A literary geek spotted!
Photo: Petr Kratochvil,

When I saw the title of “Geek Girls Unite: How Fangirls, Bookworms, Indie Chicks, and Other Misfits are Taking Over the World,” I had to pre-order it from Amazon.

The author cleverly divides the book into seven chapters covering the following classifications of geek females: fangirls, book fans, film fans, music aficionados, fans of comedy, domestic DIY, and miscellaneous geeks.

At first, I realized that most of these categories applied to me, and I was pretty excited about reading the book.

I primarily read it as a bathroom book since I had pneumonia while I was reading it, but the way the chapters are divided up into short sections would also make it an awesome book for train commuters.

In the introduction, Simon introduces Gamma Gamma Gamma, or the Geek Girl Guild.

This originally consisted of a group of girls that provided Simon with quotes and input for the book, though it’s an open sorority that any geek girls can join.

Each chapter offers an introduction, a knowledge quiz, a character sketch describing the type of geek girl, a guide to lingo, history, and notable women. Each chapter also covers “geek love,” or what type of fellows such a lady would go for.

I wasn’t really sure about this section. The whole book is written in a cute, intellectual, lighthearted tone; but I could see a sketchy dude definitely using this book as a guide to misleading a female geek.

The book also includes black and white line art and sketches by Nan Lawson. My favorite is a drawing of some dice creeping out of a dice bag. Some of the drawings seem geared toward a younger crowd, though, and when I saw them I kind of felt like I was a bit old for the material.

Here are some of my favorite things about “Geek Girls Unite:”

  • Women can be catty to one another, and this book is all about uniting the subculture.
  • The tone is lighthearted.
  • Being a geek gal is like being in a club–but it’s an inclusive one.
  • A clever comparison involving Nathan Fillion (LOVE!) and Starbucks (also love!)
  • An accurate description of steampunk
  • “Beware of any dude who loves Comic Sans.” I cannot agree with this enough!

As one of the reviewers noted, this book is kind of an introduction, not a font of knowledge for a geek to find more geeky things. It’s about geeks, but not necessarily for geeks. Still, it’s a cute read, and worth reading.

As the title suggests, it’s more a positive reading experience for ‘girls’ then women, though that’s a bit misleading in geek subculture (and our culture at large) as boys become men, but women are often referred to as girls.

The book also includes online resources. Most of the pages I dog-eared for personal reference include those URLs.

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