I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Black Nerd Problems by William Evans, Omar Holmon
Narrator: William Evans and Omar Holman
Length: 7 hours 53 minutes
Published by Simon and Schuster on September 14, 2021
Genres: Humor / Form / Essays, Humor / Form / Parodies, Humor / General
Format: ARC, Audiobook, Hardcover
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Bookshop
*A Book Riot Most Anticipated Nonfiction Book of 2021*
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 and The Wire to issues of representation and police brutality across media.
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, from the perspective of #OwnedVoices.
In the years since, Evans and Holmon have built a large, dedicated fanbase eager for their brand of cultural critique, 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 insight and intelligence.
A much needed and fresh pop culture critique from the perspective of people of color, Black Nerd Problems is the ultimate celebration for anyone who loves a blend of social commentary and all things nerdy.
This book was hilarious! The second I saw this book come on NetGalley I immediately requested it and I patiently waited for that little approval email, at which point I let out a whoop! at my desk and scared everyone around me. (Chuckle…sorry, not sorry.) Black Nerd Problems by William Evans and Omar Holmon is an awesome, hilarious commentary on pop culture from the Black perspective.
Comics, movies, TV shows — the authors cover all three categories beautifully. Each essay is short, to the point and funny as all get out. They are written in a style that is very conversational and absolutely in the style of a podcast. Which is why I also recommend the audiobook. The authors take turns writing essays and even team up on a few of them in conversation style pieces.
Blackness, Culture and Insight
I identify as a Xennial (look it up it is a microgeneration before the millennials) so I was familiar with most of the pop culture references in the book. Not anything connected to anime though…I’m not sure I’m going to ever cross that bridge. I love the unique perspectives that each author brings to the topics they discuss. I’m going to be honest, I will not be able to look Simba in the eyes ever again, because I agree with William now. “Yes, I’m still salty about Simba bouncing like that.” And just like William, I will not be able to sit down and watch The Lion King, of which I sang all of the songs and danced around my living room, and think about it the same way after reading the commentary and prompting questions posed in this book. Like baby boy really left Nala and the ladies to fend for themselves while he is out there chillin and eating bugs!
Either way that is just one example of how these two authors bring culture and insight to the table while examining pop culture icons such as Batman, Spiderman, Myra Monkhouse and many others. Each essay is reminiscent of the argument/discussion you might have among friends after viewing or reading something and trying to come to a consensus on a character or a scene. Holmon and Williams are those friends who will point out something you never even thought about before and will probably have you cracking up, mad for a second and then agreeing with them.
A Few of My Favorite Chapters
- “Hamilton and the Case of Historical Fanfics”
- “Black Nerd Crush Blues: Myra Monkhouse Deserved Way Better”
- “Top Five Dead or Alive: Monica Rambeau (Marvel Comics)”
- “Chadwick Boseman’s Wakanda Salute is Canon in the History of Black Language”
Quick Note on the Audiobook
I checked out the Black Nerd Problems audiobook from my local library and listened to part of the book that way. I say part because I was cracking up so bad at one point that I had to turn it off because I was at work. 🤣 My favorite audiobooks are usually the ones that are read by the author or in this case authors.
Quick Note for Those Who Rarely Read Nonfiction
Since this is currently #NonfictionNovember I’m going to do a short PSA for the book lovers who say they don’t like nonfiction. Remember there are a lot of nonfiction books out there that do not require you to read in linear order. This is one of them. Have fun and jump around! Start with a chapter that you are most interested in first. Don’t follow arbitrary rules if they prevent you from reading! I skip around all the time.
About the Authors
Check out their website, https://blacknerdproblems.com/ .