We Are the Cheeses

Yesterday morning, at Booklist CoffeeTM, I turned to Katharine Fronk and said, “The Artichoke Is a Lonely Hunter.”

“The Great Broccolini,” she replied.

“Are you speaking in code?” asked Brad Hooper.

Katharine and I had been following, enjoying, and contributing to the #VeggieLit hashtag started by Chris Vaccari of Sterling Publishing (@christhebookie). Naturally, the Booklist staff started throwing out their own contributions, prompting me to remark, “this is like live tweeting.”

“You mean a conversation?” came the inevitable retort.

Well, yes and no. Twitter memes mimic conversation in that each participant vies to one-up the other—but there’s no eye contact. And, true enough, we were losing eye contact around Table 3 in Miriam’s, the break room in the basement of ALA. People were looking at their laps, only raising their heads when they had a new title—”Don’t Let the Pigeon Peas Drive the Bus”—to contribute.

Then, in a stroke of genius, following a particularly long pause, Katharine said, “We should do Cheese Lit . . . Jane Gruyere.”

And #CheeseLit was born.

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

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