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Footnotes 2017-2018 > The Great American Read

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message 1: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8431 comments Joanne wrote: "Anyone else going to follow the Great American on PBS stations? If you would like to find out more here is a link http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american..."

I am not in agreement with some of the books chosen, but the concepts intrigues me, so I thought I would would share


message 2: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments I was planning to watch. My understanding was the initial list came from a random survey. When you consider that the average American reads less than 10 books a year, it’s not that surprising that some very popular books are on the list because they get media attention.


message 3: by Joni (new)

Joni | 625 comments It's funny that I open up Goodreads in order to post about this topic....You beat me to it. :)

I plan on following. I work in a public library and I just set up a display for The Great American Read. Technically, it's more than 100 books when you consider all the books in each series listed. So I have 11 books total....but that doesn't count the books in each series that I have started.


message 4: by Joanne (last edited May 07, 2018 10:21AM) (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8431 comments Joni wrote: "It's funny that I open up Goodreads in order to post about this topic....You beat me to it. :)


Great minds think alike! Good to see someone else found it interesting enough to mention!


message 5: by punxsygal (new)

punxsygal | 290 comments Definitely plan on following.


message 6: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5159 comments Ugh - 50 Shades of Grey and The Shack among "the best"?


message 7: by Anita (last edited May 08, 2018 03:48AM) (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6749 comments Thanks for sharing this! It looks interesting, though some of the selections are definitely amusing. I've read 54 of them. There's a few others I'd be interested in reading and a few I've actually not heard of!

I signed up for the notifications from the website . . .curious what they do with this. I like the idea.


message 8: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6406 comments I've read 68 .... and there are some real stinkers on this list!


message 9: by JoLene (last edited May 08, 2018 10:22AM) (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments I think over the course of the summer that anyone who wants to can vote. I’m not sure what the actual PBS program will be about.


message 10: by Anita (last edited May 08, 2018 08:26AM) (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6749 comments JoLene wrote: "I think over the course of the summer that anyone who wants to can vote. I’m. It sure what the actual PBS program will be about."

For some reason I can't see where to vote . . .I'd like to contribute to that! It looks to me like they used a polling service to do that voting.


message 11: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8431 comments Anita wrote: "JoLene wrote: "I think over the course of the summer that anyone who wants to can vote. I’m. It sure what the actual PBS program will be about."

For some reason I can't see where to vote . . .I'd ..."


Voting will take place through out the summer I believe, once the PBS Series begins on May 22nd.


message 12: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments They used a polling service to get to the initial list of 100 books. Then there is going to be a program on PBS starting on May 22. I think that the voting that everyone can participate in will start then.

The polling service picked 7000 random people. This is why the list is skewed to some popular but not necessarily literary books.


message 13: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6749 comments JoLene wrote: "They used a polling service to get to the initial list of 100 books. Then there is going to be a program on PBS starting on May 22. I think that the voting that everyone can participate in will sta..."

Oh, I see! Well I've added my name to the mailing list, so hopefully I'll stay apprised. That sounds like fun.


message 14: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6886 comments I've read 60. I was surprised by some of the choices, because I don't consider them great. Many of them were popular though and there are many great books on the list.


message 15: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 9079 comments Well, for people asking how certain books made it on the list, it was a poll, so there you go! Popular books.


message 16: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 9079 comments And, oh! Just under 50%! I've read 49!


message 17: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments Yes, when you consider it was a random poll, and the average American reads less than 7 books a year, you are likely to get popular books because those are the ones that non-readers have heard of.


message 18: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3682 comments JoLene wrote: "Yes, when you consider it was a random poll, and the average American reads less than 7 books a year, you are likely to get popular books because those are the ones that non-readers have heard of."

I read at least 1 book / month, and I consider myself an avid reader, but someone asked me what is my favorite book and I was like "erm... uuuuuuuuuuhhh, duuh, Of Mice And Men?"

I mean, I liked it, but not that much.

I feel so much pressure to pick something timeless, classic, not younger than a few years... So, if people are like me, there could be a bit of that mindset too.


message 19: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8431 comments I feel like a slug here...only checked off 25. But, when I went back and looked, there are just a lot of them I would not pick-up. So, maybe not a slug, just a little picky about what I read.


message 20: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1238 comments I’ve read 80. Some of them weren’t great. And several of the ones that I haven’t read aren’t going to find their way to my shelf anytime soon!


message 21: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5159 comments My count is 40.


message 22: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments I've read 34 on this list, not counting each individual book in a series.


message 23: by Kelly (new)

Kelly | 848 comments I have read 35. I agree with some of you that there are some on the list I am not interested in reading.


message 24: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments I’ve read 50, including some of the not so great (Flowers in the Attic) which was all the rage when I was young. There are a few that I have on my TBR and a couple that I know I won’t read or tried and DNF.


message 25: by Jgrace (last edited May 11, 2018 08:55AM) (new)

Jgrace | 3112 comments I've read 51. As Jolene says, there are some I want to read and others that don't tempt me a bit.


message 26: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3682 comments Counted them up at lunch, too embarrassed to share there were so few :(

Another reading challenge to add to my list!


message 27: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7473 comments JoLene wrote: "I was planning to watch. My understanding was the initial list came from a random survey. When you consider that the average American reads less than 10 books a year, it’s not that surprising that ..."

Actually, many of the popular books in pbt also have received a lot of media attention or big reviews.

I can't say how many times I've read an excellent, lesser known contemporary work and seen that it never takes off because of the lack of attention even after posting good reviews. Have any of you found the same thing? Some of these are American, some not, but it's that idea. Some are even award winners, but people don't add them or get around to them.

Take a look at our top 100 picks--most are well known books that have been or are big hits and popular, but there are other excellent books that don't get onto the biggest hits, and some big hits really aren't very well written at all.


message 28: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments So, the Great American Read TV series started last night. The show has many authors, actors and some regular people talking about their favorite books.

The voting is now open to the public and everyone can vote once per day through October.


message 29: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6749 comments Thanks for the heads up JoLene! I recorded it . . .


message 30: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9372 comments I’ve read 42. But like 5 or 6 of them in the last year or two, which I found interesting.


message 31: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3682 comments Completely spaced this! I hope it is on demand. (I would assume it is or will replay again)


message 32: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments Here is the link to PBS website where you can stream the episode.

http://www.pbs.org/video/launch-speci...


message 33: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3682 comments Thank you!


message 34: by Anita (last edited May 23, 2018 06:40AM) (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6749 comments Anyone care to discuss their vote? I'm torn between The Grapes of Wrath, Rebecca, and The Stand.

I went with The Stand for my first vote, but I may rotate them around.

Invisible Man is also tempting.


message 35: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments Anita wrote: "Anyone care to discuss their vote? I'm torn between The Grapes of Wrath, Rebecca, and The Stand.

I went with The Stand for my first vote, but I may r..."


I'm torn also. I am going to start with The Outsiders because it had such a huge effect on me. I will switch my vote around some too I guess.


message 36: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5159 comments I'm torn between Lord of the Rings and To Kill a Mockingbird. But first time around I voted for all my favorites.


message 37: by Chili (new)

Chili Hanson (chilipinkcat) | 110 comments We can vote for more than one? I went with To Kill A Mockingbird.


message 38: by Anita (last edited May 23, 2018 07:02AM) (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6749 comments Chili wrote: "We can vote for more than one? I went with To Kill A Mockingbird."

You can't vote for more than one per day, but you can vote once a day!

At least that was my interpretation of the rules . . .


message 39: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6749 comments annapi wrote: "I'm torn between Lord of the Rings and To Kill a Mockingbird. But first time around I voted for all my favorites."

Lol, somehow I missed TKAM . . .a very worthy choice as well. Tough call.


message 40: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8431 comments My first vote went to Lord of The Rings. I watched last nights program, and am pretty happy to say that some books I thought I would never read may be added to my TBR shelf. Only goes to show you how someone's passion can change minds! The Count of Monte Crisco has been on my physical book shelf for close to 30 years-this is the summer I will read it :)


message 41: by annapi (last edited May 23, 2018 07:12AM) (new)

annapi | 5159 comments I thought you could vote for several. I did so and nothing stopped me...but as the days wind down I will be throwing my vote to my top favorites.


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

annapi wrote: "Ugh - 50 Shades of Grey and The Shack among "the best"?"

How can that even be on the list?


message 43: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments You can vote for more than 1


message 44: by Cynda (last edited May 23, 2018 08:09AM) (new)

Cynda  (cynda) I have read 43 books. Would like to read a few more, but am okay of I never read anymore than the 43.


message 45: by Sue (last edited May 23, 2018 08:30AM) (new)

Sue | 1403 comments I read 38.

Some of these books are among my all time favorites, and others I'm surprised to see on a "best" list.

I didn't realize we could vote on these books - I'll have to go back and re-read the website.

ETA: I went back and voted.

I voted for The Stand, which was the first book I ever stayed up all night to finish.

A close second for me was Their Eyes Were Watching God - and all-time favorite for me.


message 46: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments So, the initial list of 100 were picked by a poll of 7000 random people. These people were not necessarily considered “readers” which I think is how many popular, but not necessarily great works of literature may have gotten on the list. As an example, I think that many of my generation (50’s) probably read Flowers in the Attic and due to its subject matter, it is memorable, but if this people didn’t read much else in their lifetime, this book would stand out.

My impression was that you could only vote for 1 book a day, but it would be nice to vote for multiples. My first vote went to A Prayer for Owen Meany which has been a favorite of mine for many years.


message 47: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments I voted for more than 1 today.


message 48: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6749 comments Jason wrote: "I voted for more than 1 today."

You did?? Okay, I'll try that tomorrow . . .it wasn't obvious to me that you could do that.


message 49: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6749 comments Sue wrote: "I read 38.

Some of these books are among my all time favorites, and others I'm surprised to see on a "best" list.

I didn't realize we could vote on these books - I'll have to go back and re-read ..."


YAY, Sue, for The Stand! Also a long standing favorite of mine that I read at a young age and have actually re-read, and I still loved it.


message 50: by Doughgirl5562 (new)

Doughgirl5562 | 816 comments I intend to split my votes between To Kill a Mockingbird, The Stand, The Great Gatsby and Outlander series. Really, I rank each of these about the same personally.

I may also throw a few votes to The Color Purple, The Hunger Games, The Lord of the Rings and Pride and Prejudice. LOTR and P&P would have been higher on my list if they were written by Americans.

Glad to see so many people ranking The Stand high in their votes. It's Stephen King's masterpiece IMO.

What I find interesting is that - for the books that are in a series - they are asking you to vote for the SERIES - not just the first book. Some might write off the first book in the Outlander series as a romance (and I will totally argue with you on that), but it's really just the first book in an epic series that deals with so many issues I could practically write a book about that subject alone (and some people have LOL).


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