This book by Benjamin Nugent -- no relation to Ted -- looks like a real winner. I haven't read it yet, but a review described it as an exploration of nerd images, trends, and culture. And that sounds pretty cool to me.
Here's the author from an interview at Salon.com:
"I wanted to find out what makes someone nerdy in the eyes of their peers, and also what compels them to keep doing the nerdy activities: what they get out of it, what urges it fulfills, whether it was a voluntary decision for them to be nerds, or whether it was foisted upon them. I wanted to give the reader a window into the heads of nerds, and into the heads of people who hate nerds."
I am not sure if I am a nerd or not. Or if I have ever been one. But I have some dear friends who are unquestionably nerdy. I want to read this book so I can out-nerd them. If you know more than nerds about the culture and history of nerds, what does that make you?