The Great Montana Read

What is Montana’s Best-Loved Novel?


As part of the nationwide search for America's best-loved novel on the Great American Read (an effort sponsored by PBS), a panel of seven literary experts set out to determine Montana's own best-loved novel. The volunteer judges independently identified their top 25 best-loved works of fiction, with the following guidelines: the author or book’s content needed to have firm connections to Montana. Though the scope was limited to full-length works of fiction, exceptions to this, such as Ivan Doig’s This House of Sky (memoir) and Jim Harrison’s Legends of the Fall (novella), qualified because they were independently selected by the majority of the judges.

In all, 31 books were named as potentials for Montana’s best-loved novel. Though the narrowing process was tough, the judges’ selections were compiled into the top 20 list of books. The final list features books published within an 80 year time span, including stunning debuts and heartfelt finales from established and emerging authors. Classics, like James Welch’s “Fools Crow” are featured alongside contemporary contributions such as Emily Danforth’s, “The Miseducation of Cameron Post.” The Great Montana Read is an exciting collaboration, encouraging conversation and celebration around the Treasure State’s rich literary tradition.
The episodes below were wonderfully written and hosted by Sarah Aronson, host of Montana Public Radio’s The Write Question.

Voting Has Closed!

Thank you for voting for your favorite book from The Great Montana Read! Over 2,500 people participated in our first installment of this incredibly difficult voting event. Was your book selected as Montana's favorite novel? Head over to our Facebook page to continue to conversation and tell us what books you'd like to be featured in the future.

Top five books for 2018:

 
  1. Perma Red | Debra Magpie Earling
  2. A River Runs Through It | Norman Maclean
  3. This House of Sky | Ivan Doig
  4. Blind Your Ponies | Stanley Gordon West
  5. Fools Crow | James Welch

Thank you to our partners:

  • Montana Library Association
  • Humanities Montana
  • University of Montana
  • Mansfield Library
  • UM Creative Writing Department
  • MontanaPBS
  • Montana Public Radio
MontanaPBS

Winner of the 2018 Great Montana Read

The votes are in! Montanans selected Perma Red by Debra Magpie Earling as the winner of the 2018 Great Montana Read.

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Winter in the Blood

by James Welch

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Legends of the Fall

by Jim Harrison

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The Surrounded

by D'Arcy McNickle

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Fourth of July Creek

by Smith Henderson

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The Last Good Kiss

by James Crumley

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Fools Crow

by James Welch

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The Big Sky

by A.B. Guthrie

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Blind Your Ponies

by Stanley Gordon West

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Hattie Big Sky

by Kirby Larson

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Yellow Raft in Blue Water

by Michael Dorris

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Perma Red

by Debra Magpie Earling

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River Runs Through It

by Norman Maclean

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Canada

by Richard Ford

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Last Bus to Wisdom

by Ivan Doig

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Winter Wheat

Description

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This House of Sky

by Ivan Doig

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The Miseducation of Cameron Post

by Emily Danforth

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English Creek

by Ivan Doig

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Letters from Yellowstone

by Diane Smith