THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part PBS series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey). It investigates 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 features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country. It is comprised of a two-hour launch episode in which the list of 100 books is revealed, five one-hour theme episodes that examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, and a finale, in which the results are announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book.
Voting is now open! You can place one vote for each book every day, so go ahead and vote for all of your favorite books!
I love The Giver. I remember my father read it to me as a child. It was the first time I saw him cry.
I read this many years ago and it's one of my favorites. I remember being impatient for the end of my work day so I could get home and read it! Then I would stay up too late reading it. It's the story of the complex, secretive, competitive and dangerous life of a Japanese geisha. I loved learning about this mysterious aspect of Japanese culture and was mesmerized by the engrossing story.
There’s a scene in this book where one character speaks of the quality of a man’s shoe. The idea of looking at someone’s shoes as a way to better understand not only them, but the lives they live and the paths they walk, has stuck with me. The idea will even pop into my head when I meet someone new: I wonder about their shoes.
I read “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” in high school and I vividly remember a scene where our protagonist, Francie, sits in the morning with a hot cup of coffee. She does not drink it, however, and instead chooses to pour it down the drain every day. This stuck with me because it was the first time I really understood the relationship between a character’s small, daily choices and how they can represent a much larger human experience.