The Great American Read

Great American Read Thrift Editions

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” — George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons.

The Great American Read is a documentary series sponsored by PBS that celebrates America’s best-loved novels and the joy of reading. The eight-program series is being broadcast weekly on PBS stations throughout the nation, starting with a two-hour premiere hosted by television personality Meredith Viera, which was first aired on May 22, 2018. The series will explore a list of America’s 100 favorite novels selected through a demographic survey conducted by You.Gov. The programs also feature interviews with authors, celebrities and book-lovers who will discuss their thoughts about their favorite novels. To date, over 1 million votes have been cast — Click Here to vote for your favorite!

The broadcast programs are supported this summer with a mixed media platform that will include public events, social media components, and national reading clubs. The Great American Read will continue this fall with television broadcasts of several themed programs, culminating in a national vote to choose “America’s Best-Loved Novel.”

Dover Publications is an official sponsor of The Great American Read and offers 17 low cost, Thrift Edition Titles as part of the 100 favorite novels. These include:

Tom Sawyer

1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Mark Twain, a born storyteller, fills the narrative with accounts of boyish pranks, terror, and social commentary.

2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. Carroll’s novel is enhanced by the illustrations of Sir John Tenniel, as they first appeared in the original edition published in 1865.

3. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London. This novel of a heroic dog who faces a choice during the Alaska Gold Rush is considered by many to be London’s finest book.

4. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Drawing from his experiences during his own prison days, Dostoyevsky tells the story of Raskolnikov, an impoverished student who, deluded by his own nihilism, commits murder.

Don Quixote

5. Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes. Dover’s edition of the tale of Don Quixote and his squire Sancho Panza features the acclaimed 1755 translation by Tobias Smollett.

6. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly. This story of Victor Frankenstein’s accursed creation has enthralled generations of readers since its first publication in 1818, when Shelley was 20.

7. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. Written in his last decade of life, Dickens’ Great Expectations relates the story of Pip’s life, from his grim and desperate childhood to his adventures and eventual triumph in Victorian London.

8. Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift. Dean Swift’s book has appeal to both young readers, who delight in the fantasy, and to adults, who take pleasure in the satirical descriptions of the misdeeds and conceits of the human characters.

9. Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. Later adapted by Francis Ford Coppola in his 1979 film, Apocalypse Now, Heart of Darkness is Conrad’s “most famous, finest, and most enigmatic story.” — Encyclopedia Britannica.

Jane Eyre

10. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë. Everyone loves this book, even people who haven’t read it.

11. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. People who have not read this book but think they will hate it should think again.

12. The Picture of Dorian Gray,by Oscar Wilde. There’s a reason this book never gets old … Wilde’s gothic supernatural tale is a classic of its genre.

13. The Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan. An enormously popular 17th century allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress, is one of the most widely read books in the English Language.

14. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Another book that everyone loves.

15. Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse. The book was originally published in Germany in 1922 and in the United States in 1951, where it became a cult classic during the 1960s.

16. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy’s monumental book continues entertain, inspire, and move readers around the world.

17. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë. Considered lurid and shocking when it was first published, the book has subsequently proved to be one of the most enduring classics of English literature. There go those Brontë girls again!

Don’t forget: vote early and often for YOUR Great American Read!