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Word Wednesday: ‘The Year of the Geek’ Infographic

Books Columns Reviews Word Wednesday

This week’s word is “Infographic!”

In this week’s Word Wednesday, we’re moving away from the DK books of the last two weeks and moving to something from Aurum books. The Year of the Geek by James Clarke.

What is The Year of the Geek?

I love infographics, I love geeky things, and I love “day of the year” almanacs. Subtitled “365 Adventures from the sci-fi and fantasy universe,” the Geek Book of the Year and I were destined to be together. With an entry for each day of the year, many of them accompanied by an infographic illustration, the book is a mine of pointless and geeky information.

Whether you want to find out what day Star Wars was released, some Wizard of Oz esoterica, or when the first Pez dispenser convention was held, this book has it all, and a whole lot more.

Geek Infographic
A double page spread from ‘Year of the Geek’

The book contains page after page 223 of them of things you didn’t know you didn’t know, or, if you did know them, you can sit back proud of your geekery because not many others do. A brief history of manga, Back to the Future (and Terminator) timelines, and when Mr. Potato Head was first advertised on TV are just three more examples of what you can expect to find inside the covers of this oh-so-geeky almanac.

Anything not so good?

I have a couple of reservations about the book. It’s not perfect. Occasionally the text doesn’t marry up terribly well with the infographic or the infographic isn’t that informative.

A great infographic should give accurate information in an easy to access manner. If it doesn’t do that it’s just a stylized picture. There are quite a few stylized pictures in this book. The most glaring example, to my mind, is the lack of units on the Doctor Who timeline. I’m being picky and pedantic, yes, but hey, I’m a geek: that’s in the job description.

Why you should definitely take a look.

Nevertheless, few things in life are flawless, and the odd stylistic quirk should not deter you from taking a look at The Geek Book of the Year. The holiday season is almost upon us, and this book would make an excellent stocking stuffer for you and the geeks in your life. If you do buy it as a present, be prepared to participate in many festive conversations that start with “Did you know, that on the…”

All in all, The Year of the Geek is a fun book that’s great for geeks everywhere, whether their passion be books, films, comics, fantasy, or sci-fi; it’s all in here!

You can buy The Year of the Geek, here in the US, and over here, in the UK.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received a free copy of this book to write this review. 

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