The voting is over, and the Great American Read has been selected. Today I’ll give my hot take on the top five books, and I’m assuming you have at least a minimal understanding of the plot. Spoilers abound.
#5 The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
They’re overrated sausage fests with the occasional woman. But the women are all fucking problematic, especially Eowyn. Eowyn kills the witch king, in a pretty badass scene, and she does have the “I am no man” line BUT she’s only there because she’s following around a man who doesn’t love her in hopes that he will one day. Also, they’re so fucking long because Tolkien loved Norse mythology so a fucking death scene takes like twenty pages. I happen to hate the books, but tons of people love them. I believe that it genuinely earned its place in the top five.
#4 Pride and Prejudice
So I have a complicated relationship with Pride and Prejudice, because I read it instead of Sense and Sensibility or vice versa. Regardless, I read the wrong book in college, and had to read the correct book in a single night so I could do the assignment. I looked like an idiot in class, too, for bonus points. I love a lot of media based on P&P, though, and I think I need to give it another chance. But I’m not sure if this is here because people legit love P&P or if they think they’re supposed to.
#3 Harry Potter series
I totally buy this. It’s a complex, well written series that turned a generation of kids into readers and their adults (including me) into YA readers. It’s been twenty years and my daughter started a Harry Potter club, is going to be Hermione for Halloween, and is having her second Harry Potter themed birthday in a row. This isn’t just a book series, it’s a phenomenon that no one is ready to leave, because it’s for Always.
#2 Outlander series
My hot take is that it scored so high because of the tv show. I think it would always have scored high because the series is very popular. But #2? That’s inflation caused by the tv show (which, don’t get me, I watch and love). But I buy it a hell of a lot more than #1.
#1 To Kill a Mockingbird
Seriously? This won because people think they should love this book. I mean, it’s okay. I read it like three times in jr. high and high school (I moved a lot), and for a while it was even my “favorite book” when I was like fifteen. But even then, while I made the claim, there were books I liked way better but was embarrassed to admit that I did. With perspective–it’s an overrated book.
What’s your hot take? Thoughts, opinions?