- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Hardie Grant Books (1 Oct. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1740667026
- ISBN-13: 978-1740667029
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.8 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 716,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Stuff White People Like Paperback – 1 Oct 2009
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About the Author
CHRISTIAN LANDER is the creator of the website Stuff White People Like. He is a Ph.D. dropout who was the 2006 public speaking instructor of the year at Indiana University. He has lived in Toronto, Montreal, Copenhagen, Tucson, Indiana, and now Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife, Jess, a photographer who contributed many of the photos in the book.
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Top Customer Reviews
In a desperate bid to appear ecologically worldly wise and creatively individual, white upper middle class people all buy the exact same expensive stuff. It makes for a unsettling read as it lists all the stuff I love. I know the middle class are an easy target for satire but this book does it in a funny and thought provoking way.
Self congratulation, gentrification, white assimilation and division, and middle class guilt are all touched upon by the excellent choice of items.
Many of the reviews on the American web site claim this book is racist and devisive but they are really overeacting and miss the point (plus any book that can devide opinion and create debate is fine by me)
This is an American book so some of the brand names and companies will be unfamiliar but you can easily substitute English versions, plus everything is becoming Americanised anyway thanks to globalization.
For me this book punctures pomposity, piousness and elitism in a deadly accurate but ironically light hearted way. If you're looking for a present for the gently self loathing, irony loving person in your life, this is the book to buy (just make sure they read it on full view whilst drinking ultra expensive fair trade coffee in a Shoreditch coffee shop!)
It's a list of 150 different things, in no particular order, ranging from to Difficult Breakups to Barack Obama to Singer-Songwriters to Farmers Markets to Apple products to Snowboarding. Each item gets between one and two pages, that try to amusingly explain why and in what way white people like it.
At best, it does hit the mark and is really a biting satire on the white stereotype. The section on "Awareness", for example, is spot on: "once you raise awareness to an acceptable level you can just back off and say, 'bam! did my part. now it's your turn. fix it'". The bits about how and why white people love acoustic cover versions of hip-hop songs, seem fairly fresh and witty.
However, those are in the minority. Too often, Christian Lander is guilty of extreme glibness, and seems to be out to prove what a successful white person he is, by having an experience or opinion worth writing about on each of these items, not just from having experienced them but also from having friends who've had lesser success. Coupled with some photographs of the author during the book, the whole thing suffers from self-importance (self-importance, incidentally, is #149).
And, critically, a lot of the writing is not actually that funny. I was reaching the point where if I'd read the phrase "white people just can't get enough of it!" one more time I was going to throw the book out of the window in disgust. There are flashes of wit, but not nearly enough of them.Read more ›
Diversity made me fall out of my wheelchair chuckling with mirth, so VERY true. And as for the page titled "having Black friends" well my friend had to practically resusitate me. I smiled when I read about Dogs, guilty as charged, I love dogs, I get that I suspect from my English (and white) mother, my Indian father has grown to tolerate us having dogs in our house but he isn't a fan the way we are. The "How White Are You?" at the end of the book sounds offensive, but actually it isn't. It makes a point that I think a lot of people don't get. Having read some of the other reviews I can see that a lot of people are offended by this book.
Would they be offended by a book called Stuff Black People Like? Somehow I doubt it. It would probably be looked at as some sort of seminal book on ethnicity that needed to be read from cover to cover and discussed in coffee shops, whilst contemplating a change of religion and looking at diversity as the new "way forward" but only if it means a change of menu.
Mr Lander you have opened a can of worms. I trust you will open another can and write another book, possibly titled, "More Stuff White People Like."
My favourite entries:
* Black Music that Black People Don't Listen to Anymore
* Self Aware Hip Hop References
* Bad Memories of High School
* Hating Corporations
* Knowing What's Best for Poor People
* Making you feel bad about not going outside
I saw Christian Lander give a talk about this at LSE a couple of years ago and he was very engaging. Brilliant stuff!
A few of the reviewers have mentioned that it is very American-centric. There is a British version of the website, which is very good too (with entries on The Guardian, misanthropy, Stewart Lee, etc): stuffwhitebritslike.co.uk
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book literally is just a list of things the author believes whitr people like. It's like a comedy sketch that goes on and on and on - despite no one laughing at it into begin... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
gave this to my mate as a joke and she loved it - some good laughs in it
came in perfect condition also, great gift idea
It is a really funny book. You should search for the video from the author in case you have any questions about buying this book.
Some items hit too close to home!
Funny and insightful, although some parts of it are irrelevant to me as a non-American. Also, I realised that I am not 'white' enough for the amount of white parentage I have, must... Read morePublished on 3 Jun. 2013 by Naomi J
Having read this book, I'm left somewhat confused as to who the intended audience is. Presumably, being one of the `smug white people' I should recognise and have a good hard laugh... Read morePublished on 24 Nov. 2011 by Sarah Durston
I detest this book. I ordered it thinking it would be an amusing commentary on "white folk" (a bit like Kate Fox's wonderful book 'Watching the English' Watching the English: The... Read morePublished on 18 Dec. 2010 by C. Robson
My first fear when reading this book was it was a throw back to the 50's and this was going to be some horrible redneck racist handguide. Its not raceist.......... Read morePublished on 9 Nov. 2010 by Micky Donovan