Playlist The Great American Read

The Great American Read

Pilsen Community Books in Chicago

More of Chicago's Beloved Independent Bookstores

Daniel Hautzinger

Independent bookstores remain an irreplaceable asset, with their staff recommendations and sense of community. We've already featured three Chicago stalwarts, but here are the stories of a few more of the city's beloved indie bookstores.
A bookstore. Photo: Adolfo Felix on Unsplash

Chicago's Independent Bookstores

Daniel Hautzinger

If you love books, you probably also love bookstores, and independent bookstores remain irreplaceable gems, with their staff recommendations, unusual selections, and sense of community. Discover the stories behind a few of Chicago's beloved indie bookstores.
Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis

How a Harry Potter Fan Reimagined the Characters As She Saw Them

Daniel Hautzinger

Chicago native Eliyannah Amirah Yisrael is an ardent Harry Potter fan who wanted to extend her time with the characters she loved, so she made a web series about a 25-year-old Hermione, using her love of reading and power of empathy to reimagine Hermione in her image.
Dune by Frank Herbert

From the Archive: 'Dune' Author Frank Herbert

Daniel Hautzinger

The author of the world's best-selling science fiction novel discusses the broad base of knowledge he draws on in imagining other worlds, as well as his environmentalism. "I refuse to be put in the position of having to tell my grandchildren, 'I'm sorry, there's no more world for you, we used it all up.' " 
Book covers. Photo: Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Can You Guess the Book by Its Cover?

Daniel Hautzinger

We're always being told not to judge a book by its cover, but in this case you should: can you identify 20 books from The Great American Read's list of America's 100 favorite novels by just their covers? Test your knowledge here, and get reading!
Louisa May Alcott. Photo: Orchard House

Beyond 'Little Women': Louisa May Alcott's Other Writings

Daniel Hautzinger

Louisa May Alcott may be best-known for her classic Little Women, but she also wrote racy potboilers in which women transgress societal norms under a pseudonym that wasn't traced to her until decades after death, as well as children's fables and moralisti young adult books.
Jonah Hauer-King as Laurie in Little Women. Photo: MASTERPIECE on PBS, BBC and Playground

America's Favorite Novels, in TV Form

Daniel Hautzinger

PBS loves books. From Masterpiece adaptations of classic novels to documentaries about authors, literature plays a big role in our programming. As we celebrate reading with The Great American Read, discover which of America's favorite novels, plus some other worthy books, can be seen on TV.
The Great American Read. Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash

How Many of America's 100 Favorite Books Have You Read?

Daniel Hautzinger

PBS's The Great American Read has created a list of America's 100 most-loved novels, ranging from classics to sci-fi to romance to humor. See how many you've read, before the series premieres and voting on America's favorite book opens on May 22.
The Chicago "L." Photo: Jackson Hirsch on Unsplash

12 Iconic Works of Chicago Literature

Daniel Hautzinger

When the rest of the world thinks of Chicago, it's often in terms borrowed from literature: "Hog Butcher for the World," a city of slaughterhouses, a gritty, working-class town. What are some of the most iconic literary depictions of the city?
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and poet Alice Walker

From the Archive: Alice Walker

Daniel Hautzinger

The Great American Read's list of America's 100 most-loved books has been revealed, and it includes Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 The Color Purple. Revisit a 2013 interview with Walker on Chicago Tonight. "I go where my heart says I need to be," she says. 
Author Toni Morrison on Callaway Interviews

From the Archive: Toni Morrison

Daniel Hautzinger

In 1977, Toni Morrison spoke to WTTW's John Callaway about empathy, the importance of storytelling, and her deep love of writing in an extraordinary interview. Watch the Nobel Prize-winning novelist speak honestly early in her career.

From the Archives: Nora Ephron

Daniel Hautzinger

Before she wrote and directed such iconic films as When Harry Met Sally... and Sleepless in Seattle, Nora Ephron was a journalist. She appeared on WTTW in 1975 to discuss her book of published essays and share a hilarious story about reporting from the front lines.
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