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Black Nerd Problems

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The creators of the popular website Black Nerd Problems bring their witty and unflinching insight to this engaging collection of pop culture essays—on everything from Mario Kart to issues of representation—that “will fill you with joy and give you hope for the future of geek culture” (Ernest Cline, #1 New York Times bestselling author). When William Evans and Omar Holmon f The creators of the popular website Black Nerd Problems bring their witty and unflinching insight to this engaging collection of pop culture essays—on everything from Mario Kart to issues of representation—that “will fill you with joy and give you hope for the future of geek culture” (Ernest Cline, #1 New York Times bestselling author). When William Evans and Omar Holmon founded Black Nerd Problems, they had no idea whether anyone beyond their small circle of friends would be interested in their little corner of the internet. But soon after launching, they were surprised to find out that there was a wide community of people who hungered for fresh perspectives on all things nerdy. In the years since, Evans and Holmon have built a large, dedicated fanbase eager for their brand of cultural critiques, whether in the form of a laugh-out-loud, raucous Game of Thrones episode recap or an eloquent essay on dealing with grief through stand-up comedy. Now, they are ready to take the next step with this vibrant and hilarious essay collection, which covers everything from X-Men to Breonna Taylor with “alternately hilarious, thought-provoking, and passionate” (School Library Journal) insight and intelligence. A much needed and fresh pop culture critique from the perspective of people of color, “this hugely entertaining, eminently thoughtful collection is a master class in how powerful—and fun—cultural criticism can be” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).


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The creators of the popular website Black Nerd Problems bring their witty and unflinching insight to this engaging collection of pop culture essays—on everything from Mario Kart to issues of representation—that “will fill you with joy and give you hope for the future of geek culture” (Ernest Cline, #1 New York Times bestselling author). When William Evans and Omar Holmon f The creators of the popular website Black Nerd Problems bring their witty and unflinching insight to this engaging collection of pop culture essays—on everything from Mario Kart to issues of representation—that “will fill you with joy and give you hope for the future of geek culture” (Ernest Cline, #1 New York Times bestselling author). When William Evans and Omar Holmon founded Black Nerd Problems, they had no idea whether anyone beyond their small circle of friends would be interested in their little corner of the internet. But soon after launching, they were surprised to find out that there was a wide community of people who hungered for fresh perspectives on all things nerdy. In the years since, Evans and Holmon have built a large, dedicated fanbase eager for their brand of cultural critiques, whether in the form of a laugh-out-loud, raucous Game of Thrones episode recap or an eloquent essay on dealing with grief through stand-up comedy. Now, they are ready to take the next step with this vibrant and hilarious essay collection, which covers everything from X-Men to Breonna Taylor with “alternately hilarious, thought-provoking, and passionate” (School Library Journal) insight and intelligence. A much needed and fresh pop culture critique from the perspective of people of color, “this hugely entertaining, eminently thoughtful collection is a master class in how powerful—and fun—cultural criticism can be” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

30 review for Black Nerd Problems

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    It was really annoying to jump through all kinds of software hoops in order to read these essays (no kindle version), but it was always worth it. Sharply observant, trenchantly funny, wistful, hard-hitting, heart-felt, each essay is different from the previous, and always interesting as the authors talk about being people of color in the nerdy end of the fandom pool. That includes touching on the grim subject of police brutality toward Black people, when a guy just wants to buy a cool sword. Anot It was really annoying to jump through all kinds of software hoops in order to read these essays (no kindle version), but it was always worth it. Sharply observant, trenchantly funny, wistful, hard-hitting, heart-felt, each essay is different from the previous, and always interesting as the authors talk about being people of color in the nerdy end of the fandom pool. That includes touching on the grim subject of police brutality toward Black people, when a guy just wants to buy a cool sword. Another tough subject is BIPOC representation in the media. While I kept thinking as I read this, “Oh, it was so much worse when I was growing up, SO much worse,” that is hardly an endorsement for the way things are now. Meanwhile anime, Spiderman, Mario Kart, Simba (and the Disney juggernaut), cons, and life as a black nerd get examined in a funny, opinionated way that is often hilarious. The narrative voice is awesome, full of heart and humor, sometimes acid humor. This is one of those rare books that I think would be even better as an audio book, especially if read by the authors. Copy provided by NetGalley

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Curie

    Blame my ignorance, but I wasn't aware that being a nerd wasn't the same thing as being a Black nerd. Thus, this turned into both an entertaining and educational read, which gracefully served my geeky enthusiasm without shying away from more serious and hard-hitting themes. I've never heard of Black Nerd Problems before picking this up, which means I was completely unaware of the website William Evans and Omar Holmon have been running for years now, where they're regularly provide cultural criti Blame my ignorance, but I wasn't aware that being a nerd wasn't the same thing as being a Black nerd. Thus, this turned into both an entertaining and educational read, which gracefully served my geeky enthusiasm without shying away from more serious and hard-hitting themes. I've never heard of Black Nerd Problems before picking this up, which means I was completely unaware of the website William Evans and Omar Holmon have been running for years now, where they're regularly provide cultural critique on comics, movies, TV shows and all kinds of things generally considered nerdy. It's probably relevant to note that I am white, which means I don't precisely fall into the demographic, because as the authors point out early on in their collection of essays, being a Black nerd means that you're part of a subculture of a subculture. The essays themselves were informed, heartfelt and most of all, utterly enthusiastic. Evans and Holmon talk about all kinds of anime (Dragon Ball), comic book heroes (Spiderman, Batman, X-Men), video games (Horizon Zero Dawn, Mario Kart) and TV shoes as well as cartoons in an emotional and raging way only true nerds are capable of. Those passages were often funny and quite easygoing. Surprisingly, the bits I enjoyed most were those in which I learned about the Black experience. There's just so much stuff I was grateful for having had explained – like how much more important it is for a Black film to be good, as the results for it failing at box office are more severe than when Gerald Butler won't do it, who'll probably have ten more mediocre action film down the line either way. The story how as a Black nerd you have to think twice about buying a sword from a fan shop, because carrying a weapon as a Black person just isn't the same as when you're white and therefore save, is tragically heartbreaking. My only complaint is that I'm not quite into the same things the authors are. While people who know me personally would probably catch up on me being a nerd as soon as they get me talking on video games, I've for example grown tired of the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the years, which means topics talking about those superhero things weren't quite my cup of tea. This is a highly personal and individual complaint, however, because if you are into these themes, there's literally nothing holding you back from having a relatable and great time with this.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Campbell

    No question, this book is 5 stars for me! This book gave me life. I felt seen by this book. I have new things to get into because of this book. I loved this book! This book was funny, serious, got really deep, spoke on so many topics and so many levels in just 300 pages of essays. I feel like I need sequels to this book because I am definitely going to want to know their essays and takes on new things coming out and things that had not yet come out when this book was published. This was great. I No question, this book is 5 stars for me! This book gave me life. I felt seen by this book. I have new things to get into because of this book. I loved this book! This book was funny, serious, got really deep, spoke on so many topics and so many levels in just 300 pages of essays. I feel like I need sequels to this book because I am definitely going to want to know their essays and takes on new things coming out and things that had not yet come out when this book was published. This was great. I want to write a forever long review and I want more essays! This was a library check out that I am going to need to add to my personal library.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (Kalanadi)

    3.5 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Collins

    THIS BOOK WAS FANTASTIC! It was legit everything I needed, and even though I may or may not be the target audience IT WAS PERFECTION! I preordered the book midway through chapter 3, because sometimes when you know... YOU KNOW. I legit am praying to the nerd gods that they do a full cast audiobook where they read their own chapters, so I can order that as well. Not only is the book hysterical and jam packed with so much nerdy information, recommendations, and opinions.. I’ve also taken so much mor THIS BOOK WAS FANTASTIC! It was legit everything I needed, and even though I may or may not be the target audience IT WAS PERFECTION! I preordered the book midway through chapter 3, because sometimes when you know... YOU KNOW. I legit am praying to the nerd gods that they do a full cast audiobook where they read their own chapters, so I can order that as well. Not only is the book hysterical and jam packed with so much nerdy information, recommendations, and opinions.. I’ve also taken so much more from it. As a teacher (a white teacher) I now have a list of material to add to my bookshelves so BIPOC children can see themselves represented authentically and positively (i WILL track down the list of comics from: What Happens To A New Fictional Black Character Deferred? And of course, Miss Monica Rambeau!!!....yeah, i have a list). This ranges from comic books, to clips i can show in class, and posters I can have made. It made me think so much deeper about so many things around racism, social justice, and how I still have many privileges and don’t realize the many, many, MANY struggles BIPOC go through (enter chapter titled: “The Sobering Reality of Actual Black Nerd Problems” & also “For Dark Girls Who Never Get Asked to Play Storm”). Aside from the education I definitely got from this book, my favorite chapters are absolutely: “Mario Kart Reveals Who You Truly Are”(100%) & I thoroughly enjoyed “How My Black Ass Would Survive Every Horror Movie”- I was legit cackling and nodding my head at every word. But legit, what made me laugh so hard I had tears and my husband had to come in and ask what was so funny? “Blade II Still Has The Most Disrespectful Superhero Fades My Black Ass Has Ever Seen.” WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO AS PER DEMANDED! You will not regret it. Ok, ok, ok. I’ll stop. But I 10/10 would recommend this book, for anyone. Even if you don’t think you’re a nerd, there is something in this book for you! Omar & William - THANK YOU!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alise

    This book is such a fun read. Some controversial pop culture opinions mixed in with media critique and commentary specific to the black community. What I like about this book and most own voices reads is that it's written in a way that is engaging and familiar. The essays in this book cover topics ranging from Batman, Gohan, Spiderverse, Game of Thrones and more. The chapters that were on media I don't know much about or don't like, I still enjoyed. Obviously if you aren't a consumer of "nerdy" This book is such a fun read. Some controversial pop culture opinions mixed in with media critique and commentary specific to the black community. What I like about this book and most own voices reads is that it's written in a way that is engaging and familiar. The essays in this book cover topics ranging from Batman, Gohan, Spiderverse, Game of Thrones and more. The chapters that were on media I don't know much about or don't like, I still enjoyed. Obviously if you aren't a consumer of "nerdy" pop culture this may not be the book for you, but it is a fun read if you have any opinion at all on the media selected.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Black Nerd Problems is an insightful and intelligent collection of essays on fandom as it intersects black culture and the experiences of people of color written and presented by William Evans & Omar Holmon. Due out 14th Sept 2021 from Simon & Schuster on their Gallery imprint, it's 304 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as in Originally posted on my blog: Nonstop Reader. Black Nerd Problems is an insightful and intelligent collection of essays on fandom as it intersects black culture and the experiences of people of color written and presented by William Evans & Omar Holmon. Due out 14th Sept 2021 from Simon & Schuster on their Gallery imprint, it's 304 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. I grew up in a family of comics, gaming, and SF/fantasy nerds (third generation, my grandfather emigrated to the USA and taught himself English by reading comic books). I've experienced gatekeeping and dismissive/rude attitude from fanboys because I'm female, older (or younger), or just other. I'm certainly not saying "I get where the authors of this book are coming from" but I can sing along with the chorus at least. They make so many salient points and they do so with humor and clear vision. They're honest (sometimes brutally so). I found most of the read very funny (Omar's take on why and how he'd survive every horror movie trope had me giggling out loud), some of the essays were uncomfortable (as a white female nerd), and some were valuable for giving me new authors to check out, learn from, and watch. Representation is so important and I hope young nerds get their hands on this book. They're more than welcome at my table. The essay subjects are varied and wide ranging: comics, fandom, film & TV, books and other print media, art, Art , and, well, being black, and being nerdy, and being black and nerdy. The language is very casual, sometimes rough, linguistically honest, and easy to hear in your head. In fact, I really want to get my ears on the audiobook, narrated by the authors (Audible version). Five stars. I've not seen a layman accessible non-academic commentary like this anywhere else. This would be a good choice for lovers of ephemera, popular media, social commentary, and, of course, nerds. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    I love this book, just what was needed This book like it’s title truly represents Black and people of color interests and voices in geek culture it feels refreshing to read from a similar point of view and feel acknowledged and seen or at least represented when these writers talk. Point out problems and triumphs seen in the pop culture world. Offers a different perspective that feels like it has been left out. Especially as a person of color. It takes a look at all different realms of geeks on fi I love this book, just what was needed This book like it’s title truly represents Black and people of color interests and voices in geek culture it feels refreshing to read from a similar point of view and feel acknowledged and seen or at least represented when these writers talk. Point out problems and triumphs seen in the pop culture world. Offers a different perspective that feels like it has been left out. Especially as a person of color. It takes a look at all different realms of geeks on films, books, music, video games, anime, comics and not only puts out essays that speak to their own views of subjects and relating them to social issues we all know. Not to mention dropping references throughout that reminds us they know their shit. Managing to tie in real world problems into their analogies. Where while dropping some knowledge. It can feel a bit like a lecture but also more like a conversation. So In a way like a class with that cool professor who allows for conversations and breaks down things In A fresh contemporary way. Even shows and anime one has never seen. Not interested in, they make seem interesting and maybe worth taking a chance on. Their experiences and memories and the way they interweave them into the subjects and the enthusiasts she own makes each essay infectious Throughout the book the authors Talk about how they felt represented by certain things and the joy and pride felt. Is how it feels reading this book I would suggest this book for people who identify as geeks and nerds of all colors. As there is plenty of subjects talked about to keep you interested but also even if you know the subjects. Gives you a chance to see it through someone else’s perspective and point of view. Informing the audience updating us on plenty of comic book storylines and which issues specifically to seek out. Giving credit to the writers and artists. How by talking about what we love, follow and enjoy we can reveal ourselves the way we share the way we think our personality, cares and concerns. These essays manage to paint picture with words and set scenes you want to witness and explore. It reminded me of plenty of thoughts and beliefs i had and reminded me of classic shows, movies and cartoons making me want to watch and examine them again to study and see if I agree with some of their Hot takes. Also written intelligently but also with plenty of references that make the essays feel fresh and adds more humor somewhat to them

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jammy

    This collection of essays is all heart. Relatable, heartbreaking, heartlifting, hilarious, insightful, opinionated, and absolutely fantastic. The authors touch on everything nerdy from gatekeeping nerddom to hot takes about Spiderman to what it means to be Black in the nerd community. It's serious and poignant, but there's also a long thing about how Simba from The Lion King is a tool.  Most importantly, this book focuses on the elephant in the room: BIPOC representation in the media — specifical This collection of essays is all heart. Relatable, heartbreaking, heartlifting, hilarious, insightful, opinionated, and absolutely fantastic. The authors touch on everything nerdy from gatekeeping nerddom to hot takes about Spiderman to what it means to be Black in the nerd community. It's serious and poignant, but there's also a long thing about how Simba from The Lion King is a tool.  Most importantly, this book focuses on the elephant in the room: BIPOC representation in the media — specifically, traditionally nerdy media. Black Nerd Problems is about a single group of people — Black nerds — but this book is inclusive. It's welcoming to all levels of nerdiness, Black, White, whatever, but it also has backbone. These authors have something important to say and they stand by their serious-slash-hilarious words. Taken either as a whole or as individual essays, the book is fantastic and I learned some things. I learned some hard truths about Disney, some cool characters that deserve more attention, some new shows to add to my list, and a lot more. "Mario Kart Reveals Who You Truly Are" is painfully relatable and situated right before "The Sobering Reality of Actual Black Mers Problems".... whew. "Raising the Avatar" had me tearing up. The one about Craig of the Creek made my heart positively soar! My emotions were all over the place. I was afraid I wouldn't get this book because I don't do comic books or anime. I don't know Naruto from Avatar (I know how that must have hurt some of you readers!) but I shouldn't have worried. Some highly-specific references were presented clearly enough that even I could follow along. And wow, I think it's safe to say these guys are real nerds. There are some seriously obscure references in here! Total mixed media and cross-cultural, cross-fandom references left and right.  Really, a collection of essays like this all comes down to balance. And Black Nerd Problems has it. Perfection. Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the authors for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Zecker

    Black Nerd Problems is an incredible series of essays from a website that I honestly had not heard of prior to getting a review copy from Simon and Schuster. The collection features Omar Holmon and William Evans reflections on just about everything in nerd culture, from comics to movies to television series, and then manages to seamlessly integrate cultural, political, and social commentary into the essays and examine a broad spectrum of what it means to be Black fanboys while existing in Americ Black Nerd Problems is an incredible series of essays from a website that I honestly had not heard of prior to getting a review copy from Simon and Schuster. The collection features Omar Holmon and William Evans reflections on just about everything in nerd culture, from comics to movies to television series, and then manages to seamlessly integrate cultural, political, and social commentary into the essays and examine a broad spectrum of what it means to be Black fanboys while existing in America. The most engaging aspect of these essays is the voice that these two writers bring to the page – and their ability for their voice to jump off the page is astonishing and a lot of fun. The audience for this book is huge. I am a white nerd myself. I am also an educator who often grapples with addressing the state of race in America in my classroom on a daily basis. Holmon and Evans’ examination of heavy topics from Black Lives Matter to the true impact of the meaning and casting choices of Hamilton (and even the lack of said choices in Mad Men) provides a much-needed everyman's entry into the discourse. Teamed with an astonishingly deep love of comics and our culture, Holmon and Evans have a collection here that delights but also reflects much of what makes our country beautiful. The humor in these pages is difficult to truly capture in how well these pieces are executed, and overall, it is a remarkably curated collection about books, art, comics, film, television, literature, and our nerdish culture. A great read, and I look forward to diligently following and diving into the vast content on their website from here out, sharing it with my friends, and using their voice in my classroom. Black Nerd Problems will be released by Simon and Schuster in September 2021, and will be available everywhere. Their website featuring many, and perhaps all of these essays and many more, is BlackNerdProblems.com

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christine Gomez

    This book was THE validation I needed as someone who proudly identifies as a Black nerd. That said, while this book highlights that “nerdom” can be applied to multiple passions, many of the essays in this book refer to nerdom as it relates to anime and superhero comics. This is an immediate pick up if you consider yourself a Black nerd who is passionate about those topics As someone who’s nerd specialties are more invested in true crime, horror, and my unrelenting obsession with The OC, there wer This book was THE validation I needed as someone who proudly identifies as a Black nerd. That said, while this book highlights that “nerdom” can be applied to multiple passions, many of the essays in this book refer to nerdom as it relates to anime and superhero comics. This is an immediate pick up if you consider yourself a Black nerd who is passionate about those topics As someone who’s nerd specialties are more invested in true crime, horror, and my unrelenting obsession with The OC, there were some references that went over my head. Even still, this book deeply resonated with me. What I loved most was how the essays in this book discussed social justice and Black issues through the lens of the pop culture we consume. Especially as we continue to see some white bookstagrammers claim that politics and talk of social justice have no place in our little corner of the internet, this book perfectly illustrates why Black folks (and other marginalized groups for that matter) often face the intersection of the content we enjoy and the reality of the marginalized identities that we hold. We’re reminded of this when Storm’s character is cast as a lighter-skinned or biracial Black woman, when we forgo cosplay as certain characters out of fear of how police may react seeing a fake weapon, and for folks like myself obsessed with The OC, we realize the only Black representation in the entire show is Chris Brown’s guest role for a handful of episodes in season 3. “How My Black Ass Would Survive Every Horror Movie” and “The Push and Pull of Watching Mad Men while Black” were my favorite essays. Both discussed how challenging it can be to watch content when it’s clear Black folks are an afterthought at best. Representation matters, folks! I highly recommend this for my fellow Black and BIPOC nerds. This could also be a great read for white nerdy allies to learn a bit more about the perspective of Black folks in what can be predominantly white spaces.

  12. 5 out of 5

    BookShelfGals

    𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: 4.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️✨ 𝘼𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙨𝙢, 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙖 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙣’𝙩 𝙬𝙞𝙣, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙬𝙚 𝙙𝙞𝙙𝙣’𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙞𝙣 𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙢 𝙤𝙛 𝙤𝙥𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙪𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙤𝙣 𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙛𝙤𝙡𝙠 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙞𝙜𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙡𝙤𝙨𝙚 Black Nerd Problems is a collection of essays expertly combining pop culture, media spanning fandoms, and important commentary on being Black in America. Written by William Evans and Omar Holmon (creators of the popular website of the same name), Black Nerd Problems can be d 𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: 4.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️✨ 𝘼𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙨𝙢, 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙖 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙣’𝙩 𝙬𝙞𝙣, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙬𝙚 𝙙𝙞𝙙𝙣’𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙞𝙣 𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙢 𝙤𝙛 𝙤𝙥𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙪𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙤𝙣 𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙛𝙤𝙡𝙠 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙞𝙜𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙡𝙤𝙨𝙚 Black Nerd Problems is a collection of essays expertly combining pop culture, media spanning fandoms, and important commentary on being Black in America. Written by William Evans and Omar Holmon (creators of the popular website of the same name), Black Nerd Problems can be downright funny. Whether it’s an essay dedicated to why Simba (The Lion King) is utter trash, or why playing Mario Kart can either solidify or destroy your family, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. This book also does not shy away from more somber topics, such as BIPOC representation in the media, being Black in the nerd community, and police brutality. One particularly eye opening (and enraging) essay, was the chapter titled The Sobering Realty of Actual Back Nerd Problems. In it, William describes a situation where he was at Wizard World and wanted to buy a sword from a favorite fandom, but realized it could potentially be unsafe for him, recalling Darrien Hunt. Earlier that month, Darrien Hunt was shot multiple times in the back while running from police officers who deemed him a threat for carrying a fake sword while cosplaying. Where a white person can buy a fake weapon without thinking twice, a BIPOC is not afforded this same luxury, among many, many other things most of us take for granted. If you’re a nerd, you should read this book. If you’re a person looking to amp up #ownvoices, you should read this book. If you have a pulse and are relatively “with the times” you should read this book 😄 Thanks to @gallerybooks for the eARC in exchange for an honest review - Kristin📚 https://www.instagram.com/p/CPZfY7mLx...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Burns Rafferty

    𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: 4.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️✨ 𝘼𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙨𝙢, 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙖 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙣’𝙩 𝙬𝙞𝙣, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙬𝙚 𝙙𝙞𝙙𝙣’𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙞𝙣 𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙢 𝙤𝙛 𝙤𝙥𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙪𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙤𝙣 𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙛𝙤𝙡𝙠 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙞𝙜𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙡𝙤𝙨𝙚 Black Nerd Problems is a collection of essays expertly combining pop culture, media spanning fandoms, and important commentary on being Black in America. Written by William Evans and Omar Holmon (creators of the popular website of the same name), Black Nerd Problems can be d 𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: 4.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️✨ 𝘼𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙞𝙨𝙢, 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙖 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙣’𝙩 𝙬𝙞𝙣, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙬𝙚 𝙙𝙞𝙙𝙣’𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙞𝙣 𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙢 𝙤𝙛 𝙤𝙥𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙪𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙤𝙣 𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙛𝙤𝙡𝙠 𝙩𝙤 𝙛𝙞𝙜𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙡𝙤𝙨𝙚 Black Nerd Problems is a collection of essays expertly combining pop culture, media spanning fandoms, and important commentary on being Black in America. Written by William Evans and Omar Holmon (creators of the popular website of the same name), Black Nerd Problems can be downright funny. Whether it’s an essay dedicated to why Simba (The Lion King) is utter trash, or why playing Mario Kart can either solidify or destroy your family, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. This book also does not shy away from more somber topics, such as BIPOC representation in the media, being Black in the nerd community, and police brutality. One particularly eye opening (and enraging) essay, was the chapter titled The Sobering Realty of Actual Back Nerd Problems. In it, William describes a situation where he was at Wizard World and wanted to buy a sword from a favorite fandom, but realized it could potentially be unsafe for him, recalling Darrien Hunt. Earlier that month, Darrien Hunt was shot multiple times in the back while running from police officers who deemed him a threat for carrying a fake sword while cosplaying. Where a white person can buy a fake weapon without thinking twice, a BIPOC is not afforded this same luxury, among many, many other things most of us take for granted. If you’re a nerd, you should read this book. If you’re a person looking to amp up #ownvoices, you should read this book. If you have a pulse and are relatively “with the times” you should read this book 😄 Thanks to @gallerybooks for the eARC in exchange for an honest review - Kristin📚

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    It is impossible for me to describe how happy this book made me. I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend because listening to Will and Omar read their essays with such passion brings the amazingness up another notch (if that was even possible). I’m not completely aware of or into each of the essay topics, and that was totally ok. Just listening to the essays general topics and the dedication both authors had to the specific media, made up for that lack of knowledge tenfold. Plus I It is impossible for me to describe how happy this book made me. I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend because listening to Will and Omar read their essays with such passion brings the amazingness up another notch (if that was even possible). I’m not completely aware of or into each of the essay topics, and that was totally ok. Just listening to the essays general topics and the dedication both authors had to the specific media, made up for that lack of knowledge tenfold. Plus I now have a list of some things I want to check out, many of which I probably never would have heard of without this book. The intertwining of serious topics and the black experience was also so enlightening for me. I blatantly remember go to NYCC and buying a replica katana and walking through Port Authority like it was a totally normal thing, but hearing Will explain his hesitance to do the same thing due to his skin color and the risk it would place on him was truly eye opening for me. Up until the last ten years or so (thank you MCU) I would experience gate keeping at some coming shops and cons just for being a girl, and I ignorantly assumed if there was any negativity towards races or ethnicities in nerd culture was similar; so these serious topics explaining how different that particular subculture could be were particularly of interesting of me in order to shatter my very incorrect preconceived notion. Overall I highly recommend this book for anyone with even a fleeting interesting in the essay topics. The passion that Will and Omar have for each piece will easily win you over if you have any doubts.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Thank you, Net Galley, for a digital ARC. This book was like a long conversation with two old friends. Evans and Holmon talk about everything from pop culture to social justice, and how the two intertwine. I loved reading their opinions on different fandoms, even the comics and shows I haven't read or watched yet. Their opinions on nerd culture weave flawlessly with their own personal experiences as well as their social commentary. I learned a lot from this book, not only about the authors and th Thank you, Net Galley, for a digital ARC. This book was like a long conversation with two old friends. Evans and Holmon talk about everything from pop culture to social justice, and how the two intertwine. I loved reading their opinions on different fandoms, even the comics and shows I haven't read or watched yet. Their opinions on nerd culture weave flawlessly with their own personal experiences as well as their social commentary. I learned a lot from this book, not only about the authors and the world, but about myself as well. This is a book I'll definitely be picking up again, if not to thumb through and read my favorite essays. I particularly enjoyed the "Craig of the Creek" essay and the "Raising the Avatar" essay. These guys are funny and I found myself laughing out loud several times throughout the book, but they also know how to be serious, and I'm not ashamed to admit I shed a few tears. I'll be recommending this book to friends and family, and if you're reading this review, I'd recommend it to you as well (especially if you're a nerd like me). In fact, I'm probably going to buy a copy of this book for my dad for Christmas once it hits shelves because I really want to share it with him in particular.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Margit

    If you're into comics and anime and such, these essays are going to be a lot easier to read. Yeah, I've seen Black Panther and Iron Man and a couple other such movies. And I watched Batman and Superman after school when I was a kid. These essays are a universe of levels beyond me. But I knew that going in. Getting through this book took a bit more decrypting than I expected but it was worth it to see another perspective on such everyday issues as shades of skin color, dark black people portrayed If you're into comics and anime and such, these essays are going to be a lot easier to read. Yeah, I've seen Black Panther and Iron Man and a couple other such movies. And I watched Batman and Superman after school when I was a kid. These essays are a universe of levels beyond me. But I knew that going in. Getting through this book took a bit more decrypting than I expected but it was worth it to see another perspective on such everyday issues as shades of skin color, dark black people portrayed by light black actors, and the surprise of a kid seeing someone on tv that actually looks like they do. Personally, I still notice when there is a woman on the five o'clock news that isn't talking about the weather. We all still have a hell of a long way to go. But you have to be able to see a problem before you can do anything about it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ke

    📖📖 Book Review📖📖 Thank you to @simonandschuster for an early copy of Black Nerd Problems and to @librofm for an early audiobook copy of this book as well. I was able to intermingle reading the physical and the audiobook versions of this book and I loved both although I was partial to the audiobook that was narrated by both of the authors and felt to have a podcast feel. So it’s no secret I’m not a huge nonfiction reader but I was excited for this book and it did not disappoint. The authors were ab 📖📖 Book Review📖📖 Thank you to @simonandschuster for an early copy of Black Nerd Problems and to @librofm for an early audiobook copy of this book as well. I was able to intermingle reading the physical and the audiobook versions of this book and I loved both although I was partial to the audiobook that was narrated by both of the authors and felt to have a podcast feel. So it’s no secret I’m not a huge nonfiction reader but I was excited for this book and it did not disappoint. The authors were able discuss topics from Marvel and DC comics, to being seen as not black enough, to grief, to police violence and more with an informative humor. At times I felt I was being overloaded by random nerd facts and I loved every minute of it. This book was epitome of Black Nerdom and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This collection of pop culture criticism by Evans and Holmon comes from their work on their website Black Nerd Problems. The essays discuss everything from Game of Thrones to Hamilton to anime. The essays are fresh and original and, while they are often funny and irreverent, neither writer shys away from serious topics. Evans coverage of a local comics convention expands into an examination of the violence and oppression Blacks still face while Holmon discusses the ways in which a short-lived NB This collection of pop culture criticism by Evans and Holmon comes from their work on their website Black Nerd Problems. The essays discuss everything from Game of Thrones to Hamilton to anime. The essays are fresh and original and, while they are often funny and irreverent, neither writer shys away from serious topics. Evans coverage of a local comics convention expands into an examination of the violence and oppression Blacks still face while Holmon discusses the ways in which a short-lived NBC sitcom helped him get through his grief over his mother's death. This collection is both entertaining and insightful and shows how important cultural criticism can be. This book was received as a Goodreads giveaway.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Arp

    I received an ARC - I am not a fan of short stories or books of essays. They just don't hold my attention and I rarely connect with the stories because I know they will end as soon as I get into them. This is a me problem and I know that, so I started this book with an open mind. I will admit I skipped one essay because it was about a character I have never liked and never will, so I wasn't going to give them anymore of my time then I have in the past. That said, this is the first essay book I h I received an ARC - I am not a fan of short stories or books of essays. They just don't hold my attention and I rarely connect with the stories because I know they will end as soon as I get into them. This is a me problem and I know that, so I started this book with an open mind. I will admit I skipped one essay because it was about a character I have never liked and never will, so I wasn't going to give them anymore of my time then I have in the past. That said, this is the first essay book I have ever finished. Part of it was because of the nerd in me but most of it was because of the writing and the story telling.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cookie

    DNF at 16% This is a case of "it's not you, it's me." I started listening to this audiobook and I really enjoyed the authors' style and wit. They are enthusiastic and amusing narrators. The topics covered during the 16% I listened to just weren't my cup of tea. They talk about pop culture topics like Spider Man, anime, and Batman, and uses these topics as a backdrop to discuss race and other social issues. Not being a comic fan, I couldn't connect with this comparisons, but I think it's just me! T DNF at 16% This is a case of "it's not you, it's me." I started listening to this audiobook and I really enjoyed the authors' style and wit. They are enthusiastic and amusing narrators. The topics covered during the 16% I listened to just weren't my cup of tea. They talk about pop culture topics like Spider Man, anime, and Batman, and uses these topics as a backdrop to discuss race and other social issues. Not being a comic fan, I couldn't connect with this comparisons, but I think it's just me! Thank you to libro.fm for a free ALC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Funny, insightful, and thought provoking, this book is a thoughtful extension of the website. Challenging stereotypes of nerds and race, this book is a really a deep dive into the many facets of "nerd culture" within the lens of a person of color. It gives a fresh perspective on many pop culture staples. The essay-style stand alone nature of the chapters make it an easily digestible read and has appeal for teen and adult audiences alike. It also shatters the myth that "nerd-culture" is exclusive Funny, insightful, and thought provoking, this book is a thoughtful extension of the website. Challenging stereotypes of nerds and race, this book is a really a deep dive into the many facets of "nerd culture" within the lens of a person of color. It gives a fresh perspective on many pop culture staples. The essay-style stand alone nature of the chapters make it an easily digestible read and has appeal for teen and adult audiences alike. It also shatters the myth that "nerd-culture" is exclusive to one ethnicity.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    DNF for now, but maybe just not in the right mood for this one. The audiobook production also isn't my favorite, sadly. Not the fault of the authors/narrators btw. Listened to a few of the essays with differing levels of interest, as I'm not super familiar with Marvel/DC outside of a few of the film versions, so some of their references/nerd talks go over my head. I do plan to try again at some point. DNF for now, but maybe just not in the right mood for this one. The audiobook production also isn't my favorite, sadly. Not the fault of the authors/narrators btw. Listened to a few of the essays with differing levels of interest, as I'm not super familiar with Marvel/DC outside of a few of the film versions, so some of their references/nerd talks go over my head. I do plan to try again at some point.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Wright

    As a 40-something white nerd it is clear I am not the target audience for this book. (I received a free copy in a Goodreads giveaway) I enjoyed it, and I have enough experience in nerd communities to know it is much needed. It didn't speak to me, but in 2021 not all stuff for nerds needs to be for white nerd cis men, and that's a good thing. As a 40-something white nerd it is clear I am not the target audience for this book. (I received a free copy in a Goodreads giveaway) I enjoyed it, and I have enough experience in nerd communities to know it is much needed. It didn't speak to me, but in 2021 not all stuff for nerds needs to be for white nerd cis men, and that's a good thing.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Funnny

    I got this as part of a giveaway, very grateful. I only read essays that I felt I would understand since I am unfortunately not a Nerd about many of the particular topics covered in great detail so those parts were a bit gibberish to me. But for the parts I had background in I was able to really appreciate.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Zamora Logan

    What an amazing adventure of essays. This book really highlighted Black Nerds everywhere and really left me feeling seen and understood. Although really funny I cant lie it got really deep for me. From Mario Kart to anime to the woes of lie this book is full of heart and a rare jewel in the literary world!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    I'm familiar with their site; found them on FB through articles. Most of these essays aren't new to me, or them, so they weren't ground breaking. But I enjoy that they really enjoyed talking about their interests and being informed and aware of cultural significance. It's nice to see representation in the form of blerds. I'm not one for constant excitability so it took me a little bit to finish. I'm familiar with their site; found them on FB through articles. Most of these essays aren't new to me, or them, so they weren't ground breaking. But I enjoy that they really enjoyed talking about their interests and being informed and aware of cultural significance. It's nice to see representation in the form of blerds. I'm not one for constant excitability so it took me a little bit to finish.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kisha

    BLACK NERD PROBLEMS: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This book is HILARIOUS. Conversational in tone, William Evans and Omar Holmon take us on a black nerd journey. I haven’t felt so seen since Issa Rae’s Awkward Black Girl. NOTE: I was provided an arc in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Thanks NetGalley for the ARC. This is a fun, entertaining, and engaging read. I strongly recommend this one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Enzo Morini

    My summer must read book!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    The audio is super fun!

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