Frequently Asked Questions about The Great American Read and Oklahoma’s special Let’s Talk About It program

 What is The Great American Read?

The Great American Read is a PBS television series that will run on OETA stations. The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books. After an initial PBS program on May 22, Americans were encouraged to read or re-read novels from the list of 100 titles, and vote on their favorite book. The television series returned in the fall with seven episodes, culminating in the revelation of America’s best-loved novel based on the nationwide voting. More information is available at pbs.org/the-great-american-read.

Where can I watch the television series?

Visit our watch page to view the grand finale and find links to the episodes leading up to it.

What are the 100 titles?

You can find all of the titles at pbs.org/the-great-american-read/books.

How were the 100 titles selected?

PBS and the series producers worked with the public opinion polling service “YouGov” to conduct a demographically and statistically representative survey asking Americans to name their most-loved novel. Approximately 7,200 people participated.

The results were tallied and organized based on selection criteria and overseen by an advisory panel of 13 literary industry professionals. The criteria for inclusion on the top 100 list were as follows:

  1. Each author was limited to one title on the list (to keep the list varied).
  2. Books published in series or featuring ongoing characters counted as one eligible entry on the list (e.g. the Harry Potter series or Lord of the Rings) to increase variety.
  3. Books could be from anywhere in the world as long as they were published in English.
  4. Only fiction could be included in the poll.
  5. Each advisory panel member was permitted to select one book for discussion and possible inclusion on the top 100 list from the longer list of survey results.

Tell me about the special Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma program?

Staff at Oklahoma Humanities and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries wanted to join in the fun, and we wanted to provide a way for Oklahomans to read and discuss one of these titles. We selected four titles, and libraries and other eligible institutions may select one of these titles for a reading and discussion program and submit a grant application to Oklahoma Humanities. The grant will pay for a scholar to join the local discussion.

Programs may be held in libraries from through Spring 2019. Libraries may only receive one scholar grant, but libraries may also request to borrow copies of titles without requesting grant funds. Books will be loaned for one-month periods on a first come, first served basis.

What are Oklahoma’s four titles and how were they selected?

Our page Four Titles for Oklahoma introduces the four books and explains why Oklahoma Humanities and Oklahoma Department of Libraries staff selected them.

Who do I contact if I have questions about this Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma program?

Talk to Kelly Burns, Program Officer at Oklahoma Humanities and coordinator for all of the Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma programs.  You can reach Kelly at 405-235-0280 or via e-mail at kelly@okhumanities.org.