Did you vote?

So, did you vote? No, not in that election - in the one about books. 

As you probably know, PBS has been conducting a poll over the last six months to determine America's favorite book. I confess I did not vote in that particular election. (But I have cast my vote in the midterms and you should, too!

More than four million people did participate in the poll, however, and this week PBS announced the results: America's favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird

On reflection, I guess I'm not too surprised. The book has had a lot of good PR over the years, plus it had that really good movie starring Gregory Peck going for it. I think a lot of people are probably a lot more familiar with the book because of that movie - perhaps even more than have actually read the book.

Anyway, the public has spoken and now we know.

Interestingly, four of the top five books on the list of 100 were written by women; namely, in addition to Harper Lee, Diana Gabaldon for her Outlander series, J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series, and Jane Austen for Pride and Prejudice. The only man to make the top five was J.R.R. Tolkien for The Lord of the Ring series.

Many of the books which made the list of "100 Greatest Reads" are not great books, but they all probably do qualify as great reads. I counted 49 that I have actually read and I was interested to see that some recent books like Americanah, White Teeth, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao made the list. We live in what must be one of the golden ages of literature; there are so many wonderfully talented writers at work today. If I made my own personal list of 100 Greatest Reads, I think quite a few current books would be on it.

Here is the PBS list. I've highlighted the ones that I've read. Some of the others are on my TBR list and I still hope to get to them at some time.

How many have you read? 

Full Results
  1. To Kill a Mockingbird
  2. Outlander (Series)
  3. Harry Potter (Series)
  4. Pride and Prejudice
  5. Lord of the Rings
  6. Gone with the Wind
  7. Charlotte's Web
  8. Little Women
  9. Chronicles of Narnia
  10. Jane Eyre
  11. Anne of Green Gables
  12. Grapes of Wrath
  13. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  14. Book Thief
  15. Great Gatsby
  16. The Help
  17. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  18. 1984
  19. And Then There Were None
  20. Atlas Shrugged
  21. Wuthering Heights
  22. Lonesome Dove
  23. Pillars of the Earth
  24. Stand
  25. Rebecca
  26. A Prayer for Owen Meany
  27. Color Purple
  28. Alice in Wonderland
  29. Great Expectations
  30. Catcher in the Rye
  31. Where the Red Fern Grows
  32. Outsiders
  33. The Da Vinci Code
  34. The Handmaid's Tale
  35. Dune
  36. The Little Prince
  37. Call of the Wild
  38. The Clan of the Cave Bear
  39. The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy
  40. The Hunger Games
  41. The Count of Monte Cristo
  42. The Joy Luck Club
  43. Frankenstein
  44. The Giver
  45. Memoirs of a Geisha
  46. Moby Dick
  47. Catch 22
  48. Game of Thrones (series)
  49. Foundation (series)
  50. War and Peace
  51. Their Eyes Were Watching God
  52. Jurassic Park
  53. The Godfather
  54. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  55. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  56. The Notebook
  57. The Shack
  58. A Confederacy of Dunces
  59. The Hunt for Red October
  60. Beloved
  61. The Martian
  62. The Wheel of Time (series)
  63. Siddhartha
  64. Crime and Punishment
  65. The Sun Also Rises
  66. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
  67. A Separate Peace
  68. Don Quixote
  69. The Lovely Bones
  70. The Alchemist
  71. Hatchet (series)
  72. Invisible Man
  73. The Twilight Saga (series)
  74. Tales of the City (series)
  75. Gulliver's Travels
  76. Ready Player One
  77. Left Behind (series)
  78. Gone Girl
  79. Watchers
  80. The Pilgrim's Progress
  81. Alex Cross Mysteries (series)
  82. Things Fall Apart
  83. Heart of Darkness
  84. Gilead
  85. Flowers in the Attic
  86. Fifty Shades of Grey
  87. The Sirens of Titan
  88. This Present Darkness
  89. Americanah
  90. Another Country
  91. Bless Me, Ultima
  92. Looking for Alaska
  93. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  94. Swan Song
  95. Mind Invaders
  96. White Teeth
  97. Ghost
  98. The Coldest Winter Ever
  99. The Intuitionist
  100. Doña Bárbára


  1. I voted for Rebecca. I’ve enjoyed lots of the books on this list, but Rebecca is one that I read for the first time this year and loved!

    1. Rebecca is a special favorite of mine, too. I read it multiple times during my du Maurier period. In fact, I used to read it much like some people read and reread Watership Down.

  2. Interesting list. I've read some (didn't count); probably much less that I should have. I'll catch up someday. ;-)

    1. It's a varied list. There are some on there that I'm not at all familiar with. I was glad to see that Moby Dick, which is actually one of my all-time favorites, made the list.

  3. I have read all but 28 of them, some I only read the first in the series. I figured To Kill a Mockingbird would win. Good to know that enough Americans read novels to make this project a success.

    1. I wonder if there is anyone who has actually read all those books. I suppose the law of averages would dictate that there must be someone out there somewhere. I agree that it is heartening that so many people were interested in the poll and participated. Not only are we in a golden age of literature, maybe we are in a golden age of readership as well!


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