Have you heard about The Great American Read on PBS? It’s an eight-part series aimed at identifying the novel that Americans love most. Now you can discover the 100 novels in PBS’s series, and even vote for your favorite. Here are 7 titles selected from the top 100 that we think you’ll enjoy!
by Alice Sebold
Susie Salmon is not your average teen girl. For starters, she's dead and existing in her own version of heaven—which is a lot like her school's playground. In Alice Sebold's heartbreaking novel, The Lovely Bones, Susie recounts the horrible events that led to her murder and watches over her family as they search for her killer.
Break out the tissues! This classic tearjerker is a timeless tale of two lovers torn apart by war, and the disruption to their lives years later when they are reunited in their hometown. Are they fated to be together? Or has the passing of time made it too late for fate?
The Shack is a supernatural thriller about faith that tells of a murdered girl and her grieving father. Four years after Mack's daughter, Missy, was murdered, a note claiming to be from God arrives, inviting Mack back to the shack where the murder possibly took place. What Mack finds at the shack will test his beliefs and change everything he knows about the world and his place in it.
An exquisitely beautiful novel about one man's lifelong relationship with a mysterious woman named Ultima. Antonio Marez is only six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. As a spiritual practitioner, Ultima helps Tony through several journeys of self-discovery in his life, and together they let magic and wisdom be their guide.
Want to learn more about the books in the Great American Read series? Check out Great American Read: The Book of Books which presents all 100 novels included in the series along with fascinating information about each book, the author, a snapshot of the novel’s social relevance, film or television adaptations, other books and writings by the author, and more little-known facts. It also includes themed articles about banned books, the most influential book illustrators, reading recommendations, the best first-lines in literature, and more.
Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot contributor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Steinbeck and Millay. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.