‘Great American Read’ will challenge and engage you

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 22, 2018

Heads up, book junkies: Here’s a new challenge for you and a chance to learn about America’s reading tastes.

“The Great American Read” is an eight-part public television 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 series, set to premiere May 22 on area PBS stations,  features documentary segments, 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 will open online and on social media with the launch of the two-hour premiere episode and continue throughout the summer, leading up to the finale in October 2018.

Over the summer, viewers can vote online and through hashtag voting via Facebook and Twitter. In the fall, viewers will also be able to cast their votes by using SMS and toll-free voting.

Here’s the list, in alphabetical order

“1984” by George Orwell

“A Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole

“A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving

“A Separate Peace” by John Knowles

“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith

“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

“Alex Cross Mysteries” series by James Paterson

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie

“Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery

“Another County” by James Baldwin

“Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison

“Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

“Call of the Wild” by Jack London

“Catch-22” by Joseph Heller

“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger

“Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White

“The Chronicles of Narnia” series by C.S. Lewis

“The Clan of the Cave Bear” by Jean M. Auel

“The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

“The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas

“Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon

“The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown

“Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes

“Doña Barbara” by Romulo Gallegos

“Dune” by Frank Herbert

“Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James

“Flowers in the Attic” by V.C. Andrews

“Foundation” series by Isaac Asimov

“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley

“Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin

“Ghost” by Jason Reynolds

“Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson

“The Giver” by Lois Lowry

“The Godfather” by Mario Puzo

“Gone Girl” by Gillian      Flynn

“Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell

“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck

“Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift

“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

“Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling

“Hatchet” series by Gary Paulsen

“Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad

“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams

“The Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins

“The Hunt for Red October” by Tom Clancy

“The Intuitionist” by Colson Whitehead

“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte

“The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan

“Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton

“Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye/Jerry B. Jenkins

“The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott

“Lonsome Dove” by Larry McMurtry

“Looking for Alaska” by John Green

“The Lord of the Rings” series by J.R.R. Tolkein

“The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold

“The Martian” by Andy Weir

“Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden

“Mind Invaders” by Dave Hunt

“Moby Dick” by Herman Melville

“The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks

“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“Outland” series by Diana Gabaldon

“The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

“The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan

“The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett

“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

“Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier

“The Shack” by Willam P. Young

“Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse

“The Sirens of Titan” by Kurt Vonnegut

“The Stand” by Stephen King

“The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway

“Swan Song” by Robert R. McCammon

“Tales of the City” series by Armistead Maupin

“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston

“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

“This Present Darkness” by Frank. E. Peretti

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

“The Twilght Saga” series by Stephanie Meyer

“War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy

“The Watchers” by Dean Koontz

“The Wheel of Time” series by Robert Jordan

“Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls

“White Teeth” by Zadie Smith

“Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte

To read more about the series, take a quiz about the books and more, visit http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/