As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

June 3, 2012

GEEK WISDOM: THE SACRED TEACHINGS OF GEEK CULTURE by Genevieve Valentine, Eric San Juan, Stephen H. Segal, N.K. Jemisin, and Zaki Hasan, 2011

THE GEEKS HAVE INHERITED THE EARTH. Computer nerds are our titans of industry; comic-book superheroes are our Hollywood idols; the Internet is our night on the town. Clearly, geeks know something about life in the 21st century that other folks don’t—something we all can learn from. Geek Wisdom takes as gospel some 200 of the most powerful and oft-cited quotes from movies (“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”), television (“Now we know—and knowing is half the battle”), literature (“All that is gold does not glitter”), games, science, the Internet, and more. Now these beloved pearls of modern-day culture have been painstakingly interpreted by a diverse team of hardcore nerds with their imaginations turned up to 11. Yes, this collection of mini-essays is by, for, and about geeks—but it’s just so surprisingly profound, the rest of us would have to be dorks not to read it. So say we all. (Amazon)

Reviewed by Sarah, proud geek, wife of geek, and mom to 4 geeks-in-training

Now hold on, before you get all up in arms about whether Voltron can really be considered a sacred text, you must know one thing:

This book is awesome. 

When I borrowed this from the library (Digitally!  On my new kindle!  And I’m still geeking out about it!)  I didn’t know quite what to expect…but when a dust cover synopsis ends with a quote from Battlestar Galactica you just get it and hope and pray the book is as amusing as the cover snippet.  It did not disappoint.

It’s HILARIOUS.  Some of my favorite bits:

“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”

Regarding the exclusivity of Fight Club: “Didn’t Facebook lose some of its luster when you got that friend request from your great-aunt Polly?” (Sorry, aunt Polly…)

And for all you computer programmer geeks out there: “There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.”

It’s also pretty deep.  In the intro the author (which one of the five?  Doesn’t really matter) shares that the book was spawned by a conversation that went like this: “What was your religion when you were growing up?” to which their response was “Uh, science fiction, pretty much.”  That initially joking response led to a realization of how science fiction (and the myriad other beautiful facets of geek culture) create the essence of religion: “a framework of ideas…that’s intended to guide us toward maturity by helping us ask and answer the big, cosmic questions about existence.”

As a proud geek who loves to analyze all art forms (I once spent about 2 hours deconstructing the genius of Finding Nemo with my husband in an attempt to help him realize exactly why it is the Best.Movie.Ever) but rarely has time to read anything outside the bathroom I love that they take all these iconic quotes and go deep, in about 2 pages.  Perfect bathroom length.  Yet you can also spend an hour buried in it without coming up (the kids watched Diego; and the geek baton gets passed on to the next generation). 

If you are a geek and proud of it: run get this book.  Extra geek points for getting it in a digital format. And be ready to laugh, cry, and laugh until you cry, all while strolling down geek memory lane.

Market: Non-fiction
Language:  Moderate (there are a few entries on Clerks…)
Sensuality: None
Violence: None
Mature Themes: race relations, gender relations, religion, whether the ending of Lost was brilliant or painful

Book formats:


Anonymous said...

I love the sounds of this book, Sarah! I'll definitely try it out, for I am a proud geek.

Zaki said...

Thanks so much for the kind review! Glad the book is finding acceptance with its intended audience!

Amy Finnegan {} said...

Hi Zaki! It's always exciting when an author stops by to say hello!! :)