Nerd Candy is exactly what it sounds like – little tidbits that are sweet and addictive to the passionately intellectual (some might call it nerdy) mind. Sometimes, Nerd Candy posts are short blurbs about the quirkier aspects of my favorite topics; other times, they’re longer posts that don’t really fit into any of my usual major subject areas. All together, they represent a nice cross-section of my varied interests. Sample from the entire Nerd Candy category or simply enjoy the tastiest pieces below. Recently, I’ve been sharing the smallest and sweetest chunks of Nerd Candy on my Facebook page, too.

  • Doodles in Medieval Manuscripts. I’m generally against writing in books, but I’m willing to make an exception when the doodles themselves are several hundred years old. Medieval manuscripts are one of my first and best historical interests, and I love to think that studying these medieval doodles can give us new insights into how books were produced and used in the Middle Ages.
  • I Want to Be a Tokienologist – my review of David Day’s The World of Tolkien: Mythological Sources of the Lord of the Rings. Anything to do with Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is the ultimate Nerd Candy, at least in my opinion. I received this book about the historical, literary, and mythological underpinnings of Middle Earth for Christmas last year. I loved it so much that I have since added the histories of myths and legends to my list of most interesting topics.
  • Lost Languages and Conversations About Them. As a big fan of mysteries, I really enjoy reading about lost languages and un-deciphered scripts, such as the Rongorongo glyphs of Easter Island, Linear A, and the Indus Valley script, and the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics, Linear B, and Mayan glyphs. As it turns out, carrying around a big book entitled Lost Languages for several weeks attracts a lot of attention and interesting comments. In this post, I both recommend an excellent book and give amusing insights into the conversations it generated in a series of public places.
  • Medieval Graffiti is Like Candy to this Researcher. Graffiti scrawled into church walls is of one the newest areas of medieval scholarship. In this short post, I explain why I’m fascinated by medieval graffiti, and hopefully you will be, too. This is also obviously the post were I first came up with the idea of Nerd Candy.