Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Two of the titles that I’m currently reading are “adapted” from popular blogs, and that has me thinking about this unquestionably modern publishing trend. Both books are taken from humorous sites, but there are abundant examples of the blog-to-book phenomenon and each with its own unique path to publication in meatspace. Bike Snob: systematically & mercilessly realigning the world of cycling is from the site BikesnobNYC and offers a witty opinionated (does it even make sense to describe a blog opinionated?) and often hilarious critique of all things bicycle and bike culture and while the authors sarcastic tone translates fine to the printed page, the content seems more stretched, slightly less edgy, and more like a series of essay’s than the stream of consciousness feel that the blog has. The other title Stuff My Dad Says (title has been sanitized in recognition of the diverse sensibilities and potential all-ages audience of the KPL blog) comes from Justin Halpern’s Twitter feed of the same name which published the profane, grouchy, but sort of Zen quips of Halpern’s 74 year old father. Reading the Twitter feed often left one wondering about the real relationship between Halpern and his father and the book expands beyond what is possible in 140 characters per post twitter formant and clarifies Halpern’s genuine love for his painfully social filter-less father.
The examples of blog-to-book are numerous, with the most famous and probably the most lucrative thus far coming from Julia and Julia: my year of cooking dangerously which not only gained popularity in book form, but went into hyper-popularity with its adaptation into a Hollywood movie. There is also the gritty and frightening My War: Killing Time in Iraq, from Colby Buzzel’s blog written while serving in the army in Iraq in 2004. Or the hilariously voyeuristic entertainment of Passive aggressive notes: painfully polite and hilariously hostile writings, and just plain aggressive and Cake Wrecks: when professional cakes go hilariously wrong. I’m not sure what the blog-to-book phenomenon means exactly, but I am enjoying the two titles that I’m reading. As a book fan I’m encouraged that great writing continues to get commodified through the printed page and as a blog reader I’m pleased that some of this great content can find its way into the traditional collections of libraries and expand its potential reading audience.
Bike Snob systematically and mercilessly realigning the world of cycling