The Great American Read in South Dakota
Email share

The Lovely Bones author Alice Sebold in Brookings

Alice Sebold, whose novel The Lovely Bones is featured on PBS’s 
The Great American Read America’s 100 Favorite Books List, will be at the South Dakota Festival of Books as part of SDPB’s partnership with the South Dakota Humanities Council (SDHC).

At the Festival of Books, Sebold will speak to college students and participate in an evening keynote event, an on-stage conversation with Lori Walsh, host of SDPB’s In the Moment, Friday, Sept. 21, in Brookings. See for details.

Publishers Weekly called The Lovely Bones, “A small but far from minor miracle. Sebold has taken a grim, media-exploited subject and fashioned from it a story that is both tragic and full of light and grace. The description of the crime is chilling, but never vulgar, and Sebold maintains this delicate balance between homely and horrid as she depicts the progress of grief for Susie’s family and friends.” Published in 2002, the novel became an unprecedented international bestseller, with translations in over 45 languages and American sales alone of more than five million copies. The 2009 film version starred Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Stanley Tucci. The book was also featured in Oprah’s Book Club and Indies Choice Book Award for Adult Fiction.

Image - LovelyBones_Bookcover.jpg

Books for Your Book Club

SDPB is also partnering with the SDHC to feature The Lovely Bones and two other titles from The Great American Read’s 100 Favorite Books List as part of the SDHC’s “Book Club to Go” program. For a $50 application fee, your book club can receive up to 30 copies of a title from the lending library, plus an SDHC scholar to lead a discussion. Go to to apply.
TGAR Book Club to Go titles include:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013)

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. In America, accomplished and self-assured Ifemelu is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. With post-9/11 America closed to him, quiet, thoughtful Obinze plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (2007)

Foster girl Liesel Meminger scratches out a meager existence in Munich by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. Her accordion-playing foster father teaches her to read as she shares her stolen books with neighbors during bombing raids and with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. 

PBS’s The Great American Read is a TV series and digital initiative about the power of books and the joy of reading told through the lens of America’s 100 best-loved novels. View the list of America’s 100 Favorite Books and vote for your favorite! See