Book Title: Just a Geek
Author: Wil Wheaton
Published: 2004
Pages: 224
Category: Non-Fiction: biography/autobiography

I had intended to be reviewing Canada and Other Matters of Opinion by Rex Murphy for my fourth book of the year, but while I was still partway through it, I came home from work one day to find a notice on my door that a package was waiting for me at the post office.

Inside that package was the Wil Wheaton’s Just a Geek that I had ordered from Amazon in early December 2009. They kept pushing back my shipping date, and I rushed to the Post Office to finally get the book I’d been waiting for.

And they couldn’t find it. She searched on the shelf it should have been on, the shelves around that one, the file for letters, around the large boxes, and then stopped to help the person in line behind me. And then she kept looking for it. Took my phone number, and promised to find it. She apparently remembered writing down my crazy first name.

I left, and (haha) bought my long awaited iPhone, at which point it promptly began ringing! She had found my package! So after such a long tumultuous process, I finally had in my possession Just a Geek. It was begging to be read, and so I abandoned Canada and Other Matters of Opinion and began to read Just a Geek I’ll return to Murphy’s book for next week – I was for the most part, enjoying it.

Now, I know my readership for this blog is mostly nerds, as most of my friends would put themselves in that category, but in case anyone is unsure, knowledge of Wil Wheaton is a clear indicator on the nerd-barometre. An indicator that I was sorely lacking until little less than a year ago. While I have distinct memories of watching Star Trek: The Next Generation as a child, they mostly consist of Captain Picard, “Earl Grey, Hot.”, and the guy from reading rainbow.  I don’t remember Wesley Crusher, and I certainly didn’t remember the actor who played him. Then I joined twitter.

And when I joined twitter, I started noticing a username being retweeted by several of the people I follow. The username? @wilw. The stuff I saw seemed cool, but I still didn’t really understand the magnitude of geekery involved. And then I went to Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, and he was there. My friend Cat told me to go up to him and give him her “complete and utter adoration & affection” or something along those lines, but I was too blinded by the stars of Battlestar Galactica to wait in a giant line to see some guy who I hadn’t really heard of.

When I got home, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I started finding him everywhere. An episode of Leverage. Season 3 of The Guild. The Big Bang Theory. This guy was basically the king of the nerds.
So this book that Wil Wheaton’s awesome nerd cred going for it. As well as an extensive use of witty footnotes.* But it was also a really touching series of blog posts and memories about a guy trying to grow up and move through some tough times in life. Something I’m really glad I read at this point in time. In the book Wil talks about being sort of stuck in a rut, trying to move forward, but unsure of with what. The subtitle of the book is “Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise” and that is entirely accurate.

I needed to read this book at this point in my life. And I know that sounds dramatic and lofty, but I feel as if I’m in a similar circumstance, drifting a bit after my undergraduate degree, looking for what I’m supposed to do in life, and missing out on important things because of things I think I should be doing – or that other people think I should be doing.  Struggling to become a writer, and write well.  The voice of self-doubt muttering in the dark places of my mind.

This book will be appreciated by any self-proclaimed nerd, anyone with a love of good nonfiction or autobiography, and fans of well written humour. I would definitely recommend it.** I look forward to reading Wil’s other books. I know my phrasing is a little bit awkward, as I work to get back into writing regularly, but I will definitely look to this book for something akin to inspiration.

I’m going to Emerald City Comic Con again this year. And so is Wil Wheaton. I look forward to actually knowing who he is this time, and getting my long awaited copy of his book autographed.

*    *     *

Wil Wheaton’s blog can be found here. And always remember Wheaton’s law: Don’t Be A Dick.

Next Book: Canada & Other Matters of Opinion by Rex Murphy

*I love footnotes, I find them irresistible. Endnotes though? Hate them.
**And it will definitely up your nerd cred.


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