Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge discussion

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2018 Challenge - General > PBS The Great American Read

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message 1: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american...

Anyone trying to read any off this list?

I would love to, but I feel it’s so many books and it comes out so soon! I’ve already read 46 of them but many are quite long - I contemplated trying Atlas Shrugged as an audiobook only to find it’s 63 hours long and that’s probably too long to happen any time soon.


message 2: by Alycia (new)

Alycia (bookhound18) I read 40 something to ... I don't know that I'll try to read anymore before it starts but I am interested to see how it all goes. :)


message 3: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments Yes. I thought when I first heard of it that it would be more like Canada Reads - which is only five books a year. More achievable!


message 4: by Teri (new)

Teri (teria) | 1333 comments I've read 46 of them, and many of the rest are ones I've been meaning to read. But I'm certainly not going to have read them all by October! I should watch the TV series, though. I love hearing people talk about books.


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 249 comments I’ve only read about 15 of them. Not counting the ones labeled series which I’ve only read 1 or 2 of (like Narnia, Lord of the Rings and Outlander). If I just counted first books I’d be closer to 20.

There’s a good variety on there, but there’s quite a few I just don’t think I’d read to completion. I mean Outlander is 8 or 9 books long now right? And they’re 1,000 pages each or so? That’s 25% of my reading for a whole year!

Plus I have to seriously question the quality of a list that tells you to read the whole Twilight saga but only one of Follett’s Pillars of the Earth books.


message 6: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments I wondered about that. Sometimes they list the series, sometimes only one book. It seems to be at random.


message 7: by Taylor (last edited May 18, 2018 06:15AM) (new)

Taylor | 178 comments I think because the books were chosen by national survey that could explain why some list the series and others just list the first book. That could also explain why books like Fifty Shades and Twilight made the list while some other greats have been left off! But I will say that I like that there are a few books thrown in there that aren't crazy large or difficult to read. ie. Charlotte's Web, Twilight, Chronicles of Narnia, etc. Sometimes I think lists like this focus so much on the classics or what people think should be on lists like this that I lose all interest. I think this list is a great mix!


message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 249 comments Yeah that explains it. 50 Shades series- blech. I’d rather get a root canal.


message 9: by Carol (new)

Carol Roote | 116 comments It sounds interesting. I've read 25. Three more are on my list to read for the Popsugar Challenge this year:
The Handmaid's Tale: A book about feminism
One Hundred Years of Solitude: a celebrity book club book
The Stand: A book on the bestseller list in the year I graduate high school (if I get to the advanced prompts that is)


message 10: by Allegra (last edited May 18, 2018 10:32AM) (new)

Allegra | 37 comments Speaking of which, would this list count for Celebrity Book Club prompt? If not, where are folks finding Celeb Clubs--beyond Oprah? Punching random names into GR list/group searches got me nowhere?


Raquel (Silver Valkyrie Reads) | 895 comments Allegra wrote: "Speaking of which, would this list count for Celebrity Book Club prompt? If not, where are folks finding Celeb Clubs--beyond Oprah? Punching random names into GR list/group searches got me nowhere?"

There are several others mentioned in the celebrity book club thread: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 12: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments I’d say this is in the spirit of the prompt. A lot of people mention Emma Watson’s Book club or Reese Witherspoon, both of which have groups here on Goodreads.


message 13: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 407 comments Emma’s is Our Shared Shelf here on Goodreads. The Reece Witherspoon one on here seems to focus on the moderators picks more than Reece’s lately. I follow her bookclub on Instagram as well as Facebook.It’s reecesbookclubxhellosunshine on Instagram. Another one on here is Felicia Day. Her group is Vaginal Fantasy. She’s stepped back a bit lately but you can still find her picks.

I like Reece’s picks and have read a few as well as having a number on my bookshelves ready to go. Particularly enjoyed Erotic Stories for Punjabi Women and of course Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. She has also recommended Little Fires Everywhere among many others.


message 14: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 7046 comments Mod
I don't know if I'm going to watch that tonight or not.

I've read 50 (counting "series" even if I've read just one or two), and I want to read 9. The other 41 books can go jump off a cliff so far as I'm concerned!

It's kind of a boring list, full of a lot of the same books that are always trotted out as "must reads" and just a few fresh and exciting picks (yay for The Intuitionist! One of the few books on the list that I want to read), plus some head scratchers. Such as: Pilgrims Progress? Left Behind?? Really??? I have a hard time believing either of those is really "America's favorite."

And some choices are just odd, like why Looking for Alaska instead of Fault in Our Stars? Is The Stand really America's favorite Stephen King book? (It is actually MY favorite King book, but I've only read about 1/3 of his books and I'm not really a fan of his writing.)


message 15: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 722 comments Did anyone watch last night? I'm intrigued by some of the books I hadn't heard of before, but there are other books I know I won't read. I think one challenge/list at a time is enough for me so I might pick a couple of these for prompts I haven't completed yet, but I don't think I'm on a mission to read them all.

Was the show just one episode? I'm confused about whether the show continues all summer or if it was just this episode as a kick-off to our summer reading?


message 16: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Heather wrote: "Was the show just one episode? I'm confused about whether the show continues all summer or if it was just this episode as a kick-off to our summer reading? "

It's a series. From the PBS website:

It is comprised of a two-hour launch episode in which the list of 100 books is revealed, five one-hour theme episodes that examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, and a finale, in which the results are announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book.

I think I read somewhere that the finale is in October, but I can't find that info now.


message 17: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinmorse) I'm kind of embarrassed, I have only read 17. Although I have read a couple of books from a couple of series but not the whole series.

I don't have PBS as I have Sling TV so I will have to watch online when I have a chance but am very excited about this series.

I need to get working on my reading.


message 18: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 722 comments Thanks, Sara! I found about 3 different ways to get to the list of books, but couldn't find a description of the show. I'm glad I'll have something to watch this summer!


message 19: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Robin wrote: "I'm kind of embarrassed, I have only read 17. Although I have read a couple of books from a couple of series but not the whole series..."

I've only read 37. Some I have started but not finished. Some I intend to read some day. And there's a chunk that I will never, ever read. And I'm ok with that :) Because I know that I have read a lot of other "great American" books besides the ones on the list :)


message 20: by Nadine in NY (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 7046 comments Mod
So did any of us watch? I confess I ... thought about it, and then decided to read a book instead ;-) This must happen to a lot of people. But I'm interested to hear what it's like. Maybe I would like to watch a TV show about reading!!

But, since I never watch tv, I don't know which channel PBS is on my cable! Without my kids home to help me, I'm like a turtle lying upside down on its shell - and my kids were at band practice.


message 21: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments I didn’t, but I’ve found it on Yourube and will watch it later today.


message 22: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments So for a European - what is this show about? (reading obviously, but apart from that)


message 23: by Nadine in NY (last edited May 23, 2018 02:30PM) (new)

Nadine in NY Jones | 7046 comments Mod
Johanne - good question! I don't know either!! We need somebody to watch it and report back :-)

(edited to correct your name! - I PROMISE I typed it correctly, but my phone's "auto-correct" thought it knew better ...)


message 24: by Johanne (new)

Johanne *the biblionaut* | 1301 comments Yeah, but we don't have time, because books (and Goodreads)... ;)


message 25: by Elizabeth A.G. (last edited May 23, 2018 02:53PM) (new)

Elizabeth A.G. | 13 comments Watched "The Great American Read" last evening and find this idea a bit over-reaching. It is great to promote reading and there are many books on the list that are on my TBR list, but I find the voting aspect ill-conceived. The public is supposed to read and vote their favorites and can vote any number of times? Realizing there was some sort of selection process for establishing the list of books, I find the list too long. Also there was no mention of the 5 one-hour theme episodes, only the Finale in the Fall. Will have to check out PBS website for clarification. The hostess, Meredith Vieira also mentioned collaboration with book clubs and libraries, but in checking my library district web, there is no mention of "The Great American Read" activities, at least not yet. I did enjoy the celebrities and authors explain what their favorite books are and why. Book selection is a very personal thing.


message 26: by Sara (new)

Sara | 1508 comments Nadine, I watched a little bit on my lunch break today. I enjoyed listening to George R.R. Martin talk about the influence Tolkien's writing had on him and fantasy as a genre. I loved what he said about killing off characters! Haven't watched that much of the episode yet.


message 27: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments I watched s bit on the PBS website. It’s fine just not terribly compelling. I prefer the Canada Reads format.


message 28: by Heather (new)

Heather (heatherbowman) | 722 comments I was a bit thrown at first, I'll admit. I thought it would be something like their series on the greatest human inventions where they talked about 20 or so inventions each episode. (Was that PBS or History Channel?) I didn't expect all 100 books covered in one episode. I'm interested to see what the rest of the series is like.

I really enjoyed the longer segments where authors and celebrities talked about their favorite books. I don't like all the books featured, but I loved the passion everyone felt for their favorite book.


message 29: by Teri (last edited May 30, 2018 11:53AM) (new)

Teri (teria) | 1333 comments Here's the link to vote for your favorite books. Apparently you can vote every day for many books.

http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american...#

I enjoyed the special. It was fun to listen to people talk about their favorite books.


message 30: by Stacey (new)

Stacey | 404 comments I’ve only read 19 books (not incl subsequent reads in a series whether listed or not).

2 more are on my TBR list

About 5 on the list I started and DNF (it’s rare for me to not finish)

I absolutely hate reading books that aren’t in modern day language, even if I love the story itself.

I’m looking at those stats/tidbits and the list and thinking it’s pretty safe to say that my tastes are just different than the average person! I didn’t love all 19 that I’ve read from the list and some of my lowest rated or least enjoyed books were books that were on lists like these or had a lot of hype surrounding them so I tend to not seek out or really value lists like these when choosing my books! Most of the time I get recommendations from people that know me personally! Also if there’s a book that I LOVED and I’m searching for something new to read I’ll google “books like...” or “books similar to...”


message 31: by Chinook (new)

Chinook | 731 comments Stacey - I think I agree that sometimes reading from a list can result in some stinkers. I read the 1001 books to read before you die list and while it’s given me some of the best books I’ve ever read, it’s also probably some of the worst. That said I feel the 1001 list stinkers usually still teach me something valuable, whereas this list I’m not as convinced.


message 32: by Stacey (last edited Jun 18, 2018 05:16AM) (new)

Stacey | 404 comments Chinook wrote: "Stacey - I think I agree that sometimes reading from a list can result in some stinkers. I read the 1001 books to read before you die list and while it’s given me some of the best books I’ve ever r..."

I would agree with you there, it's nice to challenge yourself sometimes and sometimes you can find things that you never knew you would have enjoyed but I think this list seems to be based on criteria that I don't personally value as much. I wonder if book sales might have influenced this list at all? It would potentially explain why there are so many classic novels here (schools tend to purchase those in bulk for English classes).

Also if you do decide to try this list and you're flexible I would swap This Present Darkness out for The Oath by the same author. The Oath is a much much better story! Also, The Oath is standalone whereas This Present Darkness has a sequel Piercing the Darkness


message 33: by Kenzie (new)

Kenzie | 0 comments I'm working through the Great American Read to an extent. I'm not going to force myself to read a book that genuinely doesn't interest me just for a check mark on a list, but I've already picked up a few new ones that seem like books I'd really enjoy. A lot of bookstores I've seen are doing sales on books from GAR so be sure to check those if there's anything on the list you do want to read.

Also important to remember is that this list was compiled by popularity. I had to look into it when I saw 50 Shades of Garbage on the list and it's the"most loved books in America" which explains a lot, both good and bad.


message 34: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 49 comments Reading from a list has been good for me. I have a tendency to get stuck on an author to the exclusion on all else. This has really helped me expand outside my comfort zone. Yes, some have not been great, but overall it's a great experience.


message 35: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Ellsworth | 157 comments Allegra wrote: "Speaking of which, would this list count for Celebrity Book Club prompt? If not, where are folks finding Celeb Clubs--beyond Oprah? Punching random names into GR list/group searches got me nowhere?"

I used the Reese Witherspoon reading club list. She posts on Instagram. But I think she may be on Goodreads too


message 36: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 407 comments There is a Reece Witherspoon group on here but it’s not actually her. They read Reece’s book as well as their own monthly selections. They are RW Bookclub (unofficial).

On insta her group is reecesbookclubxhellosunshine. She does read some great books.


message 37: by Katia (new)

Katia (drpinkie) | 1 comments I used Emma Watson's book club for my challenge. She tends to slant towards feminist books which helped me find books for two separate prompts this year.

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5...


message 38: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 407 comments Yeah Katia she has some good books. I’m a member of her Bookclub on Goodreads too. Our Shared Shelf.


message 39: by Patricia (new)

Patricia | 48 comments Allegra wrote: "Speaking of which, would this list count for Celebrity Book Club prompt? If not, where are folks finding Celeb Clubs--beyond Oprah? Punching random names into GR list/group searches got me nowhere?"

I am going to use Children of Blood and Bone- it's Jimmy Fallon's summer read.


message 40: by Sara Grace (new)

Sara Grace | 123 comments I'm excited I saw someone on the train reading the book by Sister Souljah, so I'll get a double whammy incentive to read the book as part of The Great American Read and as my book I saw a stranger reading in a public place!

I decided to talk to her about it and she loves it. She didn't even know about The Great American Read so I had an opportunity to share that with her.


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