Books are often reflection of a writer, his emotions or writers’ version of any incident or purely fictional imagination, often with political and economic contingencies, as well as the history of ideas and religion  They often create a healthy learning atmosphere and give literary pleasure to the reader transporting them into the world different from theirs. But some book in their attempt to give the readers entertainment knowledge and experience end up creating quite a stir by offending a certain sect of people.

10 Most Controversial Books

Below is the list of 10 most controversial Books ever published.

1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov


Lolita by Nabakov which came out in 1955 was at the hub of much controversy. The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle-aged literature professor, and pedophile Humbert. Humbert is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. His private nickname for Dolores is Lolita. It was banned in several countries but hugely popular in the USA.

2. Sexual Behavior in the Human Male by Alfred Kinsey

10 Most Controversial Books of All Time 5

Alfred Kinsey was an American biologist who wrote two of the most controversial books of the 20th century, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953). In the 1940s, the book astounded the general public and was immediately controversial.  It caused shock and outrage.Alfred Kinsey’s sex research went far beyond interviews with participants.  It included direct observation and sexual activity.  He engaged in a large amount of direct homosexual behavior in his research.  Kinsey justified this as being necessary to gain the confidence of his subjects. However, it seems that Kinsey used a disproportionate number of prisoners, prostitutes, and especially gay men.  He didn’t use any black people in the work.  All of this evidence has given rise to an anti-Kinsey movement around the world, which was started in 1981 by Judith Reisman.

3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou


“I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” is the first of the five autobiographical works by Maya Angelou and was published in 1970. The author, through this book, gives an account of her youth filled with trauma, tragedy, frustration, disappointment and eventually independence. Angelou describes the racism she and her grandmother encountered in the town of Stamps and other places, in spite of her grandmother having more money than the whites. However, the book was widely hailed and even taught in schools. This book was also nominated for the National Book Award.

4. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie


Rushdie’s book tells the story of an Indian expat living in modern-day England. After surviving a plane crash, Gibreel Farishta, a Bollywood superstar is left to rebuild his life, while the other survivor, the emigrant Saladin Chamcha has his life torn apart. The title refers to a legend of the Prophet Mohammad, when a few verses were supposedly spoken by him as part of the Qur’an, and then withdrawn on the grounds that the devil had sent them to deceive Mohammad into thinking they came from God. These “Satanic Verses” are not found in the Qur’an.  Fatwa issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of Iran, created a major international incident and made this one of the most controversial books.

5. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell


The Anarchist Cookbook, first published in 1971, is a book that contains instructions for the manufacture of explosives, rudimentary telecommunications phreaking devices, and other items. It was written by William Powell to protest United States involvement in the Vietnam War. the formulas for making bombs were condemned and were considered dangerous and incorrect. Powell later defended his novel as an immature and adolescent reaction of his anger at being made part of the Vietnam war against his wishes.

6. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Most Controversial Books

The book gives a fictional account of characters revealing a hidden truth concealed by the Catholic Church for centuries, including the divinity of Christ, his celibacy, and the possibility of a genetic heritage. Most of the complaints against the book are due to the speculation and misrepresentation of the history of Roman Catholic Church and the basic questioning of the tenets of Christianity. It is one of the most Controversial Books. The book was also criticized for inaccurate description of history, geography, European art, and architecture.

7. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye

Described by many as one of the greatest novels ever written and included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels The Catcher in the Rye is still not short of its controversy and critics. Tackling themes such as confusion, angst, sexuality, alienation, and rebellion many teens related to Caulfield’s issues. The book gained several controversies for several reasons, such as the portrayal of sexuality and teenage angst, the use of profanity, the anti-white sentiment, and the excessive violence. Holden Caulfield, the protagonist, became an icon of defiance and rebellion.

8. American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis

Most Controversial Books
American Psycho is a satirical novel by Bret Easton Ellis, published in 1991 highlighting the farce nature of the yuppies in America. The story is told in the first person by Patrick Bateman, a serial killer, and Manhattan businessman. In recent times the novel has been labeled as “one of the key novels of the last century,” but when it came out it garnered huge controversy due to its extreme levels of graphic violence and sexual torture. The author received hate mail and death threats.

9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky


The book, published in 1999, tells the story of a teenager, “Charlie” who writes a series of letters to an anonymous friend. Being a teenager, Charlie goes to great lengths to describe his introversion, teenage sexuality, abuse, and his drug use. Its explicit sexual content, particularly the homosexual aspects, has led it to be withdrawn from libraries across the US, and it regularly makes the American Library Association’s top 10 most challenged books list.

10. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Billy Pilgrim, a disoriented, and ill-trained American soldier, is captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge and taken the prisoner in Dresden. Housed in a disused slaughterhouse, known as “Slaughterhouse number 5”, he and the other POWs and German guards alike hide in a deep cellar; sheltering from the firestorm during the Bombing of Dresden in World War II. During this period, time begins to warp, and Pilgrim starts to see visions of the future and the past, including his death. It was banned The good old USA thought better than to let its children be exposed to such themes.

Honorable Mentions:

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

10 Most Controversial Books of All Time 6

One of the world’s most beloved modern series, many consider the Harry Potter series to advocate the notions of witchcraft. These books have been on the most challenged books lists since 2000. They’ve been banned and burned in various places throughout the world.

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell


It’s a children’s book that features two male penguins hatching and raising a child together. It’s one of the most challenged books in America for its depiction of the homosexual lifestyle. Christian and non-gay groups have vehemently protested against this book since it was published in 2005.