Tuesday, May 4, 2010

American Gods - read with the world! #1b1t

While I've mentioned this multiple times on Twitter, tomorrow is the day that the first "One Book, One Twitter" (#1b1t).  Initiatied by Jeff Howe, Managing Editor of Wired and blogger at Crowdsourcing, it all started with this post back in mid-March. 

A few weeks ago I was reading about the Chicago's read-along for a grad seminar on social capital I'm taking with Robert Putnam this semester. My strong suspicion (and I'm hardly alone) is that networks like Twitter are rife with social capital, especially the so-called "bridging" social capital that connects communities of people who have little else in common. The thought struck me that Twitter would provide a much better platform for a book club than the mere accident of physical proximity. Just think, we could supplant #howyouathug with #chapterfourexegesis in trending topics! Actually, no, we probably couldn't, and that's not the goal anyway. I love books. So do you. Let's love one book together, our actual geographical location be damned.

He established the hashtag #1b1t and started accepting nominations for the first book.  After tallying up the noms, and adding in some "Judges Choice" books, the shortlist was

The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy. 352 pps.

Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison. 337 pps.

Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut. 288 pps.

1984, by George Orwell. 326 pps.

Brave New World, by Aldus Huxley. 288 pps.

100 Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez. 432 pps.

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman. 480 pps.

Catch-22, by Joseph Heller. 453 pps.

Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. 276 pps.

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. 201 pps. 

Voting began and the winner was announced at the end of April:  American Gods

Reading begins tomorrow (although lots of people have already started) and we are starting with the first three chapters.  Again, we are welcome to read ahead, but discussion will be limited to the first 3 chapters until a reading schedule is posted.

I'm quite excited about this as I've never read anything by Neil Gaiman, nor is this a typical genre for me.  Michael is going to read it with me (I think...I need to find him a copy) so that will be fun as well. I picked up an excellent used copy at my local retailer (Handy Book Exchange).

If you're on Twitter, follow @1b1t2010 and use the hashtag #1b1t when you post.  If you're not yet on Twitter, this might be a fun chance to join. Just go to twitter.com and follow the easy instructions!  Gaiman (@neilhimself) is around and we're hoping (of course) that he'll participate.  He has already tweeted about a helpful reading guide:

For those of you reading AMERICAN GODS and feeling all at sea -http://frowl.org/gods is a really useful Guide to Gods and America.#1b1t

Read on!


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