Niles-Maine District Library


The Great American Read Winner: To Kill A Mockingbird

This week, the winner of PBS’ The Great American Read was chosen.  Out of 100 fiction books voted by readers around the country, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird was top in the voting.  

At the Niles-Maine District Library, patrons have been able to play along with The Great American Read since June.  Niles-Maine cardholders could read along with The Great American Read and also vote for their favorite book. At the library, our patrons voted J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as the number one pick.  

To be honest, Mockingbird  being voted number one does not surprise me.  When I first heard about The Great American Read, I (and many others!) predicted Lee’s classic would top the list. Don’t get me wrong: I think Mockingbird is a great book.  And it was wonderfully adapted into one of the best films of the 1960s. My consternation stems from the predictability of the choice. When many people talk of their favorite all-time book, Mockingbird is often mentioned.  When fan “best book ever” lists come out, it’s usually on top.  Even many scholars and critics rate it high. It did, after-all, win a Pulitzer Prize in Literature for the ever elusive and private Harper Lee. Which is why I would have loved to see something unusual and surprising claim the number one spot. The runner-up pick, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, would have really shocked the literary world into a tizzy if it had, in fact, taken the number one spot.

I was very surprised the Outlander series did as well as it did.  I knew it was a popular series, but more popular than Pride and Prejudice?  I was thinking that some of Outlander’s popularity might stem from the TV series’ popularity, though, based on that same logic, then George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series, as well as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale would have been higher on the list. There must be more Scottish-time-travel-historical-fantasy fans out there than I thought!  I was also shocked that The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye were not in the top ten.

The Niles-Maine District Library will be hosting a book discussion on To Kill a Mockingbird on Tuesday, November 27 at 7pm.  Copies of the book are available at the Second Floor desk.  


  1. To Kill a Mockingbird
  2. Outlander (Series)
  3. Harry Potter (Series)
  4. Pride and Prejudice
  5. The Lord of the Rings (series) 
  6. Gone with the Wind
  7. Charlotte’s Web
  8. Little Women
  9. The Chronicles of Narnia (series) 
  10. Jane Eyre
  11. Anne of Green Gables
  12. The Grapes of Wrath
  13. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  14. The Book Thief
  15. The Great Gatsby
  16. The Help
  17. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  18. 1984
  19. And Then There Were None
  20. Atlas Shrugged
  21. Wuthering Heights
  22. Lonesome Dove
  23. Pillars of the Earth
  24. The Stand
  25. Rebecca
  26. A Prayer for Owen Meany
  27. The Color Purple
  28. Alice in Wonderland
  29. Great Expectations
  30. Catcher in the Rye
  31. Where the Red Fern Grows
  32. The Outsiders
  33. The Da Vinci Code
  34. The Handmaid’s Tale
  35. Dune
  36. The Little Prince
  37. The Call of the Wild
  38. The Clan of the Cave Bear
  39. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy
  40. The Hunger Games (series)
  41. The Count of Monte Cristo
  42. The Joy Luck Club
  43. Frankenstein
  44. The Giver
  45. Memoirs of a Geisha
  46. Moby Dick
  47. Catch 22
  48. Game of Thrones (series)
  49. Foundation (series)
  50. War and Peace
  51. Their Eyes Were Watching God
  52. Jurassic Park
  53. The Godfather
  54. One Hundred Years of Solitude
  55. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  56. The Notebook
  57. The Shack
  58. A Confederacy of Dunces
  59. The Hunt for Red October
  60. Beloved
  61. The Martian
  62. The Wheel of Time (series)
  63. Siddhartha
  64. Crime and Punishment
  65. The Sun Also Rises
  66. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
  67. A Separate Peace
  68. Don Quixote
  69. The Lovely Bones
  70. The Alchemist
  71. Hatchet (series)
  72. Invisible Man
  73. The Twilight Saga (series)
  74. Tales of the City (series)
  75. Gulliver’s Travels
  76. Ready Player One
  77. Left Behind (series)
  78. Gone Girl
  79. Watchers
  80. The Pilgrim’s Progress
  81. Alex Cross Mysteries (series)
  82. Things Fall Apart
  83. Heart of Darkness
  84. Gilead
  85. Flowers in the Attic
  86. Fifty Shades of Grey
  87. The Sirens of Titan
  88. This Present Darkness
  89. Americanah
  90. Another Country
  91. Bless Me, Ultima
  92. Looking for Alaska
  93. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  94. Swan Song
  95. Mind Invaders
  96. White Teeth
  97. Ghost
  98. The Coldest Winter Ever
  99. The Intuitionist
  100. Doña Bárbára

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