100 Books That Bring Readers Together

Here is a list of 100 books that liberals and conservatives like in equal measure. As we discuss in our article, these lists were derived by identifying readers on Goodreads as either conservative or liberal based on whether they positively rated a highly partisan book from a select list (titles like James Carville’s It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! or Paul Krugman’s End This Depression Now! on the left and Glenn Beck’s CowardsAnn Coulter’s Demonic, or Pat Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower on the right).

The books are ranked by the overall number of bookshelves that they appear on. We use a statistical test to ensure that they are no more likely to appear on one set of shelves versus another.

We also identified the top 100 books that liberals prefer and the top 100 books that conservatives prefer.

Title Bookshelves
To Kill a Mockingbird 8905
1984 8687
Animal Farm 8222
Lord of the Flies 6125
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium; #1) 5925
Fahrenheit 451 5729
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn; #2) 4768
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire; #1) 4381
Romeo and Juliet 4370
Frankenstein 3635
Jane Eyre 3564
Water for Elephants 3378
The Lovely Bones 3287
Hamlet 3211
A Thousand Splendid Suns 2696
A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet; #1) 2475
11/22/63 2450
The Secret Life of Bees 2424
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War 2408
Moby-Dick; or; The Whale 2192
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 1861
The Outsiders 1743
Emma 1672
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 1628
A Midsummer Night’s Dream 1620
The Red Tent 1597
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket; #1) 1543
The War of the Worlds 1528
2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey; #1) 1427
Persuasion 1422
Rebecca 1348
Gulliver’s Travels 1334
Bridget Jones’s Diary (Bridget Jones; #1) 1325
The Pearl 1310
The Good Earth (House of Earth; #1) 1309
I; Robot (Robot; #0.1) 1308
Girl With a Pearl Earring 1290
Don Quixote 1287
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 1277
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle; #1) 1239
Cold Mountain 1234
The Historian 1228
The Canterbury Tales 1187
Miss Peregrine�۪s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine�۪s Peculiar Children; #1) 1104
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress 1032
Alice in Wonderland (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; #1) 996
The Light Between Oceans 996
Julius Caesar (Oxford School Shakespeare) 989
Orphan Train 988
The Bonfire of the Vanities 981
The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes; #5) 980
The Thirteenth Tale 969
Much Ado About Nothing 968
The Drawing of the Three (The Dark Tower; #2) 955
Mansfield Park 937
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court 926
Me Before You (Me Before You; #1) 921
Northanger Abbey 919
Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh; #1) 919
Paradise Lost 910
Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse; #1) 909
The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle; #2) 901
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency; #1) 896
The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler; #1) 889
Rendezvous with Rama (Rama; #1) 886
Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War; #1) 884
Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles; #2) 875
Tess of the D’Urbervilles 874
The Taming of the Shrew 872
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe 858
The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower; #3) 851
Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy; #1) 844
The Chosen 810
The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles; #2) 805
Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot; #10) 804
Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles; #3) 801
Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower; #4) 795
Hatchet (Brian’s Saga; #1) 790
The Invisible Man 790
The Divine Comedy 746
Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town; #2) 735
Wonder 732
Ringworld (Ringworld; #1) 704
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand 701
Are You There God? It’s Me; Margaret 693
Wool Omnibus (Silo; #1) 685
Big Little Lies 670
Grave Peril (The Dresden Files; #3) 662
The Language of Flowers 660
Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower; #5) 660
Inferno (The Divine Comedy #1) 659
Mystic River 658
Before I Go to Sleep 637
Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse; #2) 637
The Island of Dr. Moreau 634
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce; #1) 634
The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower; #7) 632
Tuck Everlasting 617
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood; #1) 614
Revival 609
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New Article on Political Polarization at The Guardian

We have a new study published today in the Guardian that shows ways of finding cultural commonality in our age of political polarization. Using the site Goodreads, we identify collections of books that both liberals and conservatives like to read. We show how these books drive different kinds of reader behaviour, prompting readers to react less tribally and negatively and discuss books in more nuanced and cognitively complex ways. You can find lists of the top 100 most non-partisan books here along with the books that liberals and conservatives favour reading.

Essays

100 Books That Conservatives Love to Read

Here is a list of 100 books that conservatives like to read. As we discuss in our article, these lists were derived by identifying readers on Goodreads as either conservative or liberal based on whether they positively rated a highly partisan book from a select list (titles like James Carville’s It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! or Paul Krugman’s End This Depression Now! on the left and Glenn Beck’s CowardsAnn Coulter’s Demonic, or Pat Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower on the right).

The books are ranked by the increased odds that they are read by a Conservative reader compared to a Liberal reader. We also include the total number of bookshelves that this book appeared on in our sample.

We also identified the top 100 books that liberals prefer as well as those books that showed no statistical difference between groups.

Title Bookshelves Odds Ratio
American Assassin (Mitch Rapp; #1) 782 6.52
Left Behind (Left Behind; #1) 1057 4.86
Without Remorse (Jack Ryan Universe; #1) 826 3.58
Patriot Games (Jack Ryan Universe; #2) 1341 3.18
Clear and Present Danger (Jack Ryan Universe; #6) 1080 3.17
The Sum of All Fears (Jack Ryan Universe; #7) 861 2.96
Red Storm Rising 1041 2.76
The Testament 971 2.55
The Runaway Jury 1411 2.50
Along Came a Spider (Alex Cross; #1) 985 2.49
The Client 1798 2.36
The Rainmaker 1233 2.32
Killing Floor (Jack Reacher; #1) 1222 2.32
The Hunt for Red October (Jack Ryan Universe; #4) 2127 2.23
The Chamber 1037 2.23
The Host (The Host; #1) 1044 2.19
Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross; #2) 981 2.15
The Notebook (The Notebook; #1) 1511 2.15
Anthem 1598 2.14
The Pelican Brief 1820 2.11
The Magician’s Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia; #6) 1342 2.08
Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia; #2) 1240 2.07
The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia; #5) 1100 2.06
The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia; #7) 1081 2.03
The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia; #4) 1036 2.01
The Firm 2657 2.01
The Bourne Identity (Jason Bourne; #1) 1656 1.92
Eclipse (Twilight; #3) 1885 1.91
Breaking Dawn (Twilight; #4) 1844 1.89
A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance; #1) 2595 1.88
New Moon (Twilight; #2) 1992 1.85
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia; #3) 1385 1.84
Timeline 1426 1.82
One for the Money (Stephanie Plum; #1) 1081 1.81
Congo 1203 1.77
The Maze Runner (Maze Runner; #1) 1041 1.76
Sphere 1220 1.73
The Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller; #1; Harry Bosch World; #16) 1033 1.73
Deception Point 1671 1.72
The Lion; the Witch; and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia; #1) 3697 1.72
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians; #1) 1576 1.67
Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle; #1) 1565 1.64
Digital Fortress 1486 1.63
Treasure Island 2034 1.63
Twilight (Twilight; #1) 3549 1.62
Where the Red Fern Grows 1321 1.59
The Andromeda Strain 1542 1.59
Allegiant (Divergent; #3) 1407 1.58
Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades; #1) 1706 1.58
The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon; #3) 2616 1.56
Insurgent (Divergent; #2) 1696 1.55
The Thorn Birds 1080 1.54
Gone with the Wind 2775 1.53
Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park; #1) 2612 1.51
Divergent (Divergent; #1) 2818 1.49
Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables; #1) 1581 1.48
Robinson Crusoe 1297 1.47
Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon; #1) 4768 1.46
Les Mis̩rables 2422 1.46
The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time; #1) 1127 1.44
Pet Sematary 1378 1.43
A Christmas Carol 2518 1.41
The Count of Monte Cristo 2769 1.40
Misery 1417 1.39
Catching Fire (The Hunger Games; #2) 6206 1.39
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games; #3) 5961 1.38
The Godfather 1486 1.37
Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy; #1) 1176 1.37
Inferno (Robert Langdon; #4) 2091 1.36
The Red Badge of Courage 1160 1.35
The Pillars of the Earth (The Pillars of the Earth; #1) 2247 1.33
It 1757 1.30
Sarah’s Key 1347 1.29
The Three Musketeers 1280 1.28
The Time Machine 1947 1.27
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings; #1) 4941 1.27
The Help 4460 1.27
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn; #1) 2689 1.27
Under the Dome 1324 1.26
Uncle Tom’s Cabin 1391 1.26
The Shining (The Shining; #1) 2806 1.25
The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings; #3) 2828 1.24
My Sister’s Keeper 1531 1.24
The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings; #2) 2883 1.23
The Stand 2773 1.23
Little Women (Little Women; #1) 2997 1.23
Oliver Twist 1392 1.23
The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter; #2) 1399 1.23
Carrie 1512 1.22
The Secret Garden 1830 1.21
Charlotte’s Web 2847 1.21
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1232 1.21
The Hobbit 6984 1.20
Holes (Holes; #1) 1328 1.20
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon; #2) 6460 1.20
Outlander (Outlander; #1) 1416 1.20
The Princess Bride 1729 1.20
The Call of the Wild 1827 1.20
Starship Troopers 1534 1.19
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100 Books That Liberals Like to Read

Here is a list of 100 books that liberals like to read. As we discuss in our article, these lists were derived by identifying readers on Goodreads as either conservative or liberal based on whether they positively rated a highly partisan book from a select list (titles like James Carville’s It’s the Middle Class, Stupid! or Paul Krugman’s End This Depression Now! on the left and Glenn Beck’s CowardsAnn Coulter’s Demonic, or Pat Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower on the right).

The books are ranked by the increased odds that they are read by a Liberal reader compared to a Conservative reader. We also include the total number of bookshelves that this book appeared on in our sample.

We also identified the top 100 books that conservatives prefer.

Title Bookshelves Odds Ratio
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 912 4.62
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao 1666 4.36
The God of Small Things 875 4.20
A Visit from the Goon Squad 1353 4.18
The Marriage Plot 983 3.75
Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam; #1) 1105 3.55
Freedom 1548 3.39
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay 1410 3.30
The Sense of an Ending 1113 3.15
Interpreter of Maladies 927 3.04
The Unbearable Lightness of Being 1284 2.90
The Corrections 1351 2.90
The Art of Fielding 1159 2.87
The Circle 1000 2.76
Station Eleven 1270 2.75
1Q84 (1Q84; #1-3) 959 2.74
Cloud Atlas 1450 2.69
Middlesex 2190 2.66
The Namesake 1059 2.59
High Fidelity 998 2.58
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell; #1) 1181 2.54
American Gods (American Gods; #1) 1738 2.53
Life After Life 1092 2.52
Beloved 1455 2.49
Franny and Zooey 1092 2.45
Breakfast of Champions 1789 2.40
Love in the Time of Cholera 1512 2.39
State of Wonder 1058 2.37
Never Let Me Go 1500 2.35
Blood Meridian; or the Evening Redness in the West 984 2.33
The Handmaid’s Tale 2838 2.28
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials; #2) 1067 2.10
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 1461 2.08
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter; Witch 1315 2.07
The Secret History 1130 2.06
Where’d You Go; Bernadette 1197 2.04
Their Eyes Were Watching God 1395 2.01
Cat’s Cradle 2243 2.01
Bel Canto 1133 2.01
Lolita 2498 2.00
Neverwhere 1352 1.91
The Goldfinch 2125 1.89
The Perks of Being a Wallflower 1495 1.86
The Ocean at the End of the Lane 1778 1.85
The Trial 1226 1.85
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 2902 1.82
The Metamorphosis 2080 1.80
As I Lay Dying 1052 1.74
The Stranger 2936 1.73
Snow Crash 1410 1.72
Neuromancer (Sprawl; #1) 1556 1.70
Atonement 1724 1.70
A Confederacy of Dunces 1888 1.68
Slaughterhouse-Five 5232 1.65
The Color Purple 1828 1.65
The Man in the High Castle 1152 1.61
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? 1609 1.59
The Poisonwood Bible 2361 1.57
The Sound and the Fury 1282 1.56
The World According to Garp 1349 1.56
A Prayer for Owen Meany 1515 1.56
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials; #1) 2238 1.54
Heart of Darkness 2424 1.50
The Night Circus 1584 1.49
Room 1742 1.48
Fight Club 1792 1.47
The Name of the Rose 1388 1.45
The Casual Vacancy 1220 1.44
A Clockwork Orange 2370 1.44
Ready Player One 2118 1.43
Life of Pi 3900 1.42
The Graveyard Book 1186 1.41
The Road 3724 1.41
Death of a Salesman 1224 1.41
King Lear 1154 1.38
The Sun Also Rises 2411 1.38
The Little Prince 2098 1.38
All the Light We Cannot See 2249 1.34
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 2681 1.33
The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike; #1) 1274 1.33
Catch-22 3817 1.29
Stranger in a Strange Land 2054 1.29
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker’s Guide; #2) 1279 1.28
A Farewell to Arms 1899 1.27
And the Mountains Echoed 1227 1.27
East of Eden 2075 1.24
The Martian Chronicles 1327 1.24
The Joy Luck Club 1950 1.24
Crime and Punishment 2801 1.23
The Fault in Our Stars 2794 1.22
Brave New World 5881 1.22
The Brothers Karamazov 1706 1.21
The Picture of Dorian Gray 2634 1.21
A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire; #4) 2488 1.21
The Catcher in the Rye 7356 1.21
A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire; #5) 2216 1.20
Flowers for Algernon 1717 1.20
Anna Karenina 2156 1.19
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years; #1) 1792 1.19
Dark Places 1264 1.18
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