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About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



Pogue, David: The World According to Twitter

  Amazon  

4 stars

Impressed by the collective intelligence and humor of his Twitter followers, New York Times tech columnist David Pogue (@pogue on Twitter) decided to harness some of it and make it available to a larger, non-Twittering audience. He asked his followers a different question or posed a challenge every night (there were 95 questions/challenges in all), collected the responses, selected his favorites from among them, and got permission from the authors of the selected tweets (Twitter posts) to publish them. The result is The World According to Twitter, a book I wouldn't want to read straight through but which is fun to skim.

The questions Pogue posed were varied. For example:

What cool anagram can you make from the letters of your own name?
What made your first kiss memorable?
What's the best prank you ever witnessed?
Redefine an existing word in a punny way.

Of course, a lot of the tweets included in the book (a total of 2524) aren't, to my mind, funny or clever or worthy. But that's my subjective response, and everyone who skims the book will probably feel the same way, but will favor different entries. That's the nature of this sort of book. And some of the entries are worth reading.  Here, for example, is my favorite response to Pogue's challenge to his followers to "explain a facet of modern life in the style of Dr. Seuss":

"I mail, I text, I tweet, I blog,
I build a Facebook for my dog,
I speak no words, I shake no hands,
I am at last a modern man."
         -- @smacbuck

And I laughed aloud reading this series of responses to "Who's had a brush with greatness?"

"My dad once waited in line for a bathroom in between Henry Kissinger & Rupert Murdoch." -- @harrymccracken

"I peed at a urinal between Ronald Perelman and Henry Kissinger at the NY Hilton in 1990." -- @EricSails

"I once used the urinal next to Henry Kissinger at intermission of 'Guys & Dolls' on Broadway. Kevin Costner was also in the bathroom!" -- @nolanshanahan

"OMG, I once peed next to Kissinger too. Seriously." -- @vidiot_

In an inset box on the page Pogue writes: "I can't explain why so many brushes with greatness take place in public restrooms. I'm even more helpless to explain why so many of these bathroom encounters involve Henry Kissinger." Great stuff.

Anyone interested in reading more tweets about these kinds of insignificant brushes with celebrity should do a Twitter search for #lameclaimtofame. People regularly tweet their lame claims to fame using that hashtag (to make the related tweets easily found in search), and it makes for some funny reading.

The World According to Twitter isn't likely to serve a higher purpose than pure amusement (and I doubt it was intended to). It would be nice if it could help to convince Twitterphobes that there's more to Twitter than lunch menus, but (a) they probably won't be reading the book anyway and (b) it's too insubstantial a read to accomplish that task. (It's more likely the naysayers will be won over by Twitter's continued use in reporting breaking news.) This certainly isn't a must-have book, but if there's a reader of bathroom books in your life, then this may be just the gift for them. (Be sure to note the cool flip movie in the book's margins.)

Comments

1.

Sounds like a great book! Love the bits about Henry Kissinger!

2.

Thanks for your comment, Sharon! The Henry Kissinger stuff is funny. But I would so hate to be famous: every time you urinate it makes for a potential story.

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