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The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life) Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 171 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“He is among the most influential public faces of nerd culture today.”—The New York Times

“A self-help book has never been so funny. Or potentially beneficial—to nerds and garden-variety humans alike.”--Associated Press

“Solid self-help book rife with nerdy pop-culture references, a few personal anecdotes, and plenty of enthusiasm.”--AV Club

"Chris Hardwick is king of the nerds. And he's a good king. Like Aragorn. Follow him."--Rainn Wilson

"Chris Hardwick is a Nerd's Nerd's Nerd. The third nerd denotes his understanding of Nerddom on a meta-level.  He has broken the chains of his Nerd Bondage to become a successful, well-dressed, famous dude who hasn't forgotten where he came from."--Adam Savage

About the Author

Chris Hardwick is a stand-up comedian, TV host, writer, and founder of Nerdist Industries, a company dedicated to creating multi- platform content for Nerds. He has more than one million Twitter followers. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; First Printing edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425243540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425243541
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #597,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Shetrone VINE VOICE on January 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I generally don't read self-help books, but I picked this up because I am a fan of Chris Hardwick. Hardwick, who some may recognize as being one of the hosts of MTV's Singled Out way back in the 90s, spent much of his 20s partying, drinking, and generally ruining his life. What happened when he hit 30 is best expressed in his own words:

"Then, when I hit thirty, I began to look around at my life: I was consuming a baby elephant's weight in alcohol EVERY DAY. I lived in a [redacted] apartment near UCLA ... my place was always a mess, I had ruined my credit, and I had no real work prospects. I had become a thing I had always feared-the fat, drunk guy who used to be on television."

Hardwick quit drinking in 2003 and started trying to improve his life. Now he has multiple projects on the go, including a successful (and extremely entertaining) podcast, a new podcast network, and several TV gigs.

The secrets to Hardwick's success aren't anything new. Basically, he was able to harness his innate nature (his nerdiness, so to speak) and use it to his advantage. And that's what this book is about.

His techniques aren't going to appeal to everyone, but if you enjoy the quantitative over the qualitative, you may find some ideas here. In general, he is advocating identifying your goals and developing a way to track your progress in a visible way. He also talks a lot about how to deal with the generally obsessive "nerdist" brain, something which I could relate to. It's nice to know that you're not the only one who thinks the way you do. In the final section, he talks a lot about his diet and fitness, even providing a starter fitness plan that is modeled after what he has done with his trainer.

One thing you can't forget is that Hardwick is a comedian.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love self-help books. It is probably a disease. It is probably something I need 'help' for! Anyway, "The Nerdist Way" is probably one of the best self-help books I have ever read. First, you have to like comedians. Second, you probably should know just a touch about gamers. (All I know is what my students have told me!) After that, Chris Hardwick is a genius when it comes to 'reaching the next level'.

No one is going to believe this, but "The Nerdist Way" actually got rid of my GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). DO NOT count on the same results yourself, but I am one of those people who just needs to be 'told the facts, Jack'. I needed some comedian nerd that I have never met to tell me that I had control over my own life and anxiety and could stop it COLD. Just so you know, I can talk myself out of the hick-ups and quit stuttering when I was a kid because my mother TOLD me to in a very stern voice!

Will it work for you? I have no idea. Is there some truth to writing down your goals, making charts to see them through, and enjoying the process of bettering yourself? Of course! This book is funny, down to earth, real life advise to all of us. I have never thought of myself as a nerd, but now I know I am. I embrace it. I love it. And because of that, I can make changes that will benefit me as a person. I also think my students could benefit from it because many of them don't need therapy, they just need to embrace who they are and put the effort they put into gaming toward the goals of their lives.

Buy it and enjoy it. It's cheap therapy. Ha!
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Format: Hardcover
I managed to get an early-ish copy of the book, and if you follow the author's podcast, the first thing you'll notice is that you'll feel like you have a wee Hardwick sitting on your shoulder talking in your ear. He's compiled much of the results of his experience from stardom, to wasteland, and back to resurrection, which is no small feat. And, if you enjoy Chris's humour, you'll enjoy the writing style immensely.

Personally, I got hooked from the first, where he asks you to gamify your life, since that's something we nerds enjoy, and can build off of. From then on, you see that's the theme of the book: take those traits which identify you as a nerd, and turn it around to crush your enemies! (or something a little less violent).

You definitely have to approach the book as something fun, and not taken so seriously like other self-help books. It's supposed to be fun, but I can see where people might find it corny if they don't know nerd-culture, or scoff at these types of books. If you push that aside, and see how the author wants you to change your inner-view, it becomes very enjoyable.

I haven't yet been able to follow all the advice given, but I do like what I've gotten through, and I enjoy the author's writing style, so I'd give this an initial 4 stars. It's aimed at the nerdset, and feel like it follows through.
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Format: Hardcover
The Nerdist Way reads like the beloved podcast - insanely funny, informative, inspiring, and goofy. I raced through this book in one day and then promptly tossed it to my Nerd husband and said, "You need to read this. NOW." Hardwick truly understands the Nerdist brain and how to harness its energy for good. It is the kick-in-the-ass we all need, in order to be the people we've always wanted to be...
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