Friday Book Whimsy: The Great American Read

I consider myself to be an avid reader. There’s never a time when I’m not in process of reading a book. When I used to commute for my job, I always listened to unabridged books on tape. So at that time, I always had at least two books going at all times.

I’m also a fan of PBS, particularly their mysteries. I believe I’ve watched nearly all of the detectives solve hundreds of murders. Inspector Lynch. Inspector Morse. Inspector Lewis.  Inspector  Foyle. Every Agatha Christie from Miss Marple to Hercule Poirot.

And yet. AND YET. I knew nothing about the fact that PBS is sponsoring The Great American Read. Thank goodness for Facebook. It seems when they aren’t busy prying into our private lives, they actually can deliver some worthwhile information. A feed from which I learned about The Great American Read is an example of worthwhile information.

Kicked off late in May, PBS is giving readers the opportunity to vote for what they consider to be America’s Favorite Novel . There was a process out of which came a list of 100 novels. Readers are allowed to vote once each day through October 18, for a book from this list. Ultimately, readers will choose America’s Favorite Book. Ta da!

I enjoyed going down the list to see which books were selected as the top 100. I was surprised by some (50 Shades of Grey?) and nodded my approval of others (Rebecca, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Grapes of Wrath, Little Women). I wondered how certain books could not have been selected (Plainsong, The Good Earth, My Antonia).

Criteria included: only works of fiction, must have been published in English, and only one per author.

Perhaps my biggest surprise was the number of books on the list that I had NOT read. In fact, a quick count told me out of the 100 books, I have only read 37. And I read a lot. I was comforted somewhat by the fact that I had heard of all of the books, and most of the books I haven’t read were by choice. For example, while The Hunger Game series and the Twilight series are undoubtedly good, I have no interest. And Left Behind? Nope.

Take a gander at the links I have included, particularly the link to the 100 novels. How many have you read? I would love to hear your feedback on books chosen, books not chosen, and your personal favorites.

As for me, I have already put a couple of the books I haven’t read on hold at the library!

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