Favorite Reads: Vote Now, Vote Often!

Favorite Reads: Vote Now, Vote Often!

Have you caught this week’s launch of The Great American Read? PBS celebrates the joy of reading by encouraging American viewers to not only speak up and vote for their favorite book of all time but also explore the other 99 titles offered for consideration based on a survey conducted.

 

I have known for some time that there are so many classics I’ve never read. Often I was introduced to an author through one title and if it didn’t leave a resounding impression, I usually would not embark on more unless one of my high school classes required me to do so. I am so thankful for all of those required reading lists. I would never have experienced the joy of discovering J.D. Salinger, John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Joseph Heller, George Orwell and S.E. Hinton who offer some of my personal favorites. I do have a number of classics on my own list of top reads and some of them made the cut. But I especially treasure those others that I discovered on my own like Doug Adams’ beloved THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY and yes, the TWILIGHT series. Say what you will, haters. That book series had a huge impact on a number of arts genres – art, music, TV and film – and I did genuinely enjoy the journey because the coolest thing happened as a result of it: I rediscovered the joy of reading in my early 40s.

 

I’m embarrassed that I didn’t score very high in total books read on the list (only 22…yikes). I think perhaps my love of movies has kept me away from some of the books where I have already discovered a mesmerizing film. Perhaps I would prefer to continue seeing that story in the way it has already been portrayed and not in the way the author intended, whether it’s similar or not. How selfish of me, right? I did happen to notice a few books that didn’t make the cut which made me a little sad — no JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, no A BRAVE NEW WORLD, no A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (love the book, hate the movie!), no Camus’ THE STRANGER, no Robert Louis Stevenson, NO Judy Blume???

 

But 100 books cannot be expected to capture everything to reflect hundreds and hundreds of years across the world, genres and audiences. I do feel like science fiction does get a bit of the shaft on their list but then again, it is based on a survey and clearly that audience is not that big a fan of the genre.

 

So did you already click on the link and check out the list? What are some of your favorites and do you see any titles you have wanted to read for a very long time but never got around to it? I am inspired to start taking on the list 0ne book at a time – probably not every book on it but definitely many of them for which I’ve heard so much about and always wondered if it is as good as everyone says. I feel compelled for the first time to see for myself. I hope you go on the journey with me, too.  Thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.

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