Dava Sobel's 'Longitude' Is January's 1book140 Pick

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(New to the book club? Read the 1book140 primer  here.)

Not long after I started writing my first book, Crowdsourcing, I learned a valuable lesson: When people ask you what you're writing about, they're really just being polite. So I came up with what I called the "cocktail definition" of crowdsourcing: It's like Wikipedia--for everything. This conveyed the essence of my work without taxing anyone's attention span. Then one night I mentioned this to a man who looked at me skeptically. "That's nothing new," he snorted. "The Brits were doing that in the early 18th Century. Read Longitude by Dava Sobel." I took his advice, and wasn't disappointed.

You won't be either, bookies, and you'll all get your chance now that 1book140 has selected (in the closest vote to date) to read Sobel's gripping narrative of scientific discovery for the month of January. It's a short read--clocking in at 192 pages--and that's a good thing, as the holiday got the better of us here at 1book140 HQ, and we're operating on an abbreviated schedule this month: • January 9 - 15: Discuss Chapters 1 - 6, using hash tag #1b140_1

• January 16 - 22 : Discuss Chapters 7 - 11, using hash tag #1b140_2

• January 23 - 31: Discuss Chapters 12 - 15 using hash tag #1b140_3

Presented by

Jeff Howe is a professor of journalism at Northeastern University in Boston and a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He helps run @1book140, The Atlantic's Twitter book club. 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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