Lit Lovers Unite for Banned Books Week!

In honor of Banned Books Week kicking off this weekend, we asked some of our lit-loving employees to share their favorite banned books! Tomorrow through Oct. 2, various events will happen all over the country to remind us of the importance of these books, and that we have the right to read what we please. Some of your favorite classics and current faves may have been challenged or completely banned from a school, library, or bookstore. How each of us feels about literary censorship is a personal opinion, but I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone has a favorite book. What are ours? Meet our readers below!

An all around fan of Huxley, Fashion and Blog Writer Annie is intrigued by his storytelling in Brave New World. “Brave New World has it all a dystopian portrayal of the future, love, sex, and even fashion!” says Annie. “Who knew 2540 would look so chic and streamlined?”

In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, it’s the book’s sense of exploration that inspires Customer Care Team Lead Braiden. “This book inspired my lifelong dream to build a raft and sail from the source of the Ohio River in downtown Pittsburgh to the shores of New Orleans,” he says.

Harboring a penchant for strange romance and staggering prose, Fashion Writer Meggy adores Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. “Perhaps the greatest indication of my love for this banned book is the fact that my husband and I chose part of it as a reading at our wedding,” she says. “Fortunately, no one complained.”

Satire and adventure make one great story in Product Photographer Joseph‘s fave, Voltaire’s Candide. “What I enjoyed most about this novel is its satirical approach on the philosophy of blind optimism,” says Joseph.

Aside from being Susan’s Executive Assistant, Lauren is a babysitter who gets a unique perspective on children’s literature from reading Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the contemporary And Tango Makes Three by Justine Richardson. “I love And Tango Makes Three because it uses a charming, true anecdote to expose children to the fact that any kind of love is a good kind of love, and that there are lots of ways to be a family,” says Lauren, adding that regardless of when a book is published, some people “are bound to loathe certain works. But it doesn’t mean that they should be able to prohibit others from passing their own judgment!”

Shakespeare stirs up Lead Fashion Writer Sarah‘s love for literature. “Shakespeare is the man! Challenged throughout history on accusations of being too racy or violent, Shakespeare’s work has nonetheless stood the test of time.”

What’s your favorite banned book? Don’t forget, you can also talk about your most loved banned books on our GoodReads page!

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  1. Susie 09/24/2010 at 5:50 pm #

    -The Great Gatsby (my favorite book of all time)
    -Ulysses (second favorite)
    -Lady Chatterley’s Lover
    -The Harry Potter Books (of course)
    -Shakespeare (its slightly comical yet terrifying to think how generations of people lived thinking that tragedies such as “Romeo & Juliet” and “King Lear” had happy endings)

  2. Liane Graham 09/24/2010 at 7:19 pm #

    DEFINITELY “Looking for Alaska” by John Green. Such a great read.

    And the Harry Potter books, of course.

    • Allison 09/24/2010 at 9:44 pm #

      I forget that “Looking for Alaska” was banned. That is an excellent choice. As is Harry Potter series.

      My favorite would have to be “The Giver” though. So though provoking and scary.

    • Linda 10/10/2010 at 11:46 am #

      Looking for Alaska was AWESOME! My friends and I call it our “Bible.”

  3. Melissa 09/24/2010 at 9:18 pm #

    – Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, the two warmest blankets in the history of reading
    -Any Human Heart by William Boyd is absolutely gorgeous and so honest.
    -The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd blew my mind. You’ll never look at art school in the same way again.

  4. sarah 09/24/2010 at 9:49 pm #

    East of Edan and of course Shakespeare (my M.A. is in Shakespeare)

  5. Norma 09/24/2010 at 10:28 pm #

    Definitely The Great Gatsby and Animal Farm by George Orwell

  6. Tay 09/25/2010 at 1:22 am #

    Quick, stylish book lovers, what literary blogs should I be following? I know lots of personal style blogs, but no book blogs. Please help!

  7. Jessica 09/25/2010 at 10:53 am #

    Anything by Vladimir Nabokov and Chuck Palahniuk.

    • Jessica 09/25/2010 at 10:56 am #

      Sylvia Path and Maureen Medved are my favorite female authors.

  8. Lily 09/25/2010 at 11:04 am #

    -Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings (my personal favorites)
    -Lord of the Flies- we had to watch the movie in school instead because the book was banned
    -Alice’s Adventures in wonderland
    -Animal Farm (LOVED the book)
    -Uncle Tom’s Cabin (WAS banned, dont know if it is anymore)
    -Bridge to Terebithia
    -The Giver a truly amazing and powerful yet sad book

  9. Jazminn 09/25/2010 at 1:16 pm #

    1) Harry Potter most deffinetly. They tried to ban it at my school library in elementry school.
    2) Lord of The Rings
    I’m an all around nerd book reader.

    But I also love Huckleberry Finn and Shakespear, especially A Mid Summers Nights Dream <3
    Alive in Wonderland is another great book!

  10. Phoebe 09/25/2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Harry Potter 100 percent.
    The Great Gatsby and the Catcher in the Rye.
    Shakespeare. The fact that anyone would try to ban his work makes me almost want to cry.

  11. Allysa 09/25/2010 at 10:03 pm #

    Dude, that is a really cool post!

  12. Kenzie 09/25/2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Oh my gosh, I love Looking for Alaska too! One of the books that really helped shape how I think.
    Shakespeare was on the list? Good, so Hamlet fits the criteria. Not even kidding, this is the most riveting thing I have ever read (It probably helped we watched the Kenneth Branagh movie while we read it… So, you think taking your shirts off will aid in the fatal sword duel? Uhhh… sure, that makes sense… I’m not complaining! :P).
    This probably isn’t banned (could be; it contains witchcraft after all), but my close runner-up is Serenity Rose: Working Through the Negativity by Aaron Alexovich. He also has vol. 2 out, and a piece of me is slowing dying as I’m still too broke to buy it. ;(

  13. Ellie 09/25/2010 at 11:24 pm #

    ahhh I love Brave New World! wouldn’t it be great to dress up as Lenina Crowne for Halloween?

  14. Dima 09/26/2010 at 2:53 am #

    The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde,it was banned at some point,one of the greatest books ever!!!

  15. Sophie 09/26/2010 at 10:27 am #

    I’m a fan of Voltaire’s Candide, although I can see why it was banned! I also love the Picture of Dorian Gray and didn’t know it was banned before.

  16. katie bee 09/26/2010 at 3:34 pm #

    -to kill a mockingbird
    -a wrinkle in time
    -flowers for algernon
    -a separate peace

    I did a little google search and found about a million titles that I didn’t even know were banned. My university hosts a banned book reading outside the library for most of the week & it’s definitely interesting.

  17. Jo 09/26/2010 at 4:29 pm #

    Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut is mind blowing, even now, maybe especially now!

  18. Katharine Ellis Tapley 09/26/2010 at 5:29 pm #

    The dictionary. Seriously. It was once banned. How stupid is that?

    • Crystal 09/26/2010 at 9:11 pm #


  19. Crystal 09/26/2010 at 5:56 pm #

    I’ve been collecting Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for two years. What copy is that? It’s lovely

    • Jenn (ModCloth) 09/26/2010 at 6:28 pm #

      Isn’t it? Lauren says it’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Other Stories, illustrated by Sir John Tenniel.

      And if you ever have photos of your collection, we would love to see it! It sounds awesome!

    • Crystal 09/26/2010 at 9:10 pm #

      Of course! Do I just e-mail them to Modcloth?

    • Jenn (ModCloth) 09/26/2010 at 10:32 pm #

      Yep!! : )

    • Heather 09/27/2010 at 1:19 pm #

      I think that one’s from Barnes and Nobles. They’ve done really pretty versions of lots of classics (I have a Jane Austen one like that, and the complete Sherlock Holmes)

    • JENN 10/07/2010 at 4:10 pm #

      Barnes and Noble put out a special series of classic books leather bound… I purchased most of them because they are lovely! There were two versions of Lewis Carrolls complete works, I have the other one. I am pretty sure you can still find it on their website. 🙂

  20. Megan 09/26/2010 at 6:47 pm #

    The Awakening by Kate Chopin is my all-time favorite story. My second would be Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. My third might be The Brothers Menaechmus by Plautus. I don’t know for sure if any of those were banned, but I’m sure they have been in some country and some point in time.

  21. Hadley 09/26/2010 at 8:44 pm #

    -Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
    -Blubber by Judy Blume
    -Deenie by Judy Blume
    -Forever by Judy Blume
    -Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
    Sigh. Huge Judy Blume fan. Of course.

  22. kay 09/26/2010 at 9:21 pm #

    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote & The Great Gatsby

  23. Alicia 09/27/2010 at 1:35 am #

    Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce!!

  24. Heather 09/27/2010 at 1:17 pm #

    -A Picture of Dorian Grey: I actually love anything by Oscar Wilde!
    -1984 and Animal Farm-Same goes for George Orwell
    -And I agree on Looking For Alaska. That one was really good, but has anyone read Paper Towns by the same author? I actually liked that one better!

  25. Angela (ModCloth) 09/27/2010 at 2:13 pm #

    Great books, everyone. I’ve certainly found a few new titles, too. I have to say that one of my favorites is A Clockwork Orange – I love the “nadsat” language.
    Reading rocks!

  26. Brady 09/28/2010 at 4:32 pm #

    The Outsiders.

  27. Angie 10/16/2010 at 10:01 pm #

    Khalil Gibran! The Prophet.

  28. Blair 10/19/2010 at 9:27 pm #

    The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

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