AMS at Our Own Creation did a little research into the book list that I posted earlier this week. It seems the list was actually created from a poll for World Book Day, in which the British public were asked what 10 books they couldn’t live without. Here's an article she found from February 2007 about it. This would explain why I couldn't find the list on the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)'s website...!
The NEA does have an initiative underway called "The Big Read," designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.
Thanks, AMS, for having the curiosity to follow up on this. I guess it goes to show that you have to check your sources! Kind of reminds me of when we used to play "telephone" when I was in elementary school -- the first person whispers a sentence into the next person's ear, & the message gets passed along until the last person says what he or she heard aloud. It almost always bears no resemblance to the original message!
Wherever it came from, I still think it was a fun list to do. : )