American Literature at the Movies

This list contains novels or short stories by American authors that have been turned into movies (made for tv or theater) or short television mini-series which can be watched as long movies.

If you want to add a book to the list and are not sure if the author is American or not, find the movie in the IMDB database (www.imdb.com), click on the author's name, and find out where they were born and where they currently reside.

Whether you vote for the book based on watching the movie or reading the book is up to you. :)
1

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4.24 avg rating — 2,854,703 ratings
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2

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4.25 avg rating — 582,896 ratings
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3

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4.32 avg rating — 121,848 ratings
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4

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3.87 avg rating — 2,445,626 ratings
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5

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4.11 avg rating — 331,912 ratings
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6

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4.13 avg rating — 918,404 ratings
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7

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4.02 avg rating — 1,164,853 ratings
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8

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3.76 avg rating — 1,426,113 ratings
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9

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4.18 avg rating — 465,625 ratings
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10

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4.19 avg rating — 342,653 ratings
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11

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3.67 avg rating — 370 ratings
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12

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4.40 avg rating — 168,491 ratings
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13

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4.04 avg rating — 592,629 ratings
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14

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3.97 avg rating — 369,726 ratings
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15

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3.75 avg rating — 1,488,385 ratings
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16

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3.96 avg rating — 1,016,984 ratings
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17

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4.27 avg rating — 806,254 ratings
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17

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3.97 avg rating — 248,779 ratings
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19

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4.24 avg rating — 188,524 ratings
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20

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3.92 avg rating — 567,732 ratings
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21

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4.35 avg rating — 243,288 ratings
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22

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4.06 avg rating — 1,290,797 ratings
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23

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3.90 avg rating — 477,401 ratings
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24

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4.05 avg rating — 800,689 ratings
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25

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4.17 avg rating — 17,909 ratings
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26

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4.04 avg rating — 42,896 ratings
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27

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4.07 avg rating — 206,853 ratings
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28

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4.05 avg rating — 996,332 ratings
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29

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3.81 avg rating — 172,014 ratings
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30

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4.14 avg rating — 717,904 ratings
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31

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3.79 avg rating — 914,018 ratings
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32

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3.97 avg rating — 509,105 ratings
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33

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3.69 avg rating — 67,796 ratings
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34

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4.15 avg rating — 506,773 ratings
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35

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3.67 avg rating — 617,372 ratings
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36

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4.09 avg rating — 10,599 ratings
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37

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4.19 avg rating — 32,043 ratings
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38

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3.94 avg rating — 505,475 ratings
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39

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3.96 avg rating — 177,214 ratings
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40

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4.47 avg rating — 3,543 ratings
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41

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3.56 avg rating — 3,425,996 ratings
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42

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4.09 avg rating — 122,066 ratings
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43

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3.93 avg rating — 582,598 ratings
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44

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 555,940 ratings
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45

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3.93 avg rating — 60,105 ratings
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46

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3.94 avg rating — 1,177,086 ratings
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47

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3.93 avg rating — 18,629 ratings
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48

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4.04 avg rating — 372,358 ratings
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49

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3.83 avg rating — 1,761,708 ratings
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50

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4.33 avg rating — 301,914 ratings
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51

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3.94 avg rating — 72,697 ratings
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52

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3.77 avg rating — 117,944 ratings
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53

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4.10 avg rating — 332,265 ratings
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54

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4.15 avg rating — 371,808 ratings
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55

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3.81 avg rating — 218,503 ratings
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56

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3.80 avg rating — 31,655 ratings
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57

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3.95 avg rating — 304,256 ratings
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58

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3.90 avg rating — 321,332 ratings
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59

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4.12 avg rating — 2,141 ratings
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60

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3.83 avg rating — 431,179 ratings
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61

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3.53 avg rating — 224,642 ratings
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62

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3.89 avg rating — 495,005 ratings
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63

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3.69 avg rating — 17,640 ratings
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64

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3.96 avg rating — 451,958 ratings
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65

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3.98 avg rating — 94,686 ratings
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66

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4.07 avg rating — 43,163 ratings
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67

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3.74 avg rating — 219,116 ratings
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68

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3.69 avg rating — 467,520 ratings
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69

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4.01 avg rating — 24,339 ratings
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70

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4.03 avg rating — 30,339 ratings
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71

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3.84 avg rating — 1,809 ratings
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72

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3.44 avg rating — 362,893 ratings
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73

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3.92 avg rating — 259,404 ratings
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74

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3.52 avg rating — 29,246 ratings
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75

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4.13 avg rating — 17,736 ratings
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76

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3.98 avg rating — 19,550 ratings
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77

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3.35 avg rating — 499,920 ratings
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78

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3.87 avg rating — 27,780 ratings
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79

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3.89 avg rating — 135,274 ratings
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80

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3.93 avg rating — 26,856 ratings
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81

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3.45 avg rating — 41,573 ratings
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82

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4.18 avg rating — 73,676 ratings
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83

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3.89 avg rating — 131,454 ratings
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84

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4.18 avg rating — 6,113 ratings
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85

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3.92 avg rating — 664,617 ratings
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86

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4.16 avg rating — 16,273 ratings
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86

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4.23 avg rating — 1,634,377 ratings
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88

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4.06 avg rating — 109,047 ratings
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89

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4.04 avg rating — 54,839 ratings
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90

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3.96 avg rating — 317,515 ratings
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91

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4.21 avg rating — 149,925 ratings
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92

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4.04 avg rating — 5,779 ratings
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93

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3.82 avg rating — 1,347,818 ratings
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94

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3.95 avg rating — 41,752 ratings
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95

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3.93 avg rating — 175,149 ratings
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96

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3.87 avg rating — 8,909 ratings
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97

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3.94 avg rating — 247 ratings
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98

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4.24 avg rating — 132,904 ratings
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99

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3.98 avg rating — 101,507 ratings
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100

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4.12 avg rating — 12,729 ratings
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flag this list (?)
305 books · 163 voters · list created April 13th, 2009 by Amy (votes) .
28 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Amy 1323 books
213 friends
Ricki 3187 books
1449 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 2738 books
596 friends
Djo 123 books
5 friends
Janice 187 books
1 friend
Gabriele 892 books
122 friends
Carol 2983 books
836 friends
Matthew 1184 books
2 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-25)




dateUp arrow    newest »

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Who wrote the book that was made into The Hours? I cannot think who it was. I had a very hard time on my copy of Stardust finding Neil Gaiman's name!!! (very sad commentary IMO when the author doesn't get much credit when they make a movie out of their book)


message 24: by Amy (new)

Amy Alice wrote: "Who wrote the book that was made into The Hours? I cannot think who it was. I had a very hard time on my copy of Stardust finding Neil Gaiman's name!!! (very sad commentary IMO when the author do..."

The Hours is by Michael Cunningham. I meant to read it until I found out that it was a response to Mrs. Dalloway. So I thought I would read Mrs. Dalloway first until I heard that it was a response to Ulysses. The very idea of reading Ulysses makes my head spin. Maybe I'll never get to The Hours.


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks! I had no idea ......how very complicated. I will never read Ullysses either. I read only for pleasure now.


message 22: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Are we voting based on the quality of the movie or the book? I would rank the book "Catch 22" ahead of the book "Shawshank Redemption" but the movie version of Shawshank is fantastic whereas Catch 22 is an okay movie...
How has everyone else been voting?


message 21: by Matthew (new)

Matthew JK Rowling and Shakespeare are American authors? Odd.


message 20: by Amy (new)

Amy Argh! I made this list for the American literature class I teach. Thanks, guys for brilliantly not checking where authors are from before adding it to this list. It's AMERICAN literature, not British! Sadly, there's no way to remove items from this list unless someone knows a secret I don't. Any ideas?


message 19: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Hmm, as list creator I would think that you could control content and delete books. I also think I read that a "librarian" could remove books as well but it may have been my imagination.

Your course sounds interesting--is it for a college? high school?


message 18: by Amy (new)

Amy It's a class in an intensive English as a Second Language school. The class is in their final level before being ready for a university or high school.

I can't find any way to control the content. Sadly, I'm not a librarian. But my husband is. Hmm ...


message 17: by Amy (new)

Amy Matthew wrote: "Hmm, as list creator I would think that you could control content and delete books. I also think I read that a "librarian" could remove books as well but it may have been my imagination.

Your c..."


You're right about "librarian" status. I contacted GoodReads and they said that anyone with at least 50 books in their profile could apply to be a librarian and fix such problems. :)




message 16: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Nice, adios Shakespeare and Harry Potter.


message 15: by Amy (last edited Apr 24, 2009 07:31PM) (new)

Amy Strangely enough, not all books you can read in English are by American authors. These authors are definitely NOT American (and I've since removed them from the list):

Michael Ondaatje (Canadian)
R.K. Rowling (British)
William Shakespeare (British)
Winston Graham (British)
Boris Pasternak (Russian)
Isak Dinesen (Danish)
Carlotte Bronte (British)
Phillipa Gregory (British)
Daphne Du Maurier (British)

If you're in doubt, type the title of the movie into the IMDB database, click on the movie, click on the author's name, and find out where they were born and where they currently reside.


message 14: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Also, William Golding of "Lord of the Flies" fame is British...


message 13: by Killthepopular (new)

Killthepopular I dont understand why you made this list. Are you looking for books that you can get the kids to read and then show them the film? Presumably that rules out films with 18 certificates/NC-17?
Or do you think kids are more likely to read a book if there is a film of it?
What exactly is the logic here?

Incidentally, wth people, i'm the only one to vote for one flew over the cuckoos nest? Its a pretty obvious choice...


message 12: by Amy (new)

Amy Killthepopular wrote: "I dont understand why you made this list. Are you looking for books that you can get the kids to read and then show them the film? Presumably that rules out films with 18 certificates/NC-17?
Or do..."


My students are adults actually. It's NOT a high school class. We use the list to vote on a movie to watch in class (and I have the right to veto ones that might be offensive). They're also allowed to write an essay about an American literature movie for extra credit. It's only a 7-week class, so it gives a broader view of American literature than just reading the one novel and short stories we have time for in class. It also gives them ideas of what they might like to read when they've left my class. Lots of people like to read books when they know they can watch the movie, too. Especially ESL students who may not understand every word they read. Beyond that, the list is also for fun ... like any listopia list.


message 11: by Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) (last edited Apr 14, 2010 11:25AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Amy wrote: "Strangely enough, not all books you can read in English are by American authors. These authors are definitely NOT American (and I've since removed them from the list):

Michael Ondaatje (Canadian)
..."



It would appear it's time for a bit of pruning again ... among the "new arrivals" (on page 2) are British authors such as J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis, and Australian Colleen McCullough.

Also: Kleinbaum's "Dead Poets Society" is actually a novelization of Tom Schulman's screenplay -- the movie was there first. (It's a truly great film of course, I'm just wondering whether this isn't supposed to be a list about instances where the book came first and the movie was based on it?)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for non-American authors:

Stardust, by Neil Gaiman (British)
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman (British)
Marnie, by Winston Graham (British)

I am unable to attribute nationality to N.H. Keinbaum, and at any rate, this is a novelization. I would be tempted to remove Dead Poets Society on this basis (list is for book -> movie, this was a case of movie -> book).


message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy I just removed several, too. I've removed Winston Graham books more often than anything else. Someone really must like him.

The only thing about Neil Gaiman is that he's technically considered an American author now that he has lived in the US for several years. He did win a Newbery medal which is specifically given for American literature for children. Since one of the requirements for winning a Newbery is that the author must be a US resident or citizen, I'm supposing that Neil Gaiman is considered to legally be categorized as an American these days.


message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy Susanna wrote: "Hmmmmm."

Yeah. That's what I said when I saw he'd won the Newbery (and then had to look up the rules of the award). I'm still not 100% convinced because he seems awfully British to me.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Reading the Newbery's criteria, though, I see they only require residence in America, though. Still hmmm.


message 5: by Silver (new)

Silver I choose to vote for books if I both read them and watched the movie.


message 4: by Temberton (new)

Temberton I came across this list while searching for movies to use for a study of American Literature. Thanks! :)


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Why is GONE WITH THE WIND listed twice?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Because some people voted for "Gone with the Wind: Volume 1 of 2," and others for "Gone with the Wind."

Which is why they can't be combined.


message 1: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan The description says "This list contains novels or short stories by American authors that have been turned into movies (made for tv or theater) or short television mini-series which can be watched as long movies." So why are NOVELIZATIONS (movies that were turned into books) and at least one Graphic Novel Adaptation (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) included?


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