.

Jun 29, 2008, 2:46pm

TLC, yes I'm sure there are those who want puppets--far more than I care to think about, sometimes. But Dewey actually makes a case that education prepares students to be good citizens and to understand the society in which they live. That's a pretty conservative (in one sense) argument. Yes, he was also rather liberal (again, in a certain sense), but not advocating for the overthrow of anything.

Jul 3, 2008, 5:58pm

Just wanted to add about the Where's Waldo stuff: The original version of the book does indeed contain a topless sunbather (but it's comic-book style illustration. Come on....). Later edition of the book have a bathing-suit top photo-shopped in on the image. The nude mermaids later in the book were NOT photoshopped. Guess it's only offensive if it's a human.

When I was a library aide back in the day I wasted many an hour trying to find this information in all of our Waldo books when I should have been shelf reading.....

And I've read all 100 books on the ALA list. It took me a year to track all of them down; some aren't in print anymore.

Ago 1, 2010, 9:15am

27%. There are a couple more on the list that I'd like to read, but most of the ones I didn't read are because the reading level was far behind mine by the time I became aware of them. I've got 4-5 of the others in my TBR pile.