PBS released a list of America’s 100 Best-Loved Novels on April 20 to tie in with their upcoming television series The Great American Read, premiering Tuesday, May 22 at 8 PM. The Great American Read will explore these 100 titles and why so many people hold them close to their hearts. Through interactive voting, viewers can help PBS whittle down the list until only one remains and is dubbed “America’s Best-Loved Novel”.
But how did PBS settle on these 100 titles? According to their About page, the list was compiled by enlisting YouGov to survey approximately 7,200 people. There seems to be a bit of scrutiny regarding the list and why some titles were included or not (just read the comments on any of the Great American Read’s Facebook posts). I, for one, was shocked that The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini didn’t make the list.
I was curious of YouGov so I checked out their website. It states that it’s a “global public opinion and data company” where you can “explore the popularity of everything from movie stars to airlines.” Hmmm… it feels like a survey site to me. Perhaps they sent the survey to 7,200 random people with registered YouGov accounts? I’m not super confident in their survey methodology given what I can gather from their website.
Regardless of their data collection methods, I can see how many of the books made the list, especially if they are Best-Loved and not simply The Best. People read what they read for all sorts of different reasons and who am I to say that someone shouldn’t love a book they love?
Some of the titles I had never heard of, including Doña Barbara by Rómulo Gallegos and Mind Invaders by Dave Hunt. In total, I’ve read about a quarter of the books on the list, so I’m excited to add a bunch to my “To-Be-Read” pile.
When all is said and done, I predict Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and To Kill A Mockingbird will take the top three spots. That said, one of my all-time favorites made the list so I’m hoping it goes the distance. If you want to know the title, you’ll have to ask me… all the more reason to stop in and Meet Your Librarians!
Explore the Book List!
Or pick one up at the library!