Nine Essential Geek Books

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 21, 2011 4:52 PM GMT
    According to Wired anyway.
    http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/10/9-essential-geek-books/?pid=5167&viewall=true

    As it happens, I have seven of them on my shelf. Most of them well-worn from multiple readings. I might suggest some alternate titles though.

    Oh, wait. I see... these are a reading list that's supposed to turn an ordinary mortal into a geek. And only one book is allowed per author.

    RJ nerds?

    Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide, Gary Gygax, 1979
    Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams, 1979
    Watchmen, Alan Moore, 1986-7
    Gödel Escher Bach, Douglas Hofstadter, 1979
    Ender’s Game, Scott Orson Card, 1985
    Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson, 1992
    Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien, 1954-5
    The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Edward Tufte, 1992
    Neuromancer, William Gibson, 1984
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    Oct 21, 2011 5:33 PM GMT
    I've read 3.

    But honestly, Lord of the Rings is so mainstream these days, it's hard to think of it as geeky. A Song of Ice and Fire is probably a stronger indication of geek.
  • calibro

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    Oct 21, 2011 5:47 PM GMT
    i'm 11 and 1/9% geek... ok, make it 2/9 for that.
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    Oct 21, 2011 5:58 PM GMT
    I guess I'm a different kind of nerd. My list would be different. I'd say:

    1) Plato's Republic
    2) A thing or two by Aristotle, preferably the Nicomachaean Ethics
    3) Something by Ayn Rand (and they either love it or hate it)
    4) A Jane Austen novel
    5) The Bible (as a historical document, rather than as a religious pursuit)
    6) Some (or all of) Shakespeare
    7) Random non-Western book, which they like to bring up to prove they're "well-rounded and well-read."
    8 ) A Supreme Court Opinion, or two, or three...
    9) At least some Nietzche.
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    Oct 21, 2011 7:07 PM GMT
    I guess I am a geek: 8-1/2.

    (So I guess should read Watchmen and finish GEB!)
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    Oct 21, 2011 7:07 PM GMT
    Except that I apparently can't do math. 7-1/2 (d'oh!)
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    Oct 21, 2011 7:19 PM GMT
    Well, to quibble, Ender's Game is awfully formulaic and derivative, not to mention a bit on the shallow side. If we're talking essentials, that slot should go to Frank Herbert's Dune.

    The Tufte book is more of a coffee-table book than a useful reference. I'd think a geek would be more likely to have a programming language reference laying around.

    I don't have the D&D book or the comic book, but I don't know what the alternatives might be. Since we operate in shades of gay around here, maybe William Man's Where The Boys Are should be in there somewhere.

    But quibbling aside, the Wired premise was supposed to be that reading these books would turn a jock into a geek. So how the heck do we compel those studs to do their reading? No nookie until you complete your oral book report?
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    Oct 21, 2011 9:02 PM GMT
    19c79 saidI guess I'm a different kind of nerd. My list would be different. I'd say:

    1) Plato's Republic
    2) A thing or two by Aristotle, preferably the Nicomachaean Ethics
    3) Something by Ayn Rand (and they either love it or hate it)
    4) A Jane Austen novel
    5) The Bible (as a historical document, rather than as a religious pursuit)
    6) Some (or all of) Shakespeare
    7) Random non-Western book, which they like to bring up to prove they're "well-rounded and well-read."
    8 ) A Supreme Court Opinion, or two, or three...
    9) At least some Nietzche.


    Never read any of the titles in OP,
    but have most cited in19c79's list.

    The "different kind of nerd" is, I do believe,
    referred to as scholar or classical humanist.

    And your working construction while crossing the nation?
    You, brother, might also be justifiably deemed an idealist.

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    Oct 21, 2011 10:03 PM GMT
    Boys, the assignment was about geeks and geekdom. Reading comprehension counts here.

    Regarding the comic book in the list, I wonder if The Art of Boris Vallejo might be an acceptable and at least partially homoerotic substitute.

    006.jpg
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    Oct 21, 2011 10:08 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidBoys, the assignment was about geeks and geekdom. Reading comprehension counts here.
    Who ever said that philosophy and literature nerds aren't geeks? I'll stand my ground. Sci-fi and comics geeks are not the sole inhabitants of Geekland.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Oct 21, 2011 10:14 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidWell, to quibble, Ender's Game is awfully formulaic and derivative, not to mention a bit on the shallow side. If we're talking essentials, that slot should go to Frank Herbert's Dune.


    This. I'd also swap out Tufte (wonderful as he is) for some classic dystopia, like Huxley's Brave New World or Zamiatin's We.
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    Oct 21, 2011 10:14 PM GMT
    What about a Tale of Fire and Ice series or Zombie related, like World War Z/ Zombie Survival Guide/etc?
  • jhill2456

    Posts: 285

    Oct 22, 2011 12:05 AM GMT
    Don't forget Harry Potter...