Lawn Gnome Publishing
February 15, 2017

Best Books on Banned Book Lists Across The World

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You are reading Lawn Gnome Publishing’s book culture blog.

Blog Curated by Bree Crosser

Why do we love Banned Books? As humans, by nature we are drawn toward things we are denied. Drugs, other people’s property, more than one sexual partner while you’re in a committed relationship, etc. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. So some books that are banned or were previously banned are significantly more attainable than the latter and more socially unacceptable options. Guess it all depends on the world we live in and what imaginary lines are drawn around us. Borders become jurisdiction of governments, laws, moral codes, and art.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Erich Maria Remarque, 1929

Reason for Banning:

Banned in Nazi Germany for being demoralizing and insulting to the Wehrmacht.

“I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.”

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis, 1991

Reason for Banning:

Sale and purchase was banned in the Australian State of Queensland. Now available in public libraries and for sale to people 18 years and older. Sale restricted to persons at least 18 years old in the other Australian states.

“I had all the characteristics of a human being—flesh, blood, skin, hair—but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that my normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning”

Animal Farm

George Orwell, 1945

Reason for Banning:

Completed in 1943, Orwell found that no publisher would print the book, due to its criticism of the USSR, an important ally of Britain in the War. Once published, the book was banned in the USSR and other communist countries. In 2002, the novel was banned in the schools of the United Arab Emirates, because it contained text or images that goes against Islamic values, most notably the occurrence of an anthropomorphic, talking pig. The book is still banned in North Korea, and censored in Vietnam.

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Brave New World

Aldous Huxley, 1932

Reason for Banning:

Banned in Ireland in 1932, allegedly because of references of sexual promiscuity. Banned in Australia from 1932 to 1937.

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”


Joseph Heller, 1961

Reason for Banning:

Banned in several US states: in 1972, it was banned in Strongsville, Ohio (overturned in 1976); in 1974, it was banned in Dallas, Texas and in Snoqualmie, Washington in 1979, because it has several references to women as “whores”.

“Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.”

The Da Vinci Code

Dan Brown, 2003

Reason for Banning:

Banned in September 2004 in Lebanon after Catholic leaders deemed it offensive to Christianity.

“History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?”

Fanny Hill

John Cleland, 1748

Reason for Banning:

Banned in the US in 1821 for obscenity, then again in 1963. This was the last book ever banned in the US.

“I sit down to give you an undeniable proof of my considering your desires as indispensable orders.”

Fifty Shades Trilogy

E. L James, 2011-12

Reason for Banning:

The entire trilogy was banned in Malaysia from 2015 for containing “sadistic” material and “threat to morality”

“Why don’t you like to be touched?” “Because I’m fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia”

Click on any of these images to purchase copies of these recommended books through Lawn Gnome Publishing’s network of trusted used bookstores!

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