John Hodgman

Everyone’s favorite Mac pitchman and The Daily Show guest started out in book publishing. In a volume whose pagination begins where The Areas of My Experience left off, his new More Information Than You Require (Dutton, $25) allows John Hodgman to indulge his love for footnotes, text boxes, tables, oversize print, the occasional chart and timeline, and sundry historical arcana. All of which, of course, is completely fatuous and informed by Hodgman’s love of almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and Irving Wallace’s The Book of Lists—the latter having apparently been a ’70s childhood consolation for a lonely, studious kid who, you know how it goes, was always picked last for sports teams. But payback is sweet for nerds. Hodgman has become a nerd-celeb on par with his buddies Jon Stewart and Sarah Vowell. In addition to his obsession here with mole-men, sextants, zeppelins, Battlestar Galactica, Emo Phillips, hoboes, etc., there are biographical insights about his newfound yet awkward status as media darling. Conveniently, he’s grouped them into a chapter, How to Be Famous, in which he struggles with the etiquette of meeting Jerry Stiller and Justin Timberlake (don’t say “Good morning”), the indignity of being Gawker-Stalked on the subway (don’t wear brown jeans), and the pandemonium he accidentally causes at the SoHo Apple store while shopping for a computer cable. At that moment, Hodgman realizes, “I am like a mascot walking around a theme park.” Fellow Yalie and recovering Whiffenpoof Jonathan Coulton opens with clever songs. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 624-6600, www.elliottbaybook.com. $5. $7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Thu., Nov. 6, 7:30 p.m., 2008

 
comments powered by Disqus