100 Best American Authors

American authors that write about the American experience.
1

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2

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3.87 avg rating — 2,481,197 ratings
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3

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3.79 avg rating — 920,539 ratings
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3.78 avg rating — 1,887,254 ratings
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5

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3.90 avg rating — 484,056 ratings
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6

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3.96 avg rating — 1,032,493 ratings
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7

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3.82 avg rating — 1,363,063 ratings
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8

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3.36 avg rating — 506,520 ratings
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9

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4.15 avg rating — 193,208 ratings
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10

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4.04 avg rating — 375,325 ratings
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11

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4.27 avg rating — 814,212 ratings
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12

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4.33 avg rating — 305,008 ratings
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13

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3.70 avg rating — 475,621 ratings
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14

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4.04 avg rating — 795,715 ratings
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15

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3.97 avg rating — 515,348 ratings
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16

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3.47 avg rating — 132,345 ratings
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17

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4.02 avg rating — 1,176,992 ratings
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18

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4.16 avg rating — 374,863 ratings
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19

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3.44 avg rating — 365,783 ratings
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20

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4.23 avg rating — 31,766 ratings
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21

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4.20 avg rating — 58,049 ratings
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22

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3.97 avg rating — 252,357 ratings
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23

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4.33 avg rating — 412,598 ratings
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24

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4.13 avg rating — 61,268 ratings
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25

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3.78 avg rating — 188,335 ratings
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26

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3.53 avg rating — 227,459 ratings
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27

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4.04 avg rating — 603,015 ratings
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28

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4.13 avg rating — 933,445 ratings
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29

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3.95 avg rating — 29,640 ratings
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30

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4.18 avg rating — 470,293 ratings
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31

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3.88 avg rating — 168,153 ratings
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32

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4.16 avg rating — 241,845 ratings
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33

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3.65 avg rating — 253,100 ratings
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34

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3.83 avg rating — 30,075 ratings
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35

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4.48 avg rating — 657 ratings
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36

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3.33 avg rating — 68,934 ratings
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37

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3.95 avg rating — 15,379 ratings
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38

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3.93 avg rating — 40,905 ratings
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39

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3.97 avg rating — 402,230 ratings
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40

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3.83 avg rating — 274,373 ratings
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41

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3.74 avg rating — 221,454 ratings
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42

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4.25 avg rating — 41,754 ratings
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42

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3.67 avg rating — 268,424 ratings
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44

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3.57 avg rating — 38,222 ratings
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45

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4.29 avg rating — 34,783 ratings
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46

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4.22 avg rating — 228,047 ratings
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47

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4.04 avg rating — 78,326 ratings
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48

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4.12 avg rating — 150,890 ratings
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49

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4.52 avg rating — 2,595 ratings
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50

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3.88 avg rating — 536,451 ratings
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51

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3.96 avg rating — 26,727 ratings
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52

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4.36 avg rating — 4,269,987 ratings
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53

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4.06 avg rating — 25,656 ratings
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54

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4.45 avg rating — 1,380,774 ratings
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55

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3.72 avg rating — 100,449 ratings
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56

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3.85 avg rating — 121,945 ratings
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57

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4.46 avg rating — 105,663 ratings
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58

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4.10 avg rating — 27,905 ratings
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59

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3.89 avg rating — 133,126 ratings
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60

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3.94 avg rating — 509,886 ratings
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61

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3.83 avg rating — 22,471 ratings
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62

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3.66 avg rating — 85,915 ratings
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63

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3.98 avg rating — 152,178 ratings
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64

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3.75 avg rating — 54,643 ratings
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65

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3.69 avg rating — 68,463 ratings
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66

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3.96 avg rating — 67,584 ratings
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67

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3.75 avg rating — 92,195 ratings
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68

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4.07 avg rating — 43,817 ratings
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69

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3.93 avg rating — 103,941 ratings
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70

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3.93 avg rating — 40,785 ratings
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71

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 77,190 ratings
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72

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3.88 avg rating — 27,157 ratings
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73

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4.03 avg rating — 25,521 ratings
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74

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 269 ratings
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75

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3.76 avg rating — 1,436,786 ratings
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76

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3.96 avg rating — 180,047 ratings
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77

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3.71 avg rating — 27,329 ratings
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78

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4.06 avg rating — 45,517 ratings
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79

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3.82 avg rating — 114,994 ratings
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80

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3.91 avg rating — 37,021 ratings
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81

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4.08 avg rating — 210,223 ratings
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82

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4.29 avg rating — 57,217 ratings
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83

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4.41 avg rating — 112,074 ratings
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84

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3.93 avg rating — 60,721 ratings
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85

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3.80 avg rating — 156,578 ratings
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85

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3.89 avg rating — 157,504 ratings
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87

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3.81 avg rating — 173,641 ratings
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88

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3.75 avg rating — 1,503,634 ratings
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89

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4.32 avg rating — 47,984 ratings
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90

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4.03 avg rating — 1,470 ratings
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91

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3.79 avg rating — 13,798 ratings
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92

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3.71 avg rating — 49,443 ratings
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93

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4.08 avg rating — 35,062 ratings
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94

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3.85 avg rating — 177,791 ratings
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95

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4.30 avg rating — 12,924 ratings
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96

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4.16 avg rating — 16,498 ratings
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97

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3.86 avg rating — 62,660 ratings
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98

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4.31 avg rating — 2,019,884 ratings
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99

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4.19 avg rating — 23,268 ratings
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100

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4.04 avg rating — 1,764 ratings
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flag this list (?)
551 books · 492 voters · list created July 4th, 2009 by Bluedaizy (votes) .
80 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Bluedaizy 1947 books
66 friends
Boof 1645 books
393 friends
Ricki 3205 books
1450 friends
Diane 6632 books
84 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 2759 books
622 friends
Rebecca 218 books
358 friends
Holly 2512 books
10 friends
Clara 356 books
23 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-31 of 31) (31 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?


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Spam alert at #32.


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


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 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 (Lioness at Large) ~☆ 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.


message 30: by Kimberlee (new)

Kimberlee Leal I am currently reading Tropic if Cancer by Henry Miller, and I would agree that this book belongs on this list. I expected to find a bunch of "smut" as they used to call it, but, I have been amazed at the writing style and use of the language, which exceeds the writings of King, who while entertaining, is hardly the author of great literature,


message 31: by Robert (last edited Jun 08, 2016 11:42AM) (new)

Robert Womack Very hard to compile a list like this when you are so frequently comparing apples and oranges with regard to subject matter, style, frame of reference, culture, etc. Most of this comes down to personal taste and simply what certain people like or dislike. For example, how do you compare The Call of the Wild and Breakfast at Tiffany's? Or The Color Purple and The Stand? Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Little Women? I'm fine with this list---but it should be understood that this is really just a list of good/great books by American authors that a few, some, or a lot of people like to varying degrees. That's it.


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