Welcome to The Great American Read

PBS is on a quest to find America's most beloved book! Welcome to The Great American Read hosted by Meredith Vieira, an eight-part television and online series designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved, and shaped us. PBS has created a list of 100 diverse books and are encouraging everyone to read as many of the books as possible that you haven't already finished and vote for your favorite.

Meredith Vieira hosts The Great American Read.

The Great American Read premieres Tuesday, May 22, at 8:00 pm on Maine Public Television with a launch special, kicking off a summer of reading and voting. Throughout this lively, hosted, two-hour documentary-style episode, Vieira will reach out across the country to uncover illuminating details about the 100 books, their authors and the people who read and love them. Then in the fall, seven new episodes of the series will air as the voting to find America’s most beloved book moves into high gear. Episodes from the series will feature appearances by celebrities, athletes, experts, authors, and everyday Americans advocating for their favorite book.

Participate in the national voting HERE.

Author Margaret Atwood holds her book, The Handmaid’s Tale.

Maine’s favorite book?

We encourage you to vote in the national poll AND our Maine poll. Take the Maine poll HERE. We have created an easy mechanism for you to vote for your favorite book. We also are encouraging all voters to share their thoughts on what makes their selected book special. See all the submissions below. In the fall, we will announce the book that received the most votes here in Maine on Maine Calling on Maine Public Radio. Vote for your favorite!

The Great American Read Submitted Comments

Click HERE to view some of the comments that have been submitted about many of the books on The Great American Read list.

Book Club Adoption Project

Book clubs are everywhere in Maine and are a great way to get a real sense of community through this shared reading and learning experience. As part of The Great American Read, Maine Public has "adopted" a number of book clubs across Maine and are providing them with copies of the book of their choosing from the list of 100. We will post up each book club as the clubs select their books and provide a summary of what each book club thought about the title they chose by the end of the summer.

Special thanks to PRINT: A Bookstore for their generous help in securing books for all the participating book clubs.

If your book club is taking on one of the titles from the 100 books, send us a note on your club's impressions of that book. We will share your review with other readers across Maine.

Adopted The Great American Read Book Clubs:

McArthur Public Library Book Club, Biddeford
Selected title: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library - Monday Night Book Club
Selected title: Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

Monroe Community Library Book Club
Selected title: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Dunstan Crossing Book Club
Selected title: TBD

The Wiscasset Area Book Club
Selected title: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

The Wiscasset Area Book Club took on The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao as part of The Great American Read Project.

Click HERE to see what Wiscasset Area Book Club thought of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Brownies and Books sponsored by the Spruce Mountain High School Library
Selected title: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Members of the Brownies and Books Book Club sponsored by the Spruce Mountain High School Library in Jay, Maine show their enthusiasm for The Great American Read Project! The book club was adopted
by Maine Public and are set to read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

The Bonney Readers from the Bonney Memorial Library in Cornish
Selected title: TBD

Literary Ladies of Leeds
Selected title: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Thomaston Library Book Club
Selected title: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Steep Falls Library Book Club
Selected title: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

Windham Public Library Book Club
Selected title: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

1989 Men's Book Club from Kennebunk
Selected title: White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Margaret Chase Smith Library Book Club
Selected title: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Saco Book Club
Selected title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Bear Pond Village Book Club from Turner
Selected title: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Maine Public's The Great American Read Bookmobile

Maine Public will take to the streets with a mobile library and visit popular summer reading spots including public beaches, area lakes, and downtown cafes with copies of the top 100 books for Mainers to enjoy. We anticipate holding three to four stops this summer. Where exactly will we go? Stay tuned to Maine Public Radio to hear where we are headed!

Special thanks to the Maine Education Association the Maine Library Association and Coffee By Design who are sponsoring Maine Public's literacy efforts around The Great American Read.


Fall Kick Off
Join host Meredith Vieira in the search for America’s best-loved novel. The voting is underway, and the competition is heating up – any book could win.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 at 8:00 pm

Who Am I?
Explore the ways that America’s best-loved novels answer the age-old question, Who am I? From life lessons to spiritual journeys, these books help us understand our own identities and find our place in the world.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 at 8:00 pm

Follow the trials and tribulations of some of literature’s favorite heroes. From Katniss Everdeen to Don Quixote, examine how the everyday hero and the anti-hero find their inner strength, overcome challenges and rise to the occasion.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 at 8:00 pm

Villains and Monsters
Learn why literature’s most notorious villains began behaving badly. Many weren’t born evil, but became that way when faced with some of the same choices we make every day. See what these villains can teach us about our own dark impulses.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2 at 8:00 pm

What We Do For Love
Fall in love with some of literature’s most beautiful romances and explore the many forms of love, from family to passion to the unrequited type. Learn how America’s best-loved novels reflect the things we do for love.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9 at 8:00 pm

Other Worlds
Take a magical journey to another world through some of America’s best-loved novels. From Middle Earth to Lilliput, the trials and tribulations of these alternate universes help us to better understand our own world.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16 at 8:00 pm

Grand Finale
America’s best-loved novel is revealed.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23 at 8:00 pm