Best Twentieth Century American Novels

1

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4.28 avg rating — 4,888,179 ratings
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2

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3.93 avg rating — 4,097,436 ratings
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3

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3.98 avg rating — 792,063 ratings
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4

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3.98 avg rating — 756,773 ratings
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5

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3.81 avg rating — 2,925,332 ratings
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6

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3.88 avg rating — 2,078,690 ratings
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7

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3.99 avg rating — 1,850,527 ratings
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8

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3.88 avg rating — 705,351 ratings
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9

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4.38 avg rating — 454,262 ratings
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10

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3.79 avg rating — 905,770 ratings
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11

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4.19 avg rating — 663,786 ratings
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12

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4.08 avg rating — 1,195,569 ratings
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13

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4.23 avg rating — 561,820 ratings
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14

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3.81 avg rating — 124,796 ratings
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15

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3.97 avg rating — 40,013 ratings
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16

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4.02 avg rating — 651,604 ratings
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17

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3.86 avg rating — 163,958 ratings
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18

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3.95 avg rating — 89,090 ratings
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19

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4.18 avg rating — 84,583 ratings
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20

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3.72 avg rating — 143,473 ratings
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21

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3.89 avg rating — 164,808 ratings
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22

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3.96 avg rating — 286,713 ratings
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23

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4.34 avg rating — 663,373 ratings
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24

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3.89 avg rating — 351,664 ratings
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25

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3.81 avg rating — 277,338 ratings
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26

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4.30 avg rating — 1,120,654 ratings
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27

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4.18 avg rating — 1,529,205 ratings
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28

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3.88 avg rating — 244,174 ratings
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29

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3.61 avg rating — 367,045 ratings
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30

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4.04 avg rating — 117,445 ratings
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31

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4.09 avg rating — 210,972 ratings
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32

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3.95 avg rating — 146,899 ratings
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33

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3.95 avg rating — 34,362 ratings
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34

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3.97 avg rating — 764,339 ratings
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35

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3.97 avg rating — 260,016 ratings
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36

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3.99 avg rating — 230,918 ratings
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37

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3.42 avg rating — 115,541 ratings
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38

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3.82 avg rating — 381,367 ratings
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39

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4.07 avg rating — 233,875 ratings
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40

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3.98 avg rating — 96,865 ratings
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41

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4.07 avg rating — 681,293 ratings
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42

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3.77 avg rating — 19,513 ratings
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43

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3.80 avg rating — 120,336 ratings
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44

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4.13 avg rating — 270,082 ratings
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44

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4.48 avg rating — 161,533 ratings
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46

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3.89 avg rating — 98,447 ratings
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47

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3.86 avg rating — 134,257 ratings
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48

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 94,399 ratings
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49

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3.58 avg rating — 57,346 ratings
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50

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3.97 avg rating — 193,565 ratings
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51

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3.90 avg rating — 101,623 ratings
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52

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3.80 avg rating — 30,483 ratings
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53

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3.77 avg rating — 24,322 ratings
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54

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4.31 avg rating — 78,684 ratings
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55

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3.92 avg rating — 31,079 ratings
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56

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4.12 avg rating — 58,163 ratings
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57

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4.25 avg rating — 821,124 ratings
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58

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4.01 avg rating — 58,539 ratings
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59

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3.65 avg rating — 11,626 ratings
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60

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3.75 avg rating — 47,301 ratings
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61

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4.16 avg rating — 117,012 ratings
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62

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4.06 avg rating — 61,176 ratings
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63

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4.14 avg rating — 167,284 ratings
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64

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3.88 avg rating — 47,314 ratings
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65

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3.80 avg rating — 16,170 ratings
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66

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4.22 avg rating — 57,078 ratings
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67

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3.98 avg rating — 14,590 ratings
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68

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3.83 avg rating — 46,572 ratings
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69

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3.92 avg rating — 13,248 ratings
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70

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4.06 avg rating — 19,214 ratings
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71

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4.10 avg rating — 1,028,536 ratings
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72

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 5,131 ratings
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73

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3.84 avg rating — 16,876 ratings
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74

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3.95 avg rating — 41,806 ratings
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75

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3.97 avg rating — 563,615 ratings
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76

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4.08 avg rating — 134,297 ratings
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77

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3.80 avg rating — 35,821 ratings
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78

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3.70 avg rating — 62,913 ratings
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79

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3.80 avg rating — 47,948 ratings
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80

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3.66 avg rating — 66,388 ratings
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81

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4.02 avg rating — 5,036 ratings
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82

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3.46 avg rating — 88,505 ratings
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83

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3.80 avg rating — 14,298 ratings
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84

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3.80 avg rating — 64,576 ratings
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85

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4.26 avg rating — 79,509 ratings
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85

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3.49 avg rating — 198,482 ratings
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87

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 22,652 ratings
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88

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3.94 avg rating — 128,702 ratings
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89

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 40,371 ratings
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90

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4.16 avg rating — 40,149 ratings
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91

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4.10 avg rating — 92,850 ratings
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92

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4.24 avg rating — 1,214,784 ratings
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93

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3.94 avg rating — 543,250 ratings
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94

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4.22 avg rating — 198,510 ratings
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95

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3.76 avg rating — 37,412 ratings
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96

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3.91 avg rating — 15,827 ratings
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97

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3.97 avg rating — 99,952 ratings
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98

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3.90 avg rating — 83,318 ratings
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99

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4.04 avg rating — 11,034 ratings
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100

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4.21 avg rating — 231,190 ratings
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258 books · 184 voters · list created March 7th, 2010 by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (votes) .
Tags: 1900s, american, best
55 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3263 books
860 friends
Argus 254 books
2 friends
Thom 6023 books
304 friends
Sebastian 651 books
32 friends
Emma 593 books
1590 friends
Mike (the Paladin) 4247 books
1454 friends
Mohammed 1441 books
279 friends
Irrelephant 2252 books
72 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-22 of 22 (22 new)

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message 1: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I feel like Philip Roth should be on here, but not sure what book. Also Cormac McCarthy. Are we calling Nabokov American? And I love Charlotte's Web, but I don't think it can properly be called a novel.

Other ideas: DeLillo, Toni Morrison, Helprin, Norman Mailer.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I would take Nabokov as an American novelist, as he became a citizen in 1945.

I just vote for the novels I really like.


message 3: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I had to remove "The Little Friend" as it was published in 2002.


message 4: by Reese (new)

Reese LG,
I'm not sure what makes you reluctant to consider CHARLOTTE'S WEB a novel. Plot? There. Character development? There. Confict? There. Is it any less believable than science fiction, magical realism, etc.? If it's not a novel, what is it? A novella? If length disqualifies it, then GOODBYE, COLUMBUS needs to go. I'm open to looking at CW in another way if you want to share your thoughts.
Reese


message 5: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Only the fact that it's a children's or YA book, and I take the term "novel" to be something different, aimed at an older audience. If we were taking a college course on "the novel," a YA book wouldn't be on the curriculum. I'm not saying CW isn't a lovely, near-perfect book.


message 6: by Reese (new)

Reese Thanks for explaining. You've made a good case for distinguishing it from fiction intended for an adult audience. While I can see the appropriateness of categorizing it as a YA book, I also see it as a book for readers of all ages and one that has all of the essential elements of a novel. Keeping it or striking it is not up to me.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for not being published in the 20th century:

Empire Falls, by Richard Russo (2001)


message 8: by Bakagh (new)

Bakagh I will finish most of them.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed, for not being first published in the 20th century:

Isn't It Pretty To Think So? (2012)


message 10: by Dennis (new)

Dennis I'm surprised that "And Ladies of the Club" isn't here.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You could add it.


message 12: by PatrickT (new)

PatrickT The Rhum Diary is pretty good, nearly as good as The Sun Also Rises and The Moveable Feast. I would have Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas too, though I can understand if there's reluctance. Ask the Dust, up there too. Basketball Diaries. Off the top of my head. Anything Mark Twain might have written between 1900 and 1910?


message 13: by Eva (new)

Eva Schiess The Goldfinch- Donna Tartt
Flight Behavior- Barbara Kingsolver
Should be in top 20.


message 14: by Emma (new)

Emma Sloan Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "I would take Nabokov as an American novelist, as he became a citizen in 1945.

I just vote for the novels I really like."


Makes sense. Also, Lolita was included in a course I took on the American novel at Yale, so I'd say there's a scholarly consensus that his works are American.


message 15: by Emma (new)

Emma Sloan Lobstergirl wrote: "Only the fact that it's a children's or YA book, and I take the term "novel" to be something different, aimed at an older audience. If we were taking a college course on "the novel," a YA book woul..."

I don't think intended audience has any bearing on whether or not something is a novel. Just my two cents :)


message 16: by Emma (new)

Emma Sloan Death in the Afternoon by Hemingway is nonfiction, and therefore not a novel. It should be removed.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Do you remember where on the list you saw it? (Makes it a lot easier to remove.)


message 18: by Emma (new)

Emma Sloan Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "Do you remember where on the list you saw it? (Makes it a lot easier to remove.)"

#91


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed, as is The Woman Warrior (also non-fiction).


message 20: by Kinga (new)

Kinga Please remove How to Buy, Sell and Make a Fortune on eBay - Make Money Online From Home on eBay.
This user keeps spamming lists with his crappy book


message 21: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady Kinga wrote: "Please remove How to Buy, Sell and Make a Fortune on eBay - Make Money Online From Home on eBay.
This user keeps spamming lists with his crappy book"


Done. (Next time, do mention the number you noticed a book on)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Yep, it's very handy; makes things a lot easier for the librarian removing the book.


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