Great American Read List discussion

The Great American Read: The Book of Books: Explore America's 100 Best-Loved Novels
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message 1: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 13, 2018 10:55AM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
The Great American Read: The Book of Books: Explore America's 100 Best-Loved Novels is available for pre-order and scheduled for release on August 21st. It is offered both as hardcover and ebook. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play all list the ebook for $16.99. Hardcover copies range from $23.99 (Amazon), $25.91 (Barnes & Noble), and $29.99 (Shop PBS).

The Great American Read The Book of Books Explore America's 100 Best-Loved Novels by PBS

Prices listed are current as of June 25, 2018 and subject to change.

If you should decide to pre-order, I recommend the hardcover format, because the overview states "Beautifully designed with rare images of the original manuscripts, first-edition covers, rejection letters, and other ephemera."

I've pre-ordered a copy. Please don't feel obligated to purchase this book, but for those that would like to discuss it—feel free to do so here.


message 2: by Lavan, moderator (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Loretta wrote: "Lavan wrote: "The Great American Read: The Book of Books: Explore America's 100 Best-Loved Novels is available for pre-order and scheduled for release on August 21st. It is offered ..."

You're most welcome, Loretta!

I'm not sure. Perhaps it was an afterthought. Maybe after the premiere aired and PBS saw how many Americans are participating through Facebook, GoodReads, etc. they realized that a book like this would sell well.
Although I hadn't heard anything about it. I happened to see that a member added it to her to-read shelf.
Advertising might begin once the release date is closer. I'm surprised GR isn't advertising it already.

I think it will make a good companion for our group, albeit a bit late!


message 3: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 24, 2018 07:17PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
It's here! The Great American Read: The Book of Books: Explore America's 100 Best-Loved Novels arrived today. My hardcover is 259 pages. The contents include:

Foreword by Meredith Vieira
Introduction
● 2 pages per list book/series—1 of photos and 1 with information
Once Upon a Time—The Best First Lines in Literature
Talk the Talk—Important Literary Terms
All Personality—The Most Compelling Characters
Another Day, Another Dollar—Writers with Day Jobs
#RebelReader—Frequently Banned Books
"When It Is Finished, You Are Always Surprised"—Writers' Daily Habits & Rituals
From Page to Stage and Screen—The Best Adaptations
Libraries to Long For—First Editions and Outstanding Collections
Predictive Text—Technology and the Real, Imagined World of Books
"What's the Use of a Book Without Pictures?"—The Impact of Illustrations
If You Like ... —What's Your Next Read?
Boring, Strange, and Just Not Good—Sometimes the Most Loved Books Don't Get Any Love
A Sense of Place—Sensational Settings
By Design—Compelling Covers
In a Manner of Speaking—Neologisms, Portmanteaux, and New Languages
Mothers, Lovers, and BFFs—Relationships Among Writers
"There Are Better Ways to Starve to Death"—Writers on Writing
How to Read a Literary Text
The Great American Read: 100 Books by Release Year
The Great American Read: 100 Books by Genre
On Devices—websites
In Person—book festivals, everyday literature, literary tourism, public libraries worth a visit, writers' houses and museums


message 4: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 30, 2018 02:51PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
So far, I've read twelve sections:

Foreword
Introduction
Once Upon a Time—The Best First Lines in Literature
The Sirens of Titan
Talk the Talk—Important Literary Terms
Siddhartha
All Personality—The Most Compelling Characters
Ghost
Another Day, Another Dollar—Writers with Day Jobs
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
#RebelReader—Frequently Banned Books
"When It Is Finished, You Are Always Surprised"—Writers' Daily Habits & Rituals

I want to share my thoughts thus far for any members who are considering purchasing this book.

Overall, I'm disappointed. As mentioned in my last post, there is only one page of information provided for each of the 100 list books. Focusing on that for a moment—what is presented is nothing that cannot be attained through a quick Google search. Actually, an internet search would benefit you far more than this book.

In each page allotted per book there is a summary included of that story or series; a simple summary that contains spoilers (keep that in mind so you don't ruin a book/series you've not had the chance to read yet).

In my opinion, it would have been better if PBS focused on the actual books than the filler topics. I would have liked 4-6 pages for each GAR selection.

Of the four list books I did read about (The Sirens of Titan, Siddhartha, Ghost, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) I wasn't impressed, with the exception of the last. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was presented well. The page for Siddhartha, however, was poorly done. It seemed like the writer either hadn't read the book or hadn't in a very long time.

I didn't care for any of the other eight parts I've read so far, except "When It Is Finished, You Are Always Surprised"—Writers' Daily Habits & Rituals. That was interesting.

That is my honest opinion at the moment. If it should change as I continue I'll be sure to let you know!


message 5: by Tasha (last edited Aug 30, 2018 04:10AM) (new)

Tasha Oh no! I definitely appreciate your comments as I thought, right before reading your post, that it might be fun to get the book now that I'm making my way through the list. I'm not even going to see if my library has it as the book contains spoilers. ugh.


message 6: by Lavan, moderator (last edited Aug 30, 2018 04:34PM) (new)

Lavan Zerach | 498 comments Mod
Tasha wrote: "Oh no! I definitely appreciate your comments as I thought, right before reading your post, that it might be fun to get the book now that I'm making my way through the list. I'm not even going to se..."

I don't know why this book includes spoilers. Overviews would have been a better choice. Why PBS assumed that readers have read all 100 books and series and wouldn't mind being given an oversimplified narrative of everything interesting that happens is beyond me.

If I were to rate it right now It'd be 2 stars. I hope I feel differently once I've read it in its entirety.


message 7: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Your rating sounds reasonable.


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