Book Review: Nerdy Thirty by Wendy Townley

by Notorious Spinks on 04.07.2011


Feeling a little nerdy? Then you’re in the right place. Nerdy Thirty is a collection of thirteen humorous essays that recount personal experiences from one woman’s childhood, her painfully awkward teen years, college and those leading up to the big three-oh (no!). After turning thirty and looking back at her life, Wendy Townley found herself in countless awkward and cringe-worthy situations, many of which she’s able to laugh about now: camping for the first time; meeting pop-star Jessica Simpson; surviving a Nebraska rodeo; and being mistaken for a lesbian. The more she dissected these situations – oftentimes over one too many cocktails – she thankfully arrived at one conclusion: “I shall forever remain a nerd.” Born and bred in the urban donut hole of Omaha, Nebraska, Townley’s perspective is anything but cornfields and cows. She is just now learning to cook, does not do yard work, has an unhealthy preoccupation with paper and is often mistaken for a Hipster.


I was really looking to love this book.  Duh… I’m a “Nerdy Thirty!”  I’m not ashamed of my nerdiness.  I embrace it and all that comes with it.

When I started Nerdy Thirty there was a pretty constant pace.  I often times would laugh out loud or smirk but then something happened.   I loved when Wendy went into detail about her first experience at a rodeo.  She even gave a history lesson about the rodeo for us history buffs.  But then…  By the time I got to page 34 I felt like she was rambling.  I instantly felt like, “Honey get on with now!”  But after that things just weren’t the same for me.

This book was full of hits and misses for me.  Sometimes I liked the essays and at other times I couldn’t wait to get to the last page (97 pages).

Then I was done…and I made my notes.  After reading books I always write my lasting thoughts.  So here goes (exactly what I wrote), “went from funny to okay to girl what’s your point?”  I felt like the delivery was just …

However she did take me back down memory lane as she reminisced about our addictive days of AOL chat, Delia’s catalog’s and Claire’s.  Although we came from different backgrounds we enjoyed some of the same things as young girls.  Things like that make me smile.  We are all the same in some way or the other.

One last thing that baffled me was:

He joked about getting me into a cowboy hat just once that weekend, and he succeeded.  Knowing my love for the color purple (the hue, not the movie), he made a beeline for one of vendors.  He plucked a purple cowboy hat from the shelf and placed it atop my head.

Is it just me… why did she say, “the hue, not the movie.”  Really!  What was the reason for pointing that out… Did it mean she didn’t like the movie or did she think the reader would be confused?

All-in-all this book was okay.  It started off interesting but it didn’t keep me the entire time.

Disclaimer:  I received this book from the publisher for review.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Literary Marie April 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I think the author felt it was important to clarify she’s referring to the actual color purple and not the movie. Although, readers should pick that up from the context of the sentence.

I consider myself a Nerdy Thirty, but will pass.


Notorious Spinks April 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm

But it wasn’t in all caps to even remotely refer to the movie. I think it was better left alone.


Naturally Alise April 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Ooooh, I’m gonna have to check this out, right up my alley!


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