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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4.28 avg rating — 4,534,828 ratings
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2

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4.26 avg rating — 784,380 ratings
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3

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4.34 avg rating — 178,373 ratings
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4

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3.92 avg rating — 3,801,366 ratings
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5

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4.20 avg rating — 466,707 ratings
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6

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4.09 avg rating — 1,692,953 ratings
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7

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4.18 avg rating — 1,428,227 ratings
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8

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4.45 avg rating — 250,603 ratings
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9

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3.86 avg rating — 1,945,998 ratings
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10

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4.19 avg rating — 634,374 ratings
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11

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4.10 avg rating — 945,997 ratings
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12

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4.19 avg rating — 501,827 ratings
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13

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 488,126 ratings
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14

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4.30 avg rating — 1,079,416 ratings
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15

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3.82 avg rating — 2,024,449 ratings
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16

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3.99 avg rating — 1,694,698 ratings
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17

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4.28 avg rating — 267,152 ratings
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18

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3.98 avg rating — 373,225 ratings
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19

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4.37 avg rating — 337,329 ratings
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20

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3.99 avg rating — 884,722 ratings
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21

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4.22 avg rating — 24,449 ratings
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21

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4.23 avg rating — 1,136,440 ratings
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23

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3.97 avg rating — 754,632 ratings
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24

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4.08 avg rating — 1,061,048 ratings
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25

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4.06 avg rating — 60,027 ratings
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26

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3.82 avg rating — 1,156,110 ratings
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26

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4.12 avg rating — 1,725,197 ratings
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28

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3.87 avg rating — 222,304 ratings
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29

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4.08 avg rating — 348,760 ratings
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30

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4.18 avg rating — 676,542 ratings
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31

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3.75 avg rating — 788,532 ratings
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32

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4.11 avg rating — 1,338,250 ratings
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33

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4.10 avg rating — 14,747 ratings
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34

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3.98 avg rating — 726,760 ratings
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35

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3.70 avg rating — 90,362 ratings
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36

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3.77 avg rating — 77,838 ratings
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37

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4.04 avg rating — 806,735 ratings
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38

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3.60 avg rating — 4,997,183 ratings
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39

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4.21 avg rating — 48,002 ratings
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40

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3.98 avg rating — 262,148 ratings
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41

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3.97 avg rating — 721,081 ratings
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42

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4.61 avg rating — 5,287 ratings
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43

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4.08 avg rating — 707,525 ratings
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44

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4.13 avg rating — 161,888 ratings
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45

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4.22 avg rating — 525,018 ratings
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46

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3.95 avg rating — 30,335 ratings
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47

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4.37 avg rating — 431,638 ratings
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48

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4.07 avg rating — 534,352 ratings
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49

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3.90 avg rating — 2,691,292 ratings
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49

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3.96 avg rating — 525,341 ratings
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51

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3.90 avg rating — 90,637 ratings
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52

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3.98 avg rating — 1,581,624 ratings
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53

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4.16 avg rating — 2,852 ratings
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54

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 112,904 ratings
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55

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3.84 avg rating — 166,687 ratings
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56

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3.93 avg rating — 599,830 ratings
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57

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4.13 avg rating — 442,870 ratings
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58

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3.59 avg rating — 325,192 ratings
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59

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3.87 avg rating — 344,197 ratings
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60

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4.03 avg rating — 567,173 ratings
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61

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4.03 avg rating — 398,491 ratings
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62

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3.89 avg rating — 629,983 ratings
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63

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3.97 avg rating — 975,913 ratings
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64

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4.03 avg rating — 32,718 ratings
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65

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3.55 avg rating — 47,906 ratings
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66

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3.78 avg rating — 29,310 ratings
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67

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4.01 avg rating — 448,378 ratings
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68

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 119,348 ratings
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69

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3.95 avg rating — 28,431 ratings
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70

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3.41 avg rating — 709,888 ratings
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71

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4.07 avg rating — 58,723 ratings
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72

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3.87 avg rating — 327,879 ratings
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73

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4.16 avg rating — 129,512 ratings
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74

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3.78 avg rating — 837,859 ratings
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75

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3.88 avg rating — 212,410 ratings
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76

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4.05 avg rating — 51,651 ratings
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77

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3.86 avg rating — 2,367 ratings
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78

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3.51 avg rating — 481,225 ratings
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79

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4.01 avg rating — 375,900 ratings
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79

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4.08 avg rating — 165,359 ratings
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81

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4.14 avg rating — 23,693 ratings
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82

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3.96 avg rating — 215,385 ratings
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83

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3.88 avg rating — 1,953,519 ratings
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84

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3.90 avg rating — 181,986 ratings
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84

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3.90 avg rating — 39,487 ratings
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86

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3.50 avg rating — 57,238 ratings
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87

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4.21 avg rating — 9,047 ratings
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88

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3.71 avg rating — 151,835 ratings
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89

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4.18 avg rating — 22,124 ratings
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90

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3.92 avg rating — 29,338 ratings
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91

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4.30 avg rating — 2,441,423 ratings
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92

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3.79 avg rating — 198,555 ratings
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93

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4.01 avg rating — 90,078 ratings
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94

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3.99 avg rating — 127,212 ratings
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95

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4.05 avg rating — 36,781 ratings
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96

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4.04 avg rating — 163,817 ratings
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97

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4.06 avg rating — 9,305 ratings
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98

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4.06 avg rating — 64,091 ratings
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99

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3.97 avg rating — 47,059 ratings
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99

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4.23 avg rating — 194,754 ratings
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flag this list (?)
321 books · 183 voters · list created April 13th, 2009 by Amy (votes) .
40 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Amy 1913 books
279 friends
Ricki 4252 books
1476 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3229 books
859 friends
Djo 123 books
5 friends
Janice 187 books
1 friend
Gabriele 922 books
129 friends
Carol 4141 books
900 friends
Matthew 1461 books
3 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: 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 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: by Matthew (new)

Matthew JK Rowling and Shakespeare are American authors? Odd.


message 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: 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 10: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Nice, adios Shakespeare and Harry Potter.


message 11: 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 12: by Matthew (new)

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


message 13: by John (new)

John Burns 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 14: 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 15: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Apr 14, 2010 11:25AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 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 17: 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 19: 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 21: by Silver (new)

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


message 22: by Temberton (new)

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


message 23: 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 25: 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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