Twitter‘s trending topic #lesserbooks is a constantly-updating source of amusement (and quite a bit of spam—stay classy, Twitter!) as users from across the globe share their suggestions for somewhat less epic versions of great literary classics. Two of the top titles at the moment are Stephen Hawking‘s revised A Brief History of Thyme (which—we suppose we should not be surprised—is actually a real book) and a rather reassuring take on John Green‘s first YA novel, Oh, Here’s Alaska (suggested by Green’s fellow YA writer—and occasional co-author—Maureen Johnson).
Some other gems we’ve seen:
The Lord of the Ringtones
The Joy of Sax (also a real book—wow)
The Scarlet Pumpernickel
War and Peas
One Hundred Years of Pleasant Company
May we also suggest…
The So-So Gatsby
East of Sweden
The Wonderful Wizard of La Paz
A Streetcar Named #7R
The Walk of Stars My Destination
How Green Was My Spinach Soufflé
I Capture the White Castle
Please share your own creations with us! It’s quite a challenge to see who can be the most underwhelming.
So it seems that Twitter has donated its entire public tweet archive to the Library of Congress. How were we to know that we were all making history…140 characters at a time? The question is, will the archive truly prove to have historical merit—will it be like a Pepys’ Diary for our era—our will it, 50 or 100 or 1000 years from now, show itself to be an endless catalogue of what people ate for lunch and which celebrities were fleetingly thought to be hot? (With the exception of our tweets, of course, as they are without a doubt universally witty and astute.) We can just picture future historians curling their fingernails into their silver jumpsuits and bemoaning the hours spent searching through references to Justin Bieber. “This is worse than Domesday Book!” they’ll cry. “Why oh why didn’t we become future!booksellers? They get to wear such smashing spacesuits while floating through the stratosphere stacks!” Yup, that’s totally how it’s gonna go down.
No, but seriously: what do you think about the use of Twitter as an historical archive? Or as way for The Royal Shakespeare Company to reinvent the drama of Romeo and Juliet in a new medium?
While you’re pondering that, check out Nell in Malibu’s reading of W.S. Merwin‘s “Child Light”:
The full archive of poetry videos is, you guessed it, right here!
Bookgasm has got the scoop on one of our favorite Dumb Book Stories in a long time. It seems the highly reputable business depicted above has sadly closed, due to involvement in a Ponzi scheme. “The name of the guy filing motions for the sale of Sure Lock’s assets? Moriarty!” So truth is stranger than fiction. Or truth steals all its best bits from fiction, anyway.
Meanwhile, we were amused when we saw that Neil Gaiman had posted on his Twitter that this Which Crazy Writer Are You? quiz claims he’s Tom Wolfe. Then we took it and discovered that we’re J.D. Salinger. We’d be disturbed by this level of accuracy, but we’re too busy packing up shop and moving to our compound in New Hampshire. (That said, we’d still be amused if you posted your results here.)
We could probably find some obscure and clever way to pretend the above two items are related, but they are not. Neither is Jon Stich in Oakland’s reading of Ferrucio Brugnaro’s “Buy, Always Consume,” but it is eerie and awesome:
Check out the full archive of poetry videos here!
Looking for the next great, epic read but don’t want to waste time reading rambling reviews? Galleycat‘s got a list of the best book reviewers on Twitter–all the enthusiasm of a personal recommendation, 140 characters or less!
Slice Magazine‘s also taken to tweeting, with their Cover Spy reporting on what New Yorkers are reading on the subway, including brief descriptions of the readers themselves–i.e., “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe (F, 20s, all in black with a bright yellow scarf)” or “Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (M, 40s, brown jacket 3 different bookmarks, F train).” Their archive is perhaps even more fun, since it presents the books visually. We always love checking out what people are reading in public, so it’s awesome that there’s now someone to be nosy on our behalf.