Best Books, Education, Fiction, Nonfiction, Science & Nature, Science Fiction

The 35 Best Books For Geeks & Nerds

December 10, 2015

“What are the best Geek and Nerd books?” We looked at 15 articles and 212 different books in an attempt to answer that very question. Below you will find our results of the 35 best books for geeks and nerds of all-time. Click here to see the methodology used.

The Type of Intro Paragraph That can be Found in a “Best Books for Geeks/Nerds” listicle:

Have you ever seen and enjoyed a superhero movie? You’re probably a nerd! Have you ever spent a minor amount of time reading or learning about a subject that’s a single tier below mainstream? You’re a Geek! Can you name more than two characters from Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, or Star Trek? ‘Ring ring‘ “Hello who is it?” It’s you, you big freaking nerd!!! Did you grow up being harassed for your obsession with little liked subject matters? Get outta here weirdo, this list is for Geeks and nerds only!

What can be found in Nerd Book Lists
  • Broad definitions for what constitutes a “geek” or a “nerd”
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Computers
The 35 Top Books For Geeks & Nerds (In ascending Order)

Number of lists consulted: 15
Number of individual Books: 212 (See bottom of page for full list)



35.) Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell

Appeared On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

Code Complete by Steve McConnell


34.) Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Appeared On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson


33.) Does IT Matter? by Nicholas G. Carr

Appeared On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

Does IT Matter?- Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage by Nicholas Carr


32.) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


31.) The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Appeared On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

Harry Potter Boxset (Harry Potter #1-7) by J.K. Rowling


30.) Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Hatching Twitter- A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton


29.) His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

Appeared On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3) by Philip Pullman


28.) If On A Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino

Appeared On: 2 Lists
Buy

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino, William Weaver (Translator)


27.) Microserfs by Doug Coupland

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Microserfs by Douglas Coupland


26.) Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan

Appeared On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore #1) by Robin Sloan


25.) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


24.) Showstopper! The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft by G. Pascal Zachary

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Showstopper! the Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft by G. Pascal Zachary, Pascal G. Zachary


23.) The Cuckoo’s Egg by Cliff Stoll

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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The Cuckoo's Egg- Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage by Clifford Stoll


22.) The Google Story by David Vise, Mark Malseed

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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The Google Story- Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our Time by David A. Vise


21.) The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering by Frederick P. Brooks

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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The Mythical Man-Month- Essays on Software Engineering by Frederick P. Brooks Jr.


20.) The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy

Appeared On: 2 Lists
Learn more about title

The Perfect Thing- How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy


19.) The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder


18.) The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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The Time Machine by H.G. Wells,


17.) The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte


16.) Watchmen By Alan Moore

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Watchmen (Watchmen Complete) by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons (Illustrator:Letterer), John Higgins (Colorist)


15.) Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

Appeared On: 2 Lists
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Wikinomics- How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams


14.) Brave New World By Aldous Huxley

Appeared On: 3 Lists
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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


13.) Ender’s Game By Orson Scott Card

Appeared On: 3 Lists
Learn more about title

Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet #1) by Orson Scott Card


12.) GÖDEL, ESCHER, BACH By Douglas Hofstadter

Appeared On: 3 Lists
Learn more about title

Gödel, Escher, Bach- An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter


11.) iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It by Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith

Appeared On: 3 Lists
Learn more about title

iWoz- Computer Geek to Cult Icon- How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It by Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith


10.) Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

Appeared On: 3 Lists
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Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein


9.) 1984 by George Orwell

Appeared On: 4 Lists
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1984 by George Orwell



8.) A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Appeared On: 4 Lists
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A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking


7.) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Appeared On: 4 Lists
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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Blade Runner #1) by Philip K. Dick


6.) Dune By Frank Herbert

Appeared On: 4 Lists
Learn more about title

Dune (Dune Chronicles #1) by Frank Herbert


5.) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolken

Appeared On: 4 Lists
Learn more about title

The Lord of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings #1-3) by J.R.R. Tolkien


4.) I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

Appeared On: 5 Lists
Learn more about title

I, Robot (Robot 0.1) by Isaac Asimov


3.) Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Appeared On: 5 Lists
Learn more about title

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson


2.) The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Appeared On: 6 Lists
Learn more about title

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1) by Douglas Adams

 


1.) Neuromancer by William Gibson

Appeared On: 6 Lists
Learn more about title

Neuromancer (Sprawl #1) by William Gibson

 



The 179 Other Nerd / Geek Books That Appear in Only a Single Article 
  • 1632
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • A Wrinkle in Time | Madeleine L’Engle
  • Absolutely Positively by Jayne Ann Krentz
  • Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure, by Tim Harford
  • ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS DUNGEON MASTER’S GUIDE By Gary Gygax
  • ALEX THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS, ALEX BELLOS
  • All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
  • Alone Together, by Sherry Turkle
  • Amber series
  • American Gods
  • AN ASTRONAUT’S GUIDE TO LIFE ON EARTH, CHRIS HADFIELD
  • Anathem
  • ANOTHER GREAT DAY AT SEA, GEOFF DYER
  • Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
  • Armada by Ernest Cline
  • Astonishing X-Men by Marjorie Liu
  • Atlas Shrugged
  • Babel-17 by Samuel Delany
  • Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think,” Andy Oram
  • Beautiful Secret by Christina Lauren
  • Beowulf
  • BEYOND: EDWARD SNOWDEN
  • Bibliotopia: Or, Mr. Gilbar’s Book Of Books & Catch-All Of Literary Facts & Curiosities, Steven Gilbar
  • Books: A Memoir, Larry McMurtry
  • CAPITAL, THOMAS PIKETTY
  • Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold
  • Cat’s Cradle | Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  • Cathedral and the Bazaar,” Eric S. Raymond
  • Character Strengths & Virtues, by C. Peterson & M. Seligman
  • Childhood’s End | Arthur C. Clarke
  • Code: Version 2.0,” Lawrence Lessig
  • Command and Control, Eric Schlosser
  • CONNECTING NOTHING WITH SOMETHING
  • Contact
  • Copenhagen by Michael Frayn
  • COSMOS By Carl Sagan
  • Crypto,” Steven Levy
  • CUBED: A SECRET HISTORY OF THE WORKPLACE, NIKIL SAVAL
  • Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age,” Michael A. Hiltzik
  • Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software,” Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John M.
    Vlissides
  • Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability,” Steve Krug
  • End Malaria, edited by Michael Bungay Stanier
  • Ender’s Shadow, Orson Scott Card
  • Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (Alfred Lansing, 1959)
  • Everything Bad Is Good for You
  • Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, Anne Fadiman
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Fairy Tale Interrupted, Rosemary Terenzio
  • Flatland,” Edwin A. Abbott
  • Foundation
  • Getting Things Done,” David Allen
  • Getting to Plan B, John Mullins and Randy Komisar
  • Glyph by Percival Everett
  • Grendel (John Gardner, 1971)
  • Gut Feelings,” Gerd Gigerenzer
  • Hackers Authors: Steven Levy, Steven Levy
  • Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age,” Paul Graham
  • Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
  • Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire,” Jim Erickson
  • House of Leaves | Mark Z. Danielewski
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  • I AM PILGRIM, TERRY HAYES
  • I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream (Harlan Ellison, 1967)
  • iCon,” Jeffrey S. Young and William L. Simon
  • If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor
  • In the Beginning was the Command Line,” Neal Stephenson
  • Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, by David Eagleman
  • Into the Wild (John Krakauer, 1996)
  • Johnny Got His Gun (Dalton Trumbo, 1939)
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • Kindred by Octavia Butler
  • LEAVING THE SEA, BEN MARCUS
  • Lila
  • Little, Big
  • Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time,” Dava Sobel
  • Lord Loss by Darren Shan
  • Magician: Apprentice
  • Magician: Master
  • Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner
  • Montano’s Malady by Enrique Vila-Matas
  • MR MERCEDES, STEPHEN KING
  • Old Man’s War Series by John Scalzi
  • On Intelligence,” Jeff Hawkins
  • On The Edge: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore Author: Brian Bagnall
  • PARASITES LIKE US, ADAM JOHNSON
  • Phantoms On the Bookshelves, Jacques Bonnet
  • Predictably Irrational
  • Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry into the Limits of the Possible
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
  • reaming in Code,” Scott Rosenberg
  • Revelation Space
  • Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made,” Andy Hertzfeld
  • Ringworld
  • Rise of the Billionaire by Ruth Cardello
  • ROCK STARS STOLE MY LIFE
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer, Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
  • Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton
  • Shadows Over Innsmouth
  • She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen
  • Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson
  • Skin Game (a novel of the Dresden Files), Jim Butcher
  • SKINJOB, BRUCE MCCABE
  • Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life, Alice Schroeder
  • SOLO, WILLIAM BOYD
  • Starship Troopers
  • SURELY YOU’RE JOKING, MR. FEYNMAN! By Richard Feynman
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay By Michael Chabon
  • THE BEES, LALINE PAULL
  • The Big Sleep (or, really, any Raymond Chandler, any Mickey Spillane, any Dashiell Hammit…you get the idea)
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
  • The Call of Cthulhu
  • The Catcher in the Rye | J.D. Salinger
  • The City & The City
  • The Cluetrain Manifesto
  • The Code Book,” Simon Singh
  • The Compass of Pleasure, by David J. Linden
  • The Day of the Triffids
  • The Dilbert Principle
  • The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddartha Mukherjee
  • The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
  • The Entire and the Rose, Kay Kenyon
  • The Evolution of Useful Things,” Henry Petroski
  • The Eyre Affair (Jasper Fford, 2001)
  • The Forever War
  • The Fountainhead
  • The Future of Ideas,” Lawrence Lessig
  • The Geek Atlas
  • The Ghost Brigades
  • THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, M.R. CAREY
  • The Hainish Cycle by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • The Illustrated Man
  • The Innovators, Walter Isaacson
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  • The Long Tail,” Chris Anderson
  • The Magician’s Land, Lev Grossman
  • The Man Who Loved Books Too Much, Allison Hoover Bartlett
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco, 1980)
  • The Non-Designer’s Design Book,” Robin Williams
  • The oldest D&D handbook you can get a hold of (Gary Gygax, 1974, for example)
  • THE PAPER TRAIL: AN UNEXPECTED HISTORY OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST INVENTION, ALEXANDER MONRO
  • The Peripheral, William Gibson
  • The Polysyllabic Spree: A Hilarious and True Account of One Man’s Struggle With the Monthly Tide of the Books He’s Bought
    and the Books He’s Been Meaning to Read, Nick Hornby
  • The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master,” Andrew Hunt, David Thomas
  • The Progress Principle, by Teresa Amabile & Steven Kramer
  • The Road Ahead
  • The Second Coming of Steve Jobs Author: Alan Deutschman
  • The Serpentwar Saga: Book I
  • The Serpentwar Saga: Book II
  • The Serpentwar Saga: Book III
  • The Serpentwar Saga: Book IIII
  • The Shallows, by Nicholas Carr
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology,” Ray Kurzweil
  • The Sword of Shannara
  • The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden
  • The Ultimate History of Video Games Author: Steven L. Kent
  • The Unwritten by Mike Carey & Peter Gross
  • THE VIOLENT CENTURY, LAVIE TIDHAR
  • The War of the Worlds
  • The Wisdom of Crowds,” James Surowiecki
  • Tog on Interface,” Bruce Tognazzini
  • Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better,” Gina Trapani
  • User Interface Design for Programmers,” Joel Spolsky
  • WHAT I’D SAY TO THE MARTIANS, JACK HANDEY
  • What is Life? by Erwin Schroedinger
  • What Technology Wants, by Kevin Kelly
  • Where Good Ideas Come From, by Steven Johnson
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Where Wizards Stay Up Late,” Hafner and Lyon
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
  • You by Austin Grossman
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Article Sources Arranged by Publish Date

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