100 Best American Authors

American authors that write about the American experience.
1

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4.24 avg rating — 2,710,137 ratings
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2

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3.86 avg rating — 2,336,619 ratings
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3

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3.79 avg rating — 895,562 ratings
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4

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3.78 avg rating — 1,801,465 ratings
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5

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3.90 avg rating — 459,725 ratings
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6

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3.81 avg rating — 1,301,626 ratings
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7

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3.96 avg rating — 970,294 ratings
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8

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4.15 avg rating — 189,229 ratings
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9

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3.35 avg rating — 479,815 ratings
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10

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4.03 avg rating — 360,185 ratings
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11

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3.68 avg rating — 442,260 ratings
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12

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4.33 avg rating — 292,330 ratings
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13

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4.26 avg rating — 780,859 ratings
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14

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4.03 avg rating — 761,331 ratings
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15

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3.97 avg rating — 489,341 ratings
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16

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3.47 avg rating — 126,990 ratings
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17

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3.43 avg rating — 354,442 ratings
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18

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4.02 avg rating — 1,131,698 ratings
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19

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4.15 avg rating — 358,154 ratings
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20

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4.23 avg rating — 32,117 ratings
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21

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3.97 avg rating — 238,593 ratings
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22

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4.20 avg rating — 55,867 ratings
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23

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4.32 avg rating — 395,797 ratings
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24

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4.13 avg rating — 58,946 ratings
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25

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4.03 avg rating — 566,743 ratings
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26

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4.13 avg rating — 874,298 ratings
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27

by
3.78 avg rating — 180,247 ratings
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28

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3.95 avg rating — 28,650 ratings
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29

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3.52 avg rating — 215,719 ratings
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30

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3.88 avg rating — 160,917 ratings
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31

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4.17 avg rating — 450,285 ratings
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32

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4.15 avg rating — 227,540 ratings
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33

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3.32 avg rating — 65,864 ratings
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34

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3.92 avg rating — 39,329 ratings
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35

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4.48 avg rating — 631 ratings
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36

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3.65 avg rating — 243,314 ratings
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37

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3.96 avg rating — 381,845 ratings
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38

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4.22 avg rating — 219,421 ratings
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39

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3.83 avg rating — 261,582 ratings
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40

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3.94 avg rating — 14,747 ratings
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41

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3.74 avg rating — 212,161 ratings
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42

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3.82 avg rating — 28,680 ratings
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43

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4.25 avg rating — 38,890 ratings
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44

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3.56 avg rating — 36,627 ratings
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45

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4.53 avg rating — 2,466 ratings
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46

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4.04 avg rating — 73,272 ratings
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47

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3.67 avg rating — 257,567 ratings
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48

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4.29 avg rating — 33,832 ratings
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49

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4.11 avg rating — 142,453 ratings
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50

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4.45 avg rating — 1,319,967 ratings
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51

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4.37 avg rating — 4,014,379 ratings
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52

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3.97 avg rating — 24,683 ratings
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53

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3.85 avg rating — 116,697 ratings
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54

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4.45 avg rating — 102,463 ratings
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55

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4.06 avg rating — 24,606 ratings
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56

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3.89 avg rating — 126,703 ratings
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57

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3.88 avg rating — 508,343 ratings
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58

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3.72 avg rating — 95,711 ratings
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59

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3.83 avg rating — 21,283 ratings
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60

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3.98 avg rating — 147,592 ratings
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61

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4.10 avg rating — 26,697 ratings
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62

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3.94 avg rating — 492,316 ratings
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63

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3.68 avg rating — 65,726 ratings
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64

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3.66 avg rating — 82,167 ratings
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65

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3.75 avg rating — 52,535 ratings
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66

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4.07 avg rating — 41,875 ratings
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67

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3.92 avg rating — 98,431 ratings
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68

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3.93 avg rating — 39,128 ratings
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69

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3.75 avg rating — 88,247 ratings
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70

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3.96 avg rating — 64,919 ratings
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71

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 73,102 ratings
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72

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3.76 avg rating — 1,394,457 ratings
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73

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3.96 avg rating — 172,088 ratings
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74

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4.03 avg rating — 24,484 ratings
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75

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3.88 avg rating — 25,380 ratings
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76

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3.70 avg rating — 26,100 ratings
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77

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3.82 avg rating — 109,196 ratings
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78

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4.01 avg rating — 248 ratings
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79

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3.91 avg rating — 35,299 ratings
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80

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4.29 avg rating — 54,950 ratings
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81

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4.06 avg rating — 43,219 ratings
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82

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3.80 avg rating — 148,839 ratings
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83

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3.80 avg rating — 166,688 ratings
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84

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3.75 avg rating — 1,442,647 ratings
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85

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4.08 avg rating — 198,077 ratings
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86

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4.33 avg rating — 44,648 ratings
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87

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4.41 avg rating — 107,958 ratings
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88

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3.93 avg rating — 58,056 ratings
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89

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3.79 avg rating — 13,109 ratings
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90

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3.88 avg rating — 149,787 ratings
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91

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4.15 avg rating — 19,020 ratings
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92

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3.86 avg rating — 59,132 ratings
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93

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3.71 avg rating — 47,048 ratings
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94

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4.18 avg rating — 21,475 ratings
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95

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4.07 avg rating — 33,504 ratings
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96

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4.02 avg rating — 1,390 ratings
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97

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3.84 avg rating — 169,003 ratings
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98

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4.30 avg rating — 12,435 ratings
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99

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4.05 avg rating — 1,740 ratings
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100

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3.87 avg rating — 56,486 ratings
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flag this list (?)
551 books · 474 voters · list created July 4th, 2009 by Bluedaizy (votes) .
74 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Bluedaizy 1945 books
67 friends
Boof 1645 books
396 friends
Ricki 3064 books
1447 friends
Diane 6561 books
82 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 2705 books
575 friends
Rebecca 213 books
346 friends
Holly 2425 books
10 friends
Clara 346 books
22 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-29 of 29) (29 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Jul 01, 2010 10:10AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads The Scarlet Letter is not absent from the list; I voted for it. It is, in fact, #8.

You could, of course, vote on it yourself; the form to add books to the list is at the right-hand side of the page.


message 2: by Matt (new)

Matt How are Koontz and Bradbury on this list twice yet Pynchon nowhere to be found?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I guess no one voting felt like voting for him.

You could add him.


message 4: by Dave (new)

Dave Cullen Hey, I'm really touched to be on this list. Thanks to the people who voted for me.


message 5: by Jamie (new)

Jamie anything by john krakauer should be on this list


message 6: by Ben (new)

Ben Communist Manifesto? Very important book, but last I checked, Karl Marx ain't American!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed, for not being by an American:

The Communist Manifesto


Hieveryoneilovebookstoo This list should really just be called 100 best American books as authors appear more than once and that seems to be the way the ranking works.

Also Ian Banks (author of the wasp factory #82) is not American he is Scottish so he shouldn't be on here, however good/relevant to this list his book may be.


Hieveryoneilovebookstoo Hieveryoneilovebookstoo wrote: "This list should really just be called 100 best American books as authors appear more than once and that seems to be the way the ranking works.

Also Ian Banks (author of the wasp factory #82) is n..."


Also James Joyce #134 is Irish.

I swear I'm not just looking for mistakes


Hieveryoneilovebookstoo Hieveryoneilovebookstoo wrote: "Hieveryoneilovebookstoo wrote: "This list should really just be called 100 best American books as authors appear more than once and that seems to be the way the ranking works.

Also Ian Banks (auth..."


Leo Tolstoy #197.....?


Hieveryoneilovebookstoo Hieveryoneilovebookstoo wrote: "Hieveryoneilovebookstoo wrote: "Hieveryoneilovebookstoo wrote: "This list should really just be called 100 best American books as authors appear more than once and that seems to be the way the rank..."
Paolo Coelho #210.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed, for not being by an American:

The Wasp Factory, by Iain M. Banks
Ulysses, by James Joyce
The Man in the Iron Mask, by Alexandre Dumas
The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Tess of the D'Urbevilles, by Thomas Hardy
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
Company, by Max Barry
The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho


message 13: by Miller (new)

Miller How is "The Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen Crane not on the list?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You could add it; it's easy to add books to a list. At the top of the list, at the tab next to "all votes."


message 15: by Boris (new)

Boris Negrarosa Did I miss something? Joyce Carol Oates NOT on the list?


message 16: by Marcelo (new)

Marcelo I'm really surprised that Stephen King's books are considered over Henry Miller's, who does not even appear in this list. I mean, I got nothing against King's books, but Miller has been much more influential to literature (not only American) than King, I would say. I would even favor Charles Bukowski and William Burroughs over King. I could mention several books by all of them, but it's so obvious that I don't even bother.
What about, Norman Mailer, Tom and Thomas Wolfe, etc.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You could add Miller's books. It's easy to add books to lists. At the top of the list, at the tab next to "all votes."


message 18: by Mark (new)

Mark Doenges Matt wrote: "How are Koontz and Bradbury on this list twice yet Pynchon nowhere to be found?"

Pynchon at 87 and 128. Gravity's Rainbow and The Crying of Lot 49.


message 19: by Ahry (new)

Ahry I was really sad not to see any Hunter Thompson on this list. Fear and Loathing is definitally one of the 100 most influential american novels.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Whereabouts are his books on the list?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I'd love to remove it, but the author is an American.


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Susanna wrote: "I'd love to remove it, but the author is an American."

Yes, that's why I only flagged it on this list as well ... for the time being.


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) ~☆ Alice☆~ wrote: "Ken Follett is still there twice but it renumbered as people voted."

Removed.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Themis-Athena wrote: " ~☆ Alice☆~ wrote: "Ken Follett is still there twice but it renumbered as people voted."

Removed."


Thanks, it kept bothering me as I nearly clicked on them more than once.


message 26: by Chela (new)

Chela Matt wrote: "How are Koontz and Bradbury on this list twice yet Pynchon nowhere to be found?"

Pynchon is on the list, Gravity's Rainbow, #91.


message 27: by Chris (new)

Chris At least two books are missing from this that were both wildly important pieces of American literature. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle caused enough of an uproar when it was published, that Theadore Roosevelt sent inspectors to Chicago's meat packing plants to investigate. Their findings eventually led to the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 which established the FDA. Also, Uncle Tom's Cabin isn't on here for some reason. The only book that sold more copies than Uncle Tom's Cabin during the 19th century was the freaking Bible. Uncle Tom's Cabin is credited as being a major reason for the growth of the Abolitionist movement in the years leading up to the Civil War. That's the one that ended slavery and led to the death of 600,000-1,000,000 Americans. But I guess twilight and the notebook were better choices. Sad


message 28: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Oct 25, 2013 10:28AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads They may indeed be on the list, just not on the first page; and you could add them. It's easy to add votes to lists; at the top of the list, at the tab next to "all votes."

ETA: This is a crowd-sourced list. I suspect more folks at GR have read Twilight than The Jungle and Uncle Tom's Cabin combined. Popularity tends to rule on lists.


message 29: by Denny (new)

Denny Myers I have to comment on this. Lost Horizon was a great book. James Hilton a great author. BEFORE YOU SAY IT, he was not a native born American. He was, however, a naturalized American citizen. He died in California and was buried in Virginia. And Lost Horizon .... a great book. He should be on the list.


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