The Great American Read, Part 2

A couple of days ago, I shared my 10 Picks from the Great American Read, a new TV show and campaign from PBS. I had a few more thoughts on the list that I wanted to share with you.

Something I realized from reading through this list was how many classics I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading. I went through the list with my boyfriend, and so many of the books he had read were assigned to him in school. The books I was assigned by my teachers, however, were significantly fewer. I want to read all of these classics though, so I’ve added many of them to my TBR list. Here are the five books I’m most excited about reading:

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – I’ve had this book on my TBR list since it was released, so this was the inspiration I needed to finally get a copy.
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe – This is a book that my boyfriend had read in school and one that he recommended to me. It sounds harrowing, and I can’t wait to read it.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Everyone raves about this book, and I’m assuming there’s a reason for it.
  • The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead – The Underground Railroad is one of my favorite books of all time, so I definitely want to read everything else Colson Whitehead has written.
  • Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen – I know, I know. Everyone should have read this book at some point, especially before reaching thirty years old. Somehow, though, I missed out. To correct that error, it’s going to be one of the next five books I read.

One of the first things I noticed about the list was the inclusion of two novels I was shocked to see: The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer and Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.

I feel like both of those books are too polarizing to be included. All of the other books, for the most part, are books that are adored and appreciated by everyone;  many of them are books that have influenced American culture. Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, however, are books that were popular for a short time and were loathed as much as loved. They’re not on the same caliber as the majority of the rest of this list.

What do you think? Should books like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey have been excluded? Why or why not?

Author: Penny Wright

Absolutely bookish.

2 thoughts

  1. How on Earth did those two get on the list! Definitely astonished by that. Maybe it’s really their popularity, controversial as they may be, that got them on the list and not the message (if there is any) conveyed by the stories. 😀 Of the other books, I’ve only read The Alchemist back in high school, and in French! Hope you enjoy these when you get around to them. 😀

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