Summary: Super Pop! offers a maximum-pleasure, minimum-effort way to become smarter, happier, and a little bit more likely to survive a shark attack. This wide-ranging collection organizes pop culture’s greatest hits—including blockbusting movies, bestselling books, platinum albums, and more—into hilarious, provocative, and weirdly edifying top ten lists, and provides quick-hitting commentary in the nearly 500 entries.
Thoughts: Yes, this really is a book of top ten lists about pop culture. In the introduction Harmon goes ahead and defines “popular culture” as “something that people can reasonably expect to consume for fun”. This is a great definition, because it isn’t particularly limiting. The items on the lists include your standard books, movies, television, and music, but also branch out to include Twitter (Neil Degrasse Tyson on “Stand On the Shoulders of Giants: Geniuses Willing to Talk to Non-Geniuses”), games (Angry Birds on “Stop Being Such A Snob: Lowbrow Entertainment That Puts the High-Minded Stuff to Shame”), and an entire list of PodCasts (“Get Up To Speed: Essential PodCasts for Aspiring Know-It-Alls”).
Overall: Lovers of pop culture will appreciate new and surprising recommendations as well as commentaries on old favorites.
Daniel Harmon is the author of Super Pop! Pop Culture Top Ten Lists to Help You Win at Trivia, Survive in the Wild, and Make It Through the Holidays, a pop culture connoisseur, and editorial director of Zest Books.Find him on twitter or the Zest books author page!
To learn more about Zest Books:Zest Books is an award-winning publisher of smart and edgy titles that focus on the colorful chaos of teen life, covering timely topics in creative ways by incorporating solid life advice, practical how-to instruction, and humorous commentary. In addition to publishing nonfiction, Zest Books has a line of True Stories memoirs and first person accounts, and is distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.Find them at their website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
1. Pop Goes Punk (MUSIC) I love punk, I love pop, and I love covers, so these anthologies featuring popular punk bands covering pop favorites is my go to for when I’m having a bad day and just want to dance around. For me, the best cover is when a band takes a famous song and, using their distinct style, makes it completely their own. One of my favorite examples of this is The Maine covering “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”.
2. Texts from Avonlea (TUMBLR) This hilarious tumblr adds scandalous Texts From Last Night (usually NSFW) to screencaps from the movie Anne of Green Gables. The new context is especially hilarious. Not all of these are safe for work!!!!!!
3. @FeministTSwift (TWITTER) I know this account is blowing up, but combining Taylor Swift’s country-pop goodness with feminism… fabulous and funny.
4. Pokemon Love Song. (YOUTUBE VIDEO) This girl wrote a love song using her ukulele and her extensive knowledge of pokemon.
5. “Once More With Feeling…” Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (TV EPISODE) This is one of my favorite episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where we get everything we have come to expect from Buffy, but to music! Like everything else, Buffy inverts our expectations of what a musical should be and makes this one of the more emotional episodes.
6. Ready Player One by Ernst Cline (BOOK) – Give us a technological utopia in a broken world, throw in a love affair with 80s pop culture and then turn it into an adventure. This book is smart, fun, and the audio version is narrated by Wil Wheaton.
7. “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” (YOUTUBE SERIES) Take Pride and Prejudice, and turn Elizabeth into Lizzie, a modern day grad student living with her parents in California. Then give her a vlog and watch us swoon over Darcy before he ever even shows up on screen.
I didn’t hit 10, so help me fill out the rest of my list. What are your favorite mashups?