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The Great American Read Is Underway on PBS and ThriftBooks Has All 100 Titles

By Beth Clark • July 27, 2018

The Great American Read on PBS

THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part 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 survey¹. 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 is the heart of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational, and community outreach campaign designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books. It features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans, and book lovers across the country. The list of 100 books was revealed in the two-hour launch episode, followed by five one-hour themed episodes that examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, and the results of a nationwide vote to choose America's best-loved book will be announced in the finale. Even if you don't tune in and watch the series, the list of reads is a book-lovers dream blend of classics and modern titles, so here you go.

¹PBS doesn't endorse any of the titles on the top 100 list, so for more information about how they were selected or on the series itself, visit the FAQs.

The First 20 Books

Each title is followed by a hashtag you can use on social media or via SMS to vote for your favorite book if you want to participate in selecting the nation’s best-loved book. You can also vote on the PBS website, or simply let ThriftBooks help you read and build a collection of the 100 best books ever!

  1. 1984 by George Orwell — #VOTE1984
  2. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole — #VOTEDuncesBook
  3. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving — #VOTEOwenMeany
  4. A Separate Peace by John Knowles — #VOTEPeaceBook
  5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith — #VOTEBrooklyn
  6. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain — #VOTESawyer
  7. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho — #VOTEAlchemist
  8. Alex Cross Mysteries (series) by James Patterson — #VOTEAlexCross
  9. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll — #VOTEAlice
  10. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — #VOTEAmericanah
  11. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie — #VOTEAndThen
  12. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery — #VOTEGables
  13. Another Country by James Baldwin — #VOTECountryBook
  14. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand — #VOTEAtlas
  15. Beloved by Toni Morrison — #VOTEBeloved
  16. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya — #VOTEUltima
  17. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak — #VOTEBookThief
  18. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz — #VOTEOscarWao
  19. The Call of the Wild by Jack London — #VOTECallWild
  20. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller — #VOTECatch22

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