'The Great American Read': Meredith Vieira, Diana Gabaldon & More on the Books They Can't Put Down

Damian Holbrook

From 1984 to Wuthering Heights — and the 50 Shades of page-turners in between — this series is all about saluting our favorite books. (Think: American Idol for the literary crowd.)

After launching with a special back in May to reveal the 100 novels in contention, the eight-part Read, hosted by Meredith Vieira, returns to tally up the nationwide votes (pbs.org/the-great-american-read/vote).

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There are plenty of TV adaptations in the works, from family dramas to psychological thrillers to supernatural adventures.

On the path to crowning the champ, the episodes will showcase the different genres represented and feature famous authors opining about their own faves. “We want to remind people that it’s cool to read,” says Vieira. “They need to remember how wonderful it is to fall in love with a piece of fiction.”

In the gallery above, Vieira and other big names featured in the series — including Outlander author Diana Gabaldon, Star Trek star Wil Wheaton, Nicholas Sparks, and more — share the books they just can't quit.

The Great American Read, Season Premiere, Tuesday, September 11, 8/7c, PBS (check local listings at pbs.org)