Milwaukee Reads -- The Great American Read

Do you like to read? Are you curious about why authors write what they write? If you are you will be interested in The Great American Read.

Milwaukee PBS, the Milwaukee Public Library, the Boswell Book Company and Literacy Services  invites viewers to examine the power, passion and joy of reading, with its multi-platform initiative, The Great American Read. The American public and a panel of literary experts selected 100 of their favorite books to take part in the first national vote to choose "America’s Best-Loved Book."

Learn more here!

We Want Your Vote

Voting begins with the kick-off special and continues throughout the summer, leading up to the grand finale in October 2018. Over the summer, viewers will be able to vote at and through hashtag voting via Facebook and Twitter using #GreatReadPBS. In the fall, viewers will also be able to cast their vote toll-free by phone and through SMS texting. Look for The Great American Read on for more details.

Vote for Your Favorite Novel

Vote for your favorite book. Voting opens 5/22 and continues via digital platforms and social media throughout the summer. Get all the details.

The Great American Read Events

June 21

Join us for a Reading Picnic under the stars at the Washington Park Urban Ecology Center, 1859 N. 40th Street. The program starts at 7 pm. The event features Dasha Kelly Hamiliton, a Milwaukee author. Kelly Hamilton will talk about her work and how it evolved as well as the other work she does in the community. The event is free and open to the public. Tasty treats will be available to enjoy throughout the evening. Please RSVP here to save your spot.

Coming This Fall

The Great American Read televised series will resume in the fall with several themed episodes, including an exciting finale, culminating in the first-ever national vote to choose "America’s Best-Loved Book." It will be the most expansive national celebration of books and reading aimed at engaging multi-generational readers across multiple platforms ever created.

The top 100 book list is based on a public opinion poll, conducted by YouGov on behalf of PBS for The Great American Read that asked respondents to name their favorite novel. An advisory panel of book industry professionals compiled the results. Each author is represented only once, and series such as the “Alex Cross Mysteries” are included as one entry. The chosen books span five centuries, from "Don Quixote" (1603) to "Ghost" (2016). Authors from 15 different countries are represented, with genres ranging from beloved children’s classics such as "Charlotte's Web" to modern best-sellers such as "Twilight."

For the full listing of The Great American Read television specials, as well as special events near you, and other ways to get involved, visit


Funding for The Great American Read is provided by The Anne Ray Foundation and PBS. In addition, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has provided grants, in partnership with PBS, to public media stations across the country to create local content and host screenings and forums to encourage summer reading and participation in the initiative.

America's Favorite 100 Books

Below is the full list of America’s 100 favorite novels, in alphabetical order by title:

A Confederacy of Dunces
A Game of Thrones
A Prayer for Owen Meany
A Separate Peace
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Alchemist
Alex Cross Mysteries**
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
And Then There Were None
Anne of Green Gables
Another Country
Atlas Shrugged
Bless Me, Ultima
The Book Thief
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Call of the Wild
The Catcher in the Rye
Charlotte’s Web
The Chronicles of Narnia**
The Clan of the Cave Bear
The Coldest Winter Ever
The Color Purple
The Count of Monte Cristo
Crime and Punishment
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Da Vinci Code
Don Quixote
Doña Barbara
Fifty Shades of Grey
Flowers in the Attic
The Giver
The Godfather
Gone Girl
Gone with the Wind
The Grapes of Wrath
Great Expectations
The Great Gatsby
Gulliver’s Travels
The Handmaid’s Tale
Harry Potter**

Heart of Darkness
The Help
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The Hunger Games
The Hunt for Red October
The Intuitionist
Invisible Man
Jane Eyre
The Joy Luck Club
Jurassic Park
Left Behind
The Little Prince
Little Women
Lonesome Dove
Looking for Alaska
The Lord of the Rings**
The Lovely Bones
The Martian
Memoirs of a Geisha
Mind Invaders
Moby Dick
The Notebook
One Hundred Years of Solitude
The Outsiders
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Pilgrim’s Progress
The Pillars of the Earth
Pride and Prejudice
Ready Player One
The Shack
The Sirens of Titan
The Stand
The Sun Also Rises
Swan Song
Tales of the City
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Things Fall Apart
This Present Darkness
To Kill a Mockingbird
War and Peace
The Wheel of Time**
Where the Red Fern Grows
White Teeth
Wuthering Heights


**Denotes a series title.