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Great American Reads

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message 1: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth Hardcastle | 166 comments Mod
For the Summer Reading program this year, my new library is focusing on this upcoming PBS program: The Great American Read. It's a list of 100 books deemed by surveys and such to be the favorite novels of the American people. There will be an 8-episode series starting on May 22, and there will be voting all summer long to crown America's favorite novel.

What do you think of the list? There are certainly some shockers on there, most prominently 50 Shades of Grey. How many of them have you read? My count was 31.

(And yes, it is all fiction, Cheryl. Sorry, it wasn't my call.)


message 2: by Anne (new)

Anne | 135 comments Mod
I just did this with another online book group. I’ve read 57. And 50 Shades of Grey is some of the WORST writing I’ve ever encountered. I couldn’t get past that and more than a few pages in to the first one. It is something that a lot of people DID read so...there’s that? Definitely interested to follow the series though.


message 3: by Geoffrey (new)

Geoffrey Nutting | 21 comments I've read 36.

If 50 Shades of Grey was on the list, are we looking at a list of books people know from movies?


message 4: by Geoffrey (new)

Geoffrey Nutting | 21 comments Reading lists:

Take a look at the books on this reading list:
Magical Realism Book List.

Many of the books on the list will fit into your 'Diversity' category -- the Magical Realism genre seems(to me) to be acategory publishers put books in when they don't 'get' the culture (a lot of Latin American magical realism seems that way to me). I can help you prune this list.

Zoe Brooks (the lady who put this list together) writes great reviews(anything in red has a review); she's also an author (I really didn't like her books).

This post may belong in a whole different thread, so feel free to move it.


message 5: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth Hardcastle | 166 comments Mod
Film adaptations may figure into some of the works, but certainly not all of them. There are even a few books on the list I don't recognize.

Look at Ready Player One, though. While it was an entertaining book that may deserve to be on the list on its own merits, the poll was probably taken during a time when people were reading it in preparation for the film's release, thus skewing perception.

Either way, it would certainly be impossible to argue that movies and television do not shape the literary landscape.


message 6: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments I've read 51 of them, tho' I freely confess to not finishing some, like War & Peace or Heart of Darkness, the latter turgid & overwrought in my opinion (probably because I read it in a lit class with a teacher who dragged us thru its "rich symbolism"). And for some authors I would've substituted a different bk by them: Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye for Beloved, for example.
The list is an odd mix of popular books with absolutely no literary distinction: 50 Shades...(ugh), Hunger Games (I loved the series), Twilight, etc, and bona fide classics. As for my favorite, as much as I loved Game of Thrones (and wish to throttle GRR for not finishing it once TV seduced him), I wouldn't call it literature (how many times can an author use the phrase "boiled leather" describing some guy's outfit?!!), have re-read P. & Prejudice twice yearly since high school, love Jane Eyre, adore Harry Potter, I guess my all-time favorite is Lonesome Dove.
And yes. the excellent later tv adaptation with Rob't Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones as Woodrow & Call only made me love it more. Call me shallow...


message 7: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Hammond | 27 comments I got 32, but I read mostly non-fiction. Some, I was not exactly sure if I had read or not - like Alice in Wonderland. I think I read it.


message 8: by Geoffrey (last edited Apr 26, 2018 04:40PM) (new)

Geoffrey Nutting | 21 comments @Lucy: Toni Morrison's Beloved is one of the most unusual books I've ever read (I can't say I thought it was great). I understand your wanting to substitute there.


message 9: by Teresa (last edited Apr 27, 2018 07:07PM) (new)

Teresa | 63 comments I got 61. There are a couple I would not read, Stephen King berieing one. Scary books are not my thing. Not that I haven't read them, but I can't read them before bed as they give me nightmares. I agree with Lucy, Lonesome Dove was fantastic. I remember my Dad telling me to read it and I shrugged and finally there was nothing else to read so I picked it up. I stayed up all night and read. The Twilight series, I don't understand I read one and that was plenty.


message 10: by Readridinghood (new)

Readridinghood | 62 comments Where is the list of the great American reads posted?


message 11: by Anne (new)

Anne | 135 comments Mod
It’s linked in the first post here by Kenny.


message 12: by Readridinghood (new)

Readridinghood | 62 comments I read Kenny’s post on great American reads, but still don’t see the link. Could someone resend it please? Or I can wait till Wednesday. Thanks. Maybe I’m over looking it.


message 14: by Readridinghood (new)

Readridinghood | 62 comments I think I found the link, but haven’t had a real chance look at the list. I will tonight. Thanks Anne!


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