Some say that a change is as good as a rest. With that in mind, an engrossing book allows you to immerse yourself in another world, and lose yourself for a while; a great way to spend your coffee break at work when you need to get away from the routine.
Some books are so deliciously good that they are considered bad. Books that were once banned are some of the most popular, and often for good reasons. They are thought-provoking, disturbing, and challenging. They shake up the status quo and make us look at the pieces.
They are also fun. The bad boys and girls of fiction are unafraid to immerse us into worldviews that some people would prefer us not to see.
So brew your coffee and get ready to find your next favorite book in this list. If you like your coffee strong and your literature even stronger, you might just love our selection.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Here is a book that often tops the banned books list. It has been banned more than once, but is irrepressible. Some people consider it to be one of the greatest works of fiction in American literature.
Once read, the story of Atticus Finch is unforgettable. Its frank and unblinking look at rape and racism has always sparked controversy.
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
This novel is the story of businessman and possible serial killer Patrick Bateman. It’s a satire on 80s America that is disturbing, uncompromising, and laugh-out-loud funny at the same time.
It was adapted into a movie by Mary Harron in 2000, but be warned that the book, which has been criticised for being violently misogynistic, goes much further than the movie.
Candide by Voltaire
This 1759 French novel was banned as soon as it was published. Why? It takes on religion, government, and philosophers, and thus made numerous enemies across disciplines. It has been called blasphemous, immoral, and seditious.
We call it intriguing.
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut is no stranger to tackling big issues. Cat’s Cradle takes a look at nuclear weapons and religion, a tense combination at the best of times.
The Ohio School Board banned the book, giving no official reason. There was some talk, however, of it being ‘garbage.’
The ban was overturned into 1976, so now you have the liberty of finding out what all the fuss was about.
Forever by Judy Blume
It might surprise you to find Judy Blume on a banned books list. Her novel ‘Forever,’ however, features a sexually active teenage girl. Although the book deals with its subject in a carefully considered fashion, the book and its author have been under fire from religious and sexual abstinence groups ever since.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D H Lawrence
In 1928, everybody was talking about Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The uproar was sustained in the UK, the US, and other countries, even into the 60s. The sex scenes are explicit and you can expect some strong language.
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
This is another book that has the power to upset a lot of people. It has been banned on the grounds of its violence, sexuality, language, racism, treatment of religion, women, and the disabled. Nonetheless, it has received widespread acclaim and remains popular with readers. Will it be popular with you?
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Almost everyone knows the story of a man obsessed with creating life by reanimating dead bodies. Not everyone knows, however, that this book – the horror classic that has spawned such films as ‘Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein’ and Mel Brooks’ ‘Young Frankenstein’ – was banned for being obscene.
The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger
References to sex and strong language have been the main causes for upset here, but you can also look forward to perceived immorality too, since protagonist Holden Caulfield spends a lot of his time performing less than admirable behaviors. Still, does he deserve to get the book banned? You’ll have to read it to decide for yourself.
Ulysses by James Joyce
Some people cite this as the greatest novel of the 20th century. Despite this, many copies of the novel were seized before they could enter the US. It has been considered vulgar, obscene, and blasphemous, so it’s on our list for spicing up your coffee breaks.
Harry Potter – The Entire Series – J K Rowling
How about something that’s not so contentious? A children’s book should do it, right?
Wrong. Christian groups have been offended by the depiction of witchcraft aimed at children. The series has been accused of being in support of paganism, and yet other groups have criticized a perceived political agenda in the work.
You’ll note that the books on this list are not only banned but also considered some of the most popular and best written. We’d love to know what you think.
Thinking is encouraged by these books, whether that means thinking about your society, the environment, or your role within both. We hope this list inspires you and also provides some great escape time during your next coffee break.