Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird tops list of 100 of America's best-loved novels

Canadian works by Margaret Atwood, William P. Young and Lucy Maud Montgomery made the top 100 for PBS's The Great American Read contest.
Harper Lee smiles before receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House in 2007 in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is the book that American readers loved best, according to the PBS television series The Great American Read. The results were announced on Oct. 23, 2018. 

Over the course of eight episodes, The Great American Read explored the power of reading through the prism of the country's 100 best-loved novels. The list was based on an initial survey of about 7,000 Americans, with an advisory panel of experts organizing the list.

More than 4 million votes were cast in the six-month-long contest that pitted the 100 titles against one another. Books that were published as a series counted as a single entry. 

To Kill a Mockingbird topped a list that included classics like Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger as well as contemporary titles like the The Book Thief by Markus Zuszak, the series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, The Martian by Andy Weir and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

Rounding out the top five are Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series.

To Kill a Mockingbird has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and remains a fixture on school reading lists. The 1962 screen adaptation won three Oscars, including a best-actor trophy for Gregory Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch.

"The novel started out at No. 1 on the first day of the vote and it never wavered," said U.S. television personality series and host Meredith Vieira.

Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for the book after it was published in 1960. It remained the only book of her career until she published a sequel called Go Set a Watchman in 2015. Lee died in 2016 at the age of 89.

This fall, a graphic novel version of To Kill a Mockingbird was adapted and illustrated by British writer Fred Fordham.

Four novels by Canadian authors made the 100-book list: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (#11), A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (#26), who is a permanent resident of Canada, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (#34) and The Shack by William P. Young (#57).​

Here is the complete list:

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. Outlander (series) by Diana Gabalon
  3. Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
  4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  5. Lord of the Rings (series) by J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  7. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
  8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  9. The Chronicles of Narnia (series) by C.S. Lewis
  10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  11. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  12. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  13. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  14. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  15. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  16. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  17. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  18. 1984 by George Orwell
  19. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  20. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  21. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  22. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  23. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  24. The Stand by Stephen King
  25. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  26. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  27. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  28. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  29. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  30. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  31. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  32. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  33. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  34. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  35. Dune by Frank Herbert
  36. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  37. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  38. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
  39. The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  40. The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins
  41. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas 
  42. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  43. Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
  44. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  45. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  46. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  47. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  48. A Song of Ice and Fire (series) by George R.R. Martin
  49. Foundation (series) by  Isaac Asimov
  50. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  51. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  52. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  53. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
  54. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  55. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  56. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  57. The Shack by William P. Young
  58. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  59. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
  60. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  61. The Martian by Andy Weir
  62. The Wheel of Time (series) by James Oliver Rigney 
  63. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  64. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  65. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  66. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  67. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  68. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  69. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  70. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  71. Hatchet (series) by Gary Paulsen
  72. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  73. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer 
  74. Tales of the City (series) by Armistead Maupin
  75. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  76. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  77. Left Behind (series) by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  78. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  79. Watchers by Dean R. Koontz
  80. The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
  81. Alex Cross (series) by James Patterson
  82. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  83. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  84. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  85. Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews
  86. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  87. The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  88. This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti
  89. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  90. Another Country by James Baldwin
  91. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
  92. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  93. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
  94. Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon
  95. Mind Invaders by Dave Hunt
  96. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  97. Ghost by Jason Reynolds
  98. The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
  99. The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
  100. Doña Bárbára by Rómulo Gallegos

— with files from the Associated Press


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