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message 1: by Jax (last edited May 29, 2018 07:47PM) (new)

Jax | 984 comments On Tuesday, PBS aired a special launching a campaign to encourage reading and revealed 100 favorite novels that we can vote on to pick the ultimate favorite announced in the fall. The 100 were chosen in a "demographically representative national survey", but I'm not sure how they selected people to participate in the survey or how many people were polled.

Authors, celebrities & ordinary readers named or discussed their choices as the books were revealed. Here's the list: pbs.org/greatamericanread. Voting is open until October 18. You can register to vote online or use official hashtags for each book to vote on Facebook or Twitter. As I understand it, you can vote for multiple books but only one vote per book each day. So you can vote for ten books, but not ten times for the same book on the same day.

I've read 24 books on the list and DNF 2 others. I'm not good at making those 'what would you take if you were stranded on a deserted island?' choices. I've loved several of these books for different reasons & at different times in my life. It's too hard to compare them! And of course I can think of many others I wish were on this list. Maybe someday I'll try to make a personal top 100 list. At least a top 25.

How many have you read? Do you see any you'll vote for? What books do you wish were on the list?


message 2: by Aussie54 (new)

Aussie54 | 322 comments Oh, that list and video aren’t available to those of us not in the US or Canada. I was interested to see what books were listed.


message 3: by Jax (last edited May 26, 2018 07:41AM) (new)


message 4: by Aussie54 (last edited May 26, 2018 01:13PM) (new)

Aussie54 | 322 comments Thanks, what an eclectic list. I think I’ve read about 14 of them, which is a bit sad, since I’m a real book worm. I have read the first books of a couple of the series mentioned, perhaps they can count as half reads?

Hard to say which is my favourite ... “Rebecca” is one that I’ve read the most often, along with “And then there were None”. I loved “Anne of Green Gables” and “Jane Eyre” when I was young, and “Tales of the City” when I was older. The Harry Potter series changed my life, though, so perhaps I’d have to give that the number one spot.


message 5: by Octobercountry (new)

Octobercountry | 1169 comments Mod
That list is a bit random, to be sure. I've read 22 of the titles listed, which I guess isn't very impressive!

I have to admit there are a LOT of classics I should have read, but haven't---a number of them are on this list. However, at this stage of my life I'm pretty much only reading escapist fare---lots of fantasy and paranormal stuff. Yeah, perhaps not too impressive on an intellectual level, but good to help take my mind off the crapfest that is American politics at this point in time.


message 6: by batchelorboy55 (last edited May 26, 2018 06:12PM) (new)

batchelorboy55 | 9 comments Aussie54 wrote: "Oh, that list and video aren’t available to those of us not in the US or Canada. I was interested to see what books were listed."
BBC have recently published this one...
http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/2018...

edited: oops, this list is not
US based sorry!


message 7: by Jax (new)

Jax | 984 comments Octobercountry wrote: "help take my mind off the crapfest that is American politics at this point in time"

I hear you! I need the escape of reading more than ever but I'm losing a lot of reading time too because I can't clear my head & I'm checking news and Twitter too much. I need the comfort of commiserating w/like-minded people online just to not feel crazy but it eats a lot of my free time.


message 8: by Jax (new)

Jax | 984 comments batchelorboy55 wrote: "BBC have recently published this one...
http://www..."


That's a more scholarly list but I've actually read one in their top 10! One Hundred Years of Solitude is also on the PBS list.


message 10: by Aussie54 (new)

Aussie54 | 322 comments Octobercountry wrote: "That list is a bit random, to be sure. I've read 22 of the titles listed, which I guess isn't very impressive!

I have to admit there are a LOT of classics I should have read, but haven't---a numb..."


Yes, mostly escapist fare for me as well. That's why I often re-read some of my favourites ... comfort reads that I know well, and that leave me feeling reasonably happy. I'm like you and Jax - I find the state of affairs makes me so angry at times that I need a great deal of escapism, just to cope with every day life.


message 11: by Aussie54 (new)

Aussie54 | 322 comments batchelorboy55 wrote: "Aussie54 wrote: "Oh, that list and video aren’t available to those of us not in the US or Canada. I was interested to see what books were listed."
BBC have recently published this one...
http://www..."


That was an interesting list, too. I've not heard of many of those books. I have read eight, I think. I'm not sure whether I've read some of the old children's classics, for example Alice in Wonderland, or just know it because it was a Disney film. (The same applies to Romeo and Juliet ... not sure I've ever read the play, but have seen the 1968 movie.)


message 12: by Jax (new)

Jax | 984 comments I don't hang on to books anymore. Didn't have room when the kids lived at home & now I've gotten in the habit of passing them on to other people. But I did keep my copy of To Kill A Mockingbird. I read it in 6th grade which was 1972-73 and I was 12. It was the first time I remember thinking that books were powerful things.

ToKillAMockingbird1 photo IMG_3329_zpsw3cpsx1u.jpg

ToKillAMockingbird2 photo IMG_3331_zpsvfjpamjz.jpg


message 13: by Aussie54 (last edited May 28, 2018 03:34PM) (new)

Aussie54 | 322 comments Jax wrote: "I don't hang on to books anymore. Didn't have room when the kids lived at home & now I've gotten in the habit of passing them on to other people. But I did keep my copy of To Kill A Mockingbird. I ..."

That looks like a well read/loved copy, Jax.

I'm a real hoarder, and have kept most of my books. Unfortunately my 1960's and 1970's paperbacks are almost unreadable now. The print is tiny and the pages are yellowed. The bindings are wearing thin.

I've been replacing my Georgette Heyer's with Kindle versions when they come up as specials, which gives the added bonus of being able to buy a cheap version of the audible book.


message 14: by Octobercountry (new)

Octobercountry | 1169 comments Mod
Aussie54 wrote: "I've been replacing my Georgette Heyer's with Kindle versions when they come up as specials, which gives the added bonus of being able to buy a cheap version of the audible book. "

Heh, I've been doing the same thing! I have all the Heyer Regency novels on my shelf (am not all that interested in her historicals or the mysteries). But with my eyesight getting worse, I find it's so much easier to read on the Kindle, and I've been buying the eBook versions whenever they come up on sale.


message 15: by Aussie54 (new)

Aussie54 | 322 comments Octobercountry wrote: "Aussie54 wrote: "I've been replacing my Georgette Heyer's with Kindle versions when they come up as specials, which gives the added bonus of being able to buy a cheap version of the audible book. "..."
Yes, Kindles are great for people like us with deteriorating eyesight. You can make the font clearer and larger, and the backlight is very helpful, too. :)


message 16: by Octobercountry (last edited May 29, 2018 11:55PM) (new)

Octobercountry | 1169 comments Mod
Aussie54 wrote: "You can make the font clearer and larger, and the backlight is very helpful, too. :) ..."

Yep, I love my paperwhite! Don't have to bother with reading glasses when using the Kindle, while I have to use the glasses when reading almost any paper book, nowadays....

While I wouldn't pay $10.00 (give or take a dollar or two) for the Kindle versions of these Heyer Regency titles (since I already own them in paper form), when they come up for sale for $1.99 I'm more than happy to re-purchase.

Edited to add---just out of curiosity, I checked out the Heyer listings on Amazon a few moments ago, and while most of the Kindle titles run about $10.00, I noticed that Cotillion was listed at just $2.99. So I thought why not, and purchased it. Haven't read it for ages; will do a re-read very soon.


message 17: by Aussie54 (new)

Aussie54 | 322 comments Octobercountry wrote: "Aussie54 wrote: "You can make the font clearer and larger, and the backlight is very helpful, too. :) ..."

Yep, I love my paperwhite! Don't have to bother with reading glasses when using the Kindl..."

Lucky you! Unfortunately it’s full price on the Aussie Amazon site. I’ll keep checking, though, in case it shows up at a discount price.


message 18: by Octobercountry (new)

Octobercountry | 1169 comments Mod
Aussie54 wrote: "Lucky you! Unfortunately it’s full price on the Aussie Amazon site. I’ll keep checking, though, in case it shows up at a discount price...."

Couldn't resist, started my re-read of "Cotillion" last night before bedtime---it's quite amusing. And you know, I'm just about positive that Freddy is gay, even if he doesn't know it himself! It just seems so obvious to me, during this re-read....

If you're ever in a Heyer mood, some fun discussion of her Regency stories can be found on the Tor site, of all places:

https://www.tor.com/tags/georgette-he...


message 19: by Aussie54 (last edited May 30, 2018 04:55PM) (new)

Aussie54 | 322 comments Octobercountry wrote: "Aussie54 wrote: "Lucky you! Unfortunately it’s full price on the Aussie Amazon site. I’ll keep checking, though, in case it shows up at a discount price...."

Couldn't resist, started my re-read of..."


It's been a while since I read that, but maybe Freddy is gay. I think two of his friends definitely are, if I remember rightly. :)

Thanks for the link. I follow a Georgette Heyer group on Facebook, which is sometimes interesting. People do post a fair bit though, with often the same conversation popping up now and then. Not sure if you're on Facebook? If so, here's the link to that: https://www.facebook.com/groups/22109...

ETA: Oh, maybe I'm mistaking Freddy's friends for another character's friends in a different book? I'm sure I've read fan fiction about their friendship, but can't find it on Archive of Our Own.

Second ETA: Yes, I was thinking about Gil and Ferdy from "Friday's Child".


message 20: by Aussie54 (new)

Aussie54 | 322 comments Mymymble wrote: "Aussie54 wrote: "Octobercountry wrote: "Aussie54 wrote: "Lucky you! Unfortunately it’s full price on the Aussie Amazon site. I’ll keep checking, though, in case it shows up at a discount price...."..."

I'll have to check that out. I don't go to Live Journal much these days. It used to be my all day hangout, but it just up and died. :(


message 21: by Jax (last edited Jun 05, 2018 10:46AM) (new)

Jax | 984 comments I noticed that 3 of the books I've read from this list won the Pulitizer Prize for Fiction (The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, Gilead, and To Kill a Mockingbird), which had me wondering if anything else on the list had won and just how many other PP winners I've read.

Looks like the other winners on this PBS list are: The Color Purple, A Confederacy of Dunces (which I tried but could not finish), & Lonesome Dove.

Overall I've read 13 PP winning novels and 5 books that were finalists. But I haven't read anything that's won since 2008. I never read a book because it had won a Pulitzer. Often I read it before it had won or just didn't know that it had. But I did have a decent streak between 1989 and 2008 where I read 11 out of the 20 awarded.

There's no doubt that my reading has gotten less literary over the years. Not sure why, exactly. Hope my brain isn't turning to mush!


message 22: by Emilie (new)

Emilie (neyronrose) | 456 comments Interesting. I'd read more than twenty of the books, but there were at least a couple of dozen I know I just wouldn't read for one reason or another. I had heard of most of the books, and knew some were horror, or otherwise gory and violent, and that's not my thing. The "Left Behind" series is religious, and I'm not religious. Even if I were, I wouldn't be religious in that way.

I've seen a number of e-book authors who write BDSM post about how "Fifty Shades of Grey" is really bad BDSM, and the books themselves are generally not well written. The author originally learned about BDSM from fan fiction. There is good fan fiction, but some is written by people who aren't that well informed on a subject. I know BDSM lifestyles are popular in e-books, and I've read some BDSM romances, but, again, not my thing. I can appreciate some as being well-written from a technical standpoint, and having sympathetic characters, but I can't offhand think of one of those books with a Dominant man and Submissive woman that I've liked. Not a dynamic I like to read.

Some of the books on the list, or the series, are really long. Dad's read the Wheel of Time series, but I get intimidated just looking at the physical space piles of enormous books take up. I read long books in the past, and still can now on occasion, but mostly now it's novellas. If I start reading something and get interrupted a lot, I may not get back to it. It doesn't mean it wasn't a good book, necessarily. My attention was taken away from it too often, and I've probably gone on to something else.

Dad has quite the collection of 1960s science fiction. I think at least some was sent to him as reading material when he was in Viet Nam. I read many of those when I was in my teens or so, and then discovered science fiction and fantasy books written by women, in which (broadly generalizing) the characters tended to have more feelings. I was all right reading about feelings in books.

My brother sometimes tries to figure out what I'd want to read, and will give me literary fiction. I find a good bit of literary fiction to be boring and/or depressing. If I wanted to see unpleasant people doing boring things, I have real life for that. Give me sympathetic characters doing interesting things, and I'll read that.

I get upset with books where sympathetic characters are killed off. The Harry Potter series increasingly upset me that way, and the Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire) series kills off dozens and dozens of characters along the way, some Sookie was friends with or cared a lot for. My brother reads a series with a serial killer protagonist -- not for me. I got upset when Suzanne Brockmann's Seal Team Sixteen/Troubleshooters series had parts of books from the viewpoints of serial killers thinking about how they'd enjoy torturing and killing characters. Don't want to be projected into that kind of mind.

I'll read non-fiction medical books, or military history, and be all right, but books like that don't put me in the point of view of someone who is enjoying gore or horror. I can read non-fiction about people living in bad situations, but I don't like fictional dystopias. Again, real life is depressing enough.

I'll read gardening books, and books about various soft sciences. I don't read as much non-fiction as fiction, but it's not uncommon for me to read a non-fiction book.

I'm sure some people voting on their favorite book will be highly motivated to vote a lot, especially for popular modern fiction books. I wrote about my own tastes in books. Some on the list simply aren't to my taste.


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