The Great American Read List

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So I caught the PBS opening special about The Great American Read. The idea is to do a few themed episodes showcasing the 100 top voted books in the country. They chose the books through a voting system and now they are looking to narrow it down to the top book in America.

I found it interesting that I didn’t know a handful of these books. I also have only read a handful as well. I thought it would be interesting to think about the books I think should win.

I love this idea, having people go through a list and vote on the book that speaks most to them. Books change our lives in so many different ways. They can wake you up, they can break your heart and help you find a new way to grow. They can be the thing that changes your way of thinking. Books open so many paths.

After going through this list I have an idea of the top three books I think should win this. The first being Harry Potter of course. I have gone on and one about my love and adoration for this series. I have done numerous posts about the way this series has shaped my life. I would love to see this series win.

Second I would chose The Giver. This book is my second favorite book of all time. It is unique and fascinating. A world where there is no pain, no emotion, no memories. Watching the main character wake up, watching the world around him become something more is fascinating. It is short but it is powerful. For a world that is forgetting what it means to be human this is an important book.

Last I would pick The Outsiders. I remember this being one of those books that just hit me square in the chest when I read it. It was one of the first books where I saw male friends becoming family. You saw the emotional side of these friends and these guys, something you rarely see. I loved the intense emotion of this book.

On another note there are two books on this list I think should not have even made it on here. The first being Fifty Shades of Grey. I read the series, more out of curiosity than anything. While I didn’t hate it, it definitely does not deserve to be considered a “great read.” It has zero substance and perpetuates a lot of negative things.

Second I do not see why Twilight is on here. I read that series, I loved it at one time. It is a fun read. It is perfect to escape into and help boost the YA genre. But it doesn’t hold any real substance or life changing aspect to it.

I thought it would be interesting and fun to talk about these books. Out of the list which have you read? Which do you think deserve to win this race? (I have starred the books I have read).

I am going to leave the link to their website if you want to learn more or vote.

The Great American Read Book List:

* 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 (series) 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 Joseph Heller

*The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger

* Charlotte’s Web E.B. White

*The Chronicles of Narnia (series) C.S. Lewis

The Clan of the Cave Bear Jean M. Auel

The Coldest Winter Ever Sister Souljah

The Color Purple Alice Walker

The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas6

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 Bárbára Rómulo Gallegos

Dune Frank Herbert

*Fifty Shades of Grey (series) E.L. James

Flowers in the Attic V.C. Andrews

Foundation (series) Isaac Asimov

*Frankenstein Mary Shelley

*A Game of Thrones (series) 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 (series) J.K. Rowling

*Hatchet (series) Gary Paulsen

*Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad

*The Help Kathryn Stockett

*The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams

*The Hunger Games (series) 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 (series) 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 (series) 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 (series) 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 (series) 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

*The Twilight Saga (series) Stephenie Meyer

War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

Watchers Dean Koontz

The Wheel of Time (series) Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

* Where the Red Fern Grows Wilson Rawls

*White Teeth Zadie Smith

Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

 

 

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Posted on September 15, 2018, in Writer's Perspective and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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