100 Great American Reads Challenge

When I first heard about this list, I posted a video tabulating how many of the titles I had read. Spoiler alert: at the time I made the video, I had read 25 but I decided to challenge myself to read all (or most) of the books in the upcoming months. Click below to watch the video

I decided not to put a time limit on it because some of the books are not from my usual genre or are books that I have known about for a while but just wasn’t interested enough by to read for myself (The Twilight series and the Fifty Shades series are two that come to mind most readily). However, as I said before and I echo in this forum, more than just reading for my own pleasure, I enjoy being able to discuss what I have read and laud the positives or my criticisms so I am sharing the list here that I can update as I read more of the books and maybe even invite you to join me in reading and sharing a few of the literary adventures we wouldn’t otherwise undertake.  As I’ve set some other reading goals for 2019 (Click here for the post listing all my bookish goals), I plan to include some of these titles in my other reading plans to get more of this challenge completed this year as well.

Take the quiz here:

  • 1984 George Orwell
  • A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving
  • A Separate Peace John Knowles
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain 
  • The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
  • Alex Cross Mysteries (series) James Patterson
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
  • Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • And Then There Were None Agatha Christie
  • Anne of Green Gables Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Another Country James Baldwin
  • Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
  • Beloved Toni Morrison
  • Bless Me, Ultima Rudolfo Anaya
  • The Book Thief Markus Zusak
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Díaz
  • The Call of the Wild Jack London
  • Catch-22 Joseph Heller
  • The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
  • Charlotte’s Web E.B. White
  • The Chronicles of Narnia (series) C.S. Lewis
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear Jean M. Auel
  • The Coldest Winter Ever Sister Souljah
  • The Color Purple Alice Walker
  • The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
  • Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon
  • The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
  • Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes
  • Doña Bárbára Rómulo Gallegos
  • Dune Frank Herbert
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (series) E.L. James
  • Flowers in the Attic V.C. Andrews
  • Foundation (series) Isaac Asimov
  • Frankenstein Mary Shelley
  • A Game of Thrones (series) George R.R. Martin
  • Ghost Jason Reynolds
  • Gilead Marilynne Robinson
  • The Giver Lois Lowry
  • The Godfather Mario Puzo
  • Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
  • Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell
  • The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
  • Great Expectations Charles Dickens
  • The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift
  • The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
  • Harry Potter (series) J.K. Rowling
  • Hatchet (series) Gary Paulsen
  • Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad read 2019 
  • The Help Kathryn Stockett
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
  • The Hunger Games (series) Suzanne Collin
  • The Hunt for Red October Tom Clancy
  • The Intuitionist Colson Whitehead
  • Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
  • Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë read 2019 
  • The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan
  • Jurassic Park Michael Crichton
  • Left Behind (series) Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  • The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Little Women Louisa May Alcott
  • Lonesome Dove Larry McMurtry
  • Looking for Alaska John Green
  • The Lord of the Rings (series) J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold
  • The Martian Andy Weir
  • Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden
  • Mind Invaders Dave Hunt
  • Moby-Dick Herman Melville
  • The Notebook Nicholas Sparks
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez
  • Outlander (series) Diana Gabaldon
  • The Outsiders S.E. Hinton
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
  • The Pilgrim’s Progress John Bunyan
  • The Pillars of the Earth Ken Follett
  • Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
  • Ready Player One Ernest Cline
  • Rebecca Daphne du Maurie
  • The Shack William P. Young
  • Siddhartha Hermann Hesse
  • The Sirens of Titan Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Stand Stephen King
  • The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
  • Swan Song Robert R. McCammon
  • Tales of the City (series) Armistead Maupin
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
  • Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
  • This Present Darkness Frank E. Peretti
  • To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
  • The Twilight Saga (series) Stephenie Meyer
  • War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • Watchers Dean Koontz
  • The Wheel of Time (series) Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
  • Where the Red Fern Grows Wilson Rawls
  • White Teeth Zadie Smith
  • Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

red highlight = books read at the time of this blog post

blue highlight = books read since then 

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Kay R.D. says:

    Ive read quite a few of those. Ill go take the quiz. You have so many challenges going on girl – if anyone can do it though its you!


    1. Run Wright says:

      It looks like a lot but some of them overlap, and some of them are more long term challenges, not just for the year but I will have to try to keep it to these (for now) so I don’t lose focus.


  2. S.C. Jensen says:

    I’ve got 49 from this list, if you let me count a couple of series that I read the first 3 or so of but haven’t finished (never did get to the 5th GoT book once it finally came out, and the Wheel of Time series is seemingly endless, lol) Most of mine overlap with yours. I feel like this list is missing some essentials, though. Where are Maya Angelou and Ocatvia E. Butler?


    1. Run Wright says:

      Thanks for your response and you ask a great question. The way I understand it, the list was generated by votes so we have those who submitted their favorites to thank for these 100 titles. I didn’t know about the poll so I didn’t vote and thus can’t complain that some of my favs aren’t on the list either 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. S.C. Jensen says:

        I actually realized that after I added my comment 😅 The popular vote is not necessarily the best or most influential works. I’m actually impressed that there are as many great books on the list as they are, given the polling format. There may yet be hope for humanity!


      2. Run Wright says:

        Haha. I love that!


What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts as well.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s