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The Tworacle of Delphi

Dinner (beef stew and mashed potatoes, if I recall correctly) was smelling delicious and ready to be eaten. We wanted to watch a movie. We’ve got a subscription to, and I have a habit of listing every avant-guard movie from 1927 I can find, with the odd bit of candy. So we often have some difficult films to choose from. It’s not that difficult is bad, but let’s just say that every time the Criterion Collection screen comes on, my wife groans; and as wonderful as Kurosawa can be, some nights one just wants to watch Adam Sandler get kicked in the nuts.

Anyway, there we were with two choices: Bicycle Thief and Doctor Zhivago.

Not knowing which to choose, I asked Twitter, and from thence flowed a stream of opinions, a 50-50 split between the two (we went with Bicycle Thief; a bit on the dismal side, to be honest). At some point, my wife yelled: “Stop looking at Twitter and watch the movie!” … because I kept a running tally, shouting out “another for Zhivago” and “oh, so-and-so thinks we made the right choice.”

This story was related by my wife to some non-Tiwtterites, who were in awe of this strange and magical tool that elicited such information, like some digital Oracle of Delphi.

Just a few days ago, I had yet another Delphesian experience on Twitter. I needed a third book to fill out an online book order and get free shipping (the other two books I wanted – Bolano’s 2666 and Elise Blackwell’s Hunger – are not available as ebooks in Canada). And so, I asked Twitter.

And here, for the record, is a list of what the Oracles of Twitter answered (Note: where links were not provided, I will link to whatever comes up first in the Google):

@jbeswick: “The Atomic Obsession” – great read

@seancranbury: goddammit, hugh! Monstrous Affections
or this is really good Unknown Soldier Vol. 1: Haunted House

@janinelaporte: True Deceiver is great. Buy that one Hugh to get your free shipping

@seancranbury: how’s this? Monsieur Pain

@danwagstaff: I keep hearing great things about True Deceiver by Tove Jansson + Blue Fox by Sjon.

@karenjones4: six pixels of separation is great! :) im a media hacks listener! Heard good things about Blue Oceans Strategy, next on my list.

@FNHPodcast: How about “Vulcan 607

@michaelerard: governing the commons, by Elinor Ostrom.

@jenni_fleur: “Recital” by John Siddique….UK poet.

@chebuctonian: Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows

@jmcd77: War of Art

@somisguided: eating the dinosaur by chuck klosterman

@dknippling: When in doubt about what book to get, get Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds.

@jforrest: Zeitoun

@marianslibrary: Have you read 13 1/2 by Nevada Barr? It’s a thriller.

@chriskingstl: Bohumil Hrabal, “I served the King of England”; anything by Robert Walser; anything by Charles Nicholl (Reckoning, The Lodger…)

@D3WEY: that’s a shame it’s amazing like climbing literary mount everest — have you read Updike’s Rabbit series?

@ShireenJ: Mine. :P Seriously though, “Lifeliner” has had good reviews and is a fast read.

@openmargin: The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp?

@jambina: new Michael Chabon?

@lorissa: If you enjoy fantasty reads, I’d suggest The Name of the WInd by Patrick Rothfuss.

@subumom: Have you read the Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa?

@echobase77: Mistborn by @BrandonSandrson!

goldenpen80: Try Razor’s Edge by Maugham, if u haven’t already. Short, sweet, and absolutely sublime.

I chose Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa, well before all the other recommendations came in. I’ll let you know what I think of it sometime.