Take a look at the diverse list of America’s 100 most-popular novels, resources to help spark great book discussions, a quiz about the benefits of reading, the Great American Read TV viewing schedule, a Pinterest board and more.
The project has several components:
» The book list: On the list are 100 novels suggested by a large poll of people across the country.
» A broadcast series: PBS is planning eight programs, the first airing Tuesday, May 22 at 7pm on KERA TV, with the rest to follow in September and October.
The series, hosted by Meredith Vieira, will focus on popular themes in fiction and testimonials from public figures, authors and everyday Americans about their reading tastes and insights.
» Voting: Readers will vote on their favorite novel from the list of 100 books. Beginning with the series launch on May 22, you’ll be able to cast your vote here on this page or on Twitter and Facebook using a hashtag for each book.
The winning book will be revealed October 23 during the series’ last episode. Stay tuned for more details.
» Resources for book discussions: We have pulled together resources to help parents, teachers, librarians, mentors, friends — anyone who loves to read — start discussions about books and reading.
Below is the list of America’s 100 most-loved books, brought to you by The Great American Read. Explore the list — How many have you read?
|1984 – George Orwell
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
A Separate Peace – John Knowles
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
Alex Cross Mysteries** – James Patterson
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
Another Country – James Baldwin
Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
Beloved – Toni Morrison
Bless Me, Ultima – Rudolfo Anaya
The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Díaz
The Call of the Wild – Jack London
Catch-22 – Josheph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White
The Chronicles of Narnia** – C.S. Lewis
The Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M. Auel
Coldest Winter Ever – Sister Souljah
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
Doña Barbara – Rómulo Gallegos
Dune – Frank Herert
Fifty Shades of Grey – E. L. James
Flowers in the Attic – V.C. Andrews
Foundation – Isaac Asimov
Frankenstein – Marry Shelley
Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin
Ghost – Jason Reynolds
Gilead – Marilynne Robinson
The Giver – Lois Lowry
The Godfather – Mario Puzo
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Harry Potter** – J.K. Rowling
|Hatchet – Gary Paulsen
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Help – Katheryn Stockett
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
The Hunt for Red October – Tom Clancy
The Intuitionist – Colson Whitehead
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
The Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan
Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton
Left Behind – Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurtry
Looking for Alaska – John Green
The Lord of the Rings** – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
The Martian – Andy Weir
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Mind Invaders – Dave Hunt
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez
Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
The Outsiders – S. E. Hinton
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
The Shack – WIlliam P. Young
Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
The Sirens of Titan – Kurt Vonnegut
The Stand – Stephen King
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Swan Song – Robert R. McCammon
Tales of the City** – Armistead Maupin
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
This Present Darkness – Frank E. Peretti
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Watchers – Dean Koontz
The Wheel of Time** – Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Where the Red Fern Grows – WIlson Rawls
White Teeth – Zadie Smith
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
**Denotes a series title
Each book title above is linked to an Amazon.com listing. If you’d like to make a purchase after clicking, a portion of the sale benefits KERA.
» Watch The Great American Read trailer
The series explores how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how readers are affected by these stories and what each of the 100 books has to say about the shared human experiences of our diverse nation.
Here’s when to catch the two-hour series launch on KERA channel 13.1:
» Tuesday, May 22, 7pm
» Sunday, May 27, 3am
» Sunday, May 27, 1pm
» Monday, May 28, 2am
Or, watch it online here starting Wednesday, May 23.
• A two-hour premiere on May 22: The two-hour documentary-style episode hosted by Meredith Vieira will reach out across the country to uncover illuminating details about the 100 books, their authors and the people who read and love them.
• One-hour re-launch episode on September 11: After a summer of reading and voting, this will be a faster-paced episode similar to the premiere.
• Five one-hour documentary episodes beginning September 18: These episodes are designed to take a deeper dive into a range of books on the list which, while different in some ways, are connected by common themes. The episodes will also explore how authors approach their craft as they create the characters and storylines reflected in those themes.
• One-hour finale on October 23: As voting draws to a close, this last episode includes a countdown of the top ten favorites; highlights of successes by individual readers, community leaders and outreach programs across the country; and — drum roll! — the announcement of America’s No. 1 most popular novel.
There’s nothing like a great conversation about a good book. Engage your students, family or friends with the help of these printable materials.
Download a PDF filled with discussion prompts along with a trove of summer reading recommendations, TEKS-aligned material from PBS Learning Media, instructions for incorporating The Great American Read into your classroom and more.
How many from the list have you read? Download and print a handy checklist of the 100 most-popular novels here.
The national poll to pick the country’s favorite novel from the list of 100 launches May 22. Meanwhile, test your knowledge on the numbers behind reading’s benefits:
Share clever Great American Read memes or your favorite books from the list.