The Great American Read Recap


Last night PBS launched a new mini-series called The Great American Read. They have compiled a list of the 100 most popular books in America, and over the course of the summer have asked viewers to vote for their favorite. The winner will be crowned Americas Favorite Book. The 2-hour launch was last night, and they touched on all 100 books. They featured some books over others, interviewing celebrities and authors about their favorite books.

Here are some of the books they featured:

  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Things Fall Apart
  • Harry Potter
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Outsiders
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • The Color Purple
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Dune
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Invisible Man
  • Bless Me, Ultima
  • Tales of the City
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Great Gatsby

I loved listening to people talk about why they love a book and how it impacted their lives, sometimes in huge ways. Because of the show I’ve added several books to my tbr, and I’m itching to re-read a few that I might not have completely understood in my younger years!

The experience of watching The Great American Read was amazing, in part because I got on Twitter and followed the hashtag obsessively. People were live-tweeting, and talking, and encouraging others to vote for their favorites. I loved when people would bring up a book they loved that didn’t make the list. I’d be like, “Oh, yeah, that IS a great book!” If you’re interested in joining the discussion, the hashtag is #GreatReadsPBS. There is also a facebook page where PBS is leading discussions and hosting a book club. Here are a couple of my favorite tweets from the night: (yes, I’m including one of my own, get over it, I’m a freaking genius :P)





While featuring Harry Potter, they interviewed the creator of Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis on YouTube. Guys, I don’t watch a lot of YouTube, but I’m already subscribed on every platform there is to subscribe on. Check out the trailer! (warning, language)


And of course, no bookish discussion can take place without some serious issues coming up. Meredith talked about banned books, the power of books featuring minorities, women having to pretend to be men just to get published, books that we love but have PROBLEMS with the way they represent people, and the power of books to get kids learning. In the fall episodes I hope they are able to go more in-depth on these discussion and issues, because to me personally all of that was way more interesting than listening to yet another person sing the praises of Frankenstein or Stephen King.

Voting will happen all summer long. You can vote for as many different books as you want, and you can vote once a day. If you’re interested (I’m not) you can vote as many times as you like using twitter hashtags. If you’re interested in voting for your favorite book, vote here. I’m voting for The Lord of the Rings and Pride and Prejudice! And I’m so thrilled I get for both and don’t have to try and pick, lol.

My prediction? The winner will either be To Kill a Mockingbird or The Great Gatsby. We’ll have to stay tuned to find out.

Finally, you can watch the launch episode on PBS’s website by clicking here. If you didn’t get a chance to tune in last night, I hope you take the time to watch. It was so worth it!

11 thoughts on “The Great American Read Recap

  1. I’m watching it online right now! It’s making me want to read a bunch of books I hadn’t even considered reading before! I have already voted for LotR and P&P. Also, Jane Eyre, Dune, and One Hundred Years of Solitude, because they are fantastic, too.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. that’s so funny. odd advertising but it seems good! i started it this morning and can’t wait to watch hermione and the quarter life crisis online!

        Liked by 1 person

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