One Book, One Twitter launches with 'American Gods'

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The Independent Culture

The inaugural Twitter-wide reading project One Book, One Twitter has determined its first read - Neil Gaiman's American Gods - and an offical start date of May 5. Organizer Jeff Howe announced the news on April 29, following several weeks of open voting.

In March, Howe - an editor for Wired Magazine and author of Crowdsourcing - invited Twitter users and readers to submit book nominations for One Book, One Twitter, a potentially "massive, international book club." The goal: "to get a zillion people all reading and talking about a single book."

Six crowd winners were announced April 5, topped by American Gods. (Gaiman tweeted about the campaign, which apparently rallied some of his nearly 1.5 million followers to support the nomination.) An "advisory board" added additional titles, and then public voting began, with Gaiman again emerging on top.

American Gods was first published by the English sci-fi/fantasy author in 2001 and won both Hugo and Nebula awards. The premise of the story, according to Publishers Weekly, is that "the gods of European yore, who came to North America with their immigrant believers, are squaring off for a rumble with new indigenous deities: 'gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon.'"

One Book, One Twitter officially launches on May 5. The plan, according to Howe: "Start reading as soon as you want to, but in the spirit of no spoilers, avoid dishing about anything past Chapter 3 for the few weeks. We'll post a proper reading schedule in the next few days. And as always, this isn't my reading club, it's yours."

To participate in One Book, One Twitter, use the Twitter hashtag #1b1t.

Jeff Howe on Twitter:
Crowdsourcing blog: