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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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1800 - Present
New York Times Archive

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AMERICAN FICTION 2010

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.A Visit from the Goon SquadJennifer Egan20107.00
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 62 (3.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
2Mark as read.FreedomJonathan Franzen20106.94*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 61 (3.33 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 122 (1.95 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: 11 (1.67 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: -69.50%
3Mark as read.Point OmegaDon DeLillo20105.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 71 (3.51 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
4Mark as read.MockingjaySuzanne Collins20105.13
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 162 (4.64 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Super Sad True Love StoryGary Shteyngart20104.86
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 57 (3.25 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
6Mark as read.NoirRobert Coover20104.28
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 60 (2.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
7Mark as read.I HotelKaren Tei Yamashita20104.11
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.Sunset ParkPaul Auster20103.88
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 27 (2.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
9Mark as read.The SurrenderedChang-Rae Lee20103.85
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Great HouseNicole Krauss20103.27
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 19 (2.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Foreign bodiesCynthia Ozick20102.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.So Much for ThatLionel Shriver20102.81
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.NemesisPhilip Roth20102.80
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 104 (2.80 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Abraham Lincoln Vampire HunterSeth Grahame-Smith20102.78
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Imperial BedroomsBret Easton Ellis20102.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.MatterhornKarl Marlantes20102.43
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.The PrivilegesJonathan Dee20101.70
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Lord of MisruleJaimy Gordon20101.63
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Salvation CitySigrid Nunez20101.48
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.The WildingBenjamin Percy20101.44
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.The Lost Books of The OdysseyZachary Mason20101.28
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.WitzJoshua Cohen20101.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Memory WallAnthony Doerr20101.02
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

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)
24Mark as read.Tell-AllChuck Palahniuk20100.90
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Richard YatesTao Lin20100.79
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
26Mark as read.The New Yorker storiesAnn Beattie20100.63
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010)
Jennifer Egan
7.00
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 62 (3.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
2Mark as read.Freedom (2010)
Jonathan Franzen
6.94*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 61 (3.33 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 122 (1.95 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: 11 (1.67 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: -69.50%
3Mark as read.Point Omega (2010)
Don DeLillo
5.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 71 (3.51 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
4Mark as read.Mockingjay (2010)
Suzanne Collins
5.13
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 162 (4.64 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Super Sad True Love Story (2010)
Gary Shteyngart
4.86
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 57 (3.25 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
6Mark as read.Noir (2010)
Robert Coover
4.28
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 60 (2.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
7Mark as read.I Hotel (2010)
Karen Tei Yamashita
4.11
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.Sunset Park (2010)
Paul Auster
3.88
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 27 (2.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
9Mark as read.The Surrendered (2010)
Chang-Rae Lee
3.85
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Great House (2010)
Nicole Krauss
3.27
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 19 (2.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Foreign bodies (2010)
Cynthia Ozick
2.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.So Much for That (2010)
Lionel Shriver
2.81
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Nemesis (2010)
Philip Roth
2.80
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 104 (2.80 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (2010)
Seth Grahame-Smith
2.78
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Imperial Bedrooms (2010)
Bret Easton Ellis
2.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Matterhorn (2010)
Karl Marlantes
2.43
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.The Privileges (2010)
Jonathan Dee
1.70
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Lord of Misrule (2010)
Jaimy Gordon
1.63
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Salvation City (2010)
Sigrid Nunez
1.48
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.The Wilding (2010)
Benjamin Percy
1.44
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.The Lost Books of The Odyssey (2010)
Zachary Mason
1.28
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Witz (2010)
Joshua Cohen
1.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Memory Wall (2010)
Anthony Doerr
1.02
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

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)
24Mark as read.Tell-All (2010)
Chuck Palahniuk
0.90
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Richard Yates (2010)
Tao Lin
0.79
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
26Mark as read.The New Yorker stories (2010)
Ann Beattie
0.63
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 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 .

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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