First, a point of order: You guys f*cking rock. In a world rife with partisan rancor, there's one thing we can agree on: We all love books. Here's what we don't agree on: What book we should read! And therein lies all the fun.
As most of you have noticed, American Gods by the inimitable Neil Gaiman is currently in the lead, followed by such beloved works as Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and Orwell's 1984. As many of you have also noticed, I've made no pretense of neutrality. Of these three, I personally favor the Bradbury, but if the people want Gaiman, I will read him as cheerfully and enthusiastically as anyone else.
That said, what I think we really want is a book that is 1) widely accessible; 2) translated into Swahili, Welsh and a zillion other languages; and 3) will appeal to the broadest and most international audience possible. It should even be a book that some people have already read, so that even certain people without time to read can join in. Maybe that's American Gods, maybe that's Fahrenheit. More likely, it's something like Catcher in the Rye. At any rate, here's what I promise: Other than using the bully pulpit to persuade, I won't put a thumb on the scale. This isn't my project; it's our project.
Here's what's going to happen next:
• We'll keep the nominating phase open until Midnight EST Tuesday.
• At that point we'll take the top six titles and put them in a basket. The One Book, One Twitter advisory board will add four more titles, and on the following monday, April 12 FCFCFC we'll open up voting for the final selection. Voting will remain open for two weeks, at which point the winner will be declared.
How does that sound?