America's favorite novel? Here are the leaders

By Mike Hughes

As voting nears its
final days for “The Great American Read,” one thing is clear: It
helps if a book has a double appeal, to kids and grown-ups.

PBS' “Read”
asked people to choose from a list of 100 favorite novels. A week
before the voting deadline (Oct. 18 at 11:59 p.m. PT), it released a
list of the 10 leaders, in no particular order.

Half of them fit
that youth-or-grownups description. There's “Charlotte's Web,”
“Little Women,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the “Harry
Potter” and “Chronicles of Narnia” series.

Another one – the
“Lord of the Rings” series – could also fit. That leaves four
books with mainly adult appeal ... all with romance as key parts:
“Gone With the Wind,” “Jane Eyre,” “Pride and Prejudice”
and the “Outlander” series.

That top-10 was
compiled from 3.8 million votes, but the count continues, with voting

The “Read”
series has been running at 8 p.m. Tuesdays on PBS. The Oct. 16
episode will look at books that visit other worlds; the Oct. 23 one
will reveal the winner. If you scroll down a ways, you'll find three stories I did last month, when the series was starting.