Best Books That Have Shaped America

From the LA Times:
The Library of Congress has selected 88 books that shaped America, all by American authors. The first was published in 1751, and the most recent in 2002. Each author is represented only once, with one exception: Benjamin Franklin, who landed three books on the list. Apparently the listmakers at the Library of Congress think quite a lot of the founding father.

"This list of ‘Books That Shaped America’ is a starting point. It is not a register of the ‘best’ American books -- although many of them fit that description. Rather, the list is intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives, whether they appear on this initial list or not," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a release. "We hope people will view the list and then nominate other titles. Finally, we hope people will choose to read and discuss some of the books on this list, reflecting our nation’s unique and extraordinary literary heritage, which the Library of Congress makes available to the world."

The list includes poetry, novels, nonfiction, plays, a polemic, books of science and grammar, cookbooks and children's books. The list includes 26 books published since 1950, 35 published from 1900 to 1950, 15 published from 1850 to 1900, six published from 1800 to 1850 and nine published before 1800.
1

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4.27 avg rating — 5,364,806 ratings
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2

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3.82 avg rating — 1,216,588 ratings
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3

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3.81 avg rating — 3,156,940 ratings
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4

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3.98 avg rating — 2,064,327 ratings
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5

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4.19 avg rating — 1,646,797 ratings
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6

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3.93 avg rating — 4,534,837 ratings
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7

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3.99 avg rating — 833,616 ratings
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8

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3.99 avg rating — 418,324 ratings
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9

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4.17 avg rating — 496,058 ratings
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10

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4.30 avg rating — 1,155,686 ratings
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11

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4.23 avg rating — 927,453 ratings
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12

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3.43 avg rating — 791,919 ratings
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13

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3.89 avg rating — 388,385 ratings
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14

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3.89 avg rating — 214,245 ratings
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15

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4.12 avg rating — 1,970,234 ratings
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16

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4.08 avg rating — 599,164 ratings
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17

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4.11 avg rating — 173,029 ratings
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18

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4.28 avg rating — 427,446 ratings
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19

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3.98 avg rating — 784,433 ratings
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20

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4.29 avg rating — 346,288 ratings
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21

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3.72 avg rating — 61,701 ratings
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22

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 42,290 ratings
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23

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3.62 avg rating — 381,497 ratings
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24

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3.53 avg rating — 519,161 ratings
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25

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3.78 avg rating — 176,545 ratings
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26

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3.79 avg rating — 2,091 ratings
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27

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3.86 avg rating — 26,094 ratings
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28

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4.36 avg rating — 7,412 ratings
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29

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3.76 avg rating — 136,989 ratings
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30

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4.01 avg rating — 94,820 ratings
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31

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3.90 avg rating — 173,340 ratings
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32

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3.92 avg rating — 296,035 ratings
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33

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3.92 avg rating — 382,417 ratings
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34

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3.86 avg rating — 170,274 ratings
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35

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4.22 avg rating — 82,839 ratings
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36

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3.98 avg rating — 286,471 ratings
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37

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3.99 avg rating — 33,507 ratings
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38

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3.97 avg rating — 271,819 ratings
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39

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4.13 avg rating — 103,222 ratings
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39

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4.08 avg rating — 111,590 ratings
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41

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4.18 avg rating — 111,308 ratings
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42

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3.68 avg rating — 48,662 ratings
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43

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4.34 avg rating — 245,166 ratings
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44

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4.38 avg rating — 134,161 ratings
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45

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4.36 avg rating — 26,225 ratings
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46

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3.86 avg rating — 17,369 ratings
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47

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3.75 avg rating — 2,587 ratings
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48

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4.21 avg rating — 816,270 ratings
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49

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3.98 avg rating — 194 ratings
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50

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3.73 avg rating — 11,672 ratings
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51

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4.11 avg rating — 94,955 ratings
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52

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4.29 avg rating — 40,260 ratings
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53

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4.25 avg rating — 88,101 ratings
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54

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4.20 avg rating — 109,263 ratings
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55

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3.62 avg rating — 262 ratings
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56

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3.81 avg rating — 128,905 ratings
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57

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4.25 avg rating — 18,413 ratings
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58

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4.15 avg rating — 20 ratings
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59

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4.35 avg rating — 17,145 ratings
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60

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3.97 avg rating — 307,114 ratings
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61

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3.69 avg rating — 374,232 ratings
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62

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4.09 avg rating — 38,301 ratings
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63

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4.11 avg rating — 150 ratings
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64

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3.88 avg rating — 9,445 ratings
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65

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3.96 avg rating — 26,077 ratings
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66

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3.28 avg rating — 99,375 ratings
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67

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3.90 avg rating — 42,151 ratings
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68

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4.10 avg rating — 2,083 ratings
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68

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4.08 avg rating — 2,547 ratings
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70

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4.20 avg rating — 5 ratings
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71

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4.75 avg rating — 4 ratings
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71

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4.58 avg rating — 38 ratings
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71

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4.60 avg rating — 5 ratings
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74

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4.47 avg rating — 9,747 ratings
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75

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 250 ratings
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76

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3.63 avg rating — 86 ratings
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76

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4.14 avg rating — 1,994 ratings
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76

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4.30 avg rating — 188 ratings
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79

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4.19 avg rating — 1,837 ratings
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80

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liked it 3.00 avg rating — 3 ratings
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81

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3.63 avg rating — 4,633 ratings
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82

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2.95 avg rating — 58 ratings
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83

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4.53 avg rating — 85,127 ratings
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84

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 5 ratings
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85

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4.15 avg rating — 1,210 ratings
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86

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3.86 avg rating — 81 ratings
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87

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 8 ratings
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88

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it was ok 2.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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89

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3.89 avg rating — 91 ratings
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90

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4.01 avg rating — 713 ratings
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91

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4.33 avg rating — 3 ratings
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92

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3.89 avg rating — 3,498 ratings
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93

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4.34 avg rating — 235 ratings
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94

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0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings
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95

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4.04 avg rating — 28 ratings
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96

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3.76 avg rating — 25 ratings
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96 books · 53 voters · list created July 17th, 2012 by Stephanie (votes) .
25 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Stephanie 2945 books
570 friends
Nicole 487 books
83 friends
Loretta 2631 books
123 friends
Kristi 3055 books
144 friends
Emily 43 books
377 friends
Hilary 1167 books
170 friends
Zulfiya 3744 books
184 friends
Anne 3524 books
187 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by BookLovingLady (last edited May 05, 2016 09:55PM) (new)

BookLovingLady No idea which books 'shaped America', as I'm not American. But it seems I've read 17 of the books that shaped America (and two more are on my TBR list), so not bad for a non-American, I'd say :-)

By the way. there are 94 books on this list at the moment, instead of the 88 mentioned in the first paragraph of the description or the 91 mentioned in the last paragraph, so I might have voted for some that shouldn't have been on this list.... Even when I deduct the books not voted for by the creator of this list (The Life and Diary of David Brainerd, The Annals of the World, Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Noah Websters Advice to the Young & Moral Catechism and A HodgePodge of Children's Stories) it still doesn't help to reach the numbers given.


message 2: by Dave (last edited Oct 09, 2016 07:56AM) (new)

Dave Lum I have finished 16 of these, but have read parts of 4 others. I hope to finish them all.
I wasn't sure how to vote. I ended up voting for those books which I read most, I liked most, and which most affected me and others I loved.
There are several on the list I've always wanted to read, and I've added the others. Currently, 95 books on the list. (Here is the Library of Congress' list: http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/books-tha...)


message 3: by Dave (new)

Dave Lum I found this on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2...


message 4: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady Dave wrote: "I found this on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/2..."

That one still has 88 books on it, fortunately. And they are more or less the same age as well.


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