PBS's Great American Read contest is entering the second month of its five-month contest to select America’s best-loved book by the voting public. The election winner will be announced on October 23. If selecting from a list of 100 titles seems overwhelming then take another tact. From the Read the 100 List webpage, you can filter the list by genre and vote. The first genre listed is Mystery/Horror with 13 selections. A mystery and thriller book lover can stop there for instance.
The first three books listed are clear mysteries with James Patterson’s Alex Cross mystery series, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. Some other titles though include the mystery fiction element but stress another genre. Look at Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. When considered as a reading option, you would first think of organized crime and Italian Americans as opposed to a mystery and detective story. Likewise, William P. Young’s The Shack and Frank E. Peretti’s This Present Darkness have a strong Christian religious bend. And Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October is a spy fiction novel.
The setup for this contest is based on a survey of more than 7,000 people in “a demographically and statistically representative survey asking Americans to name their most-loved novel” using the public polling opinion service “YouGov.” A panel of 13 literary industry professionals refined the list to its 100 titles.
So, again, when reviewing all the recommended titles by genre, the public did share their favorite novels. Some books have strong movie tie-ins or longtime popular authors, it does not matter. Some may also find it odd to match various titles to their assigned genre in The Great American Read contest (there are a total of 12 genres for the 100 book titles) but the goal was to streamline the process. In any regard, you can filter the book nominees by categories and make your call by voting either online or when you enter your local library branch and complete a paper slip to enter a ballot box.
The Great American Read is made possible by the Anne Ray Foundation, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.