Home > Arts and Entertainment > RESOLUTION READING REVIEW: “AMERICAN NERD: THE STORY OF MY PEOPLE”

RESOLUTION READING REVIEW: “AMERICAN NERD: THE STORY OF MY PEOPLE”

BY KRISTIN CHALMERS

Nerdiness is probably like gayness—depending on the percentage of it in your DNA, your life will take an entirely different course.  Stridently hetero or campily homo, charismatic captain of the polo team or socially awkward Dungeonmaster.

We’ve all known nerds, and many of us have been nerds to some degree. Or maybe even are. It’s worth asking yourself …

Have I lived internally as the heroine  in my own fantasy world to avoid social interactions on the playground?  Um, yes.  

Was I the only person in my ninth grade math class who chose on an aptitude test ”stay at home and read” over “go to a party with friends” as an ideal way to relax?  OK, yes.  Yes, I was. 

Did I spend just last weekend on the following  activities: 

1.  practicing website design skills (HTML!) until 2 am 

2.  knitting 

3.  watching Caprica re-runs on the SyFy channel 

4.  knitting while watching Caprica re-runs on the SyFy channel

OK, yes!

However, mitigating circumstances:  I did not realize at the time that Caprica is a prequel to the Battlestar Gallactica series.

Which I have since added to my Netflix queue.

In “American Nerd: The Story of My People,” (Simon & Schuster) Benjamin Nugent describes his life as a young nerd complete with D and D, sword fantasies, primitive computer games, and a contingent of misfit friends. But Nugent also delves more deeply into what makes someone a nerd, the history of nerds, adult nerds, Medieval re-enactments, gaming conventions, the autism spectrum, successful nerds, and nerd style as an affectation.

Nugent claims to be a  former nerd, having moved on in his teens, but the book, with its detailed research and careful, gentle depictions of nerds both past and present, makes me wonder: is this a club that you can never really quit?

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  1. Jeanine
    April 6, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    Be careful with that html stuff it is a gateway to further nerdiness!

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