For anyone who has ever felt the slightest bit deficient in their pop-culture expertise, here is the ultimate guide, guaranteed to fill any void.
Harmon has put together a quirky, fun, wide-ranging guide to nearly 500 different books, films, podcasts, songs, television episodes, video games and more, sorting them into kooky top 10 lists. “Stop Being Such a Philistine: Easy Access Points to the World of High Art” includes Exit through the Gift Shop, a Banksy documentary directed by the subject; Amadeus (the movie); Barry Lyndon; a 2009 ad campaign for Levi’s; and Beyoncé’s “Countdown” video, among others. “Eat, Pray, Love, Spelunk: Tag Along on a Life-Changing Vacation” recommends the VICE Guide to Travel, a Web-based collection of video guides to such vacation getaways as Doha and Karachi; The Darjeeling Limited; David Foster Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (1997); and The Amazing Race Australia. Each entry receives a paragraph or two of annotation. It is particularly entertaining to see what seemingly completely disparate things wind up on the same list. Evil Dead and The Sound of Music? Field of Dreams and Persepolis? The bizarre choices will prompt many double takes and lots of laughter.
A weird, witty, endlessly entertaining compendium for the budding pop-culture aficionado. (Nonfiction. 14 & up)