The Great American Read

PBS has just finished their Great American Read program with the final results airing last evening. Readers were given a list of 100 books, from contemporary to classic and asked to vote as many times as they liked, for their favorites. Over four million voted were cast with the results listed below. The voting was close in some areas but the winner, To Kill A Mockingbird, led from beginning to end.

I was a little disappointed that my all time favorite,The Great Gatsby, finished in 15th place. Must have been the ballot stuffers that pushed it down and out of the top five. The list is pretty interesting, though I have to wonder how seriously I should take this if Fifty Shades go Grey is on the list. I mean, seriously?

Anyway, here is the list. For all I’ve read, it appears there is so much more out there to read.

Is your favorite on the list? Do you agree with the top five or ten?

Enjoy…and keep reading!

P.S. I wonder why The Bible didn’t make the list.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird cover

Best Loved

1

To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee

Outlander (Series) cover

Finalist

2

Outlander (Series)Diana Gabaldon

Harry Potter (Series) cover

Finalist

3

Harry Potter (Series)J.K. Rowling

Pride and Prejudice cover

Finalist

4

Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen

The Lord of the Rings (Series) cover

Finalist

5

The Lord of the Rings (Series)J.R.R. Tolkien
Gone with the Wind cover

6

Gone with the WindMargaret Mitchell
Charlotte's Web cover

7

Charlotte’s WebE. B. White
Little Women cover

8

Little WomenLouisa May Alcott
The Chronicles of Narnia (Series) cover

9

The Chronicles of Narnia (Series)C.S. Lewis
Jane Eyre cover

10

Jane EyreCharlotte Brontë
Anne of Green Gables cover

11

Anne of Green GablesLucy Maud Montgomery
The Grapes of Wrath cover

12

The Grapes of WrathJohn Steinbeck
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn cover

13

A Tree Grows in BrooklynBetty Smith
The Book Thief cover

14

The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak
The Great Gatsby cover

15

The Great GatsbyF. Scott Fitzgerald
The Help cover

16

The HelpKathryn Stockett
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer cover

17

The Adventures of Tom SawyerMark Twain
1984 cover

18

1984George Orwell
And Then There Were None cover

19

And Then There Were NoneAgatha Christie
Atlas Shrugged cover

20

Atlas ShruggedAyn Rand
Wuthering Heights cover

21

Wuthering HeightsEmily Brontë
Lonesome Dove cover

22

Lonesome DoveLarry McMurtry
The Pillars of the Earth cover

23

The Pillars of the EarthKen Follett
The Stand cover

24

The StandStephen King
Rebecca cover

25

RebeccaDaphne du Maurier
A Prayer for Owen Meany cover

26

A Prayer for Owen MeanyJohn Irving
The Color Purple cover

27

The Color PurpleAlice Walker
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland cover

28

Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandLewis Carroll
Great Expectations cover

29

Great ExpectationsCharles Dickens
The Catcher in the Rye cover

30

The Catcher in the RyeJ.D. Salinger
Where the Red Fern Grows cover

31

Where the Red Fern GrowsWilson Rawls
The Outsiders cover

32

The OutsidersS. E. Hinton
The Da Vinci Code cover

33

The Da Vinci CodeDan Brown
The Handmaid's Tale cover

34

The Handmaid’s TaleMargaret Atwood
Dune cover

35

DuneFrank Herbert
The Little Prince cover

36

The Little PrinceAntoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Call of the Wild cover

37

The Call of the WildJack London
The Clan of the Cave Bear cover

38

The Clan of the Cave BearJean M. Auel
The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy cover

39

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The GalaxyDouglas Adams
The Hunger Games (Series) cover

40

The Hunger Games (Series)Suzanne Collins
The Count of Monte Cristo cover

41

The Count of Monte CristoAlexandre Dumas
The Joy Luck Club cover

42

The Joy Luck ClubAmy Tan
Frankenstein cover

43

FrankensteinMary Shelley
The Giver cover

44

The GiverLois Lowry
Memoirs of a Geisha cover

45

Memoirs of a GeishaArthur Golden
Moby Dick cover

46

Moby DickHerman Melville
Catch-22 cover

47

Catch-22Joseph Heller
Game of Thrones (Series) cover

48

Game of Thrones (Series)George R. R. Martin
Foundation (Series) cover

49

Foundation (Series)Isaac Asimov
War and Peace cover

50

War and PeaceLeo Tolstoy
Their Eyes Were Watching God cover

51

Their Eyes Were Watching GodZora Neale Hurston
Jurassic Park cover

52

Jurassic ParkMichael Crichton
The Godfather cover

53

The GodfatherMario Puzo
One Hundred Years of Solitude cover

54

One Hundred Years of SolitudeGabriel García Márquez
The Picture of Dorian Gray cover

55

The Picture of Dorian GrayOscar Wilde
The Notebook cover

56

The NotebookNicholas Sparks
The Shack cover

57

The ShackWilliam P. Young
A Confederacy of Dunces cover

58

A Confederacy of DuncesJohn Kennedy Toole
The Hunt for Red October cover

59

The Hunt for Red OctoberTom Clancy
Beloved cover

60

BelovedToni Morrison
The Martian cover

61

The MartianAndy Weir
The Wheel of Time (Series) cover

62

The Wheel of Time (Series)Robert Jordan / Brandon Sanderson
Siddhartha cover

63

SiddharthaHermann Hesse
Crime and Punishment cover

64

Crime and PunishmentFyodor Dostoyevsky
The Sun Also Rises cover

65

The Sun Also RisesErnest Hemingway
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time cover

66

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeMark Haddon
A Separate Peace cover

67

A Separate PeaceJohn Knowles
Don Quixote cover

68

Don QuixoteMiguel de Cervantes
The Lovely Bones cover

69

The Lovely BonesAlice Sebold
The Alchemist cover

70

The AlchemistPaulo Coelho
Hatchet (Series) cover

71

Hatchet (Series)Gary Paulsen
Invisible Man cover

72

Invisible ManRalph Ellison
The Twilight Saga (Series) cover

73

The Twilight Saga (Series)Stephenie Meyer
Tales of the City (Series) cover

74

Tales of the City (Series)Armistead Maupin
Gulliver's Travels cover

75

Gulliver’s TravelsJonathan Swift
Ready Player One cover

76

Ready Player OneErnest Cline
Left Behind (Series) cover

77

Left Behind (Series)Tim LaHaye / Jerry B. Jenkins
Gone Girl cover

78

Gone GirlGillian Flynn
Watchers cover

79

WatchersDean Koontz
The Pilgrim's Progress cover

80

The Pilgrim’s ProgressJohn Bunyan
Alex Cross Mysteries (Series) cover

81

Alex Cross Mysteries (Series)James Patterson
Things Fall Apart cover

82

Things Fall ApartChinua Achebe
Heart of Darkness cover

83

Heart of DarknessJoseph Conrad
Gilead cover

84

GileadMarilynne Robinson
Flowers in the Attic cover

85

Flowers in the AtticV.C. Andrews
Fifty Shades of Grey (Series) cover

86

Fifty Shades of Grey (Series)E.L. James
The Sirens of Titan cover

87

The Sirens of TitanKurt Vonnegut
This Present Darkness cover

88

This Present DarknessFrank E. Peretti
Americanah cover

89

AmericanahChimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Another Country cover

90

Another CountryJames Baldwin
Bless Me, Ultima cover

91

Bless Me, UltimaRudolfo Anaya
Looking for Alaska cover

92

Looking for AlaskaJohn Green
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao cover

93

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoJunot Díaz
Swan Song cover

94

Swan SongRobert R. McCammon
Mind Invaders cover

95

Mind InvadersDave Hunt
White Teeth cover

96

White TeethZadie Smith
Ghost cover

97

GhostJason Reynolds
The Coldest Winter Ever cover

98

The Coldest Winter EverSister Souljah
The Intuitionist cover

99

The IntuitionistColson Whitehead
Doña Bárbára cover

100

Doña BárbáraRómulo Gallegos

 

40 thoughts on “The Great American Read

  1. Lynn

    I’ve certainly read a number on this list but really, 50 Shades of Grey? 🤪. I am no prude but the writing was absolutely horrible! Thanks for sharing George, looks like I have some more reading to do!

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
  2. Andrew Reynolds

    I liked the first 5, except “Harry Potter” while a good story and a fun read, doesn’t compare to the other titles in terms of writing quality. Yes “The Great Gatsby” should have been rated higher.

    I don’t get what people liked about 50 shades – the shock value? There’s better written erotica than that – well, so I’ve been told, I mean I never read anything like that… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Jodi

    Some good ones indeed. I’ve read quite a few, and quite a few I want/need to read! I will have to refer to this list. I have to admit… I did read Fifty Shades of Gray…. but I’ve also read the bible! 🙂 LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. The Coastal Crone

    Thanks for giving us the winners. I have not kept up with this but I knew the winners were coming up. Many of my favorites were on the list and if I recognized them, generally, I had read them. There were others that I had never heard of. “Fifty Shades of Gray,” which I have not read, could have been replaced with “Lady Chatterly’s Lover.” I may have to add some to my TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. MELewis

    What a curious and surprising list! So pleased that some of my personal favourites (A Confederacy of Dunces at the top!) made it. But 50 shades? Next to Heart of Darkness? And who would have thought The Little Prince? Very heartening in a way that people have such eclectic tastes and, most importantly, are reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Dale

    What a great list. And I am surprised by how many I have read… Only reason 50 Shades is even on that list is because of the sheer volume of that dreck that sold. The writing was so juvenile and simple and I have to agree, there are way better erotica novels out there.
    Meanwhile, gonna have to bookmark this post to catch the others that I haven’t read!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      It is an interesting list and like you, I was surprised how many I’ve read and how many more there are to read.
      Fifty Shades must have been a joke someone played on us. Can’t take that writing seriously. It was so poorly written..:)

      Like

      Reply
  7. Miriam

    Wow, what a list! Thanks George. I’ve read a heap of these, some go back decades but there are certainly some classics that jogged my memory. Outlander was awesome and I absolutely loved the epic Pillars of the Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      I guess I’m going to have to read Outlander…:) My wife has but I haven’t and from watching the show, there is a real passion for the book and movie series. I’m glad there is a mix of contemporary and classic. Makes it more interesting..:)

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  8. Bryan Fagan

    So many memories I wouldn’t know where to start. Books are a lot like music. You see a title and remember things from years past. I will have to go back and reread some that I haven’t touched since my youth. It will be interesting to see my view of it this time around.

    Excellent site you have. Happy I stumbled across it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  9. Book Club Mom

    Looks like I have some reading to do. I’ve never been a Harry Potter fan (didn’t you also confess that to me on my blog?) To Kill a Mockingbird is indeed one of my top 10 favorites, along with Gone With The Wind. The Great Gatsby is also up there. No way does Fifty Shades belong on this list!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. George Post author

      No, I’ve never Harry Potter though sometimes I’m tempted. There is just so much out there. I love walking around bookstores but it’s sometimes overwhelming when you think about how much we haven’t read.:)

      Like

      Reply
  10. thechickengrandma

    So many books….so little time! I was surprised at how many I had read on this list. I have not read 50 shades…..just did not want to waste my time. I also have never read Harry Potter books. I am not sure why. I do love Lord of the Rings series and oh so many of the books on this list.
    I also wondered why the Bible did not make this list. Maybe it is on a list all by itself because there really isn’t a book that can touch it?
    I do like a good Ted Dekker book…..Blink being one of my favorites
    Thanks for posting the list! I think I need to make a trip to the library……. real soon!!

    Like

    Reply
  11. Ann Coleman

    Thanks for sharing this list! I have read probably about a fourth of them at most, but it’s always fun to see what books other people like. And I know that my taste in books tends to be a little out of step with what is popular with the publishing world. It was good to see some children’s books on the list, and young adult too (The Outsiders and Charlotte’s Web were two of my favorites). And of course any list I made of favorite books would have to include Watership Down, Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, A Man Called Ove, Broken Harbor, A Dog Year, A Girl Named Skippy, The Widow’s Mite, Harris and Me, Angela’s Ashes, and all of Michael Bond’s Msr. Pamplemousse series. Just to name a few….. So many good books, so little time!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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