• Banned Books Week 2020: Reckless Reader Recommendations

    For Banned Books Week, a few of our Reckless Reader partner bookstores sent us their lists of recommended books to read or reread with themes and storylines related to censorship and oppression. In the current moment, it is difficult for many to find solid footing amidst the social and political turmoil unfolding this year. These books may serve as a ledge to grasp, a guide to better understand our own era.


    From Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Texas, a list of classics featuring social upheaval, authoritarian systems, and counterculture lenses:

    Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

    The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

    Animal Farm by George Orwell

    Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

    The Color Purple by Alice Walker

    The Handmaid’s Tale by Maragret Atwood

    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

    The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

    From Eclectuals in Lakewood, California, a list related to race and the struggle for justice in an uneven system:

    The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

    Burn This Book by Toni Morrison

    The Short Life and Curious Death of Free Speech by Ellis Cose

    Dare to Speak by Suzanne Nossel

    Macroeconomic Inequality from Reagan to Trump by Lance Taylor


    From Green Apple Books in San Francisco, CA:

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

    Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

    Animal Farm by George Orwell

    All American Boys by Brendan Kiely & Jason Reynolds

    George by Alex Gino

    Looking For Alaska by John Green

    The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (banned in certain prisons)

    Push by Sapphire

    The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

    The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

    Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

    Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    Bless Me, Ultima by  Rudolfo Anaya

    As for LARB, we’re offering a LARB Books Provocations series bundle at a discount, three books for $30.

    The Terror of the Unforeseen by Henry A. Giroux

    Advice & Consent: A Play in One Act by Yxta Maya Murray

    Atrocity Exhibition: Life in the Age of Total Violence by Brad Evans

    What are you reading?
    Banned Books Week September 27–October 3, 2020, at LARB