The Great American Read

TGAR logo horiz secondary uses multiABOUT THE SERIES
THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part television and online series designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved, and shaped us. The series will engage audiences with a list of 100 diverse books. Audiences are encouraged to read the books, vote from the list of 100, and share their personal connections to the titles. Episodes from the series will feature appearances by celebrities, athletes, experts, authors, and everyday Americans advocating for their favorite book. THE GREAT AMERICAN READ premieres Tuesday, May 22 at 8 pm on PBS. Visit to see the books. 

Liverpool Public Library is one of 50 libraries nationwide to receive an ALA grant and the rights to pre-screen the PBS series.

Preview Screening of The Great American Read Premiere
Sunday, May 20 • 2-4pm
Sargent Meeting Room

Join us for a special sneak peek of the premiere episode of PBS’ THE GREAT AMERICAN READ. before its official air date of May 22. Will your book be on the list? No registration is required but seating is limited. 

Book Tasting at The Hope Cafe
Tuesday, May 29 • 6:30-8:30pm
Hope Café, 305 Vine St #5, Liverpool, NY

Join the library at The Hope Cafe for a "Book Tasting". At this fun and unique program, guests will have the chance to "taste" America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey). Every 15 minutes, participants rotate between tables and discuss the books located on that table. Books will be grouped by theme. Check out a book to take home! Light refreshments will be provided. The kitchen will be open if guests wish to purchase additional food on their own.

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Watch for additional programs in the summer and fall including...

Book Bike: Bringing Books to the Community
June - September

Liverpool Library rides the very popular Book Bike into the community, towing a cart stocked with books and library materials. Patrons will be able to check out Great American Read books as well as vote and hear about related events.

2018 Summer Reading Club
June 25 – August 31
The Adult Summer Reading Club will include a set of challenges in which registrants can participate to increase their chances of winning a grand prize at the end of the summer. Several challenges will be directly tied to The Great American Read.

The Great American Read Art and Writing Challenge  
August 1 – October 15
Five key themes are explored during this series. The library challenges teens and adults to respond to one of the themes through art and/or writing. Your work will be displayed at the library and you will receive a free t-shirt for entering the challenge. Enter your drawing, painting, collage, photography, graphic design, essay or poetry. 

Bestsellers to Blockbusters Book Club - The Help 
Monday, August 13
6-9pm • Carman Community Room
Read The Help (one of The Great American Read books) and come together to watch the film adaptation. Following the viewing, participants will discuss the book and film.

Book Clubs and Book Club Kits
Liverpool Library has created 5 Book Club and/or Book to Movie Club kits; each kit containing 12 copies of a Great American Read title and discussion questions. Movie kits will also have one copy of the film version. Patrons will be able to check out a kit and host a book club. They can also join the library’s club on August 13th to discuss a preselected Great American Read book (Rebecca by Dame Daphne du Maurier).

Debate: What is the best Great American Read book, and why?
September 13th, 7-8pm • Carman Community Room
This debate, hosted by Debbie Stack of local PBS station, WCNY, will encourage passionate, yet civil, dialogue. Defend your favorite Great American Read. How does this book challenge your view of social structure? How is a character/theme/situation a reflection of yourself, your fears or desires? Using some of the overarching questions, some lively discussion will connect community members.

Top 10 Reveal: Finale Screening
Tuesday, October 23 •  Carman Community Room, 7-9pm

This much anticipated event, in collaboration with our local PBS affiliate, WCNY, will be an exciting finale to our months of reading, voting, and programming. Book clubs will be encouraged to attend and dress or decorate in character of their favorite book. Liverpool Library’s very own top 10 Great American Books will be revealed before the live broadcast on PBS. 


Visit for more information and the booklist.

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