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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.










# Title Author Year Score
1Add to wishlist.MeridianAlice Walker197613.55
2Add to wishlist.Flight to CanadaIshmael Reed197610.40
3Add to wishlist.RootsAlex Haley19769.99
4Add to wishlist.A River Runs Through ItNorman Maclean19769.88
5Add to wishlist.Interview with the VampireAnne Rice19768.52
6Add to wishlist.Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?Raymond Carver19767.63
7Add to wishlist.The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble KnightsJohn Steinbeck19766.93
8Add to wishlist.TritonSamuel R. Delany19766.85
9Add to wishlist.SlapstickKurt Vonnegut19766.68
10Add to wishlist.Ratner's StarDon DeLillo19766.28
11Add to wishlist.Even Cowgirls Get the BluesTom Robbins19766.08
12Add to wishlist.The Spectator BirdWallace Stegner19765.78
13Add to wishlist.Ordinary PeopleJudith Guest19765.16
14Add to wishlist.The Bicentennial ManIsaac Asimov19764.96
15Add to wishlist.Children of DuneFrank Herbert19764.55
16Add to wishlist.KinflicksLisa Alther19764.53
17Add to wishlist.TrinityLeon Uris19764.30
18Add to wishlist.Heart of AztlanRudolfo Anaya19764.22
19Add to wishlist.Chilly Scenes of WinterAnn Beattie19764.07
20Add to wishlist.Details of a SunsetVladimir Nabokov19763.80
21Add to wishlist.PatternmasterOctavia Butler19763.80
22Add to wishlist.The Great SantiniPat Conroy19763.79
23Add to wishlist.The Shattered ChainMarion Zimmer Bradley19763.71
24Add to wishlist.A Plain Brown RapperRita Mae Brown19763.70
25Add to wishlist.The Education of Little TreeForrest Carter19763.48
26Add to wishlist.Bottom DogsEdward Dahlberg19763.38
27Add to wishlist.A Piece of My HeartRichard Ford19763.33
28Add to wishlist.LoverBertha Harris19763.04
29Add to wishlist.DistortionsAnn Beattie19762.84
30Add to wishlist.SpeedboatRenata Adler19762.83
31Add to wishlist.The DeepPeter Benchley19761.98
32Add to wishlist.The BalloonistMacDonald Harris19761.55
# Score
1Add to wishlist.Meridian (1976)
Alice Walker
13.55
2Add to wishlist.Flight to Canada (1976)
Ishmael Reed
10.40
3Add to wishlist.Roots (1976)
Alex Haley
9.99
4Add to wishlist.A River Runs Through It (1976)
Norman Maclean
9.88
5Add to wishlist.Interview with the Vampire (1976)
Anne Rice
8.52
6Add to wishlist.Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (1976)
Raymond Carver
7.63
7Add to wishlist.The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976)
John Steinbeck
6.93
8Add to wishlist.Triton (1976)
Samuel R. Delany
6.85
9Add to wishlist.Slapstick (1976)
Kurt Vonnegut
6.68
10Add to wishlist.Ratner's Star (1976)
Don DeLillo
6.28
11Add to wishlist.Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1976)
Tom Robbins
6.08
12Add to wishlist.The Spectator Bird (1976)
Wallace Stegner
5.78
13Add to wishlist.Ordinary People (1976)
Judith Guest
5.16
14Add to wishlist.The Bicentennial Man (1976)
Isaac Asimov
4.96
15Add to wishlist.Children of Dune (1976)
Frank Herbert
4.55
16Add to wishlist.Kinflicks (1976)
Lisa Alther
4.53
17Add to wishlist.Trinity (1976)
Leon Uris
4.30
18Add to wishlist.Heart of Aztlan (1976)
Rudolfo Anaya
4.22
19Add to wishlist.Chilly Scenes of Winter (1976)
Ann Beattie
4.07
20Add to wishlist.Details of a Sunset (1976)
Vladimir Nabokov
3.80
21Add to wishlist.Patternmaster (1976)
Octavia Butler
3.80
22Add to wishlist.The Great Santini (1976)
Pat Conroy
3.79
23Add to wishlist.The Shattered Chain (1976)
Marion Zimmer Bradley
3.71
24Add to wishlist.A Plain Brown Rapper (1976)
Rita Mae Brown
3.70
25Add to wishlist.The Education of Little Tree (1976)
Forrest Carter
3.48
26Add to wishlist.Bottom Dogs (1976)
Edward Dahlberg
3.38
27Add to wishlist.A Piece of My Heart (1976)
Richard Ford
3.33
28Add to wishlist.Lover (1976)
Bertha Harris
3.04
29Add to wishlist.Distortions (1976)
Ann Beattie
2.84
30Add to wishlist.Speedboat (1976)
Renata Adler
2.83
31Add to wishlist.The Deep (1976)
Peter Benchley
1.98
32Add to wishlist.The Balloonist (1976)
MacDonald Harris
1.55

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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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