I, a giant nerd who brought books home from the public library in a Radio Flyer wagon as a kid, have been waiting on pins and needles for PBS to announce The Great American Read, otherwise known as America’s favorite fiction book. Well, that announcement came this week and the winner is To Kill A Mockingbird, which bested the Harry Potter and Outlander series. Eh? I find that answer slightly obvious—guess it could have been The Catcher In The Rye, too—but I suppose that’s what you get from a national survey of 7,200 people. What would you have chosen? [Kate Bernot]
To Kill A Mockingbird is an excellent choice, no question. I mean, let’s just be glad the answer wasn’t Fifty Shades Of Gray, which was also on the list. Make no mistake, I have no problem with that book’s (weak) eroticism; it’s the horrific grammar throughout that I find so disturbing.
But if PBS had asked me, I would have gone with my favorite book from college: Ernest Hemingway’s debut novel The Sun Also Rises. Before he got all bogged down with the machismo related to deep-sea fishing, Hemingway offered a bright, funny, yet still pointed travelogue of a group of friends from the “lost generation” as they tour Europe after World War I. I read it at a very impressionable age, and quotes like “Don’t you ever get the feeling that all your life is going by and you’re not taking advantage of it?” still remind me to try keep my life from going by so quickly, even years later. [Gwen Ihnat]