United States public service broadcaster PBS recently released the results for The Great American Read survey, ranking the most beloved books as voted on by readers across the nation.
Initially, PBS/YouGov conducted a survey of around 7,200 Americans, who were invited to nominate their favorite novel. Out of the longlist, an advisory panel of experts from the literary industry cut the public’s responses to 100 books. Writers were limited to one novel or series. Provided the book was written in English, authors could be from anywhere in the world.
The shortlist was then voted on by readers. Over four million votes were cast in the six-month long poll.
When all was said and done, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird was named America’s favorite novel.
To Kill a Mockingbird tells a poignant coming-of-age story about racism and injustice in the American South. Set in the 1930s, the novel centers on lawyer Atticus Finch and his young children, daughter Scout and son Jem. When Atticus defends an African-American man falsely accused of assaulting a white woman, the trial and its associated events teach Scout important lessons about life, compassion and morality.
To Kill a Mockingbird has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide since its 1960 release.
Notably, five out of the top 10 authors are American, and seven out of the top 10 novels were written by women.
The Great American Read initiative included a TV series, a 50,000-member online book club, and a widespread social media campaign.
The full ranked list of 100 books can be found on the Great American Read website. See the top 20 below, followed by footage of Meredith Vieira and Diana Gabaldon (whose Outlander series landed high on the list) discussing The Great American Read in the Paste Studio earlier this week.
The Great American Read Results:
20. Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
19. Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None
18. George Orwell, 1984
17. Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
16. Kathryn Stockett, The Help
15. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
14. Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
13. Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
12. John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
11. Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
10. Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
09. C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia (series)
08. Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
07. E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
06. Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
05. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (series)
04. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
03. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter (series)
02. Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (series)
01. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird