Some of the Best Lit Tweets of Some of the Year

It all started when your stalwart editor noticed that a certain subgenre was getting the shaft in all these year-end lists.

Yeah cool best novels, best magazines, yada yada. Where are the best of 2014 literary tweets lists?

— Lincoln Michel (@TheLincoln) December 1, 2014

I probably read more in tweets than any other form this year, so who better to take this on than me? Somebody, probably, because my methodology was deeply flawed. I decided to go about compiling this list by combing through my own favorites. The problem is, I have over 17,000 of them. It took me hours just to get back to September, then Twitter suddenly freaked out and auto-refreshed. There was no way I was scrolling through all those tweets again, so here you have it: some of the best lit tweets from the last few months of 2014. (One further caveat: These tweets are a selection from the ones that I saw. I’m on Twitter a lot, but if I don’t follow you and nobody I follow follows you, you’re probably not here. My loss!) So here we go with 30 or so of the year’s best lit tweets, in reverse chronological order, plus commentary where applicable.

Hot: Neurotic novels. Not: Erotic novels. — Kathleen Rooney (@KathleenMRooney) December 2, 2014

the novel as an extremely elaborate, time-consuming, inefficient selfie — Guillaume Morissette (@anxietyissue) November 21, 2014

This is why men hate selfies! Women figured out a better way.

Having the National Book Awards and the Sexiest Man Alive so close together always makes this a hard week for me

— Gabriel Roth (@gabrielroth) November 19, 2014

But having one of the best lit tweets of 2014 is a pretty good consolation prize.

@egabbert Life is impermanence. — Mark Wallace (@MarkWallace1322) November 19, 2014

Subcategory: best supporting lit tweets.

my little cousin is writing a book pic.twitter.com/qH3mOyQUFZ

— Ben Loory (@benloory) November 14, 2014

I’m looking forward to the rest of this book the way you’re looking forward to Volume IV of My Struggle.

Stop banning words and start banning descriptions of landscapes. — Christian Lorentzen (@xlorentzen) November 12, 2014

Ed: “these books are all named after sex acts” pic.twitter.com/3M7XiLs1jW

— J. Robert Lennon (@jrobertlennon) November 12, 2014

Wait, this works with all books. The “Twelfth Night.” The “Middlemarch.” Etc.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” — Jonah Lehrer — Lincoln Michel (@TheLincoln) November 11, 2014

Norman Mailer’s journalism is good except for the Norman Mailer parts, which are more than half of it. — John Cotter (@smalllights) November 10, 2014

Dark Confession: Sometimes I only read articles so I can read the comments. — Michalle (@Senneteer) November 5, 2014

That is really, really dark.

If Lena Dunham didn’t want criticism, maybe she should have left that part about murdering millions of Jews out of her memoir. — Mark Peters (@wordlust) November 4, 2014

Too soon?

Novelists are like “help, my work is becoming vibrations in the air, wtf” — Gabriel Roth (@gabrielroth) November 4, 2014

Funny although not true, poets give terrible readings. See?

I’d like to personally apologize for every poetry reading ever — Michael Robbins (@alienvsrobbins) September 11, 2014

“I’m sorry, I don’t remember. To be honest I spent the summer in a bit of a haze.” — Humbert Humbert — Walter Crunkheit (@fakeAPchekhov) November 3, 2014

Too gross?

I’m so pleased with something I just did in the new novel that I’m almost guaranteed to have to kill it later. — Cari Luna (@cari_luna) October 23, 2014

My protagonist’s last name is Salinger, as a subtle, clever nod to J.D. Salinger. — Guy In Your MFA (@GuyInYourMFA) October 22, 2014

One of the breakout Lit Tweet accounts of the year! Big fan of these ones too:

Character idea: a slut ex-fiancée who doesn’t understand good literature and who blows the assistant manager at Bennigan’s. — Guy In Your MFA (@GuyInYourMFA) October 16, 2014

.@BretEastonEllis will you read my manuscript? — Guy In Your MFA (@GuyInYourMFA) October 9, 2014

why can’t I write a beautiful effortless yet complex book that is an instant game changing classic — Alice Bolin (@alicebolin) October 21, 2014

We were all thinking it.

Writing prompt: have a trust fund. — Mike Ingram (@mikeingram00) October 15, 2014

In other cutting Mike Ingram tweets:

If you don’t touch your face in your author photo, readers might assume you don’t have hands. “How did (s)he even write this?” they’ll say. — Mike Ingram (@mikeingram00) October 7, 2014

The 141st character in my tweets is the city of New York — Megan Amram (@meganamram) October 15, 2014

Yesterday my mom told me the first read through she does of my work is called a “panic-read” — Chloe Caldwell (@Chloe_Caldwell) October 14, 2014

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Completely Fucked Up Day — Mat Johnson (@mat_johnson) October 9, 2014

No, Gmail. pic.twitter.com/ZeZ3d0R6OW — Ruth Graham (@publicroad) October 8, 2014

I find it weird when poets are shocked that some people don’t like poetry, and even more shocking, specifically their poetry. — Daniel Zomparelli (@dannyzomps) October 7, 2014

Brad Pitt is easily one of my favorite actors that I think might think his dog can read — Sam (@danceremix) October 7, 2014

Has the word “read” in it so it counts.

most beautiful sentence in the english language? ‘a tale as old as time a song as old as rhyme something something beauty and the beast’ — Laura Leidner (@laurablorah) October 4, 2014

Alt-lit isn’t the problem. Everything is the problem. — Michael Schaub (@michaelschaub) October 2, 2014

Top 10 Overrated Writers Who Get All The Attention While Your Brilliance Is Tragically Ignored — Mat Johnson (@mat_johnson) October 2, 2014

I think “fake listicle headline tweet” might have been the lit tweet category of the year.

This gyre isn’t widening enough for both of us. — Duchess Goldblatt (@duchessgoldblat) September 30, 2014

Sometimes I recycle The New Yorker without opening it. — Duchess Goldblatt (@duchessgoldblat) September 29, 2014

i love reading books by dead people because there’s no chance i’ll meet them — Paul Ford (@ftrain) September 29, 2014

dude.. you had me at “bonfire”, and then again, twice as much, at “vanities”, & then a 3rd time, moreso, when you said its written by a wolf — John V (@wettbutt) September 19, 2014

Finally: Colson Whitehead, one our best lit tweeters, hasn’t been tweeting since June, which is a damn shame, so let’s close with two of his best lit tweets from the first half of 2014:

Turn-offs: Bad reviews. Turn-ons: Bad reviews with a lot of quotes that make the book sound good anyway. Favorite Animal: Giant Panda. — colson whitehead (@colsonwhitehead) May 9, 2014

“The Present Tense is more immediate.” So’s crapping your pants instead of using the bathroom, but I wouldn’t do it all the time. — colson whitehead (@colsonwhitehead) May 2, 2014

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