Great American Read

The Great American Read


Next month, a new series debuts on PBS that will examine 100 books that have been identified as having a significant impact on the American public. The list of 100 books was released today and I am very happy to see a much greater diversity of titles and authors than I had anticipated. When I first heard about this, my immediate response was, “Well, it will be To Kill a Mockingbird at the end.” Now I’m not so sure.

These are not the “canon” of American or even World Literature. There are authors of various races, religions, and genders; authors who are still alive; and books that are definitely not considered “high-brow reading.” You can learn how the books were selected on the PBS website.

You can also take a short quiz to see how many of these books you’ve read.

I’ve read 30 out of the 100, which means I’ve got some reading to do!

The Monroe County Library System libraries will host a number of fun and interesting activities during the course of the Great American Read. There will be book discussions, debates, Exploration Stations, lectures, films, and more. Watch the events calendar at for upcoming events.

How do you feel about the titles on this list? Is there anything missing? Anything that leaves you scratching your head and asking “why?”