America’s Best-Loved Novel Is Chosen

Oct 24, 2018  •  Post A Comment

The six-month quest to determine the nation’s best-loved novel is over, and the winner is Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The novel was selected by readers nationwide during the PBS survey “The Great American Read.”

The results were announced Tuesday on the show’s finale.

As we reported earlier this week, the 10 finalists, in addition to “Mockingbird,” were (in no particular order) Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”; J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” series; J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series; “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White; “The Chronicles of Narnia” series by C.S. Lewis; “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell; “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte; “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott; and the “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon.

More than 4 million votes were cast during the run of the survey, which began with 100 titles.

Coming in second behind “To Kill a Mockingbird” was the “Outlander” series, followed by the “Harry Potter” series, “Pride and Prejudice” and the “Lord of the Rings” series.


  1. The greatest American novel is “The Catcher in the Rye”. It was the first time that I laughed out loud while reading.

  2. There is a large difference between a novel and a series. If this had been limited only to novels, rather than also including book series – Catcher in the Rye would have been in the top 10. Obviously, the current big entertainment projects Rings, Outlander, Potter and Chronicles have high visibility. The Library of Congress began a multiyear “Celebration of the Book” in July 2012 with an exhibition on Books That Shaped America. Gone with the Wind was included in the Library’s list. Other books on the list considered to be the Great American Novel were Moby-Dick, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, The Catcher in the Rye, Invisible Man, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

  3. What about Moby Dick? That was my first long novel that I had to read.

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