The first episode of The Great American Read, an eight-part television series focused on finding the country’s favorite book, debuts tonight on PBS. Hosted by journalist Meredith Vieira, The Great American Read will start with a list of the country’s 100 favorite novels unveiled last month in New York City, and over the course of the summer and fall, will select “America’s Best-Loved Novel” with the help of a public vote.
Following tonight’s premiere, watchers and book lovers will be encouraged to vote online for their favorite titles. The series will then resume in the fall with themed episodes, before the finale unveils the winner. A gaggle of authors, actors and other celebrities, including Morgan Freeman, Armistead Maupin, and Seth Myers will also be involved in the celebration of books.
Some independent booksellers are already getting in on the action: The Bookman in Grand Haven, Mich., is hosting a Great American Read viewing party at a local bar tonight. Customers are encouraged to stop by and watch the show live, and Bookman staff are planning to stay after the program to talk about the books.
Among the book on the top-100 list:
1984 by George Orwell
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
A Prayer for Owen Meany byJohn Irving
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Another Country by James Baldwin
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Not sure who chose this list, but it certainly is a mixed bag! What books would you add? Something to ponder as we all write on!