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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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Include only works published between and .

Althorithm Modifications

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









AMERICAN FICTION 1968

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.House Made of DawnN. Scott Momaday196812.43
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 458 (6.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 246 (3.71 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
2Mark as read.Lost in the FunhouseJohn Barth196812.43
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 340 (5.87 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 197 (3.46 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
3Mark as read.CouplesJohn Updike196811.72
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 48 (3.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 311 (4.00 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 10 (2.85 points)
4Mark as read.Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?Philip K. Dick196811.06
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 832 (7.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 181 (3.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Tell Me How Long the Train's Been GoneJames Baldwin19686.35
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 64 (3.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 50 (2.17 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
6Mark as read.The Universal Baseball AssociationRobert Coover19686.29
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 38 (2.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 70 (2.45 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Expensive PeopleJoyce Carol Oates19686.23
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 52 (2.20 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.The PigmanPaul Zindel19686.13
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 67 (3.44 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 92 (2.69 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Outer DarkCormac McCarthy19685.86
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 33 (2.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 91 (2.68 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.StepsJerzy Kosinski19685.85
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 110 (2.86 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Welcome to the Monkey HouseKurt Vonnegut19685.45
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 86 (3.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.In Watermelon SugarRichard Brautigan19685.04
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 18 (2.09 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Mosby's MemoirsSaul Bellow19684.79
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 32 (1.84 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Myra BreckinridgeGore Vidal19684.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 52 (3.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.BloodlineErnest J. Gaines19684.45
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 67 (2.41 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.A Fan's NotesFrederick Exley19684.29
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 31 (2.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Vanity of DuluozJack Kerouac19684.06
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 29 (2.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Ramona the PestBeverly Cleary19683.93
Genre: Novel, Other

Google Scholar: 47 (3.03 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.The Last UnicornPeter S. Beagle19683.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.True GritCharles Portis19682.99
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.a, A NovelAndy Warhol19682.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.DagonFred Chappell19682.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Setting Free the BearsJohn Irving19682.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.NovaSamuel R. Delany19682.63
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 86 (2.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Judas, My BrotherFrank Yerby19682.02
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.Preserve and ProtectAllen Drury19681.78
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.Nabokov's CongeriesVladimir Nabokov19681.67
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.The Pursuit of HappinessThomas Rogers19681.58
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.The EdgePage Stegner19681.25*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 27 (1.25 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.

N-gram Frequency Correction: -54.33%
30Mark as read.UpRonald Sukenick19681.09*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 340 (0.92 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 11 (0.15 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 1 (0.02 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.

N-gram Frequency Correction: -98.15%
# Score
1Mark as read.House Made of Dawn (1968)
N. Scott Momaday
12.43
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 458 (6.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 246 (3.71 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
2Mark as read.Lost in the Funhouse (1968)
John Barth
12.43
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 340 (5.87 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 197 (3.46 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
3Mark as read.Couples (1968)
John Updike
11.72
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 48 (3.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 311 (4.00 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 10 (2.85 points)
4Mark as read.Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
Philip K. Dick
11.06
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 832 (7.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 181 (3.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone (1968)
James Baldwin
6.35
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 64 (3.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 50 (2.17 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
6Mark as read.The Universal Baseball Association (1968)
Robert Coover
6.29
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 38 (2.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 70 (2.45 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Expensive People (1968)
Joyce Carol Oates
6.23
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 52 (2.20 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.The Pigman (1968)
Paul Zindel
6.13
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 67 (3.44 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 92 (2.69 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Outer Dark (1968)
Cormac McCarthy
5.86
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 33 (2.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 91 (2.68 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.Steps (1968)
Jerzy Kosinski
5.85
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 110 (2.86 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Welcome to the Monkey House (1968)
Kurt Vonnegut
5.45
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 86 (3.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.In Watermelon Sugar (1968)
Richard Brautigan
5.04
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 18 (2.09 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Mosby's Memoirs (1968)
Saul Bellow
4.79
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 32 (1.84 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Myra Breckinridge (1968)
Gore Vidal
4.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 52 (3.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Bloodline (1968)
Ernest J. Gaines
4.45
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 67 (2.41 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.A Fan's Notes (1968)
Frederick Exley
4.29
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 31 (2.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Vanity of Duluoz (1968)
Jack Kerouac
4.06
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 29 (2.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Ramona the Pest (1968)
Beverly Cleary
3.93
Genre: Novel, Other

Google Scholar: 47 (3.03 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.The Last Unicorn (1968)
Peter S. Beagle
3.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.True Grit (1968)
Charles Portis
2.99
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.a, A Novel (1968)
Andy Warhol
2.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Dagon (1968)
Fred Chappell
2.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Setting Free the Bears (1968)
John Irving
2.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.Nova (1968)
Samuel R. Delany
2.63
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 86 (2.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Judas, My Brother (1968)
Frank Yerby
2.02
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.Preserve and Protect (1968)
Allen Drury
1.78
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.Nabokov's Congeries (1968)
Vladimir Nabokov
1.67
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.The Pursuit of Happiness (1968)
Thomas Rogers
1.58
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.The Edge (1968)
Page Stegner
1.25*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 27 (1.25 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.

N-gram Frequency Correction: -54.33%
30Mark as read.Up (1968)
Ronald Sukenick
1.09*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 340 (0.92 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 11 (0.15 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 1 (0.02 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.

N-gram Frequency Correction: -98.15%

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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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