The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Academic Book Week Reveals Top 20 Most Influential Banned Books

From Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, to Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird to Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, Academic Book Week (4-9 March 2019) has revealed the twenty most influential banned books.
Academic Book Week

Selected by academic booksellers across the UK and Ireland in association with Index on Censorship, the public are now invited to vote on the most influential banned book, with the winning book revealed during Academic Book Week.

The public vote is open from Friday 1 March until 11:59pm on Wednesday 6 Mach to find the book that has been most influential:

Academic Book Week’s Most Influential Banned Books:

⦁    1984 by George Orwell (PRH)
⦁    A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller (PRH)
⦁    Beloved by Toni Morrison (PRH)
⦁    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (PRH)
⦁    Country Girls by Edna O’Brien (Faber)
⦁    His Dark Materials (series) by Philip Pullman (Scholastic)
⦁    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Virago, Hachette)
⦁    Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D H Lawrence (PRH)
⦁    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (PRH)
⦁    On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (OUP)
⦁    Rights of Man by Thomas Paine (OUP)
⦁    Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (PRH)
⦁    The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (PRH)
⦁    The Color Purple by Alice Walker (W&N, Orion, Hachette)
⦁    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (PRH)
⦁    The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (PRH)
⦁    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (PRH)
⦁    Ulysses by James Joyce (PRH)
⦁    Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (Faber)
⦁    Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith (PRH)

Building on the success of previous years, Academic Book Week 2019 is being coordinated by the Booksellers Association in partnership with University College London.

Emma Bradshaw, Head of Campaigns at the Booksellers Association, said: “Academic Book Week’s Top 20 Most Influential Banned Academic Books will spark debate in Academic Book Week and beyond. Each of the books on this shortlist has been hugely successful and influential, despite attempts to ban them and we look forward to seeing the result of the public vote.” 

Academic Book Week celebrates the diversity and influence of academic books throughout history, now and in the future. 

To book tickets to events and view the full Academic Book Week line-up, visit:

Follow the latest developments via Twitter: @AcBookWeek #AcBookWeek.