The Great American Read

What is your favorite book of all time? If a cross-section of Americans voted on their favorite book and made a list of the top 100, would your favorite make the list? Time to find out!

PBS has launched a program called The Great American Read which producers say is “designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved, and shaped us.”  The first of eight episodes aired on May 22, 2018.  It featured some famous people like George R.R. Martin, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Venus Williams, Wil Wheaton, Chelsea Clinton, and Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush sharing what they love about their personal favorites – The Lord of the Rings, Gulliver’s Travels, The Chronicles of Narnia, Dune, Where the Red Fern Grows and The Book Thief,respectively. If you missed it – don’t worry. You can watch it here.

The final episode is scheduled to air some time in October 2018, according to the show’s official website. Until that time, Americans are encouraged to go online and vote for their favorite book. One vote per day is allowed.

If you are curious about how many books from the list you’ve read, download the checklist and start counting! (I’m at 23 so far.) My personal favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I first read it in 9th grade English class and have loved it ever since. If you, like me, are eager to check more titles off that list, be sure to look for the displays we have at each of our three locations where you can easily find and check one out.

As the show’s host Meredith Viera says, “The Great American Read is happening all across the country, all summer long. So invite your friends to share in the celebration!” I urge you to post a comment to tell us which book is your favorite of all time. We at the library are curious to see how QCA voters will compare to the nation as a whole when the book with the most votes is revealed later this fall!

24 thoughts on “The Great American Read

  1. “Charlotte’s Web” by EB White, a children’s book that has stayed with me all my life.

  2. Without a doubt it’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I’ve always felt a kinship with Scout.

  3. This is so tough! But I’m going to have to go with Harry Potter. My second choice would probably be The Book Thief.

  4. What a difficult list! So many titles have been my favorite at different times of my life – and for different reasons. Overall, I think I’ll have to go with The Giver by Lois Lowry.

  5. It’s got to be the Stand! I read it all in one rainy weekend when we lived in Wyoming, and it was great!

  6. Vonnegut didn’t make this list, but the “Left Behind” series did. So it goes. I guess I’ll have to vote for “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

  7. Definitely Harry Potter for me but Frankenstein and Charlotte’s Web are a close 2nd and 3rd.

  8. I feel like I’m choosing between my children! How about a three-way tie for the books I’ve reread the most times? Anne of Green Gables, Pride & Prejudice, and Harry Potter.

  9. My personal favorite, “The Brothers Karamazov,” somehow didn’t make the cut; “Crime and Punishment” did but it’s not even in my top three Dostoevsky books. There are a lot of great options, but I guess ultimately I’ve got to go with “100 Years of Solitude,” the apotheosis of the magical realism genre, and a breathtakingly beautiful work that everyone should read at least once.

  10. John Grisham’s “A Time To Kill,” is a book that provides great insight into what motivates individual and group behavior. Warning: The first few pages, illustrating the catalystic event, are emotionally hard to read through; but the wealth of astute human insight makes this a book I believe will be read for decades to come.

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