Home #Hwoodtimes The Great American Read: Still Looking For Our Nation’s Best-Loved Book!

The Great American Read: Still Looking For Our Nation’s Best-Loved Book!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know./The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”–Dr. Seuss, I CAN READ WITH MY EYES SHUT!

By Valerie Milano


Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 7/24/18 – On Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 the two-hour kick-off episode of THE GREAT AMERICAN READ produced by PBS and hosted by Meredith Vieira was launched for the entire country to contemplate.  During this thrilling segment, Vieira introduced 100 books chosen in a national survey.  One will be named “America’s Best-Loved Novel” through a popular vote ending on Thursday, October 18th, 2018 at midnight PST.

There is still time to vote if you follow this TGAR link:


Meredith Vieira, Host of THE GREAT AMERICAN READ

The chosen books included timeless American children’s classics such as Louisa May Alcott’s LITTLE WOMEN and E.B. White’s CHARLOTTE’S WEB as well as behemoths of world literature such as Leo Tolstoy’s WAR AND PEACE, with surprises such as E.L. James’ erotic potboiler FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.  Comic creations such as John Kennedy Toole’s A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES and the Spanish work that inspired it, Miguel de Cervantes’ DON QUIXOTE, lightened the list considerably.

Popular genres ranging from adventure, sci fi/fantasy, mystery, and horror were represented by novels such as Jack London’s CALL OF THE WILD, Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN, Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, and Stephen King’s THE STAND that elevate their lurid subject matter with superior writing.

Today’s globalizing world was evoked by contemporary titles such as Nigerian author Chinua Achebe’s THINGS FALL APART, which was introduced by Sarah Jessica Parker as one of the show’s many celebrity spokespersons.  Such books qualified for the list as long as they were published in English.  They, too, are part of the great American reading experience.

  1. Scott Fitzgerald’s THE GREAT GATSBY was given pride of place as the last title to be named with a reading of its never to be forgotten final line: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”  Will this wistful tale which renders the pursuit of the American Dream with rare power and poignancy be named America’s best-loved book?

mark samels | PBS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The Great WarThe eight-hour series executive produced by Jane Root features commentary by everyday Americans plus famed figures from the worlds of entertainment, news, and sports as well as literature.  THE GREAT AMERICAN READ will continue its run in five one-hour episodes plus a grand finale during which the winning book will be revealed.

“Who Am I?”–Premieres Tuesday, September 18th, 20188/7c
“Heroes”–Premieres Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 8/7c
“Villains and Monsters”–Premieres Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 8/7c
“What We Do For Love”–Premieres Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 8/7c
“Other Worlds”–Premieres Tuesday, October 16th, 20188/7c
“Grand Finale”–Premieres Tuesday, October 23rd, 20188/7c


THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational, and community outreach campaign that was designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books. What do these 100 novels have to say about our diverse nation and shared American experience?  Please tune in to THE GREAT AMERICAN READ to find out!

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.