The Great American Read

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THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels. It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.

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America’s Best-Loved Books

You can sort this list by title, last name of author, or year published by clicking the arrows in each column; download a printable checklist of the 100 books or VOTE every day for your favorite.

1984 Orwell, George 1949 Sci-Fi/Fantasy
A Confederacy of Dunces Toole, John Kennedy 1980 Literary
A Prayer for Owen Meany Irving, John 1989 Literary
A Separate Peace Knowles, John 1959 Young Adult
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Smith, Betty 1943 Classic
Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Twain, Mark 1876 Classic
Alchemist, The Coelho, Paulo 1988 Inspirational
Alex Cross Mysteries (series) Patterson, James 1993 Mystery/Crime/Thriller
Alice in Wonderland Carroll, Lewis 1865 Classic
Americanah Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi 2013 Literary
And Then There Were None Christie, Agatha 1939 Mystery/Crime/Thriller
Anne of Green Gables Montgomery, Lucy Maud 1908 Young Adult
Another Country Baldwin, James 1962 Classic
Atlas Shrugged Rand, Ayn 1957 Classic
Beloved Morrison, Toni 1987 Classic
Bless Me, Ultima Anaya, Rudolfo 1972 Classic
Book Thief, The Zusak, Markus 2005 Young Adult, Historical
Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao, The Diaz, Junot 2007 Literary
Call of the Wild London, Jack 1903 Young Adult, Adventure
Catch 22 Heller, Joseph 1961 Classic
Catcher in the Rye, The Salinger, J.D. 1951 Classic
Charlotte's Web White, E. B. 1952 Classic
Chronicles of Narnia, The (series) Lewis, C.S. 1950 Classic, Adventure
Clan of the Cave Bear Auel, Jean M. 1980 Historical
Coldest Winter Ever, The Sister Soulja 1999 Literary
Color Purple, The Walker, Alice 1982 Classic
Count of Monte Cristo, The Dumas, Alexandre 1844 Classic
Crime and Punishment Dostoyevsky, Fyodor 1866 Classic
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime, The Haddon, Mark 2003 Young Adult
Da Vinci Code, The Brown, Dan 2003 Mystery/Crime/Thriller
Don Quixote de Cervantes, Miguel 1605 Classic
Doña Bárbara Gallegos, Romulo 1929 Classic
Dune Herbert, Frank 1965 Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Fifty Shades of Grey (series) James, E.L. 2011 Romance
Flowers in the Attic Andrews, V.C. 1979 Horror
Foundation (series) Asimov, Issac 1951 Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Frankenstein Shelley, Mary 1818 Classic, Horror
Game of Thrones (series) Martin, George R. R. 1996 Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Adventure
Ghost Reynolds, Jason 2016 Young Adult
Gilead Robinson, Marilyn 2004 Literary
Giver, The Lowry, Lois 1993 Young Adult
Godfather, The Puzo, Mario 1969 Mystery/Crime/Thriller
Gone Girl Flynn, Gillian 2012 Mystery/Crime/Thriller
Gone With the Wind Mitchell, Margaret 1936 Classic
Grapes of Wrath, The Steinbeck, John 1939 Classic
Great Expectations Dickens, Charles 1861 Classic
Great Gatsby, The Fitzgerald, F. Scott 1925 Classic
Gulliver's Travels Swift, Jonathan 1726 Classic, Adventure
Handmaid's Tale, The Atwood, Margaret 1985 Literary
Harry Potter (series) Rowling, J.K. 1997 Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Hatchet (series) Paulsen, Gary 1987 Young Adult, Adventure
Heart of Darkness Conrad, Joseph 1902 Classic
Help, The Stockett, Kathryn 2009 Historical
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Adams, Douglas 1979 Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Hunger Games, The (series) Collins, Suzanne 2008 Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult
Hunt for Red October, The Clancy, Tom 1984 Mystery/Crime/Thriller/
Intuitionist, The Whitehead, Colson 1999 Literary
Invisible Man Ellison, Ralph 1953 Classic
Jane Eyre Bronte, Charlotte 1847 Classic, Romance
Joy Luck Club, The Tan, Amy 1989 Literary
Jurassic Park Crichton, Michael 1990 Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Left Behind (series) LaHaye, Tim / Jenkins, Jerry B. 1995 Inspirational, Mystery/Crime/Thriller
Little Prince, The de Saint-Exupery, Antoine 1943 Classic
Little Women Alcott, Louisa May 1868 Classic
Lonesome Dove McMurtry, Larry 1985 Adventure
Looking for Alaska Green, John 2005 Young Adult
Lord of the Rings, The (series) Tolkien, J.R.R. 1954 Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Lovely Bones, The Sebold, Alice 2002 Literary
Martian, The Weir, Andy 2014 Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Memoirs of a Geisha Golden, Arthur 1997 Literary
Mind Invaders Hunt, Dave 1989 Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Inspirational
Moby Dick Melville, Herman 1851 Classic
Notebook, The Sparks, Nicholas 1996 Romance
One Hundred Years of Solitude Garcia Marquez, Gabriel 1967 Classic
Outlander (series) Gabaldon, Diana 1991 Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Outsiders, The Hinton, S.E. 1967 Young Adult
Picture of Dorian Gray Wilde, Oscar 1890 Classic
Pilgrim's Progress, The Bunyan, John 1678 Classic
Pillars of the Earth Follett, Ken 1989 Historical
Pride and Prejudice Austen, Jane 1813 Classic
Ready Player One Cline, Ernest 2011 Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rebecca du Maurier, Daphne 1938 Mystery/Crime/Thriller
Shack, The Young, William P. 2007 Inspirational, Mystery/Crime/Thriller
Siddhartha Hesse, Hermann 1922 Classic
Sirens of Titan, The Vonnegut, Kurt 1959 Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Stand, The King, Stephen 1978 Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror
Sun Also Rises, The Hemingway, Ernest 1926 Classic
Swan Song McCammon, Robert R. 1987 Horror, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Tales of the City (series) Maupin, Armistead 1978 Literary
Their Eyes Were Watching God Hurston, Zora Neale 1937 Classic
Things Fall Apart Achebe, Chinua 1958 Classic
This Present Darkness Peretti, Frank E. 1986 Inspirational, Mystery/Crime/Thriller
To Kill a Mockingbird Lee, Harper 1960 Classic
Twilight Saga (series) Meyer, Stephanie 2005 Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Romance
War and Peace Tolstoy, Leo 1869 Classic
Watchers, The Koontz, Dean 1987 Mystery
Wheel of Time, The (series) Jordan, Robert 1990 Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Where the Red Fern Grows Rawls, Wilson 1961 Young Adult
White Teeth Smith, Zadie 2000 Literary
Wuthering Heights Bronte, Emily 1847 Classic


The Great American Read: Share Your Story
Which novel has had the biggest impact on your life? Share with us by submitting text, photo, video or audio file with a short story about how the novel impacted your life.
The Great American Read: Resources
Discover various posters, memes, and book facts; take the reading scorecard quiz; join the book club; and explore the LearningMedia collection.
It’s Lit! Presented by The Great American Read
It’s Lit! is a series of smart, funny essays from video essayist Lindsay Ellis about our favorite books and why we love to read.
There are so many adventures to find in books! If you’re looking for ideas or a book you haven’t read yet, PBS KIDS has drawn together a list of books we think are pretty great.
With the holidays fast approaching, All About Books has gift suggestions for younger readers. Vicky Wood, Youth Services Librarian at Lincoln City Libraries, will introduce recent books for every age group- from preschool to... more››