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METACANON 0.7.2
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METACANON 0.7.2

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.










AMERICAN FICTION 1800-2016

# Title Author Year Score
1Add to wishlist.The AmericanHenry James18778.91
2Add to wishlist.a, A NovelAndy Warhol19688.30
3Add to wishlist.On the RoadJack Kerouac19578.01
4Add to wishlist.The HelpKathryn Stockett20097.51
5Add to wishlist.TwilightStephenie Meyer20057.50
6Add to wishlist.Moby DickHerman Melville18517.47
7Add to wishlist.Gone with the WindMargaret Mitchell19367.41
8Add to wishlist.The StandStephen King19787.36
9Add to wishlist.The Great GatsbyF. Scott Fitzgerald19257.27
10Add to wishlist.The Da Vinci CodeDan Brown20037.22
11Add to wishlist.The Grapes of WrathJohn Steinbeck19397.09
12Add to wishlist.Uncle Tom's CabinHarriet Beecher Stowe18527.09
13Add to wishlist.To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee19606.99
14Add to wishlist.Main StreetSinclair Lewis19206.99
15Add to wishlist.Water for ElephantsSara Gruen20066.98
16Add to wishlist.The Hunger GamesSuzanne Collins20086.83
17Add to wishlist.The Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini20036.80
18Add to wishlist.The Bonfire of the VanitiesTom Wolfe19876.65
19Add to wishlist.LolitaVladimir Nabokov19556.59
20Add to wishlist.Washington SquareHenry James18806.53
21Add to wishlist.BabbittSinclair Lewis19226.42
22Add to wishlist.The TownWilliam Faulkner19576.33
23Add to wishlist.The Color PurpleAlice Walker19826.33
24Add to wishlist.The Turn of the ScrewHenry James18986.27
25Add to wishlist.BelovedToni Morrison19876.26
26Add to wishlist.Of Mice and MenJohn Steinbeck19376.24
27Add to wishlist.Gone GirlGillian Flynn20126.23
28Add to wishlist.A Dance With DragonsGeorge R. R. Martin20116.18
29Add to wishlist.The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianSherman Alexie20076.15
30Add to wishlist.The Sun Also RisesErnest Hemingway19266.13
31Add to wishlist.From Here to EternityJames Jones19516.11
32Add to wishlist.The CorrectionsJonathan Franzen20016.11
33Add to wishlist.The Lovely BonesAlice Sebold20026.11
34Add to wishlist.The ShiningStephen King19776.09
35Add to wishlist.Jurassic ParkMichael Crichton19906.03
36Add to wishlist.The Bridges of Madison CountyRobert James Waller19926.02
37Add to wishlist.RagtimeE. L. Doctorow19756.00
38Add to wishlist.Native SonRichard Wright19406.00
39Add to wishlist.For Whom the Bell TollsErnest Hemingway19405.99
40Add to wishlist.Adventures of Huckleberry FinnMark Twain18845.98
41Add to wishlist.The Catcher in the RyeJ. D. Salinger19515.93
42Add to wishlist.Little WomenLouisa May Alcott18695.93
43Add to wishlist.Catch-22Joseph Heller19615.92
44Add to wishlist.Look Homeward, AngelThomas Wolfe19295.89
45Add to wishlist.The ChildrenEdith Wharton19285.89
46Add to wishlist.The Fault in Our StarsJohn Green20125.86
47Add to wishlist.Invisible ManRalph Ellison19525.86
48Add to wishlist.The JungleUpton Sinclair19065.86
49Add to wishlist.A Farewell to ArmsErnest Hemingway19295.83
50Add to wishlist.The Old Man and the SeaErnest Hemingway19525.82
51Add to wishlist.Slaughterhouse-FiveKurt Vonnegut19695.79
52Add to wishlist.The Age of InnocenceEdith Wharton19205.77
53Add to wishlist.Portnoy's ComplaintPhilip Roth19695.76
54Add to wishlist.The Naked and the DeadNorman Mailer19485.75
55Add to wishlist.A Storm Of SwordsGeorge R. R. Martin20005.73
56Add to wishlist.The Hunt for Red OctoberTom Clancy19845.71
57Add to wishlist.In AmericaSusan Sontag19995.70
58Add to wishlist.The NotebookNicholas Sparks19965.69
59Add to wishlist.The Clan of the Cave BearJean M. Auel19805.68
60Add to wishlist.Lonesome DoveLarry McMurtry19855.68
61Add to wishlist.The EuropeansHenry James18785.67
62Add to wishlist.Guys and DollsDamon Runyon19325.66
63Add to wishlist.The PearlJohn Steinbeck19475.64
64Add to wishlist.The Secret Life of BeesSue Monk Kidd20025.63
65Add to wishlist.JawsPeter Benchley19745.62
66Add to wishlist.The Red Badge of CourageStephen Crane18955.61
67Add to wishlist.The Portrait of a LadyHenry James18815.60
68Add to wishlist.In Our TimeErnest Hemingway19255.56
69Add to wishlist.DuneFrank Herbert19655.56
70Add to wishlist.A Feast For CrowsGeorge R. R. Martin20055.55
71Add to wishlist.Cold MountainCharles Frazier19975.53
72Add to wishlist.JazzToni Morrison19925.53
73Add to wishlist.CarrieStephen King19745.50
74Add to wishlist.RootsAlex Haley19765.48
75Add to wishlist.HerzogSaul Bellow19645.47
76Add to wishlist.ArrowsmithSinclair Lewis19255.47
77Add to wishlist.The House of MirthEdith Wharton19055.47
78Add to wishlist.Memoirs of a GeishaArthur Golden19975.45
79Add to wishlist.PorgyDuBose Heyward19255.44
80Add to wishlist.ConfidenceHenry James18795.42
81Add to wishlist.Gentlemen Prefer BlondesAnita Loos19255.41
82Add to wishlist.The HoursMichael Cunningham19985.40
83Add to wishlist.Left BehindTim LaHaye19955.40
84Add to wishlist.Tropic of CancerHenry Miller19345.40
85Add to wishlist.The FallsJoyce Carol Oates20045.37
86Add to wishlist.The Scarlet LetterNathaniel Hawthorne18505.35
87Add to wishlist.An American TragedyTheodore Dreiser19255.33
88Add to wishlist.Atlas ShruggedAyn Rand19575.32
89Add to wishlist.The FountainheadAyn Rand19435.32
90Add to wishlist.Charlotte's WebE. B. White19525.31
91Add to wishlist.The GodfatherMario Puzo19695.29
92Add to wishlist.Elmer GantrySinclair Lewis19265.28
93Add to wishlist.The Tiger's WifeTea Obreht20115.26
94Add to wishlist.All the King's MenRobert Penn Warren19465.24
95Add to wishlist.The Maltese FalconDashiell Hammett19305.23
96Add to wishlist.The AmbassadorsHenry James19035.22
97Add to wishlist.Oil!Upton Sinclair19275.21
98Add to wishlist.A Tree Grows in BrooklynBetty Smith19435.19
99Add to wishlist.It Can't Happen HereSinclair Lewis19355.18
100Add to wishlist.The Joy Luck ClubAmy Tan19895.18
# Score
1Add to wishlist.The American (1877)
Henry James
8.91
2Add to wishlist.a, A Novel (1968)
Andy Warhol
8.30
3Add to wishlist.On the Road (1957)
Jack Kerouac
8.01
4Add to wishlist.The Help (2009)
Kathryn Stockett
7.51
5Add to wishlist.Twilight (2005)
Stephenie Meyer
7.50
6Add to wishlist.Moby Dick (1851)
Herman Melville
7.47
7Add to wishlist.Gone with the Wind (1936)
Margaret Mitchell
7.41
8Add to wishlist.The Stand (1978)
Stephen King
7.36
9Add to wishlist.The Great Gatsby (1925)
F. Scott Fitzgerald
7.27
10Add to wishlist.The Da Vinci Code (2003)
Dan Brown
7.22
11Add to wishlist.The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
John Steinbeck
7.09
12Add to wishlist.Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
Harriet Beecher Stowe
7.09
13Add to wishlist.To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
Harper Lee
6.99
14Add to wishlist.Main Street (1920)
Sinclair Lewis
6.99
15Add to wishlist.Water for Elephants (2006)
Sara Gruen
6.98
16Add to wishlist.The Hunger Games (2008)
Suzanne Collins
6.83
17Add to wishlist.The Kite Runner (2003)
Khaled Hosseini
6.80
18Add to wishlist.The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987)
Tom Wolfe
6.65
19Add to wishlist.Lolita (1955)
Vladimir Nabokov
6.59
20Add to wishlist.Washington Square (1880)
Henry James
6.53
21Add to wishlist.Babbitt (1922)
Sinclair Lewis
6.42
22Add to wishlist.The Town (1957)
William Faulkner
6.33
23Add to wishlist.The Color Purple (1982)
Alice Walker
6.33
24Add to wishlist.The Turn of the Screw (1898)
Henry James
6.27
25Add to wishlist.Beloved (1987)
Toni Morrison
6.26
26Add to wishlist.Of Mice and Men (1937)
John Steinbeck
6.24
27Add to wishlist.Gone Girl (2012)
Gillian Flynn
6.23
28Add to wishlist.A Dance With Dragons (2011)
George R. R. Martin
6.18
29Add to wishlist.The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007)
Sherman Alexie
6.15
30Add to wishlist.The Sun Also Rises (1926)
Ernest Hemingway
6.13
31Add to wishlist.From Here to Eternity (1951)
James Jones
6.11
32Add to wishlist.The Corrections (2001)
Jonathan Franzen
6.11
33Add to wishlist.The Lovely Bones (2002)
Alice Sebold
6.11
34Add to wishlist.The Shining (1977)
Stephen King
6.09
35Add to wishlist.Jurassic Park (1990)
Michael Crichton
6.03
36Add to wishlist.The Bridges of Madison County (1992)
Robert James Waller
6.02
37Add to wishlist.Ragtime (1975)
E. L. Doctorow
6.00
38Add to wishlist.Native Son (1940)
Richard Wright
6.00
39Add to wishlist.For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)
Ernest Hemingway
5.99
40Add to wishlist.Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
Mark Twain
5.98
41Add to wishlist.The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
J. D. Salinger
5.93
42Add to wishlist.Little Women (1869)
Louisa May Alcott
5.93
43Add to wishlist.Catch-22 (1961)
Joseph Heller
5.92
44Add to wishlist.Look Homeward, Angel (1929)
Thomas Wolfe
5.89
45Add to wishlist.The Children (1928)
Edith Wharton
5.89
46Add to wishlist.The Fault in Our Stars (2012)
John Green
5.86
47Add to wishlist.Invisible Man (1952)
Ralph Ellison
5.86
48Add to wishlist.The Jungle (1906)
Upton Sinclair
5.86
49Add to wishlist.A Farewell to Arms (1929)
Ernest Hemingway
5.83
50Add to wishlist.The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
Ernest Hemingway
5.82
51Add to wishlist.Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
Kurt Vonnegut
5.79
52Add to wishlist.The Age of Innocence (1920)
Edith Wharton
5.77
53Add to wishlist.Portnoy's Complaint (1969)
Philip Roth
5.76
54Add to wishlist.The Naked and the Dead (1948)
Norman Mailer
5.75
55Add to wishlist.A Storm Of Swords (2000)
George R. R. Martin
5.73
56Add to wishlist.The Hunt for Red October (1984)
Tom Clancy
5.71
57Add to wishlist.In America (1999)
Susan Sontag
5.70
58Add to wishlist.The Notebook (1996)
Nicholas Sparks
5.69
59Add to wishlist.The Clan of the Cave Bear (1980)
Jean M. Auel
5.68
60Add to wishlist.Lonesome Dove (1985)
Larry McMurtry
5.68
61Add to wishlist.The Europeans (1878)
Henry James
5.67
62Add to wishlist.Guys and Dolls (1932)
Damon Runyon
5.66
63Add to wishlist.The Pearl (1947)
John Steinbeck
5.64
64Add to wishlist.The Secret Life of Bees (2002)
Sue Monk Kidd
5.63
65Add to wishlist.Jaws (1974)
Peter Benchley
5.62
66Add to wishlist.The Red Badge of Courage (1895)
Stephen Crane
5.61
67Add to wishlist.The Portrait of a Lady (1881)
Henry James
5.60
68Add to wishlist.In Our Time (1925)
Ernest Hemingway
5.56
69Add to wishlist.Dune (1965)
Frank Herbert
5.56
70Add to wishlist.A Feast For Crows (2005)
George R. R. Martin
5.55
71Add to wishlist.Cold Mountain (1997)
Charles Frazier
5.53
72Add to wishlist.Jazz (1992)
Toni Morrison
5.53
73Add to wishlist.Carrie (1974)
Stephen King
5.50
74Add to wishlist.Roots (1976)
Alex Haley
5.48
75Add to wishlist.Herzog (1964)
Saul Bellow
5.47
76Add to wishlist.Arrowsmith (1925)
Sinclair Lewis
5.47
77Add to wishlist.The House of Mirth (1905)
Edith Wharton
5.47
78Add to wishlist.Memoirs of a Geisha (1997)
Arthur Golden
5.45
79Add to wishlist.Porgy (1925)
DuBose Heyward
5.44
80Add to wishlist.Confidence (1879)
Henry James
5.42
81Add to wishlist.Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925)
Anita Loos
5.41
82Add to wishlist.The Hours (1998)
Michael Cunningham
5.40
83Add to wishlist.Left Behind (1995)
Tim LaHaye
5.40
84Add to wishlist.Tropic of Cancer (1934)
Henry Miller
5.40
85Add to wishlist.The Falls (2004)
Joyce Carol Oates
5.37
86Add to wishlist.The Scarlet Letter (1850)
Nathaniel Hawthorne
5.35
87Add to wishlist.An American Tragedy (1925)
Theodore Dreiser
5.33
88Add to wishlist.Atlas Shrugged (1957)
Ayn Rand
5.32
89Add to wishlist.The Fountainhead (1943)
Ayn Rand
5.32
90Add to wishlist.Charlotte's Web (1952)
E. B. White
5.31
91Add to wishlist.The Godfather (1969)
Mario Puzo
5.29
92Add to wishlist.Elmer Gantry (1926)
Sinclair Lewis
5.28
93Add to wishlist.The Tiger's Wife (2011)
Tea Obreht
5.26
94Add to wishlist.All the King's Men (1946)
Robert Penn Warren
5.24
95Add to wishlist.The Maltese Falcon (1930)
Dashiell Hammett
5.23
96Add to wishlist.The Ambassadors (1903)
Henry James
5.22
97Add to wishlist.Oil! (1927)
Upton Sinclair
5.21
98Add to wishlist.A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943)
Betty Smith
5.19
99Add to wishlist.It Can't Happen Here (1935)
Sinclair Lewis
5.18
100Add to wishlist.The Joy Luck Club (1989)
Amy Tan
5.18

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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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