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The Great American Read coming back Sept. 11

Top 40 books, so far

(Listed in alphabetical order, not by vote ranking)


A Prayer for Owen Meany

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

And Then There Were None

Anne of Green Gables

Atlas Shrugged

The Book Thief

The Catcher in the Rye

Charlotte’s Web

The Chronicles of Narnia (Series)

The Clan of the Cave Bear

The Color Purple

The Count of Monte

The Da Vinci Code


Gone with the Wind

The Grapes of Wrath

Great Expectations

The Great Gatsby

The Handmaid’s Tale

Harry Potter (Series)

The Help

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hunger Games

Jane Eyre

The Little Prince

Little Women

Lonesome Dove

The Lord of the Rings

Outlander (Series)

The Outsiders

The Pillars of the Earth

Pride and Prejudice


The Stand

To Kill a Mockingbird

Where the Red Fern

Wuthering Heights

BEVERLY HILLS — Book lovers rejoice! PBS’ The Great American Read will return to local PBS stations this fall on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. (check local listings).

Hosted by television personality and journalist Meredith Vieira, The Great American Read is an eight-part series and multi-platform reading initiative that shines a national spotlight on the importance of reading.

Throughout the summer, viewers are being encouraged to read as many books as possible, vote on their favorite works of fiction, and share their thoughts and opinions on social media as part of the most expansive national celebration of books and reading aimed at engaging multi-generational readers across multiple platforms ever created.

To date, almost 2 million votes have been cast in conjunction with The Great American Read. PBS’ Facebook book club dedicated to it has more than 36,000 members, and over 333,000 people have completed the quiz to identify how many of America’s 100 favorite novels they have read.

As part of the campaign, more than two dozen local public television stations across the country have planned over 125 community engagement activities, including book clubs, author appearances and readings, screening events, book-themed family activities and more.

Voting opened with the launch of the two-hour premiere episode on May 22 and continues throughout the summer, leading up to the grand finale on Oct. 23. Viewers are able to vote for their favorite titles at pbs.org/greatamericanread, through hashtag voting via Facebook and Twitter, and through SMS texting using the dedicated book hashtag that can be found here. (https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/about/voting-methods/). In the fall, viewers will also be able to cast their vote toll-free by phone.

The Great American Read will air on the following Tuesday nights this fall:

“Fall Kick Off”

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 8-9 p.m. ET

Join host Meredith Vieira in the search for America’s best-loved novel. The voting is underway, and the competition is heating up – any book could win.

“Who Am I?”

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 8-9 p.m. ET

Explore the ways that America’s best-loved novels answer the age-old question, “Who Am I?” From life lessons to spiritual journeys, these books help us understand our own identities and find our place in the world.


Tuesday, Sept. 25, 8-9 p.m. ET

Follow the trials and tribulations of some of literature’s favorite heroes. From Katniss Everdeen to Don Quixote, examine how the everyday hero and the anti-hero find their inner strength, overcome challenges and rise to the occasion.

“Villains and Monsters”

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 8-9 p.m. ET

Learn why literature’s most notorious villains began behaving badly. Many weren’t born evil, but became that way when faced with some of the same choices we make every day. See what these villains can teach us about our own dark impulses.

“What We Do For Love”

Tuesday, Oct. 9, 8-9 p.m. ET

Fall in love with some of literature’s most beautiful romances and explore the many forms of love, from family to passion to the unrequited type. Learn how America’s best-loved novels reflect the things we do for love.

“Other Worlds”

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET

Take a magical journey to another world through some of America’s best-loved novels. From Middle Earth to Lilliput, the trials and tribulations of these alternate universes help us to better understand our own world.

“Grand Finale”

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 8-9 p.m. ET

America’s best-loved novel is revealed.

Amplifying the on-air and online series content will be a fully illustrated companion book, “The Great American Read: The Book of Books,” which will include information about the 100 novels, author profiles, rare images of original manuscripts and more, plus a foreword by The Great American Read host Meredith Vieira, to be published by Black Dog & Leventhal on Aug. 21.



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