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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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AMERICAN FICTION 1960

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee196015.98
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1397 (8.96 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 120 (2.94 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 8 (2.58 points)
2Mark as read.The Sot-Weed FactorJohn Barth196010.25
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 117 (4.16 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 201 (3.48 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
3Mark as read.The Violent Bear It AwayFlannery O'Connor196010.15
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 73 (3.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 235 (3.66 points) | American Literature: 18 (2.44 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.Rabbit, RunJohn Updike19608.49
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 158 (3.22 points) | American Literature: 10 (1.90 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
5Mark as read.A Separate PeaceJohn Knowles19608.15
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 143 (4.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 90 (2.67 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.A Canticle for LeibowitzWalter M. Miller, Jr.19607.81
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 230 (5.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 85 (2.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Set This House on FireWilliam Styron19607.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 34 (2.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 93 (2.70 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.Visions of CodyJack Kerouac19606.73
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 51 (3.12 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 65 (2.38 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Welcome to Hard TimesE. L. Doctorow19605.80
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 41 (2.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 45 (2.09 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.Ceremony in Lone TreeWright Morris19605.75
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 46 (2.11 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.NexusHenry Miller19605.26
Genre: Other

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 127 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Lonesome TravelerJack Kerouac19604.84
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 60 (3.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.The Light in the PiazzaElizabeth Spencer19604.35
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 38 (1.96 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.The Child BuyerJohn Hersey19603.93
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 27 (2.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Nathan CoulterWendell Berry19603.89
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 51 (2.19 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.TristessaJack Kerouac19603.59
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Book of DreamsJack Kerouac19603.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 20 (2.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Bid Me To LiveH. D.19603.32
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 74 (2.49 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Collected Short StoriesConrad Aiken19602.70
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 13 (1.28 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.The Waters of KronosConrad Richter19602.53
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Generation Without FarewellKay Boyle19602.36
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.The House of Five TalentsLouis Auchincloss19601.97
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.The Body of a Young ManMildred Walker19601.92
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.TraskDon Berry19601.02
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.The Christening PartyFrancis Steegmuller19600.50
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
Harper Lee
15.98
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1397 (8.96 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 120 (2.94 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 8 (2.58 points)
2Mark as read.The Sot-Weed Factor (1960)
John Barth
10.25
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 117 (4.16 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 201 (3.48 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
3Mark as read.The Violent Bear It Away (1960)
Flannery O'Connor
10.15
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 73 (3.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 235 (3.66 points) | American Literature: 18 (2.44 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.Rabbit, Run (1960)
John Updike
8.49
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 158 (3.22 points) | American Literature: 10 (1.90 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
5Mark as read.A Separate Peace (1960)
John Knowles
8.15
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 143 (4.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 90 (2.67 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960)
Walter M. Miller, Jr.
7.81
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 230 (5.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 85 (2.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Set This House on Fire (1960)
William Styron
7.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 34 (2.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 93 (2.70 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.Visions of Cody (1960)
Jack Kerouac
6.73
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 51 (3.12 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 65 (2.38 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Welcome to Hard Times (1960)
E. L. Doctorow
5.80
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 41 (2.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 45 (2.09 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.Ceremony in Lone Tree (1960)
Wright Morris
5.75
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 46 (2.11 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.Nexus (1960)
Henry Miller
5.26
Genre: Other

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 127 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Lonesome Traveler (1960)
Jack Kerouac
4.84
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 60 (3.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.The Light in the Piazza (1960)
Elizabeth Spencer
4.35
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 38 (1.96 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.The Child Buyer (1960)
John Hersey
3.93
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 27 (2.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Nathan Coulter (1960)
Wendell Berry
3.89
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 51 (2.19 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Tristessa (1960)
Jack Kerouac
3.59
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Book of Dreams (1960)
Jack Kerouac
3.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 20 (2.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Bid Me To Live (1960)
H. D.
3.32
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 74 (2.49 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Collected Short Stories (1960)
Conrad Aiken
2.70
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 13 (1.28 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.The Waters of Kronos (1960)
Conrad Richter
2.53
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Generation Without Farewell (1960)
Kay Boyle
2.36
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.The House of Five Talents (1960)
Louis Auchincloss
1.97
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.The Body of a Young Man (1960)
Mildred Walker
1.92
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.Trask (1960)
Don Berry
1.02
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.The Christening Party (1960)
Francis Steegmuller
0.50
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)

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Include only:

Include only works published between and .

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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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