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Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions [Kindle Edition]

Christian Lander
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $8.54
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

They love nothing better than sipping free-trade gourmet coffee, leafing through the Sunday New York Times, and listening to David Sedaris on NPR (ideally all at the same time). Apple products, indie music, food co-ops, and vintage T-shirts make them weak in the knees.

They believe they’re unique, yet somehow they’re all exactly the same, talking about how they “get” Sarah Silverman’s “subversive” comedy and Wes Anderson’s “droll” films. They’re also down with diversity and up on all the best microbrews, breakfast spots, foreign cinema, and authentic sushi. They’re organic, ironic, and do not own TVs.

You know who they are: They’re white people. And they’re here, and you’re gonna have to deal. Fortunately, here’s a book that investigates, explains, and offers advice for finding social success with the Caucasian persuasion. So kick back on your IKEA couch and lose yourself in the ultimate guide to the unbearable whiteness of being.


“The best of a hilarious Web site: an uncannily accurate catalog of dead-on predilections. The Criterion Collection of classic films? Haircuts with bangs? Expensive fruit juice? ‘Blonde on Blonde’ on the iPod? The author knows who reads The New Yorker and who wears plaid.”
–Janet Maslin’s summer picks,

The author of "Stuff White People Like" skewers the sacred cows of lefty Caucasian culture, from the Prius to David Sedaris. . . . It gently mocks the habits and pretensions of urbane, educated, left-leaning whites, skewering their passion for Barack Obama and public transportation (as long as it's not a bus), their idle threats to move to Canada, and joy in playing children's games as adults. Kickball, anyone?”

“A handy reference guide with which you can check just how white you are. Hint: If you like only documentaries and think your child is gifted, you glow in the dark, buddy.”
–NY Daily News

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

There is no doubt that white people love coffee. Yes, it’s true that Asians like iced coffee and people of all races
enjoy a cup. But it is a certainty that the first person at your school to drink coffee was a white person. It was obvious that they didn’t enjoy it, but they did it anyway, until they liked it—like cigarettes.

As white people begin to age, a genuine taste for coffee will emerge. During this time white people
will also develop a self- proclaimed “addiction.” This leads to them saying things like “You do not want to see me
before I get my morning coffee.” White guys will also call it anything but coffee: “rocket fuel,” “java,” “joe,” “black gold,”
and so forth. It’s pretty much garbage all around.

It’s worth noting that where white people buy coffee is almost as important as the drink itself. For the most part, white people love Starbucks, although they will profess to hate how the chain is now a multinational corporation. This hatred is often sublimated by their relief at seeing one in an airport. The best place for white people to drink coffee is at a locally owned coffeeshop that offers many types of drinks, free Wi- Fi, and some sort of message board that is peppered with notices about rooms for rent and bands looking for bass players.

White people are given extra points for buying Fair Trade coffee, because paying the extra $2 means they are making a difference while their peers are drinking liquid oppression.

White people will often say they are “spiritual” but not religious. This usually means that they will believe in any religion that doesn’t involve Jesus. The most popular choices include Buddhism, Hinduism, Kabbalah, and, to a lesser extent, Scientology. A few even dip into Islam, but that’s much rarer, since you have to make real sacrifices and actually go to a mosque.

For the most part, white people prefer religions that produce artifacts and furniture that fit into their home or wardrobe. They are also particularly drawn to religions that do not require a lot of commitment or donations.

When a white person tells you “I’m a Buddhist/Hindu/Kabbalahist,” the best thing to do is ask how they arrived at their religious decision. The story will likely involve a trip to Thailand or a college class on religion.

White people can’t get enough of film festivals, especially Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes. This love can be due to
a number of factors.
Fact #1: 90 percent of white people have taken a film class at some point in their life.
Fact #2: White people like feeling smart without doing work—two hours in a theater is easier than ten hours with a book.
Fact #3: If white people aren’t going backpacking, they generally like to travel with a specific purpose.
Fact #4: 75 percent of white people believe they either have the potential to or will become filmmakers/screenwriters/
directors at some point.
Fact #5: White people hate stuff that is “mainstream”—so they go to film festivals, where they see movies that every other person in their demographic wants to see. It’s a pretty sweet way to rebel.
Fact #6: It is required by white- person law that you publicly declare foreign cinema to be better than Hollywood movies, and on par with indie film.
Fact #7: White people earn credibility by being into films from strange countries: “Oh, you liked Sideways? Yeah, I didn’t see it, I’m really into Serbian film now. They had a great retrospective at the Vancouver Festival.”

Product Details

  • File Size: 2845 KB
  • Print Length: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (August 4, 2008)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0017SYNO8
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,374 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
115 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A day in the life of a very white guy July 14, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My gifted (#16), multilingual (#78) 28 year old son (his mother and I are divorced (#66)) has recently returned from a year of teaching English in Japan (#11, 19, 42, 58, 71, 72,) to attend graduate school (#47 and #81) and he visited me today. We had some freshly brewed gourmet coffee (#1) and ate a couple of $12 sandwiches (#63) while watching several episodes of the Wire (#85). As he left he borrowed some of my Criterion Collection (#106) DVD's of 1950's classic Japanese films (#116). And this was just today!

I thought that this book was hilarious, and I love the sub-title (The Definitive Guide to the Unique Tastes of Millions). Although less than half of the "stuff" applied to me I really got a kick out of it and bought a couple more copies for friends.

Let's clear up one thing though; this was not meant to apply to ALL white people. I have two brothers (both republican, blue collar conservatives) and I would be surprised if even two items on the list applied to them and they lead happy, fulfilled lives (or so they tell me). This book is directed to a certain sub-sect of the white population. We like to think that we are different but many of us are different in the exact same ways. We know who we are and we should be able to laugh at ourselves (#103, Self Deprecating Humor).
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92 of 110 people found the following review helpful
Christian Lander - with some photographic help from his wife Jessica Lander - has succeeded in transforming into book form his blog site STUFF WHITE PEOPLE LIKE and the result is a compendium of 150 idiosyncrasies that mark white people as a groupie well worth 'mocking'. Lander writes so well that his zingers remain on target while providing entertainment for the reader instead of producing a mockery or lambast too personal to continue. The first clue to his universal approach is the subtitle of the book, 'A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions', and if you don't catch the humor in that then much of the book will be lost on you!

After reading some of the 'Stuff' Lander lists we begin to feel the artifice of Lander's thinking; the long list of everyday items, as defined or described by Lander, spreads in comic relief the pretentiousness, the shallow desire to be 'with it', the countless fads we indulge while denying the commonality of those items, and the way 'white people' are perceived by the world at large - both at home and abroad. It has been said that nothing is funnier than reality and this book proves that statement 150 times - with many more thoughts initiated by the book that extend the depth of comedy in the 'unique tastes' we claim. For instance, one favorite thing to discuss is public transportation, heralded as a big city luxury worth expanding into the little cities, but stopping short when the word 'bus' enters the conversation. 'When it comes to the subject it's best to understand that white people do not recognize public transit as a viable option until a subway line is built that runs directly from their house to their work. Until that time, public transportation is a luxury only for New Yorkers and Europeans, sort of like opera.
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57 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous Fun July 2, 2008
Stuff People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions, by Christian Lander, is laugh-out-loud funny. The book jumps right in with 150 things white people like. There are black and white photographs throughout, many of which were taken by his wife. The end of the book has a handy list of the 150 things white people like and a checklist to see what percentage of white you are.

Note: this is not a book about all white Americans, but a book on the white cultural creatives (cc's) (if you know who they are, then you are probably one of them,) that make up over one-third of the population. Many of the defining characteristics of the cc's can be found in the "stuff" Landers writes about, like enjoying the outdoors, organic food, being an environmentalist, caring about education and so on.

Another defining characteristic of the cc's is the belief that they are a unique and authentic bunch--something Landers has too much fun poking at.

There are tips throughout for those seeking to befriend a white person that are hilarious.

The following excerpts will give you a taste of the book:

* Coffee: "For the most part, white people love Starbucks, although they will profess o hate how the chain is now a multi international corporation."

* Organic food: "Because of the balance of global wealth and power, there is a general assumption that white people are pretty shrewd. And for the most part, history has proven this to be true. But white people have one great weakness: organic food."

* Having black friends: " abundance of black fiends (defined in white culture as two) also enables a white person to be the resident expert on African-American issues when there are no black people around.
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74 of 92 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Eventually, The Author Admits It Sucks December 17, 2009
I wasn't offended by this book like many people. I found it entertaining. For about ten entries. Then I realized that the repetition was killing me. Every single entry can be broken down to the same exact formula.

Part One: Title.
Name something that a large subset of yuppies, especially the ones in TriBeCa, SoHo, SoCal, Portland, and Seattle, like. This can be virtually anything, as he points out with bottled water, recycling, music, etc.

Part Two: The Riff.
Spend 4-5 paragraphs mocking this affinity, and how it reflects the needs of white people to simultaneously be different and also the same.

Part Three: Social Advice
Spend 1-2 paragraphs on how you can manipulate this affinity to manipulate and gain advantage over white people.

Repeat. Ad nauseam.

Around Number 105 of this book of 150 entries, the author finally reaches Self-Deprecation. As it turns out, one of the things that white people like most is: Myself--. (Bonus points if you get that joke.) Unfortunately, even the author is afraid to make the joke that white people also seem to like repetition. Perhaps that was 151, and the editors capped it at 150. The world may never know. (Although...I can easily imagine a sequel, MORE Stuff White People Like), that is filled with the same lame formula.

But none of these things were the crucial problem, really. The biggest problem is that this joke is only funny like five or ten times. After twenty times you want to just stop reading most of the entries, unless you come across one that particularly suits you. After another 15-20 in this fashion, you lose interest again, and just start reading the titles.

Best way to enjoy this? Read the website, one entry every few weeks. Saves time, money, and may reamin engaging in this fasion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars So funny, wort it to have your own copy.
This book just tickles me. You can jump to any page for a laugh.
Published 3 days ago by Christina Babnis
3.0 out of 5 stars Without even reading one page of this book but reading ...
Without even reading one page of this book but reading the blog--same tone, same material--I see that what makes this unusual is that there isn't a whole helluva lot that black... Read more
Published 8 days ago by A. C. Sebek
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I now finally understand white culture, thank you!
Published 24 days ago by D-Rizzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Hilarious is the only word I can use to describe this book, perfect to put on a coffee table or in the bathroom for guests to enjoy.
Published 1 month ago by Joseph
5.0 out of 5 stars hilarious.
I almost wet my pants a few times. I am now much more aware of how ridiculous my husband and I are, without even trying.

My interests are slowly changing... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Megpinni
4.0 out of 5 stars Satirical, yet pointed
For over 30 years, ever since the appearance of the "Official Preppie Handbook," there's been a vogue for "field guides" to various segments of the (mostly)... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chrijeff
5.0 out of 5 stars Great laugh!
This book is super funny and witty. Great coffee table book for your home if you have laid back friends and family.
Published 3 months ago by naomi
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny.
Also with a large grain of truth running through it. Very much enjoyed reading it on the beach. Recommend it.
Published 4 months ago by Kate
5.0 out of 5 stars a trip to the belly of the American zeitgeist
There are a few books in life that challenge our understanding of what we think that our society considers itself to be. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Wesley Williams
1.0 out of 5 stars boring
Reading this books get very repetitive after the first 10 chapters. i would not recommend this to any one at all.
Published 4 months ago by Kelvin Lopez
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More 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.

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