Monday, July 16, 2012

The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (in Real Life) by Chris Hardwick

There are a ton of career and self help books, but I don't know of any written specifically for nerds. I also don't know any that are particularly witty and funny. Until that is, Chris Hardwick's The Nerdist Way came out late last year. Hardwick is a comedian and the host of one of the most popular podcasts, The Nerdist.

Hardwick, a self proclaimed nerd, respectfully defines nerds as those who are extremely passionate about certain things so intensely that they learn every bit of minutia and immerse themselves in what they love. The author points out the strengths and weaknesses of nerds and how best to use these aspects throughout life. Hardwick recounts a lot of personal stories, which I found to be the most interesting and helpful parts of the book.

He definitely knows his audience and uses the language and basics of role playing games to help readers focus on their strengths and interests. The book includes a lot of exercises for readers to see how they can make positive steps in their lives and careers and avoid some pitfalls. The book is split into three parts with Hardwick covering your body, your mind and your time.

Hardwick is quite funny and it comes out in his smooth and conversational writing style. The book is primarily written for older teens and up, so the humor targets those age groups. Pop culture references and nerd culture make the Nerdist Way a fun read. More importantly, there is quite a bit of helpful information on how to deal with struggles and self doubt.

While for me the book gets a little bogged down at points and I wish he would have concentrated on his strength of using personal experiences to provide his readers with tips and lessons, Hardwick has crafted a unique book on life and work. Those who have struggled with the strengths and weaknesses of having nerdy tendencies or just anyone who appreciates humorous yet productive views of life should pick up The Nerdist Way.

Readers who have enjoyed books like American Nerd: the Story of My People by Benjamin Nugent, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt or the short story collection Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd will enjoy The Nerdist Way.


Debra said...

I bought this book as a graduation present to myself. I have the "character tome" notebook ready to go. Now I just need to sit down and read it. :-)

Sarah Stevenson said...

I'm definitely going to have to get a copy for myself and probably some other people I know, too...