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 (as chosen in a national survey).  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.

The television series features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country. It is comprised of a two-hour launch episode in which the list of 100 books is revealed, five one-hour theme episodes that examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, and a finale, in which the results are announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book. 

The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books.

For more information on The Great American Read, click HERE.



America’s 100 best-loved books are revealed, launching the campaign & the nationwide vote. Watch the Fall Launch Special now!

Young Adult Fiction (YA) is dominating literature, and more young people are reading now than ever before. Lindsay Ellis explores how YA carved a place in publishing with It's Lit! from PBS Digital Studios. 

The origin story of science fiction is shaped throughout several centuries. 

Why are some books required reading in high school while others are lost to history? 

Which is better, the book or the movie? Explore the question with Lindsay Ellis in It’s Lit! from PBS Digital Studios. 

Love it or hate it, the romance novel is the highest grossing literary genre. 

Fantasy novels are more than just hundreds of pages worth of swords and magic! 



Wednesday, June 27 | 6:30 p.m.

The Great American Read Party @ Baldwin Borough Public Library
Celebrate 100 great novels chosen by PBS! Watch part of the one-hour program that is airing on PBS currently (hosted by Meredith Vieira). There will be prizes, snacks, discussion and the oppurtunity to pick your favorite novel from the list! No registration required.

Tuesday, September 11 | 8:00 p.m

One-hour The Great American Read Re-launch Episode
With the goal of reenergizing the campaign after a summer of reading and voting, this fast paced one-hour cut-down of the May Launch episode will revisit titles with a similar editorial focus to the Launch episode: to learn how and why these 100 books matter to us and how they affect, connect and reflect us as Americans.

Beginning September 18, 2018

Look for five one-hour documentary style episodes!
These five episodes will air as The Great American Read campaign heats up. These five entertaining and thought-provoking one-hour documentaries are designed to take a deeper dive into a range of books on our list which, while different in some ways, are connected by a common THEME versus a literary genre or time period. The themes include: Villains & Monsters, Who Am I? , Heroes, Other Worlds, and What We Do for Love. By approaching the books in this manner, we give viewers a broader perspective on why these novels matter to us on a personal level.

Through expert insight and passionate personal advocacy, we will explore big ideas about the books in each Theme episode. Why have these books made it onto America’s list of 100 favorites? Why are we drawn to these themes, and what do they tell us about ourselves?

Tuesday, October 23 | 8:00 p.m.

One-hour The Great American Read Finale
As the voting draws to a close, this exciting live or as-live episode includes a countdown of America’s top twenty favorites as we build to the announcement of the country’s choice for Best-Loved Book. Along the way, we reveal surprising and thought-provoking discoveries about our entire summer of reading. We highlight the thrilling achievements of individual readers, community leaders and outreach programs across the USA and celebrate the impact of this landmark national public service initiative by PBS.

To take The Great American Read Quiz, see all the book covers, FAQ, and HERE

The Great American Read on Social! Facebook Twitter Instagram

Join the coversation!

Want to discuss America's best loved novels, your favorite novels, or ANYTHING "read"? Join thousands of others in The Great American Read Facebook Group to discuss your favorite books on the list! Check out the official discussion calender for a list of dates and links to ongoing discussions!

May 24: Catch 22 & The Count of Monte Cristo (linked to discussion posts)

May 31: 1984 & Alice in Wonderland

June 7: The Da Vinci Code & Gone Girl

June 14: Ghost & The Giver

June 21: Don Quixote & Gone with the Wind

June 28: Rebecca & White Teeth

July 5: Memoirs of a Geisha & The Book Thief

July 12: The Alchemist & Gulliver's Travels

July 19: The Little Prince & Little Women

July 26: The Shack & The Stand

See the full list of books: