Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Banned Books

Hey everyone, happy Tuesday!

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish, and this weeks theme is a freebie so I’ve decided to go with ten books you might not have realised were banned!

1.  Animal Farm by George Orwell


Date published: 1945

Countries in which it was banned: USSR and other communist countries, United Arab Emirates, North Korea and censored in Vietnam.

Reasons: OK, so you probably did know this had been banned at various points in history, but did you know why? The USSR banned it for criticism of the country, and the United Arab Emirates because it contained images that went against Islamic beliefs. There was little information about why it was banned in North Korea, but most likely for its political and social messages.

2. 1984 by George Orwell


Date Published: 1949

Countries in which it was banned: The Soviet Union

Reason: Orwell certainly knew how to write them. 1984 was banned in the Soviet Union because Stalin knew it to be a criticism of his leadership. The ban was not lifted until 1990 (after the book had been edited). It was also almost banned in the UK and US during the Cuban Missile crisis of the 1960s.

3. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


Publication date: 1865

Countries in which it was banned: China

Reason: In 1931, General Ho Chien banned the book because he believed its anthropomorphised animals were damaging to the reputations of humans; Chien thought that having animals speaking the same language as humans was an insult and feared that it would teach people to view animals and people as having similar rights.

4.  Catch-22 by Joseph Heller


Publication date: 1961

Countries in which it was banned: In the US: the cities of Strongsville (Ohio), Dallas (Texas) and Snoqualmie (Washington).

Reason: There were multiple references to women as ‘whores’.

5. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Canterbury tales.jpg

Publication date: Some time in the late 14th century (the exact date is debated).

Countries in which it was banned: The US

Reason: The Federal Anti-Obscenity Act banned people from sending or receiving works that were thought to contain ‘obscene’, ‘filthy’ or ‘inappropriate’ material, and as such The Canterbury Tales was prohibited under this law.

6. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The Da Vinci code.jpg

Publication date: 2003

Countries in which it was banned: Lebanon

Reason: In 2004, Catholic leaders decided the book was offensive to Christianity and it was subsequently banned.

7. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak


Publication date: 1957

Countries in which it was banned: The Soviet Union

Reason: It was banned for its criticism of Russian life after the Russian revolution and was only legalised in 1988. When author Boris Pasternak won the Nobel Prize for Literature for his work, he was forced to reject it due to pressure from the government.

8. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss


Publication date: 1960

Countries in which it was banned: China

Reason: The book was banned in 1965 because it was thought to portray early Marxism, but was lifted in 1991 after Seuss’s death.

9.  Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

Lady Chatterly's Lover.jpg

Publication date: 1928

Countries in which it was banned: US, UK, Australia, China

Reason: Banned in the US and UK for violating obscenity laws, but these bans were overturned in 1959 and 1960 (respectively). It was similarly banned for controversial content in Australia from 1929 to 1965, and in China, publication was denied after the translation was received and the government ordered bookshop and sellers to stop advertising the novel.

10. Ulysses by James Joyce


Publication date: 1922

Countries in which it was banned: UK, US and Australia

Reason: In all three countries the ban was for explicit sexual content. The UK and US repealed the ban in the early 1930s, but it remained banned in Australia until 1937, when it was then only legally allowed to be sold to people over 18 until 1953.

So that’s my ten for this week, hope you found them interesting! As always link me up to your TTTs and let me know what you thought of mine!


14 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Banned Books

  1. I love your topic for this week Kate, I never knew so many of these books were actually banned ones, and it was certainly interesting reading more about them as well. Alice in Wonderland is the only one of your picks I’ve read and probably the ones I was the most surprised to see on your list. It’s interesting reading all the reasons these books were banned though (I did know about Animal Farm being banned though, I’m not living that far under a rock!). 🙂

    1. Thanks Beth! I’d been wanting to write about banned books for a while so the freebie seemed like the perfect week to do it! Yeah, it surprising some of the books that come up, I didn’t realise the Hunger Games was banned in a few countries until a couple of months back! Alice in Wonderland is definitely one of the books that was banned for more unusual reasons!

      1. That’s all right, and I guess yeah this was the perfect opportunity to write about banned books. I bet you’re glad there was a freebie week this week in that case! 😀
        I knew about The Hunger Games but it only seems to be the really popular and/or controversial books I’ve heard about being banned. I wasn’t aware of Alice in Wonderland at all but you’re right it is a really strange reason to ban a book. 🙂

  2. Great list! This was such an amazing topic to pick! I don’t know much about banned books (or rather I don’t know why many of them are banned), so it was amazing reading through your post and learning more about it. 😀

  3. This is such a great post! I can’t believe that Green Eggs and Ham was ever banned! It’s always interesting to discover which books have been banned and I really appreciated the fact you added the reason – perfect for nosy people like me! x

Leave a Reply to Beth (Reading Every Night) Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s