American Nerd

American Nerd: The Story of My People is funny and delightful. It is a must read for nerds, dorks and dweebs everywhere. The book was disjointed at times but overall an enjoyable look at nerdom and all its wonders.

Benjamin Nugent reflects on stories of his youth and finding acceptance in his group of nerd friends. It is in these moments Nugent shines. He is charming, funny and thought provoking. Nerds of the world, this is our story told by one of our own.

 

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Audrey, Wait!

I was laughing out loud as I read Audrey, Wait! Audrey is regular 16 year old, she is navigating the halls of her high school, she has a crummy part time job and LOVES music. She also has a boyfriend, who like most high school boys isn’t really being the best boyfriend, so she breaks up with him. He also happens to be in a band, The Do-Gooders. The night they break up he writes a song called “Audrey, Wait!’ and it slowly climbs the charts propelling them and her into super stardom.

Robin Benway accurately captures the emotional roller coaster of a teenage girl under the microscope of her peers (and the paparazzi). It’s absolutely charming and a must for all Nick and Norah fans.

Chasing the Rising Sun

I was listening to Q on CBC radio when I first learned about this book. Ted Anthony, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, became obsessed with the song “House of the Rising Sun” and decided to trace the song back to its origins and write a book about the journey.

The result reminds me of a travel memoir. There is a beginning, filled with drive and inspiration. A Middle where you meet the most interesting kinds of people and their stories move you and change you in some way. Finally there is the conclusion where you face a full circle moment and realize how connected we all are. Perhaps I am stretching the journey a little far and making more of it than it was. But I felt connected to Ted Anthony in the height of his fandom. I was moved by what he found. “Chasing the Rising Sun” is a perfect addition to any music lover’s library.

The Frozen Thames

Just finished Helen Humphreys’ The Frozen Thames. It is a collection of short stories which take place between the 15th and 19th Centuries when the River Thames froze over. There are stories of love, loss and ice. I think Christina Decarie’s review sums up the experience best: “to speak of loss lightly but profoundly.”

Overall a satisfying read by the fire place.

Why We Broke Up

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler is written as a letter from a girl, Min Green, to her ex-boyfriend, Ed Slaterton, explaining why they broke up. It is a pretty book, with colour illustrations by Maria Kalman. It is a neat concept but it got a little repetitive and left me kind of bored. 

Ed is the co-captain of the basketball team and one of the “cool” kids and Min is a regular girl with a great interest in film. Like most teenage boys, especially the cool jock types, Ed is a bit of a jerk. Their relationship kind of felt like if Nathan and Haley in One Tree Hill were a real life couple, this is what would have happened. The jock would stay a jerk and the idealistic girl would have her heart broken, but still never learn her lesson.

Maybe I’m too much of a cynic for young love.

That being said, the Why we Broke Up Project is much more interesting. Real stories of break ups. Check it out.

The Fault in Our Stars

Finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green a few days ago. It is a fantastic read. I could write about its brilliance but I would never be able to truly capture the effect Mr. Green’s words have had on me. Days later I feel the echo of the characters following me around.

In the quietest moments, on the least likely of pages The Fault in Our Stars is sublime.