PBS announces Great American Read book list

The Great American Read is a new eight-part television series and nationwide campaign that explores the joy of books and the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved books, chosen by the public. Designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved and shaped us, The Great American Read encompasses the eight-part PBS series, community reading programs and special events, and a wide range of digital and social media initiatives. Featuring testimonials from notable figures from the entertainment, sports, news and literary worlds, the series culminates in the first-ever national vote to choose “America’s Best-Loved Book.”

The Great American Read series will premiere on Tuesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. with a two-hour kick-off event. The high-energy, documentary special hosted by Meredith Vieira will feature appearances by celebrities and everyday Americans passionately advocating for and explaining their personal connections to their favorite books. Voting and social media engagement will continue throughout summer 2018, with six episodes of the series exploring the nominated books through themes such as “Being American,” “Heroes,” “Growing Up,” “What We Do for Love” and more. Throughout the summer, PBS stations will partner with local organizations and booksellers in the community to activate and inspire the next generation of readers through library, education and community initiatives. As summer turns to fall, voting will close and America’s top 10 books will be revealed counting down to America’s Best-Loved in the final episode of the series in September 2018.

Below is the full list of America’s 100 favorite novels, in alphabetical order by title:

  1. 1984
  2. A Confederacy of Dunces
  3. A Game of Thrones
  4. A Prayer for Owen Meany
  5. A Separate Peace
  6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  7. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  8. The Alchemist
  9. Alex Cross Mysteries**
  10. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  11. Americanah
  12. And Then There Were None
  13. Anne of Green Gables
  14. Another Country
  15. Atlas Shrugged
  16. Beloved
  17. Bless Me, Ultima
  18. The Book Thief
  19. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  20. The Call of the Wild
  21. Catch-22
  22. The Catcher in the Rye
  23. Charlotte’s Web
  24. The Chronicles of Narnia
  25. The Clan of the Cave Bear
  26. The Coldest Winter Ever
  27. The Color Purple
  28. The Count of Monte Cristo
  29. Crime and Punishment
  30. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  31. The Da Vinci Code
  32. Don Quixote
  33. Doña Barbara
  34. Dune
  35. Fifty Shades of Grey
  36. Flowers in the Attic
  37. Foundation
  38. Frankenstein
  39. Ghost
  40. Gilead
  41. The Giver
  42. The Godfather
  43. Gone Girl
  44. Gone with the Wind
  45. The Grapes of Wrath
  46. Great Expectations
  47. The Great Gatsby
  48. Gulliver’s Travels
  49. The Handmaid’s Tale
  50. Harry Potter **
  51. Hatchet
  52. Heart of Darkness
  53. The Help
  54. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  55. The Hunger Games
  56. The Hunt for Red October
  57. The Intuitionist
  58. Invisible Man
  59. Jane Eyre
  60. The Joy Luck Club
  61. Jurassic Park
  62. Left Behind
  63. The Little Prince
  64. Little Women
  65. Lonesome Dove
  66. Looking for Alaska
  67. The Lord of the Rings**
  68. The Lovely Bones
  69. The Martian
  70. Memoirs of a Geisha
  71. Mind Invaders
  72. Moby Dick
  73. The Notebook
  74. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  75. Outlander
  76. The Outsiders
  77. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  78. The Pilgrim’s Progress
  79. The Pillars of the Earth
  80. Pride and Prejudice
  81. Ready Player One
  82. Rebecca
  83. The Shack
  84. Siddhartha
  85. The Sirens of Titan
  86. The Stand
  87. The Sun Also Rises
  88. Swan Song
  89. Tales of the City
  90. Their Eyes Were Watching God
  91. Things Fall Apart
  92. This Present Darkness
  93. To Kill a Mockingbird
  94. Twilight
  95. War and Peace
  96. Watchers
  97. The Wheel of Time**
  98. Where the Red Fern Grows
  99. White Teeth
  100. Wuthering Heights

**Denotes a series title


About PBS
PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a new 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on TwitterFacebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.

– PBS –

Atiya Frederick, PBS, 703-739-5147; anfrederick@pbs.org
Liz Sharkey, DKC Public Relations, 212-981-5154; Liz_Sharkey@dkcnews.com

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