Banned Books Week 2023 is almost upon us, so it’s time for me to finalize what book or books I’ll be reading next week — and you might be in the same boat!
Often I go looking for books that have been historically challenged, but the current vitriol against the free flow of ideas has led to a lot of books being challenged or outright banned in a lot of different localities across the country.
PEN America, a century-old nonprofit, has compiled a current list of banned books and that Harper’s Bazaar, that radical Hearst publication, has a wonderfully informative page that breaks down the books by state, with links to where you can buy them from independent bookstores — though be sure to check out your local library if that’s an option.
Unfortunately, my own commonwealth of Virginia has too many choices, but just in case your state doesn’t offer the variety you crave, A: congratulations, but B: Florida, Missouri, South Carolina, or Texas have plenty to choose from.
Just remember, every banned book you read makes a would-be censor’s head allegorically explode — and, based on the bans, we know how angry they get about allegories.