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METACANON 0.7
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METACANON 0.7

This is not a greatest books list.

Metacanon is a database that offers an alternative to the genre of the greatest books list. Unlike lists compiled by individuals or small committees of experts, metacanon builds custom book lists by culling data from tens of thousands of scholarly texts. This data-driven approach results in a more comprehensive, flexible, and inclusive gateway into the canon(s).

Metacanon 0.7 is limited primarily to American fiction after 1800, but future updates will expand to include other areas, genres, and periods.

Use the menu below to generate your own version of the canon.

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19th Century
20th Century
1800 - Present
New York Times Archive

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Althorithm Modifications

Change the weight of these data points in order to change the shape of your canon.










# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.Mumbo JumboIshmael Reed197212.28
2Mark as read.The Optimist's DaughterEudora Welty197211.06
3Mark as read.Bless Me, UltimaRudolfo Anaya197211.04
4Mark as read.ChimeraJohn Barth197210.28
5Mark as read.Enemies, A Love StoryIsaac Bashevis Singer19727.94
6Mark as read.End ZoneDon DeLillo19727.58
7Mark as read.Transparent ThingsVladimir Nabokov19726.87
8Mark as read.My Name is Asher LevChaim Potok19726.69
9Mark as read.Gorilla, My LoveToni Cade Bambara19726.06
10Mark as read.The BreastPhilip Roth19726.01
11Mark as read.The Terminal ManMichael Crichton19725.52
12Mark as read.A Day No Pigs Would DieRobert Newton Peck19724.96
13Mark as read.It's Not the End of the WorldJudy Blume19724.84
14Mark as read.The Friends of Eddie CoyleGeorge V. Higgins19724.32
15Mark as read.The Gods ThemselvesIsaac Asimov19724.27
16Mark as read.Tales of a Fourth Grade NothingJudy Blume19723.53
17Mark as read.Geronimo RexBarry Hannah19723.17
18Mark as read.The Halloween TreeRay Bradbury19722.62
19Mark as read.The Late Great CreatureBrock Brower19721.85
20Mark as read.The Water-Method ManJohn Irving19721.28
21Mark as read.HermaphrodeityAlan H. Friedman19720.50
# Score
1Mark as read.Mumbo Jumbo (1972)
Ishmael Reed
12.28
2Mark as read.The Optimist's Daughter (1972)
Eudora Welty
11.06
3Mark as read.Bless Me, Ultima (1972)
Rudolfo Anaya
11.04
4Mark as read.Chimera (1972)
John Barth
10.28
5Mark as read.Enemies, A Love Story (1972)
Isaac Bashevis Singer
7.94
6Mark as read.End Zone (1972)
Don DeLillo
7.58
7Mark as read.Transparent Things (1972)
Vladimir Nabokov
6.87
8Mark as read.My Name is Asher Lev (1972)
Chaim Potok
6.69
9Mark as read.Gorilla, My Love (1972)
Toni Cade Bambara
6.06
10Mark as read.The Breast (1972)
Philip Roth
6.01
11Mark as read.The Terminal Man (1972)
Michael Crichton
5.52
12Mark as read.A Day No Pigs Would Die (1972)
Robert Newton Peck
4.96
13Mark as read.It's Not the End of the World (1972)
Judy Blume
4.84
14Mark as read.The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1972)
George V. Higgins
4.32
15Mark as read.The Gods Themselves (1972)
Isaac Asimov
4.27
16Mark as read.Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (1972)
Judy Blume
3.53
17Mark as read.Geronimo Rex (1972)
Barry Hannah
3.17
18Mark as read.The Halloween Tree (1972)
Ray Bradbury
2.62
19Mark as read.The Late Great Creature (1972)
Brock Brower
1.85
20Mark as read.The Water-Method Man (1972)
John Irving
1.28
21Mark as read.Hermaphrodeity (1972)
Alan H. Friedman
0.50

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Include only:


Include only works published between and .

Althorithm Modifications

Change the weight of these data points in order to change the shape of your canon.








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N-gram Frequency Correction.

Titles consisting of words or phrases that are exceedingly common in the English language corpus (such as Stephen King's It or Joyce Carol Oates's them) tend to be overrepresented in search results, thus resulting in an articially inflated citation count. To counteract this tendency, Metacanon adjusts the scores for these works accordingly. Scores subjected to n-gram frequency correction are estimates only and are marked with an asterisk. N-gram freqencies are drawn from the Corpus of Contemporary American English, a project created by Mark Davies.


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Non-unique author Correction.

Books by authors with a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill," the American novelist) tend to be overrepresented in search results, thus resulting in an articially inflated citation count. To counteract this tendency, Metacanon adjusts the scores for these works accordingly. Scores subjected to non-unique author correction are estimates only and are marked with a dagger.


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