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Celebrate Your Freedom To Read!

It’s Banned Books week, an annual event that draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Looking through the list of the 10 most challenged books for each year since 2001, I wondered how to personalize my commitment to the freedom to read. I think what I can do is encourage you to read banned books. Or perhaps, encourage your book club to discuss rebellious reads.

Here are five banned books that I’ve read that are on the most challenged list. All were great reads that I would recommend to you.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Banned in 2019 for profanity and for vulgarity and “sexual overtones.”

In this groundbreaking, bestselling graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father

Banned in 2015 for violence and other (“graphic images”).

Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq.

Banned in 2014 for gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions.”

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Now more than ever: Aldous Huxley's enduring masterpiece ... one of the most prophetic dystopian works of the 20th century (Wall Street Journal) must be read and understood by anyone concerned with preserving the human spirit in the face of our brave new world.

Banned in 2010 and 2011 for insensitivity, nudity, racism, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit.

In this now classic work, Barbara Ehrenreich, our sharpest and most original social critic, goes undercover as an unskilled worker to reveal the dark side of American prosperity.

Banned in 2010 for drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint.

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