This playlist celebrates Banned Books Week (September 24-30, 2017) and our freedom to read without censorship. From the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this playlist collects some of the most challenged books in the United States in one place, so readers can choose to listen freely.
By David Benioff
/ Narrated by Ron Perlman
/ 8 hours 28 minutes
From the critically acclaimed author of The 25th Hour and When the Nines Roll Over and co-creator of the HBO series Game of Thrones, a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.
During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the... Read More »
By Gennifer Choldenko
/ Narrated by Kirby Heyborne
/ 6 hours 10 minutes
1935 I want to be on Alcatraz like I want poison oak on my private parts. But apparently nobody cares, because now I’m Moose Flanagan, Alcatraz Island Boy–all so my sister can go to the Esther P. Marinoff School, where kids wear their clothes inside out and there isn’t a book in sight. Obedient Moose. I always do what I’m supposed to do.
By Ariel Dorfman
/ Narrated by John Kapelos, John Mahoney, Carolyn Seymour & Kristoffer Tabori
/ 1 hour 23 minutes
"Generally, it's the tortured who turn into torturers." Carl Gustav Jung
Suspense mounts when Paulina and her husband offer hospitality to a stranger. Paulina thinks she recognizes, in their guest, the man who tortured her in prison, and she subsequently takes him hostage to find out the truth. A stunningly blunt and compelling play, Death and the... Read More »
By John Green
/ Narrated by Jeff Woodman
/ 7 hours 6 minutes
Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words – and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult... Read More »
The 10th anniversary edition of Sherman Alexie's National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel--bonus content included!
Sherman Alexie, in his first book for young adults, tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior... Read More »
By Mark Haddon
/ Narrated by Jeff Woodman
/ 6 hours 3 minutes
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.This improbable story of Christopher's quest to investigate the suspicious death of a... Read More »
By Ellen Hopkins
/ Narrated by Laura Flanagan
/ 4 hours 31 minutes
Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter: gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, she meets a boy who introduces her to crank. At first she finds it freeing, but soon Kristina’s personality disappears inside the drug. What began as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through... Read More »
By Khaled Hosseini
/ Narrated by Khaled Hosseini
/ 12 hours 3 minutes
A Stunning Novel of Hope and Redemption
Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable and beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Raised in the same household and sharing the same wet nurse, Amir and Hassan grow up in different worlds: Amir... Read More »
By Sam Kean
/ Narrated by Sean Runnette
/ 12 hours 34 minutes
The periodic table is one of man's crowning scientific achievements. But it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the... Read More »
By Jhumpa Lahiri
/ Narrated by Sarita Choudhury
/ 10 hours 8 minutes
The Namesake follows the Ganguli family through its journey from Calcutta to Cambridge to the Boston suburbs. Ashima and Ashoke Ganguli arrive in America at the end of the 1960s, shortly after their arranged marriage in Calcutta, in order for Ashoke to finish his engineering degree at MIT. Ashoke is forward-thinking, ready to enter into... Read More »
By Toni Morrison
/ Narrated by Toni Morrison
/ 12 hours 2 minutes
Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many... Read More »
By Rebecca Skloot
/ Narrated by Cassandra Campbell & Bahni Turpin
/ 12 hours 30 minutes
Now a major motion picture from HBO® starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human... Read More »
By Mark Twain
/ Narrated by Don Hagen
/ 11 hours 11 minutes
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain has been popular since it was first published in 1884. Told in the first person by "Huck" Finn, best friend of Tom Sawyer. it is known for its colorful and often scathng look at the people and places along the Mississippi River at a time when racism was an entrenched attitude in the... Read More »
By Jeannette Walls
/ Narrated by Jeannette Walls
/ 10 hours 25 minutes
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's... Read More »
By Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
/ Narrated by Guy Lockard & Keith Nobbs
/ 6 hours 35 minutes
In an unforgettable new novel from award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.
A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking... Read More »
By Elif Shafak
/ Narrated by Laural Merlington
/ 12 hours 39 minutes
From one of Turkey's most acclaimed and outspoken writers comes a novel about the tangled histories of two families.
In her second novel written in English, Elif Shafak confronts her country's violent past in a vivid and colorful tale set in both Turkey and the United States. At its center is the "bastard" of the title, Asya, a nineteen-year-old... Read More »
By Judy Blume
/ Narrated by Halley Feiffer
/ 2 hours 53 minutes
Blubber is a good name for her, the note from Wendy says about Linda. Jill crumples it up and leaves it on the corner of her desk. She doesn't want to think about Linda or her dumb report on the whale just now. Jill wants to think about Halloween.
But Robby grabs the note, and before Linda stops talking it has gone halfway around the room.
By Aldous Huxley
/ Narrated by Michael York
/ 7 hours 59 minutes
Originally published in 1932, this outstanding work of literature is more crucial and relevant today than ever before. Cloning, feel-good drugs, antiaging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media-has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical... Read More »
By Katherine Paterson
/ Narrated by Robert Sean Leonard
/ 3 hours 30 minutes
Jess Aarons' greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He's been practicing all summer and can't wait to see his classmates' faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys' side and outruns everyone.
That's not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and... Read More »
By Geoffrey Chaucer & J. U. Nicolson
/ Narrated by a full cast & Martin Jarvis
/ 20 hours 49 minutes
At the Tabard Inn, thirty travelers of widely varying classes and occupations are gathering to make the annual pilgrimage to Becket's shrine at Canterbury. It is agreed that each traveler will tell four tales to help pass the time and that the host of the inn will judge the tales and reward the best storyteller with a free supper upon their... Read More »
By Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
/ Narrated by Tony Roberts
/ 7 hours 11 minutes
Cat's Cradle is Vonnegut's satirical commentary on modern man and his madness. An apocalyptic tale of this planet's ultimate fate, it features a midget as the protagonist; a complete, original theology created by a calypso singer; and a vision of the future that is at once blackly fatalistic and hilariously funny. Read More »
By Alice Walker
/ Narrated by Alice Walker
/ 8 hours
Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive... Read More »
By Anne Frank
/ Narrated by Selma Blair
/ 9 hours 54 minutes
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.
In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went... Read More »
By Rainbow Rowell
/ Narrated by Rebecca Lowman & Sunil Malhotra
/ 8 hours 55 minutes
Bono met his wife in high school, Park says. So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers. I’m not kidding, he says. You should be, she says, we’re 16. What about Romeo and Juliet? Shallow, confused, then dead. I love you, Park says. Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers. I’m not kidding, he says. You should be.
Set over the course of one school year in 1986,... Read More »