PBS series ‘The Great American Read” looks at America’s 100 best-loved books

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The Great American Read” is a new series from PBS that hopes to get people talking about reading, starting with a list of America’s 100 best-loved books.

The list is comprised of novels across the spectrum from serious to whimsical. It includes time-tested authors like Herman Melville, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens as well as recent best-sellers like “Harry Potter,” “The Martian” and “Gone Girl.” The eight episode series will invite authors and readers to describe and discuss the books.

Viewers can begin voting for what they think is America’s best-loved book now at pbs.org/the-great-american-read/vote/. Only books from the list can be chosen – no write-ins. Arizona Poet Laureate Alberto Rios says the list and the winner aren’t definitive, but they provide a snapshot of what Americans enjoy reading in 2018.

“I think the great magic of reading is that it moves you,” Rios says. “What people mean when they say ‘it moved me’ is, it moved you from where you’re sitting to what you’re feeling. It’s a distance that no one can see. It’s personal. It’s meaningful and it changes us. Oddly enough, you can’t explain it to anybody. You don’t see things happening around you. Reading is an intensely personal thing and it’s different for most people.”

Rios shared an idea that exemplifies how the list is both ambitious and laid-back. “‘There is a very big difference between an ambitious man who wants to read a book, and a tired man who wants a book to read,'” Rios says, quoting the novelist G. K. Chesterton.

The full list of books can be found at pbs.org/the-great-american-read/books.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON ARIZONA HORIZON. HOW PHOENIX MAYOR GREG STANTON'S RESIGNATION TO RUN FOR CONGRESS SHAKES UP THE PHOENIX CITY COUNCIL. ALSO TONIGHT, HEAR ABOUT A PROGRAM THAT ENCOURAGES AMERICANS TO READ. AND HOW THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE IS PROMPTING MORE IMMIGRANTS TO BECOME AMERICAN CITIZENS. THOSE STORIES AND MORE, NEXT, ON ARIZONA HORIZON.
VOICEOVER: ARIZONA HORIZON IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE SUPPORT OF ARIZONA HIGHWAYS MAGAZINE. ESCAPE EXPLORE EXPERIENCE. AND BY APS, WORKING 24/7 TO KEEP ARIZONA ON. AND BY THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE FRIENDS OF EIGHT MEMEBERS OF YOUR ARIZONA PBS STATION.
TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO ARIZONA HORIZON. I'M TED SIMONS. FORMER MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO TURNED IN 10,000 PETITION SIGNATURES TODAY IN HIS BID TO SUCCEED RETIRING U.S. SENATOR JEFF FLAKE. ARPAIO SUBMITTED THE SIGNATURES TO QUALIFY FOR THE GOP PRIMARY ON AUGUST 28TH. CONGRESSWOMAN MARTHA MCSALLY AND FORMER STATE SENATOR KELLI WARD ARE ALSO RUNNING IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY. ARPAIO SERVED AS SHERIFF FOR 24-YEARS. HE WAS DEFEATED IN 2016 AS HE FACED A CRIMINAL CONTEMPT CHARGE FOR DISOBEYING A JUDGE'S ORDER TO STOP TRAFFIC PATROLS THAT TARGET IMMIGRANTS. ARPAIO WAS CONVICTED OF THE CHARGE, BUT LATER PARDONED BY PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP. PHOENIX MAYOR GREG STANTON'S ANNOUNCEMENT YESTERDAY THAT HE'S RESIGNING TO RUN FOR CONGRESS OPENS UP ALL SORTS OF SCENARIOS REGARDING CITY LEADERSHIP. JOINING US NOW TO HELP GUIDE US THROUGH THE RESULTING LABRYNTH IS DUSTIN GARDINER, WHO'S COVERED THE CITY COUNCIL FOR THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC. GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN. THANKS FOR BEING HERE. FIRST OF ALL THIS WAS NO SURPRISE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT.
DUSTIN GARDINER: NO SURPRISE AT ALL.
TED SIMONS: NOW WITH THAT IN MIND, HOW LONG IS HE OFFICIALLY IN OFFICE.
DUSTIN GARDINER: SO HE IS OFFICALLY IN OFFICE THAT'S UNTIL HIS RESIGNATION TAKES AFFECT AND HE SAID THAT IS UNTIL NOON ON MAY 29th.
TED SIMONS: BY THE WAY HE IS RESIGNING TO RUN FOR KIRSTEN CINEMA’S CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT NINE SEAT. SHE IS RUNNING FOR THE US SENATE. WITH THAT IN MIND. WHO IS THE INTERIM MAYOR, HOW LONG IS THAT PERSON INTERIM MAYOR?
DUSTIN GARDINER: THE WAY THE PROCESS WORKS THERE IS A VICE MAYOR WHO IS CURRENTLY COUNCIL WOMAN THELMA WILLIAMS. THE VICE MAYOR SERVES AS MAYOR FOR TEN DAYS AND OTHER CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS WILL SELECT AN INTERIM MAYOR AFTER THAT POINT. ALL OF THE POLITICAL INSIDERS THAT I HAVE TALKED TO SAY THAT'S DEFINITLEY GOING TO BE THELMA WILLIAMS.AND THEN SHE WILL SERVE IF THAT IS ACCURATE AND SHE IS SELECTED AS INTERIM MAYOR, SHE WILL SERVE UNTIL THERE IS A SPECIAL SELECTION TO SELECT A NEW MAYOR IN NOVEMBER. AND IF NO ONE GETS A MAJORITY IN THAT NOVEMBER ELECTION, THERE WILL BE A RUN RUNOFF NEXT MARCH. SO SHE COULD SERVE, YOU KNOW CLOSE TO A YEAR.
TED SIMONS: THAT IS QUITE A LONG TIME. SO YOU GOT TEN DAYS BEFORE THE COUNCIL ELECTION AND THEN NOVEMBER FOR A GENERAL ELECTION. IF NO ONE GETS 50%, ANOTHER ELECTION IN MARCH. WHOLE TIME THELMA WILLIAMS IS SITTING IN. MOST LIKELY.
DUSTIN GARDINER: CORRECT.
TED SIMONS: THE NEXT MAYOR, CANDIDATES HAVE TO DECLARE IN NEXT TEN DAYS? TRUE?
DUSTIN GARDINER: YES.
TED SIMONS: WHO ARE THE CANDIDATES THEY ARE MOST LIKELY TO DECLARE?
DUSTIN GARDINER: THE TWO HEAVY HITTERS AT THIS POINT ARE COUNSEL MEMBERS GIAGO AND VENEZUELA. THERE ARE SEVERAL OTHER CANDIDATES IN THE RACE. THERE'S REPUBLICAN MOSES SANCHEZ. BUT AT THIS POINT, I THINK EVERYONE SORT OF SEES THIS AS A TWO-PERSON RACE BETWEEN GIAGO AND VENEZUELA. BOTH OF THEM HAVE BEEN COUNSEL MEMBERS FOR QUITE A FEW YEARS. BOTH HAVE STRONG SUPPORT IN BUSINESS COMMUNITY WITH LABOR UNIONS AND CITY HALL INSIDERS. SO I THINK THIS IS SHAPING UP TO BE A STRONG SLUGFEST BETWEEN THE TWO OF THEM.
TED SIMONS: YEAH. BOTH DEMOCRATS. NOW MOSES SANCHEZ HE IS I’VE READ HE IS KIND OF PUSHING THIS GUY BECAUSE HE'S A REPUBLICAN.
DUSTIN GARDINER: CORRECT. HE WILL BE A CONTENDER IN THE RACE BUT PHOENIX IS NOT ELECTED A REPUBLICAN MAYOR SINCE LATE 90S. THE CITY YOU KNOW LEADS PRETTY STRONGLY DEMOCRAT. AND SANCHEZ IS COMING AT THIS AS POLITICAL OUTSIDER. IT IS GOING TO BE PROBABLY DIFFICULT FOR HIM TO RAISE AS MUCH MONEY AND BUILD THE SORT OF SUPPORT BASE THAT VENEZUELA OR GIAGO HAVE. BOTH HAVE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS IN THE BANK AND ARE PRETTY WELL POSITIONED TO RUN A FORMIDABLE CAMPAIGN.
TED SIMONS: AND AGAIN THEY HAVE TO DECLARE IN THE NEXT TEN DAYS. THEN HOW LONG BEFORE THEY HAVE TO RESIGN?
DUSTIN GARDINER: THEY WOULD HAVE UNTIL ABOUT THE LATE SUMMER TO RESIGN ITS EARLY AUGUST. DEPENDING WHEN THEY RESIGN TRIGGERS THE SELECTIONS TO FILL THEIR SEATS. IF THEY WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE, THEIR ELECTION FOR THEIR SEAT PROBABLY WILL NOT HAPPEN UNTIL THE FOLLOWING MARCH.
TED SIMONS: BUT IF THEY DID RESIGN, BEFORE JUNE 19th, THEN WHAT HAPPENS?
DUSTIN GARDINER: IF THEY RESIGN BEFORE JUNE 19th, THEN THE ELECTION FOR THOSE SEATS WILL COME UP THIS NOVEMBER.
TED SIMONS: FOR THE SEATS THAT THET ARE LEAVING.
DUSTIN GARDINER: YES. SO THE DISTRICT 5 AND DISTRICT 8 CITY COUNCIL SEATS THAT WOULD BE ON BALLOT WITH THE MAYORS RACE IN NOVEMBER.
TED SIMONS: BUT AGAIN AFTER JUNE 19th THEN THAT GOES TO MARCH ALONG WITH A POSSIBLE RUNOFF ELECTION.
DUSTIN GARDINER: YES.
TED SIMONS: ARE WE GOING TO GET ANYONE SITTING IN THE CHAIR LONG ENOUGH TO KEEP IT WARM.
DUSTIN GARDINER: YOU KNOW IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT HOW THIS IS GOING TO TURN OUT. IT ALL JUST DEPENDS ON WHICH DOMINO IS PULLED OUT FIRST WHICH COUNCIL MEMBER RESIGNS FIRST. IT WILL BE VERY INTERESTING TO SEE HOW IT ALL KIND OF PLAYS OUT.
TED SIMONS: WITH THAT IN MIND, BIG ISSUE IN PHOENIX. LIGHT RAIL EXPANSION, YOU GOT THE SUNS AND DIAMONDBACKS ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO DO FOR THE FUTURE. THE CITY IS OBVIOUSLY INVOLVED THERE. HIRING MORE POLICE OFFICERS. FIXING MORE ROADS. HOW WILL NATURE OF COUNSEL CHANGE? WILL IT BE AN APPRECIABLE CHANGE? WILL WE SEE SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENCES WITH FOLKS COMING IN AND OUT?
DUSTIN GARDINER: YEAH I THINK YOU CAN SEE A PRETTY SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN THE MAKEUP OF COUNCIL. MAYOR STANTON FOR THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS HAS HAD A FIRM DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY ON COUNCIL. THERE HAVE BEEN ISSUES WHERE THE COUNCIL HAS BUGGED THE MAYOR. BUT THAT HAS NOT OCCURRED VERY OFTEN ESPECIALLY IN LAST COUPLE OF YEARS OF HIS TERM. HE’S HAD UH- HIM AND HIS ADMINISTRATION HAVE DONE A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF WRANGLING THE DEMOCRATIC VOTES ON THE BIG ISSUES. SO WITH NEW VOICES COMING IN, IT'S A TOTALLY OPEN GAME AT THIS POINT IN TERMS OF WHO IS GOING TO BE RUNNING THE COUNCIL MAJORITY ON SOME OF THOSE BIG ISSUES. COUNCILMAN DICICCIO YOU MENTIONED, HE HAD SOMETHING OUT YESTERDAY SAYING NOW THAT STANTON IS LEAVING, HIM AND OTHER COUNCIL MEMBERS CAN START A MORE SERIOUS CONVERSATION ABOUT THINGS LIKE HIRING MORE POLICE OFFICERS OR REPAIRING ROADS. IT WILL BE ANYBODY'S GUESS WHAT THE MAJORITY ON THE COUNCIL WOULD BE.
TED SIMONS: IT IS NO SECRET THAT COUNCILMAN DICICCIO AND THE MAYOR WERE NOT THE BEST OF BUDDIES.
DUSTIN GARDINER: YEAH.
TED SIMONS: NOT THE BEST OF FRIENDS. BUT AGAIN, THE REMAINING COUNCIL IS SUPPOSED TO APPOINT THESE INTERIM MEMBERS WHEN THEY LEAVE SO, I MEAN, THERE WILL BE SOME CONTINUATION I THINK?
DUSTIN GARDINER: YES SO I MEAN THERE IS JOGGING BEHIND THE SCENES FOR WELL OVER A YEAR TO DETERMINE WHO IS GOING TO FILL THOSE SEATS AS THE VACANCIES COME UP. THERE IS HIGH PROFILE NAMES FLOATING AROUND IN BOTH DISTRICTS. IN SOUTH PHOENIX, DISTRICT EIGHT WE HAVE FORMER COUNCILMAN MICHAEL JOHNSON BEING TALKED ABOUT. SCHOOLBOARD MEMBER LAWRENCE ROBINSON BEING TALKED ABOUT AND STEWART, JR. THE SON OF CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER STEWART SENIOR AND IN DISTRICT FIVE THE WEST PHOENIX DISTRICT . AND YOU HAVE JUSTIN JOHNSTON THE SON OF FORMER MAYOR BEING TALKED ABOUT. YOU HAVE JOHN GOMEZ DEMOCRATIC ACTIVIST BEING TALKED ABOUT. SO A LOT OF HIGH PROFILE NAMES KIND OF ALREADY IN THE GAME ANTICIPATING THESE THINGS.
TED SIMONS: OF A LOT OF TALK THERE. AS FAR AS GREG STANTON, SEVEN YEARS AS MAYOR TWO TERMS AS A COUNCILMAN BEFORE THAT. WHAT WOULD BE HIS LEGACY, DO YOU THINK AS MAYOR OF PHOENIX? SO SOME OF MAYOR'S BIG ACCOMPLISHMENTS I THINK NUMBER ONE THAT COMES TO MIND IS LIGHT RAIL EXPANSION. HE SUCCEEDING IN COVINCING VOTERS TO– INCREASING SALES TAX TO FUND A PRETTY EXPANSIVE EXTENSION OF LIGHT RAIL. HE SUCCEED TO GET THE CITY TO PASS THE ORADANCE FOR LBGT RESIDENTS. THAT WAS ANOTHER BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT. I THINK THE MAYOR IF HE PICKED I THINK THE BIGGEST THING HE WOULD POINT TO WOULD BE JUST THE WAY THE ECONOMY HAS CHANGED IN PHOENIX IN LAST SIX AND A HALF YEARS. CAME IN AS MAYOR TOWARD THE END OF RECESSION. PHOENIX HAS BEEN PRETTY WIDELY CRITICIZED FOR HAVING ECONOMY VERY DEPENDENT ON REAL ESTATE AND HE FOCUSED A LOT OF HIS MAYORSHIP ON – TRYING TO DIVERBECOMING MOR INNOVATION DRIVEN ECONOMY. SO I THINK THAT'S WHAT MAYOR WOULD POINT TO. BUT AT THE SAME TIME HIS CRITICS FEEL LIKE MAYOR HAS LEFT A LOT OF UNFINISHED BUSINESS ON THE TABLE. THE CITY STILL HAS SOME PRETTY DIRE PROBLEMS AND THE CITY’S AVOIDED BUDGET DEFICITS IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS BY ENTENDING ITS PAYMENT ON ITS LONG TERM PENSION DEBT AND LIKE YOU MENTIONED LOTS OF CONCERNS ABOUT NUMBER OF POLICE OFFICERS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS THEY ARE CONCERNED THE CITY STILL HAS FEWER OFFICERS THAN DID BEFORE THE RECESSION.
TED SIMONS: SO LAST QUESTION, BETWEEN THE TWO DEMOCRATS, WILL THEY BOTH TRY TO GRAB THE COATTAILS? IS ONE CONSIDERED CLOSER THAN OTHER THAN OUTGOING MAYOR?
DUSTIN GARDINER: YOU KNOW THAT IS PRETTY TOUGH TO SAY I MEAN THEY ARE ALL DEMOCRATS. THEY WERE PRETTY SIMILAR. YOU KNOW I THINK HIS ENDORSEMENT IS HIGHLY COVETED IN THIS RACE. I DON'T ANY WAY TO SAY SUGGEST WHO HE'S GOING TO LEAN FOR IF ANYONE ACTUALLY.
TED SIMONS: SOUNDS LIKE ROCK EM SOCK EM TIME COMING UP. DUSTIN GARDINER ARIZONA REPUBLIC GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.
DUSTIN GARDINER: THANK YOU.
TED SIMONS: LATER ON ARIZONA HORIZON: CITIZENSHIP NUMBERS ARE INCREASING IN THIS TIME OF UNCERTAINTY FOR IMMIGRANTS.
>> DO WE TEND TO SEE AN INCREASE WHEN THERE IS A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, OF COURSE WE DO.

TED SIMONS: "THE GREAT AMERICAN READ," IS A NEW PBS SERIES THAT CELEBRATES READING THROUGH THE LENS OF AMERICA'S 100 BEST-LOVED BOOKS AS CHOSEN BY THE PUBLIC. AND IT'S QUITE A LIST, INCLUDING "1984," "ATLAS SHRUGGED" AND "CHARLOTTE'S WEB." HERE WITH MORE IS ARIZONA'S 1ST STATE POET LAUREATE, ASU'S ALBERTO RIOS, THE HOST OF BOOKS AND COMPANY HERE ON ARIZONA PBS. WE CANNOT THINK OF A BETTER PERSON TO TALK ABOUT BOOKS THAN THE HOST OF BOOKS AND COMPANY. THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, WHAT IS THAT --
ALBERTO RIOS: THAT IS A GREAT QUESTION THE GREAT AMERICAN READ IS NOT THE BEST AMERICAN READ NECESSARILY AND WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS LIST. IT'S A PROGRAM DEVELOPED BY PBS WHICH HAS A LEGACY OF CHAMPION LITERACY. IT IS A LIST THEY DEVELOPED AS A WAY OF GETTING PEOPLE TO START TALKING ABOUT READING. PERHAPS THEY DID TALK ABOUT READING ONCE UPON A TIME. WE WOULD THEM TO TALK ABOUT IT AGAIN SO THIS IS A LIST TO ARGUE ABOUT THIS IS A LIST THAT IS COMPRISED OF WILD COMPENDIUM OF DIFFERENT SENSIBILITIES AND BOOKS.
TED SIMONS: SO IT IS AN EIGHT EPISODE PBS DOCUMENTARY LOOKING AT BOOKS LOOKING AT READING THIS SORT OF THING?
ALBERTO RIOS: YES. IT STARTS TONIGHT WITH A TWO HOUR SHOW. AND IT IS REALLY GOING TO GO THROUGH THESE BOOKS AND GIVE US A CAPSULIZED VERSION OF WHAT THEY ARE AND TALK ABOUT THEM THEY HAVE AUTHORS AND WRITERS AND READERS ALL REPORT ON THEM IN AN EFFORT TO STIR IT UP.
TED SIMONS: AND THEN AT THE END, THE LAST THIS IS A TALENT SHOW LIKE THE ED MCMAN IS GOING TO POP UP AROUND THE CORNER.
ALBERTO RIOS: YOU GOT TALENT.
TED SIMONS: YEAH, YOU GOT BOOKS. AT THE END PEOPLE WILL VOTE FOR, ONLY FROM THE 100 LIST YOU CAN NOT VOTE FROM OTHER FAVORITES?
ALBERTO RIOS: THAT'S CORRECT APPARENTLY.
TED SIMONS: SO WE ARE GOING TO FIND OUT THE MOST POPULAR, NOT NECESSARILY THE BEST.
ALBERTO RIOS: AND I THINK THAT'S A GOOD WAY TO THINK ABOUT IT. IT IS NOT DEFINITIVE IN THAT SENSE. IT IS OF THE MOMENT. IT IS OF THE YEAR. THIS IS OUR SNAP SHOT THIS YEAR 2018. AMERICANS READING THIS IS THE REPORT.
TED SIMONS: NOW BEFORE WE GET TO SOME OF THE TITLES HERE BECAUSE I HAVE MY PROBLEMS WITH IT. I'M NOT SURE EVERYONE DOES. BUT FROM WHERE YOU SIT WHAT MAKES NOT A POPULAR NOVEL, WHAT MAKES A GOOD NOVEL?
ALBERTO RIOS: THE WONDERFUL ANSWER TO THAT THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE ANSWER TO THAT. IT IS ABSOLUTLEY DIFFERENT FOR EVERYBODY. AND I THINK THE GREAT MAGIC OF READING IT MOVES YOU. WHEN PEOPLE SAY IT MOVED ME. WHAT THEY ARE REALLY SAYING IS IT MOVES YOU FROM WHERE YOU ARE SITTING TO WHERE YOU ARE FEELING. THAT IS A DISTANCE THAT NO ONE CAN SEE. IT'S PERSONAL, INTIMATE, MEANINGFUL AND CHANGES US. THOUGH ODDLY ENOUGH, YOU CANNOT EXPLAIN IT TO ANYBODY. YOU DON'T SEE THINGS HAPPENING AROUND YOU. READING IS AN INTENSLEY PERSONAL THING AND IT IS DIFFERENT WHAT MOVES PEOPLE IS DIFFERENT.
TED SIMONS: WITH THAT IN MIND THOUGH. IS A POPULAR NOVEL BY THAT STANDARD A GOOD NOVEL?
ALBERTO RIOS: HERE IS THE THING. THERE IS THE GREAT ENGLISH NOVELIST CHESTTERTON SAID SOMETHING THAT HAS ALWAYS HAUNTED ME. HE SAID THERE IS A VERY BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN AMBITIOUS MAN WHO WANTS TO READ A BOOK AND A TIRED MAN WHO WANTS A BOOK TO READ. SO THIS IS A MIX OF THE AMBITOUS AND I WANT A BOOK TO READ.
TED SIMONS: AS FAR AS LIST IS CONCERNED. I NOTICE, FIRST OF ALL, PARTICULAR POPULAR NOVELS IN THE PAST. NOT AS MANY AS ONE MIGHT THINK. THERE ARE POPULAR NOVELS OF PRESENT AND PERHAPS RECENT YEARS. I NEVER HEARD OF SOME OF THESE THINGS. THEY ARE ALMOST LIKE GENRE NOVELS.
ALBERTO RIOS: I HAVE TO ADMIT I READ THROUGH THE LIST, THERE ARE A FEW I HAVE NOT HEARD OF EITHER. BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE DON'T ALL READ DIFFERENTLY AND WIDELY. I COME TO A LIST LIKE THIS KICKING AND SCREAMING. WHEN I FIRST READ THIS I WAS JUST LAUGHING, I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT. AND I THOUGHT WELL THAT'S THE POINT. IT'S NOT MY LIST. IT'S OUR LIST. AND THIS IS WHO WE ARE ON SOME LEVEL. FOR ME AS A TEACHER AND READER MYSELF, THIS HELPS ME TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS NOT ALL ABOUT ME. NEVERTHELESS, I WAS LAUGHING.
TED SIMONS: I LIKE TO THINK IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT ME. BUT ANYWAY A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES IS ON THERE. I LOVE THAT BOOK.
ALBERTO RIOS: I LOVE THAT BOOK AS WELL.
TED SIMONS: ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES.
ALBERTO RIOS: AND IT'S A GREAT STORY BEHIND IT .
TED SIMONS: OH, YES.
ALBERTO RIOS: THAT GUY COULD NOT GET THAT BOOK PUBLISHED AND LOUISIANA STATE PRESS FINALLY TOOK A CHANCE ON IT AND BECAME --
TED SIMONS: AFTER HE DIED THOUGH. HIS MOM HAD TO SUBMIT THAT.
ALBERTO RIOS: SHE TOOK IT LITERALLY IN HAND TO VARIOUS PRESSES.
TED SIMONS: SO CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES YES , 100 HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLDITUDE YES
ALBERTO RIOS: MY FAVORITE BOOK ON THE LIST.
TED SIMONS: IS THAT YOUR FAVORITE BOOK? THAT'S HARD TO BEAT THAT ONE. WHAT IS IT? MICANDO?
ALBERTO RIOS: MICANDO.
TED SIMONS: CATCHER IN THE RYE. YES. CATCH-22. YES. WE TALKED EARLIER JOHN IRVING IS ON THERE. NOT FOR WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP. IT'S FOR A PRAYER FOR OWN MEANY. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
ALBERTO RIOS: I HATE TO SAY IT BUT MAYBE MORE CURRENT READERS HAVE NOT READ WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP.
TED SIMONS: THERE'S NO FAULKNER, THERE'S NO HENRY JAMES THERE'S NO ROTH. THERE'S NO MAYLOR.
ALBERTO RIOS: NO KAFKA.
TED SIMONS: WITH THAT IN MIND WHAT ABOUT OHIO? THAT WAS THE SAME KIND OF THING. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS THING, WHAT DO YOU SAY? WHAT POPS OUT AT YOU?
ALBERTO RIOS: BY FAR AND AWAY, AS I LOOK INTO IT, THE ODD OTHER FAVORITE ONE IS AS FAR AWAY ON THE SPECTRUM OF HISTORY AND APPROACHES AS YOU COULD GET, IT'S THE LITTLE PRINCE. BELIEVE IT OR NOT. WHICH I THINK IT IS ACT OF THE IMAGINATION THAT ULTIMATELY OF WHAT 100 YEARS BECOMES AS WELL. WHAT IT IS. IT'S IMAGINATION ON TOP OF IMAGINATION ON TOP OF IMAGINATION ON TOP OF IMAGINATION. THAT'S A BOOK THAT YOU LITERALLY CANNOT EXPLAIN TO ANYBODY ELSE. YOU HAVE TO READ IT. YOU HAVE TO HAVE GONE THROUGH IT AND EXPERIENCED IT AND YOU ARE CHANGED BY IT, YOU CANNOT HELP IT.
TED SIMONS: WELL YOU WERE CHANGED BY IT. WILL OTHERS BE CHANGED BY IT? IS IT ACCESSIBLE?
ALBERTO RIOS: THAT BOOK IS ONE OF MOST ACCESSIBLE ON THIS LIST. IT'S ALMOST A CHILDREN'S BOOK AND PRETENDS IN SOME FASHION TO BE. BUT NOT AT ALL NOT IN THE LEAST. IT IS QUITE THE EXTRAORDINARY BOOK. I TEACH THAT ALONGSIDE LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET, THIS IS DEEP, DARK, SERIOUS. THIS IS LIGHTER IMAGINATIVE. THE ANSWER IS IN BETWEEN THEM. THAT'S SOMETHING ABOUT THIS LIST. GREAT AMERICAN READ IS SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN ALL OF THIS. THAT'S THE NOVEL THAT HAS NO NAME.
TED SIMONS: JUST WHAT YOU SAID, I NEVER READ THE LITTLE PRINCE. I AM CURIOUS I'M LOOKING WERE WHAT IS THAT DOING? I HAVE TO CHECK THAT BOOK OUT. I CHECKED A COUPLE OF THOSE THINGS OUT. AND I AM THINKING THAT DOESN’T BELONG ON THE LIST. I'M NOT GOING TO READ THAT. BUT IT DOES EXPOSE YOU. IT’S LIKE THE BEST ROCK BANDS OR SONGS. IT EXPOSES YOU TO THINGS THAT YOU MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH?
ALBERTO RIOS: AND I APPRECIATE THAT. IT’S A HARD THING, BUT IT MAKES YOU READ FARTHER THAN YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD REACH. I DON'T WANT TO REACH THAT FAR, I'M TOO STRETCHED. THAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO ME. THAT'S WHERE YOU FIND THE GOLD. JUST A LITTLE FATHER THAN YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH.
TED SIMONS: I MENTION SOMEONE LIKE HENRY JAMES. A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T READ HENRY JAMES ANYMORE. THE COMMAS THE CLAUSES.
ALBERTO RIOS: WHICH I LOVE.
TED SIMONS: YEAH, BECAUSE YOU ARE A WORDS GUY. THEY GO ON FOREVER. YOU CANNOT SEE IN A SMARTPHONE WORLD PEOPLE READING HENRY JAMES. DOES THAT MEAN THE NOVEL IS MOVING TOWARD THINNER VOLUMES.
ALBERTO RIOS: YOU METIONED NO FAULKNER EITHER. SHORT ANSWER IS YES. WHETHER I LIKE IT OR NOT. I THINK THAT'S ACCURATE. WE ARE MOVING TOWARDS A FASTER PACED SHORTER IMMEDIATE KIND OF APPROACH. THAT MIGHT BE AN APPROACH BETTER SUITED FOR A POET. POETRY NOT INCLUDED.
TED SIMONS: AS A POET, HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WRITING A NOVEL.
ALBERTO RIOS: IRONICALLY I JUST FINISHED ONE.
TED SIMONS: DID YOU REALLY?
ALBERTO RIOS: COULDN'T HELP IT. YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS, I CAN TELL YOU WHERE IT COMES FROM. I WRITE FICTION AS WELL AND I TELL YOU WHERE IT COMES FROM. IF I'M GOING TO WRITE A POEM AND YOU SET UP THE POEM, I WAS DOING THIS AND WHATEVER, THAT STORY GETS BIGGER AND BIGGER. AND I THINK FINALLY I WRITE THEM DOWN. THAT'S WHERE THEY COME FROM FOR ME. EVERYTHING IS POETIC. THERE IS NOT ANYTHING THAT ISN'T.
TED SIMONS: THIS IS FANTASTIC. I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING THAT. ALBERTO RIOS THE STATE’S POET LOOKING OVER GREAT AMERICAN READ AGAIN STARTS TONIGHT?
ALBERTO RIOS: STARTS TONIGHT.

TED SIMONS: BY END OF WHOLE SERIES WE WILL KNOW AMERICIA’S FAVORITE BOOK.
ALBERTO RIOS: EVERYONE GETS TO VOTE.
TED SIMONS: DO YOU TRUST WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?
ALBERTO RIOS: I DON'T TRUST IT AT ALL, I LOVE THE IDEA OF ARTY FUSS OF GETTING US READING AND ARGUMENTATION. THIS IS NOT FISTICUFFS.
TED SIMONS: NO ITS NOT. GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.
ALBERTO RIOS: THANK YOU, TED.

Alberto Rios: Arizona Poet Laureate

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