Almost 2 years ago, my friend Tom ranted and raved to me about American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I was hesitant; even though I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, American Gods seemed like it would be long, tedious, and ultimately, boring. Then it became the first selection of the monthly twitter book club and I decided it would be nice to join in. So I got myself a copy and started reading. Neil quickly became a favorite author of mine. I immediately ran out to read all of his other works, and I can’t imagine life having not read them.

The brilliant Jeff Howe (@1book140) realized that the biggest conversation in the world was an amazing opportunity to create the first truly global book club. It’s called 1book140, and although it took some figuring out, they’ve got it down to a science now. It is an amazing conversation to be a part of.  This month, 1book140 is reading graphic novels. We’ve begun with Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, which we are reading this week. Next week we’ll be reading Art Spiegelman’s The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale. The week after is dedicated to the great V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, and we’ll be closing out the month with none other than Neil Gaiman and The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes.

It’s super easy to follow along on twitter. First, follow Jeff Howe for official updates. Then, use the hashtags to join in:

#1book140 for general discussion

#1book140_1 for Understanding Comics

#1book140_2 for Maus

#1book140_3 for V for Vendetta

#1book140_4 for Sandman

(This also makes it really easy to ignore the schedule.)

I’m in the middle of Understanding Comics right now, and even for a long-time constant comic reader like me, it is very insightful. I haven’t yet read Maus, but I have only heard good things and I am really excited to start it. V for Vendetta and Preludes and Nocturnes are both amazing works, and are arguably two of the greatest graphic novels ever written. So come and join us. You might discover something amazing.

5 Responses to 1book140

  1. Kaitlyne says:

    I feel like I have a copy of Understanding Comics around somewhere. Now I have motivation to dust off all the books that are hidden away in the closet since my move and put them back on the shelves.

  2. Kim says:

    Thanks for the info, Morris. I had exactly the same experience with American Gods and now it’s the book I most recommend. I’m also looking forward to the HBO series.

  3. Joelle says:

    Sounds cool. I have to admit though, my first thought was rogue. Like…could I use the hashtag #1book140_18 for one of my own books (18 is my favourite number) and suddenly have a zillion people reading my book and discussing it?

    I would never have the nerve (or the rudeness) to do something like that, but I wonder if someone else will?

    I like the idea though and maybe a YA book club based on the same formula is something to consider starting!

  4. Megan B. says:

    Maus is amazing. And this Twitter book club is a great idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  5. This is a great idea, and you guys are reading some great books right now! I may have to join in when I’m done with my grad school portfolio. (It’s taking all my time! I only have a few moments to read this blog between patrons on the reference desk!)

    AMERICAN GODS is an incredibly interesting and powerful book. It’s one of my top recommendations to most people, too, even the ones I know who generally don’t care for Gaiman.

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