Friday, May 25, 2018

The Great American Read(er)

Did y'all watch The Great American Read?!?

As the blog post obviously indicates, I am, and I have thoughts to share.

Going into this, I wasn't sure if it was for me. I mean, honestly, I was trying to figure out just what this was. However, given it involved books (and also because Meredith Viera was hosting, and I adore her), I knew I wanted to give it a whirl.

My trepidation about if this was for me quickly evaporated as I was a mess of emotional tears in the first five minutes of the kickoff. Y'all, I'm not exaggerating. I was that up in my feelings. There was just such beauty in people talking so passionately about the book(s) they loved the most.

(Time Out - If you haven't had a chance to watch, you can do that HERE. NOW. GO. . . well, go as soon as you finish this blog post.)

The overall concept is an intriguing one. Through some fancy polling strategies, PBS has built the list of America's most beloved novels. It's quite a mixed lot of novels which speaks to the fact that they really did take the time to build a list with a variety of readers. 

The special this week was the kick-off, and they're now encouraging viewers/readers to take a couple of actions:
  1. Vote for your favorite(s). You can vote once at day, so if you just can't choose, they've taken that stress off your shoulders.
  2. Tell others about your favorites. Admittedly, I've got a few that are my true favorites not on the list which is another post for another day. However, there are some books I have read and do adore that will gladly sing the praises of to others.
  3. Read stuff you've never read. Obvs, I'm already reading a fair amount. However, I'm committing to adding some of these to my list. WIth that, I'd definitely love recommendations, so send those my way.
There is a checklist for you to track your progress on the list, too. #iloveagoodlist

If you'd like to get summaries, you can do that here.

As it stands now, I've read 38 of the finalists (and maybe a few more because I took at class called The Novel my freshman year at K-State, and I'm blanking on all the books we read). Most of these are checked off because I read them for school, and most of that was due to high school honors English, and y'all, I'll be real, I can't say I loved some of these then. I'm also quite sure I'm not motivated enough now to give them another go to see if my teenage distaste was accurate. #sorrynotsorry 

Already Read (* if I read them for school) - A Prayer for Owen Meany, A Separate Peace*, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Alchemist, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, The Book Thief, The Catcher In the Rye*, Charlotte's Web, The Chronicles of Narnia (series)*, Crime and Punishment*, The Curious Incident of Dog in the Night-Time, Frankenstein*, The Giver, Gone Girl, The Grapes of Wrath*, Great Expectations*, The Great Gatsby*, The Handmaid's Tale*, Harry Potter (series), Hatchet, Heart of Darkness*, The Help, Hunger Games (series), Invisible Man*, Little Women, Looking for Alaska, The Lord of the Rings (series), The Lovely Bones, The Martian, Pride and Prejudice*, Ready Player One, The Shack, The Sun Also Rises, Things Fall Apart*, To Kill a Mockingbird*, The Twilight Saga (series), Where the Red Fern Grows

After watching the kickoff special and looking through the list, I've also identified seven books I haven't yet read that I decided I for sure want to read. I may add more to the list pending the recommendations of others, but this is where I'd like to start.
  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Note: I've technically already read The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, however this was in first grade, so I'd like to give it a re-read in this millenium.
  4. Ghost by Jason Reynolds
  5. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  6. The Outsiders by SE Hinton
  7. The Stand by Stephen King
Overall, I'm all about this challenge. Meredith Viera promised that they're be events for the program at my local library and/or PBS station, so I'm looking forward to seeing what those things are going to be. Also, I'm always a fan of getting people to read good books.

Oh, and if you're about that Goodreads life, I'm a total over-acheiver, and made a bookshelf with all the books here.

So, are you in?