The 100 Books on the Great American Read List

April 20, 2018
Choosing books in a bin

The public will vote on America’s Best-Loved Novel as part of The Great American Read beginning Tuesday, May 22 at 8 p.m.

This post was updated August 13, 2019. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird won the vote for America’s best-loved book in October 2018; learn about the results, here.

America’s Best-Loved Novel will be chosen by viewers like you based on The Great American Read top 100 books list. The top 100 books were chosen through a survey of Americans conducted by PBS, The Great American Read and a polling service (more on that selection process below). The books chosen could be from anywhere in the world as long as they were published in English – the only requirement was that they be fiction. From beloved world literature to contemporary bestsellers, the list contains a broad range of novels, authors, time periods, countries, genres and subject matter.

Let us know what you think of the list in the comments below and share your favorite novel. Vote for your favorite on the list here. [Voting is now closed.]

America’s Best-Loved Books

You can sort this list by title, last name of author, year published, or genre by clicking the arrow above the upper righthand corner of each column. Download a printable checklist of the 100 books.

How the Novels Were Chosen

The novels on the top 100 list were chosen by the American public in a specially commissioned, demographically and statistically representative survey conducted by public opinion polling service YouGov. The Great American Read’s advisory panel, composed of 13 literary professionals, used their collective expertise to establish basic ground rules, break ties and maximize list variety. Panel members were not permitted to add books not already included in the larger survey results book list.

Read, share and Vote for Your Favorite Novel

People across America are re-visiting their favorite books on The Great American Read top 100 books list, and using the list for reading recommendations. We’ve put some of titles into six summer reading lists, based on the different ways people like to spend the season. The official vote takes place May 22 through October 18. Here are the 40 novels that have received the most votes as of August, 2018.

For book lovers: American Masters: Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin (premiered August 2, 2019) explores the remarkable life and legacy of late author Ursula K. Le Guin whose groundbreaking work, including “The Left Hand of Darkness,” transformed American literature by bringing science fiction into the literary mainstream.

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