The Great American Read discussion

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message 1: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Aug 09, 2018 03:03PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Two million votes, the top 40 books are identified!

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

1984
A Prayer for Owen Meany
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
And Then There Were None
Anne of Green Gables
Atlas Shrugged
The Book Thief
The Catcher in the Rye
Charlotte's Web
The Chronicles of Narnia (Series)
The Clan of the Cave Bear
The Color Purple
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Da Vinci Code
Dune
Gone with the Wind
The Grapes of Wrath
Great Expectations
The Great Gatsby
The Handmaid's Tale
Harry Potter (Series)
The Help
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hunger Games (Series)
Jane Eyre
The Little Prince
Little Women
Lonesome Dove
The Lord of the Rings (Series)
Outlander (Series)
The Outsiders
The Pillars of the Earth
Pride and Prejudice
Rebecca
The Stand
To Kill a Mockingbird
Where the Red Fern Grows
Wuthering Heights



It makes me happy that ____ made the top 40

It makes me sad that ____ did not make the top 40.


message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I | 4 comments Haha! Yes! No Fifty Shades!


message 3: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Or Mind Invaders, which I thought was even less deserving. Twilight is missing too.

There are some lower rated classics that didn't make it in the top 40. I think some will be sad to see that Moby Dick, Heart of Darkness, and A Separate Peace aren't there. Gulliver's travels isn't there either.

The lowest rated book to make the top 40 was Atlas Shrugged. There is a real division on the pbs facebook site about Atlas Shrugged (I hate it, I love it, fascist!).


message 4: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Aug 09, 2018 03:02PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
0/2 1600-1699:
0/1 1700-1799:
8/14 1800 - 1899: Pride and Prejudice (1813), Count of Monte Cristo (1844) Jane Eyre (1847), Wuthering Heights (1847) , Great Expectations (1860), Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) , Little Women (1968), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

1/2 1900-1909: Anne of Green Gables.
0/0 1910-1919: None
1/4 1920-1929: Great Gatsby
4/5 1930- 1939: Gone with the Wind, Rebeccas, Grapes of Wrath, And then there were none.
3/3 1940 - 1949: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1984, the Little Prince.
5/10 1950 - 1959: Chronicles of Narnia, Catcher in the Rye, Charlotte's Web, LOTR, Atlas Shrugged.
4/8 1960 - 1969: To Kill a Mockingbird, Where the Red Fern Grows, Dune, Outsiders.
2/5 1970-1979: The Stand, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
6/16 1980 - 1989: Clan of the Cave Bear, Color Purple, Lonesome Dove, Handmaid's Tale, A Prayer for Own Meany, Pillars of the Earth.
2/12 1990- 1999: Outlander,. Harry Potter.
4/12 2000 - 2009: The DaVinci Code, Book Thief, Hunger Games, The Help (2009).
0/6 2010 - 2018: None!

Many of the books assigned in schools made the list. None of the newest books made the list.


message 5: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 16 comments Good list!


message 6: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen The list looks pretty solid to me. I have only read a handful of them but looks good. America may be getting it right :)


message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I'm rooting for The Little Prince. :^D


message 8: by Kim (new)

Kim (skullfullofbooks) The Great Gatsby has a fighting chance!

Also, very glad to see the outliers did not get the votes. I might have had a breakdown if Fifty Shades won.


message 9: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Aug 10, 2018 04:35AM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
I was happy that Count of Monte Cristo made the cut, but a little sad that War and Peace did not. I guess people were only voting for books they actually read, rather than books they SAID they read. I heard once that it was the book people were most likely to lie about reading.

I'm happy that some of the popular books in our group made it- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Owen Meany, Lonesome Dove. I might not have read these books this summer if it wasn't for this group.

added:
Oh, and I'm happy Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Sawyer, and Jane Eyre made the cut. I was sure the first two would make it.


message 10: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "The Great Gatsby has a fighting chance!

Also, very glad to see the outliers did not get the votes. I might have had a breakdown if Fifty Shades won."


You wouldn't be the only one!


message 11: by J., Your Obedient Servant (new)

J. (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
Is voting still open for all the books or just the top 40? Might the outliers sneak in?


message 12: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Aug 11, 2018 07:22AM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Sure, voting is open for all the books. Anything could happen. Voting will be open until October 18. Text voting is now open, and phone voting will begin on Sept 11. These methods may broaden the voter pool considerably. Plus books that are highlighted on the show each week might get more votes.

Some teachers might use this as a way to get kids invested in books, and YA books might get more votes come September

What books would you like to see there?


message 13: by J., Your Obedient Servant (new)

J. (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
NancyJ wrote: "Sure, voting is open for all the books. Anything could happen. Voting will be open until October 18. Text voting is now open, and phone voting will begin on Sept 11. These methods may broaden the v..."

I like Gatsby as far as the classics go. I also like Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and Handmaid's Tale.


message 14: by Parker (new)

Parker | 204 comments Of the top 40, I've read 32 of them. I'm incredibly happy that my favourites made it! And echoing others--thank goodness Fifty Shades (of Stupid😉) didn't make it--at least so far. All parts of my body that can be crossed are, hoping it doesn't).


message 15: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Parker wrote: "Of the top 40, I've read 32 of them. I'm incredibly happy that my favourites made it! And echoing others--thank goodness Fifty Shades (of Stupid😉) didn't make it--at least so far. All parts of my b..."

I suspect the committee could have omitted it from the list if they really wanted to, but it did generate some controversy and discussion. Are you still voting to keep your favorites in?


message 16: by Parker (new)

Parker | 204 comments I am when I remember to! (Job hunting takes up much of my time)


message 17: by Diane (new)

Diane I find it interesting that the GAR book that had been rated the highest on Goodreads (The Coldest Winter Ever) - did not make the GAR top 40. Only 27K people rated it though on Goodreads - so it was liked by a mighty few. I still have it on my To Read list...


message 18: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "I find it interesting that the GAR book that had been rated the highest on Goodreads (The Coldest Winter Ever) - did not make the GAR top 40. Only 27K people rated it though on Goodreads - so it wa..."

Me too! I keep looking at it, wondering why more people aren't reading it. No one nominated it for our diversity read. I don't know if it's the title, the cover, the description, or the description of the main character. I keep putting it off, in favor of other (warmer?) books.


message 19: by Diane (new)

Diane NancyJ wrote: "Diane wrote: "I find it interesting that the GAR book that had been rated the highest on Goodreads (The Coldest Winter Ever) - did not make the GAR top 40. Only 27K people rated it though on Goodre..."

Well, I put The Coldest Winter Ever on hold at my library - I'll let you know what I think after I read it!!!


message 20: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 68 comments Sarah wrote: "Haha! Yes! No Fifty Shades!"

Yay!!!! That book could not represent America!

As far as books being the highest rated like The Coldest Winter Ever, you have to look at how many people rated it also. There are only 27K ratings for that vs 649K for The Count of Monte Cristo and 2.4 million for 1984.

Something like 1984 has a bigger chance of a lot of people voting for it. If only 1/4 of the people loved it, there would still be considerably more people voting for it than even read the others.

I'm sad that Their Eyes Were Watching God, Don Quixote and The Picture of Dorian Gray didn't make it.


message 21: by J., Your Obedient Servant (new)

J. (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
NancyJ wrote: "Diane wrote: "I find it interesting that the GAR book that had been rated the highest on Goodreads (The Coldest Winter Ever) - did not make the GAR top 40. Only 27K people rated it though on Goodre..."

I honestly had no idea what it was about and couldn't even begin to know it was a diversity read. It appears to me to be some sort of thriller.

Diane wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "Diane wrote: "I find it interesting that the GAR book that had been rated the highest on Goodreads (The Coldest Winter Ever) - did not make the GAR top 40. Only 27K people rated it t..."

Same! It's in my e-book queue.


message 22: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Aug 12, 2018 02:22PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
I just noticed something that bothers me a little. EVERY book in the top 40 was also a movie or TV series - many in the last decade. I checked imdb.com when I wasn't sure. Partial exception - Owen Meany - there was a film loosely based on the book with a different title (which was disavowed by the author). I never counted the movies or shows based on the list of 100, but it was probably high also.

I hope people are voting for BOOKS they actually read, versus movies they saw. I'd like to say it's just a coincidence, because great books are often made into movies. And some of the movies are very old, or not very good, so it's likely that people truly did read the books. I also know enough about memory and heuristics to know that ads from a movie or show could make a TITLE more familiar and available in your memory. And, films provide images, faces, and sounds, all of which help your brain to bring up the memories. A movie could also serve as an indicator that other people thought the book was good.

Anyway, I hope when people see a title on the list, they think.. "Oh, I should read that book" rather than "Oh, I should see that film."


message 23: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Sue wrote: "
As far as books being the highest rated like The Coldest Winter Ever, you have to look at how many people rated it..."


Good points. When I look at how few ratings there were for some of these books, it makes me wonder how they got enough mentions to make it on the list at all. I also think the books that people were required to read (in school), will have lower average ratings than ones that people chose to read on their own. I always keep this in mind when considering genre books. A mystery (or sci-fi book) might get really high ratings by mystery (or sci-fi) fans, but they're less likely to be read (and rated) by people who prefer literature or book-club type books. I realized recently that I tend to use different (more lenient) standards when rating a mystery or thriller, compared to other types of books.


message 24: by Shauna (new)

Shauna I am also doing a happy dance that 50 Shades didn't make the cut. It made me sad that it even made the initial voting. This list looks great!


message 25: by Kim (new)

Kim (skullfullofbooks) That's true about the movies versus books, but then I wonder if someone who wouldn't read the books would really be following this series. Many readers I've met don't even know this exists until I explain why I'm reading certain books.


message 26: by Paula (new)

Paula I'm quite pleased with the (alphabetical, remember) list so far. I've read all but 8 of them. One series mentioned that I haven't finished but it's on my personal challenge this year. I only have three more to read and I will have it done.

I'm pleased to see Lonesome Dove and Where the Red Fern Grows on the list. Some of these titles were shoe-ins for this list. I will continue to vote and am patiently waiting to see which book(s) come out on top.

Happy Reading


message 27: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Aug 13, 2018 10:16PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "That's true about the movies versus books, but then I wonder if someone who wouldn't read the books would really be following this series. Many readers I've met don't even know this exists until I ..."

I know so many people who know about goodreads, but don't know about the groups. I think the site can be a little overwhelming when you first visit. I started accounts years ago on Goodreads, mainly to get recommendations, but I never ventured further in.

A top 100 list based on goodreads members would contain very different books. And, different groups on goodreads would generate different lists. I'm noticing a lot more fantasy books being nominated in groups that typically focus on classic or contemporary literature/fiction.

That gives me an idea for a game I saw on the movie boards several years ago. Let's create our top 100 list, one book at a time.

----
I added two new games in the FUN STUFF folder at the bottom of the page.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "I just noticed something that bothers me a little. EVERY book in the top 40 was also a movie or TV series - many in the last decade. I checked imdb.com when I wasn't sure. Partial exception - Owen ..."

Lol, hate to say I told you so..........

I, too, am happy that "Twilight" and "50" did not make it. Even though I haven't read all that are on the Top 40, or they're not my favorites, I can honestly say that the only one so far that would bug me if it were to win is "Da Vinci". The rest, as far as I know......well, okay, they'll have their place for one reason or another, even if it's not my bag.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Sue wrote: "
As far as books being the highest rated like The Coldest Winter Ever, you have to look at how many people rated it..."

Good points. When I look at how few ratings there..."


I think that those books that surprise you were likely recommended by their panel of "Experts".....that's why I was curious when the initial list came out.


message 30: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Aug 14, 2018 10:12PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "...DaVinci Code..."

I don't think there is a chance it could win, even though it was supposedly among the ten most widely read books at one time (the Bible was #1).

I think this is one of the books that earned it's spot based on the narrative, rather than the quality of the writing. It had an interesting premise (about the Vatican and Jesus & Mary M. ), and it was a fast paced read. In it's defense, I don't think the writing would have been criticized as harshly if the book wasn't SO popular. It was a great book to read on a plane, but I'd be very surprised to see it in the top 20.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "...DaVinci Code..."

I don't think there is a chance it could win, even though it was supposedly among the ten most widely read books at one time (the Bible ..."


It wasn't the most God-awful writing I've ever seen. I just resented being led by the nose, and the insinuation that I couldn't handle a chapter of more than 3 pages.
I'm so glad you posted this list, though, because I was looking for it on the site a few weeks ago, and couldn't find anything.


message 32: by J., Your Obedient Servant (new)

J. (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "...DaVinci Code..."

I don't think there is a chance it could win, even though it was supposedly among the ten most widely read books at one t..."


I know it was supposed to be a chase ... And they were running, but the fast pace of the writing was exhausting. I had to stop a few times and read something slower.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments J. wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "...DaVinci Code..."

I don't think there is a chance it could win, even though it was supposedly among ..."


Sadly, one of my favorite authors, Ruiz Zafon, fell into this trap with the third book in his series. I have the fourth, and hope that it didn't continue, even though the book is over 900 pp long.
I hated the constant attempts at cliffhangers, and the three-page chapters. Kept reminding me I was reading pop lit.


message 34: by Parker (new)

Parker | 204 comments Da Vinci Code was one of the eight books I hadn't read on the top 40 list. Doesn't appeal to me at all.


message 35: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: " .. Ruiz Zafon.."

Shadows of the Wind? I was too busy to read that with my mystery group in June. I'd like to read it (but I don't want to commit to another series). I get really annoyed with Cliffhangers too. I've been reading Jeffrey Archer books most of my life, and he finally gave in (to pressure from a publisher no doubt) and wrote a series. I despised the cliffhangers and the repeated themes ("arch enemies"). When my book club read the first book (Only Time Will Tell), I really wanted to tell them how the cliffhanger was resolved. Overall I liked the series, but I felt sort of ripped off and after the first three books, I refused to buy the rest of the books. I still read them LOL but I got them from the library. Parts of the story were so great, I tried to ignore the rest.


message 36: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Parker wrote: "Da Vinci Code was one of the eight books I hadn't read on the top 40 list. Doesn't appeal to me at all."

If the description doesn't appeal to you, I don't think you're missing anything. But if you love Vatican conspiracy stories (which I'm guessing you don't) then consider it (or just watch the movie). I liked his previous book (though I'm blanking on the title), but that could be because I read it on a plane to Switzerland, and the book started in Switzerland. (I used to love to match a book with a trip location. I miss traveling.)


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Parker wrote: "Da Vinci Code was one of the eight books I hadn't read on the top 40 list. Doesn't appeal to me at all."

If the description doesn't appeal to you, I don't think you're missing anyth..."


The Shadow of the Wind....the prequel is actually the second book in the series, "The Angel's Game". My niece liked "The Angel's Game" more, I prefer "The Shadow". Not a true mystery, more of a neo-Gothic almost-a-mystery, in the case of Shadow. In the case of The Angel's Game, more of a Faustian tale. Both very good. He's a screen writer, as well, so his style is very visual, but he has vowed to never make movies of these books. :( The Shadow is very fast-paced, but there's a stretch of about 100 pages in the middle where he just can't maintain the intensity, so it creates the illusion of "drag". I liked it so much, I cleared my schedule for the Sunday when I had 100 pages to go, because I needed to know how it ended. That's why the third installment was such a let-down.


message 38: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) The 7 books that I have voted for on and off are on the top 40 so I’m happy! I’ve quit voting but may start again in September.


message 39: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Pam wrote: "The 7 books that I have voted for on and off are on the top 40 so I’m happy! I’ve quit voting but may start again in September."

I think you're in good company there. I think voting will get heavier when people watch the shows. The shows might sway opinions somewhat too.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments Nancy, what happened to our thread on predicting the winners? I was curious to match up with the 40 here....:)


message 41: by J., Your Obedient Servant (new)

J. (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "Nancy, what happened to our thread on predicting the winners? I was curious to match up with the 40 here....:)"

This?

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments J. wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "Nancy, what happened to our thread on predicting the winners? I was curious to match up with the 40 here....:)"

This?

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1..."


Yes, thanks! I couldn't find it on the list of discussions.


message 43: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Aug 24, 2018 01:11AM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Thanks for finding that J.


So I think most of them are on there, right?

Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, and LOTR - check

Handmaid's tale - Check

Lots of school favorites - 1984, Catcher in the Rye, Gatsby, etc. Twain and Fitzgerald made it, but Hemingway didn't.

Of the big youth fantasy franchises, Harry Potter and Hunger Games made it, but Twilight didn't. That sounds about right. More people have rated these books than most of the others. I'm rooting for HP more than Hunger Games.

P&P but not 50 shades.

Even Count of Monte Cristo made it.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments Yeah, I'd said that it would be a runoff between Hemingway, Gatsby, or Twain, and Gatsby got it. So I wasn't super specific.
Yep, Handmaid's Tale, Harry Potter, Hunger Games (which I thought would duke it out with Twilight. Haven't read either, but from what I've heard, Hunger Games is so much better, so I'm glad that one won).
The only place I was kind of wrong (and happily so) was on the 50 Shades. So happy to see that P&P won out. We just have to keep fighting the good fight, lol!


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments I found this on YouTube.......the 10 best-selling NOVELS (i.e., the Bible won't count) of all time are all on the GAR list......except The Dream of the Red Chamber...........and they changed the Dickens selection from "A Tale of Two Cities" to "Great Expectations".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB-Sp...


message 46: by NancyJ, Moderator (last edited Aug 26, 2018 03:01PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Thanks Linda. This is a great update.

From memory, the 10 books were (not necessarily in order)

1. Don Quixote
2. Tale of Two Cities
3, Alchemist
4. The Little Prince
5, Harry Potter and Philosophers Stone as of 2010 (as of 2013 450 million HP franchise books)
6. The Hobbit 100+million copies sold (LOTR books 150 million together?)
7. And then there were none
8. Dream of the Red Chamber (Chinese)
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
10. DaVinci Code

Some of the descriptions make the books more (or far less) appealing to me.


Linda Abhors the New GR Design | 915 comments NancyJ wrote: "Thanks Linda. This is a great update.

From memory, the 10 books were (not necessarily in order)

1. Don Quixote
2. Tale of Two Cities
3, Alchemist
4. The Little Prince
5, Harry Potter and Philos..."


Yeah, they didn't hold back.


message 48: by NancyJ, Moderator (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 1835 comments Mod
Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "NancyJ wrote:

He didn't hold back -

No, he was brutal to DaVinci Code, and even gave a HUGE spoiler.
He was neutral or complimentary to the rest I think. He made The Little Prince sound pretty well.



message 49: by Kim (new)

Kim (skullfullofbooks) NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "NancyJ wrote:

He didn't hold back -

No, he was brutal to DaVinci Code, and even gave a HUGE spoiler.
He was neutral or complimentary to the rest I think..."


People LOVE to hate Dan Brown. Jodi Picoult even had a Guardian article about her for her comments about him. Salman Rushdie is also quoted "digging in" to him in the article:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/200...


I'm curious to see if a living author will win it. I bet they're loving the boost in sales!


message 50: by J., Your Obedient Servant (new)

J. (jammons42) | 510 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "Linda Abhors the New GR Design wrote: "NancyJ wrote:

He didn't hold back -

No, he was brutal to DaVinci Code, and even gave a HUGE spoiler.
He was neutral or complimentary to t..."


Me too! About the living author thing


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