America’s 100 best-loved novels: Vote for your favorite

UPDATE 10/24/18: The results are in! To Kill a Mockingbird was voted by viewers as America’s best-loved novel in The Great American Read. See all the results »

Are you reading and watching? PBS’s The Great American Read is an eight-part series celebrating the power of reading and exploring 100 of America’s best-loved novels.

Chosen through a nationwide survey, the top 100 novels include:

  • 51 set in the United States
  • 64 written by Americans
  • 70 published after World War II
  • 9 Pulitzer Prize winners
  • 1 written by a former head of state

At the end of the series, one book will be selected as the best-loved novel, as voted on by the public.

See all the titles in the catalog »

Our picks

Our librarians share their favorites from the list.
Business and Government Librarian Juanita holds A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

“Why this book out of all the amazing titles on The Great American Read list? For me, the reason can be summed up in one line by author Anna Quindlen in her forward to a recent edition of the novel: ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is that rare and enduring thing, a book in which, no matter our backgrounds, we recognize ourselves.'”
—Bridget Optholt, Business and Government Librarian

Health and Wellness Librarian Juanita holds The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is my favorite, because it is a story that stands the test of time. It is magical, allegorical, and teaches a lesson without being preachy. I could read it over and over again.”
—Juanita Harrell, Health and Wellness Librarian

Adult and Teen Digital Learning Librarian Rose holds One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the Buendía family and chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love. I reread this book every few years and find that it changes each time. I love the stylistic prose and interconnecting storyline of each character. This book is epic, intelligent, creative, and always satisfying.”
—Rose Barnes, Adult and Teen Digital Learning Librarian

Adult and Teen Services Library Assistant Ben holds Foudation by Isaac Asimov

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

“Isaac Asimov was a humanist, and he gave humanistic values to his Foundation series. It’s a science-fiction story of societal collapse, and he envisions the recovery and rebuilding not through force of arms but by intelligence and understanding. His protagonists use nonviolence, and the violent forces they come up against are shown for the destructiveness they cause. The series won a Hugo award for all-time best sci-fi series. Read it and believe in humanity again.”
—Ben Iglar-Mobley, Library Assistant

Read the books

Place a hold, find on shelf

Read, listen with the digital collection

Our digital collection includes a selection of the top 100 books. Check out the titles available in ebook and audiobook formats through:

Stay current on news and new arrivals.