The Great American Read Challenge

A few months ago, PBS started The Great American Read: an eight-part series that explored the power behind reading and celebrated America’s 100 best-loved novels. PBS conducted a demographically and statistically representative national survey asking approximately 7200 Americans to name their most-beloved novel. Once the top 100 were chosen, they let the rest of us decide, and for five months, America voted for the one book to rule them all; one book to find them; one book to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them…or something like that.

When my library found out about The Great American Read, we all jumped on it. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this exciting journey? We created a display with all 100 great American reads, printed the list of all the books (which you can find here), and even had a challenge to see who had read the most books from the list.

This list is what inspired me to create The Great American Read challenge. A challenge that will introduce me to new genres, and hopefully some new favorites as I delve into what makes these books so great in the first place.

The challenge is simple: print the list of all of America’s 100 best-loved novels, check off the books you’ve already read, and read the rest in the order they’re presented.

If you’re a lover of great literature like myself, I hope you’ll take on the challenge and join me on this new adventure into the unknown. Who knows what we’ll find!

The list starts with 1984, which I’ve read before (though it’s worth reading again), so I’ve started my adventure with A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.

Where will you start?


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