Saturday, September 10, 2011

"The Geeks' Guide to World Domination" by Garth Sundem

After realizing this title had been on my Amazon wish list for about two years, I gave up and requested it as an inter-library loan. I waited a few weeks for delivery, and voila! Geekdom at my fingertips! Joy and much singing in the land until..... I realize this is not exactly what I thought it was.

For some weird reason, I was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that it was more of a typical non-fiction book. Or perhaps I thought it was a novel, I don't know. In any case, it was not what I thought it would be, which sort of set me asea as it were. Sundem's work is a collection of some 300+ "geek" factoids and trivia, a worthy feat in and of itself. However, the majority of these snippets are true geek nirvana of the math, computer, and role-playing variety - and sadly, I am not that sort of geek. The math went way over my head, as did much of the computer fun. I did get some of the RPG references, having dabbled a wee bit with the classic Dungeons & Dragons back in the day, but I've never done any of the online stuff. (I don't even play "Farmville" on Facebook, for crying out loud).

I will give the author big props for including the Dewey Decimal System - GO DEWEY! He's right: it gives you a unique way to classify everything in the world, going from uber-general subjects to the specific equivalency of the head of a pin. Love me some Dewey, even as it's been sliding into obscurity due to the shift of many libraries to the Library of Congress system, or - heaven forbid - the general categories found in most book stores.

There were some other chapters/sections/snippets I liked, including but not limited to: Quotable Yoda, Five Classic Macgyver Hacks, Moral Lessons brought to you by the Monster of "The Odyssey", 10 Most Valuable Comic Books (not the books, but the point he makes about they're only as valuable as you can collect on), and Quotable X-files.

Overall, I'd still say I enjoyed the book. It's very easy to jump around and digest, which is great. It's also easy enough to skip over entries that you have no interest in (or that are too complex for mine, and possibly your, non-geek self). I have to admit that I'm disappointed that I lack the geekdom I thought I had, but that's OK. I do believe I'm still geeky enough for the club.