Commuter Bookclub – The Nerdist Way (Chris Hardwick)

I spend a lot of time in the car. For people like me there are a couple of things that keep us sane. Good books are one of them.

Welcome to The Commuter Bookclub!

This week, let’s talk about The Nerdist Way by Chris Hardwick. Come for the Nerdist revolution, stay for the self-help book (?).

Tech Specs

It’s good to know what you’re getting into:

  • Release date: November 2011 (same for the audiobook).
  • Length: 2 train commutes,
    3 driving commutes, or 6 hours and 14 minutes.
  • Narrator: Chris Hardwick.

First, about Chris.

If you haven’t fallen into the Nerdist sphere of influence over the last couple of years, I’m sorry for you. For those of us of a certain age, we can remember Chris first as that guy who helped host an infamously bad dating show on MTV.

These days, he’s got a much better gig leading one of the major podcasting empires, where he gets to sit down with people I’d really like get to know (yeah, like Paul McCartney…okay, forget the book and just go download that episode and listen to it today. I’ll wait. Seriously, go do it now).

All this in between stand-up comedy shows, hosting practically every panel at San Diego’s ComicCon, an Emmy-winning late-night TV improv show, and…

You get the idea.

This is a self-help book?

The Nerdist has actually grown to a point where it was purchased by Legendary Entertainment and I had a free audible credit so when I saw The Nerdist Way I decided to to take a flyer on it, figuring maybe it was a “Here’s how I built the empire!” kind of thing (not having actually read any of the reviews…).

I’m not sure I could have been more off base.

The book is essentially a self-help guide for those among us who grew up playing D&D and tinkering inside in our basements with the BIOS on a 386 instead of wandering the outside world.

So, what is this Nerdist thing?

The word Nerdist itself is a mashup of “artist” and “nerd”, two terms that are probably as ambigous as they come, which I think allows the book to have a relatively wide audience.

The book is similarly a mashup of personal growth stories and exercises to gamify your life (yes, there are character sheets and, yes, you do get to draw awesome Dragons on your character sheets). I’m 100% behind the idea of getting some kind of incentive structure in place.

The book has enough fun anecdotes to keep your drive interesting, is read by the author, and is definitely something that I wish I’d had when I was 12. Go, enjoy. Then prepare yourself for over 900 Nerdist podcasts to plug your ears into.


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