October 27, 2018

The Great American Read

Did any of you watch the PBS series, The Great American Read?  The Clever Girls here did, and we really enjoyed the mini book reports the show gave as it explored the top 100 best-loved novels that Americans chose. The Great American Read was an eight-part series that explored and celebrated the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels.  It investigated how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience. 

The television series featured entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country. It was comprised of a two-hour launch episode in which the list of 100 books was revealed, five one-hour theme episodes that examined concepts common to groups of books on the list, and a finale, in which the results were announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book. 

I have read 38 of the 100, and definitely am going to revisit the list and try many more.  Surprisingly, a lot that I'm not familiar with are more contemporary works that I just never got around to reading.  Some, like Game of Thrones, Dune, and The Stand are never going to be my cup of tea,but The Book Thief, The Lovely Bones and The Joy Luck Club are going on my list. Click HERE to see the top 100, and see how many you know and love...


What's nice is that there are all kinds of novels on this list, from classics, to mysteries, to series.  My personal favorite came in at #4 (Pride and Prejudice) I also love Charlotte's Web, Anne of Green Gables, The Color Purple, Rebecca and The Help.  I'm surprised that Little House on the Prairie didn't make the list, along with In Cold Blood, which I found so incredible the first time I read it.  That was the first book I ever read cover to cover in a day.

I love a good list, and think this one is so interesting and comprehensive.  Most of all, I love discovering a great story. It's great to know a good book is awaiting you, isn't it? 

A happy footnote: In looking for some of the top 100 books on my shelves, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my copies of Rebecca and Gone With the Wind are both first editions--as is my volume of A Confederacy of Dunces.   And, while I have multiple copies of Jane Austen, alas, non are signed, nor even close to being first editions.....

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