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.

Thank you to our partners:
  • Montana Library Association
  • Humanities Montana
  • University of Montana
  • Mansfield Library
  • UM Creative Writing Department
  • MontanaPBS
  • Montana Public Radio

These episodes were wonderfully written and hosted by Sarah Aronson, host of Montana Public Radio’s The Write Question.

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Winter in the Blood

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Legends of the Fall

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by A.B. Guthrie

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Canada

by Richard Ford

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Last Bus to Wisdom

by Ivan Doig

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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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