Jan. 1st, 2012

avanta7: (BookWorms)
Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd CultureGeek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture by Stephen H. Segal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The best thing about this little slice of nerddom is its inclusion of sooooo many geeky quotes and references. And so is the worst thing. Editor Stephen H. Segal packed a grand total of 185 separate and related quotes ranging from the usual nerd suspects like Star Trek and Conan the Barbarian to unexpected and diverse sources such as A League of Their Own, Clue, and Goldfinger, and paired them with brief essays outlining the core geek concept contained within each. It's quick entertaining bathroom reading -- meaning each essay is short enough to be read during one, ah, sitting. And therein lies the problem.

When I chose this book (through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program), I expected something a little meaty: thoughtful analyses of "Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion" or "Do. Or do not. There is no try." Instead, it seems Segal was anxious to include every geek touchstone he could imagine into one book, and so sacrificed quality of analysis for quantity of nerdiness.

Each unattributed essay barely grazes the surface of its accompanying quote, scarcely getting its metaphysical toe wet in the deep waters of "There is no spoon" or "The truth is out there." Granted, this superficial surface-grazing helps raise questions and may point the reader in a direction he may otherwise not have ventured, "to boldly go where no one has gone before," so to speak (a quote, by the way, that is not included in this slim volume), but this reader would have preferred fewer quotes, more substance, and a sequel.

The postscripts to each essay are a lot of fun and occasionally pose their own separate questions; for example, one proposes the following thought exercise: Who would win a scavenger hunt: Indiana Jones or River Song?

Who indeed?

View all my reviews
avanta7: (Dukedom)
The following books were consumed in 2011. The reviews were all posted in LJ as they were read, but consolidated here for your convenience.

  1. In the Company of Angels by Thomas E. Kennedy
  2. The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor (tied with The Map of Time as my favorite read of 2011)
  3. Fated by S.G. Browne
  4. Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez
  5. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  6. Headcrash by Bruce Bethke
  7. The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma (tied with The Anatomy of Ghosts as my favorite read of 2011)
  8. Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
  9. Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
  10. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  11. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  12. Half A Life by Darin Strauss
  13. The Marriage of Sticks by Jonathan Carroll
  14. The Likeness by Tana French
  15. The Hair of Harold Roux by Thomas Williams
  16. Ill Met By Moonlight by Sarah A. Hoyt
  17. Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? by Johan Harstad
  18. Faithful Place by Tana French
  19. The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
  20. The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
  21. Sepulchre by Kate Mosse
  22. Discovering the Body by Mary Howard

22 total, far better than last year's dismal showing. I wished I had liked many of them better, but maybe it's reflective of stepping a little outside my comfort zone and reading things I wouldn't normally have chosen. Growth? Perhaps.

August 2013

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