Great American Read

Our June book display will feature the books that PBS has selected for the Great great-american-read-622x916American Read. I must admit when I read the list, I was surprised at some of the choices. This isn’t Modern Library’s Best Books list. It is a mix of children’s, young adult’s, popular fiction, classics, and prize winners.  Here’s how PBS explains how the books were chosen:

“How were the top 100 books chosen?

PBS and the producers worked with the public opinion polling service “YouGov” to conduct a demographically and statistically representative survey asking Americans to name their most-loved novel. Approximately 7,200 people participated.

How did you narrow that list to the top 100?

The results were tallied and organized based on our selection criteria and overseen by an advisory panel of 13 literary industry professionals. The criteria for inclusion on the top 100 list were as follows:

  1. Each author was limited to one title on the list (to keep the list varied).
  2. Books published in series or featuring ongoing characters counted as one eligible entry on the list (e.g. the Harry Potter series or Lord of the Rings)to increase variety.
  3. Books could be from anywhere in the world as long as they were published in English.
  4. Only fiction could be included in the poll.
  5. Each advisory panel member was permitted to select one book for discussion and possible inclusion on the top 100 list from the longer list of survey results.”

Which of the 100 books will be the favorite of Richards Memorial Library readers? We will have a box on display to collect your votes. Everyone who votes at the Library will receive a coupon good for 2 free books at the September book sale. You can also vote to be part of the national count on the PBS site.

We will also be marking the staff favorites. Mine is To Kill a Mockingbird, Ellen’s is The Joy Luck Club, Joanna’s is Gone With the Wind and Meredith’s is The Help. The ones I’ve read the most often are Pride and Prejudice and the Harry Potter series, because those are both my “visiting old friends” books. Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy probably captured my love of Mockingbird when he talked about the need for justice for everyone that Scout embodies in the book.

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