Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Super Pop! : The Book, The Lists, The Giveaway

Lists are a glorious thing.  Yes, that’s right, I am singing the praises of lists.  Dave Letterman has ridden on the coat tails of the Top 10 list for decades.  We put together book lists and lists of movies.  Each year radio stations count down the list of the best songs of the year.  We ask our friends, “If you were stranded on a desert island, which 5 books would you want with you?” (Answer this question in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Super Pop! Read on)

Super Pop by Daniel Harmon is a celebration of all things listy.  It is a trip in the glories of listmania.  It is, in fact, listastic and listeriffic.  When you open the pages of Super Pop, you are taking a magical journey into the world of Listville, where the glory of the list reigns supreme.  But these are special lists, they are designed to hep you “be more interesting” (part 1), “get smarter” (part II), “stop doing it wrong” (part III), “find happiness” (part IV) and “survive the holidays” (part V).  And then, there is an appendix, the “Top 10 Resources for People Who Still Want More.”

Want to gain some perspective?  Try reading a book and “try on another human being” Harmon advises.  Books included on the list?

10  The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger
9    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
8    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
7    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
6    Room by Emma Donoghue
5    The Silent History, which is technically an app
4    Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
3    Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
2    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
1    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

And here is what makes lists fun: As you read that list above, you started thinking about what books you think should be on the list.  And if you had the book in front of you, you would be reading the descriptions and explanations for why that book is on the list.  Maybe you would email your friends, “What do you think of this list?  What would be on your list and why?”  See, great conversation starter.

What to do with this book: The List

Behold, the glory of the list.  With lists you can . . .

10  Start interesting conversations with your friends

9    Set goals: you will read, see, try, do everything on the list, for example

8    Put together fun contests for your tweens and teens

7    Use them as conversation starters on your library’s social media page

6    Put together library displays and book lists

5    Use them as a spark to create even more fun lists to do all of the above

4    Put together a series of programs based on one of the lists where you do, try, read the items on the list.    For example, you can use the “Catch a Predator” list to create a book display and have a little film festival where you watch the movie and TV shows suggested, or come up with your own.

3    Have your library patrons vote and make their own lists and compare them to Harmon’s originals.

2    Have a trivia night using the lists

1   Just read the lists, laugh, ponder, and enjoy

The List of Lists

There are some truly fun lists here.  They are creative, original, and think outside the box.  Some of my favorites include:

10  Dive into the Underworld: Essential Tours of Gang Wars, the Drug Trade and Otherwise Felonious Living
Would this not make the most fun and fantastic display?

9    Find Your Calling: All-Consuming Hobbies for Your Consideration
Again, completely display worthy.  Also good for programming.  And you know, you might actually NEED a hobby.  So this is an all around perfect list.  This is actually an absurd list; It involves things like time travel and turning people into ghosts.  But you can take both a serious and the playful look at this list.  Personally, I think it would be wicked fun to think of other books, movies and TV shows and see what “hobbies” you can come up with.

8    Outwit Death: Essential Lessons in Survival
Just think of all the book and programming fun you can have with this! Important for the zombie apocalypse.
It will surprise you – not – to learn that The Walking Dead is on this list. 

7   Ten Essential Catchphrases for Use at Dinner Parties
This profound list includes phrases like, “May the Force Be with You” and “D’Oh”  So maybe you shouldn’t use them at a work dinner party.

6  Think Outside the Box: Preparation for Every Eventuality (and Several Alternate Universes)
I am currently marathoning Doctor Who.  I can not stress enough to you the importance for being prepared not only for this world, but for alternate ones.  This fun list includes A Wrinkle in Time, The Handmaids Tale and Groundhog Day.

5  Watch the World Unfold: History Lessons That Will Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat
The graphic novel Maus is on this list.  That is how genius lists are.

4  Stop Being Such a Snob: Lowbrow Entertainment That Puts the High-Minded Stuff to Shame
Most lists focus on the “best” and improving yourself.  Here, we are simply told to embrace those guilty pleasures and run with them.  Top Gun and Armageddon appear on this list.  See, fun.

3  Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name: The Best Places to Hang Out for an Hour
The bar in Cheers.  The coffees hop in Friends.  The library in Buffy.  Just reading this, you started creating your own list.  This list gets bonus points because it includes the campfire in Point Break.

2  Find Your Happy Place: Magical, Fictional Worlds
I won’t even tell you what is on the list.  What is your happy place?

1  Christmas: Ten Wildly Different Interpretations of the Meaning of Christmas
Of course you have to have a list about Christmas!!  Christmas is all about making lists and checking them twice.

So there you have it, a listy look at Super Pop!, a book of lists.  Your patrons will enjoy reading it, you will enjoy using it to create other lists, and a listy time will be had by all.  I recommend it.  And it has the best list of all: an index!

Super Pop: Pop Culture Top Ten Lists to Help You Win at Trivia, Survive in the Wild and Make it Through the Holidays by Daniel Harmon.  Published by Zest Books.  ISBN:  9781936976362  Recommended by TLT and Television Without Pity, which I simply adore.  Since we recommend the same book, that makes me cool like TWOP, right?  Yeah, I’m going to go with that.   

The Giveaway

So, want a copy of the book?  Tell me in the comments your Top 5 Desert Island Books by Sunday, June 16th to be entered to win.  I will quite literally put the names in a hat and randomly draw a winner.  That lucky winner will have my review copy of the book mailed to them (it is a finished copy).  I will need a way to get in contact with you if you win, so leave a Twitter followback or e-mail address.  Because mailing books outside the U.S. can be crazy expensive, I am sorry but the winner needs to be from one of the fifty states.


  1. SAS Survival Handbook, Revised Edition: For Any Climate, in Any Situation by John Wiseman

    The Illustrated Guide to Edible Wild Plants by the Department of the Army

    To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    The Bible (This scenario would finally allow me the time to finish and think about it!)

    Good Omens by Pratchett and Gaiman

    (I would have loved to pick any one of a dozen series but they haven't been published in a single volume. Ah well.)

    Thanks for the chance!

  2. Ooh, AWESOME suggestions for how to use this title!

    My Top 5 Desert Island Books
    1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    2. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
    3. The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
    4. The Diviners by Libba Bray
    5. A Blank Book – I'm on a desert island! I'm going to need something to keep my sanity.

  3. My top 5 are (all big books to keep me busy as long as possible, even though I'd read them again and again without ever getting tired of them):

    5- The Mysterious Island, Jules Verne, for all the tips on how to survive
    4- East of Eden, John Steinbeck, because I never go anywhere without it
    3- Little Women, Louisa May Alcott, because it is the book that influenced me most as a child
    2- The Stand, Stephen King, because Stephen King's awesome and everyone should read at least one of his books
    1- The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien, because I love this book (technically three, but since you can get copies with all three tomes in one volume, I count it as one 😀 )

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I'd want to have:

    Jane Eyre, 1984, Neverwhere, Worst Case Scenario Survival Guide, and The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

    (I tweet at @cerahsee)

  6. 1. The Bible
    2. Where the Red Fern Grows
    3. The Notebook
    4. Worst Case Scenarios
    5. Twilight

    tweet @TiesaSmith

  7. 1. The Bible
    2. Where the Red Fern Grows
    3. The Notebook
    4. Worst Case Scenarios
    5. Twilight

    tweet @TiesaSmith

Speak Your Mind