Saturday, June 9, 2018

Join The Great American Read

Join The Great American Read 


On May 22, 2018, I watched the two-hour launch of “The Great American Read” documentary TV special hosted by Meredith Vieira. PBS had conducted a poll in which over 7,000 Americans named their most beloved novels.  In the two-hour premiere that aired in May, the top 100 best-loved novels were introduced by celebrities, authors, and other notable people urging the audience to vote for their favorite book on the list.  The books are not necessarily novels written by Americans, just novels Americans voted for. This is an eight-part series which will continue throughout the summer, with the winner of the best-loved novel that the public elects to be revealed in October.

Visit their website https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/ where you can:

  1. Watch the premiere.
  2. Download a printable checklist of the 100 books
  3. Vote for your favorites.  You can vote for one book a day, so vote for all the ones you love. (That’s a good thing because, whittling it down to just one favorite book is nearly impossible).
  4. Share your own story on which novel has had the biggest impact on your life.
  5. Sign up to get their email updates.
  6. Join book discussions on The Great American Read Facebook Book Club group. (Beware, joining this group is addictive. The enthusiasm of readers sharing their love of books is palpable and contagious.  It’s enough to make me giddy! Fun, fun, fun!)


What a wonderful program!  The list of best-loved novels is an interesting mix.  It has predictable classics, a few children’s books, and some surprising selections I didn't expect. Many of the books I have already read and a handful I have reviewed on this blog.  Below is the list of 100 books.  Like my other book lists (The Classic Challenge and The Rory Reading Challenge), I’ve highlighted the ones I’ve read in red and linked the ones that I’ve reviewed.

1984 by George Orwell

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving


A Separate Peace by John Knowles

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Alex Cross Mysteries (series) by James Patterson

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie




Another Country by James Baldwin

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand


Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


The Call of the Wild by Jack London



The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky



The Da Vinici Code by Dan Brown

Don Quiote by Miguel de Cervantes

Doña Bárbára by Rómulo Gallegos

Dune by Frank Herbert

Fifty Shades of Grey Series by E.L. James

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov



Game of Thrones Series by R.R. Martin

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Godfather by Mario Puzo




The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Hatchet Series by Gary Paulsen

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad



The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison



The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Left Behind Series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty


Looking for Alaska by John Green

The Lord of the Rings Series by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold


Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Mind Invaders by Dave Hunt



The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton



The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline



The Shack by William P. Young

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

The Sirens of the Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

The Stand by Stephen King

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Swan Song by Robert R. McCannon

Tales of the City Series by Armistead Maupin


Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Twilight Saga Series by Stephenie Meyer

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Watchers by Dean Koontz

The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

White Teeth by Zadie Smith



Join the fun!  Join The Great American Read!

Happy Reading!


Annette