The Great American Read: Vote Now on the Top 2 Books

Great American Read Book Collage

The Great American Read, presented by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), is exploring the power of reading with an eight-episode series where viewers will vote for the top book from a list of 100 of the most-loved novels. And our community is participating in this national celebration of reading!

The Reston Regional Library is one of 50 libraries nationwide to receive a grant from the American Library Association and PBS to host programs around the television series. We have also partnered with our local PBS station, WETA TV 26, which will air the series. To supplement the PBS show, we want you to vote in a series of polls from the same list to determine Fairfax County’s favorite book.

The 100 books have been placed into a bracket and divided into quadrants based on the years they were published: The Classics, Mid-Century, Late Century and Contemporary.

This week, voting is open for the top two books across all four categories.  Voting closes on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 11:30 p.m. The winning book will be announced on Monday, Oct. 22.

Learn More About This Project


The Top 2
Final 2

Gone with the Wind
To Kill a Mockingbird

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Gone with the WindWidely considered The Great American Novel, and often remembered for its epic film version, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction. This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just in time to see the Civil War forever change her way of life.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill a MockingbirdOne of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father–a crusading local lawyer–risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.


How They Got Here

Gone with the Wind (The Classics Quadrant)

  • Round 1 – Bye
  • Round 2 – Defeated Call of the Wild (65%-35%)
  • Round of 32 – Defeated Frankenstein (69%-31%)
  • Round of 16 – Defeated Jane Eyre and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (44%-26%-30%)
  • Round of 8 – Defeated Pride and Prejudice (64%-36%)
  • Final 5 – Defeated The Color Purple and The Wheel of Time (64%-7%-29%)

To Kill a Mockingbird (Mid-Century Quadrant)

  • Round 1 – Bye
  • Round 2 – Defeated A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (81%-19%)
  • Round of 32 – Defeated Lord of the Rings (62%-38%)
  • Round of 16 – Defeated Catch 22 (87%-13%)
  • Round of 8 – Defeated Charlotte’s Web (73%-27%)
  • Final 5 – Defeated Harry Potter (62%-38%)


The Bracket
Click the image to view a larger bracket (then click “View full size”)
Download a PDF of the bracket


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