Here is a complete list of the books I was forbidden to read as a child, please add your own in the comments below:
Flowers in the Attic, V.C. Andrews, age twelve
I did not allow myself to finish this book; I found it at a garage sale in the summer between sixth and seventh grade and thought the cover made it look like a cool, spooky mystery. It was not a cool, spooky mystery. By the time I got to the part where Chris and Cathy Do It, I knocked on my parents’ door, handed it to them, and said, “I don’t think I should have this,” then spent the rest of my adolescence trying to forget. I would not kiss another human being for another five years, and I think this is why.
Absalom, Absalom! William Faulkner, age thirteen
We were at the airport, and Dad offered to buy each one of us a book, and I wanted this one, because I wanted my dad to think that I read Faulkner, and he looked very serious and said he thought I should wait another year or two and bought me the Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf instead, thus saving me from another round of tortured Southern incest fiction until much later.
That is all, thank you for your time!
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.