TrendSegments Culture

TrendSegments: To Kill a Gatsby or Catch Him in the Rye in 1984


As the world awaits the award-winning A Novel by ChatGPT (insert wail about the decline of originality), it seems timely to revisit classic books you probably read in high school. Or at least the CliffsNotes. Either way, we used a trusty MaxDiff experiment to examine which (generally-accepted-but-necessarily-limited) classic lit offerings Americans consider to be their most and least favorite.


Scout’s honor, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee ranks highest among American adults; respondents selected the novel 149% more than the average book as their favorite. Lest the anti-egalitarians among us worry that this means we've finally achieved gender equality, dead white men and debauched millionaires are duly represented: Of the top ten book favorites, seven are authored by deceased caucasian men and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby ranks second highest on the list. Books by Toni Morrison, Virginia Woolf, and Chinua Achebe ranked as Americans’ three least favorite. If only Ron DeSantis read Trendlines