1book140 Nominations: A Status Update

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1book140_icon.JPG I'm incredibly pleased by the response to our launch. We have more than 1,500 followers on @1book140 (shout outs galore to return readers from last year's One Book, One Twitter project). We've received well over 100 nominations (you can for which book we should read (you can find a running list here), and what's amazing (okay: daunting) is that there are nearly as many suggested titles. In fact, only a few books received multiple nominations—Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell received four noms; George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones picked up seven—and scores of wonderful, worthy, and just plain wacky books were mentioned only once, including The Magicians by Lev Grossman, Orientalism, by the late Edward Said, and of course, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith.

Diversity is great. But it presents us with the difficulty of curating a shortlist. As I said yesterday, next week we'll launch the voting phase of 1book140. This is how it'll work: 1) We pick a five-book shortlist from your nominations; 2) You vote on a winner. Easy, right? Au contraire:

Last year we threw open the gates and determined the entire short-list by the number of votes. This turned into something of a circus, and not the nice orderly ones you take your kids to. Ne'er do wells stuffed the ballot boxes, the software didn't match our needs, and there were general complaints about the unfairness of the process. Too much democracy can be a bad thing. So we decided to let you determine the long list. We'll determine the short list. You'll determine the winner. We just need to settle on the criteria that determines how we go about that process. So consider this a call for ideas. Should we do what we can to maintain the diversity of nominations? Only choose books by living authors? Or authors with Twitter accounts? Any and all input welcome, but for the sake of order, keep it to the comments section below:


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Jeff Howe is a professor of journalism at Northeastern University in Boston and a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard. More

Jeff Howe is a professor of journalism at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He previously worked as a contributing editor at Wired Magazine, where he covered the media and entertainment industries. In June 2006 he published "The Rise of Crowdsourcing" in Wired. In September 2008 he published a book on the subject for Random House. The book has been translated into 11 languages. Before coming to Wired in 2001 he was a senior editor at Inside.com and a writer at the Village Voice. In his 20 years as a journalist he has traveled around the world working on stories ranging from the impending water crisis in Central Asia to the implications of gene patenting. He has written for Time, U.S. News & World Report, The Washington Post, Mother Jones and numerous other publications. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and two children.

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