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Whiter Shades of Pale: The Stuff White People Like, Coast to Coast, from Seattle's Sweaters to Maine's Microbrews

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  996 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
HOW WHITE YOU ARE!

If you thought you had white people pegged as Oscar-party-throwing, Prius-driving, Sunday New York Times–reading, self-satisfied latte lovers—you were right. But if you thought diversity was just for other races, then hang on to your eco-friendly tote bags. Veteran white person Christian Lander is back with fascinating new information and advice on deal
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 23rd 2010 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,750)
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Cait • A Page With a View
Apr 02, 2016 Cait • A Page With a View rated it it was amazing
I don't know if I want to hate this book or love it because it's so scarily accurate. Excuse me while I go reevaluate my life.
Todd N
Jan 01, 2011 Todd N rated it liked it
Multiple choice:

1. After dinner conversation topics for upper-middle-class strivers once the help is safely out of earshot.

2. Bullshit masquerading as self-awareness because it's so much easier to face than the real underlying social anxiety about race and class that has been building for a couple of decades now.

3. The emperor's new irony.

Would it violate the rules of this mental game of hipster doofus dodgeball to start with the implied obverse that Non-white people don't like X and riff on tha
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Will
Jun 25, 2011 Will rated it it was ok
At some point, "Stuff White People Like" is stuff white people like. The fact that the joke is meta and clearly indicates a superior kind of white person isn't sufficient to outweigh the problem that the book really isn't all that funny.

Pointing out Trader Joe and IKEA as things that white people like, for example. This has been done. By everyone. For all time. It's so old you couldn't give it away.

Hummus. White people like hummus. And whole wheat bread. There's nothing you couldn't say white pe
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notgettingenough
Dec 04, 2011 notgettingenough rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, sociology
These books are hilarious and really, the most hilarious thing about them is that white people think they are hilarious. Why is that?

I mean, it's all true. But why doesn't that mean that white people DON'T find it funny?????!

Read this morning:



To fully understand why white poeple love [Adult Swim] so much you have to understand the world of 'under-ground animation,' which is something that has been beloved by white people since Fritz the Cat. The more hard-core white people (single white men) w
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Mike Noyes
Nov 28, 2010 Mike Noyes rated it really liked it
First, I got this through the goodreads First Reads giveaway. thanks!

Second, I've never been to the SWPL website, or read the first book, so all my thoughts are based solely on this book.

To start, this is a pretty damn funny book. It takes a lot to make me laugh out loud while reading and I did so several times throughout. Also, there were several times when I felt the need to read sections aloud to friends which a very rarely do. Over all this is a silly fun book and also a very quick read.

The
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Kurt
Jul 23, 2011 Kurt rated it it was amazing
There is, at its core, only one real joke here: overeducated, organic, NPR-listening, insecure white people are worthy of mockery. That joke, though, never stops being funny as Lander pokes at it from dozens of angles over the course of the book. Some of the articles hint at honest concerns for potentially self-destructive behavior (Raw Milk and Not Vaccinating Your Children, among others), but most of the articles are light and silly (Girls With Bangs, Sea Salt, and Ugly Sweater Parties are amo ...more
EZRead eBookstore
Jan 26, 2011 EZRead eBookstore rated it it was ok
Shelves: jenifer-reviews
“Whiter Shades of Pale” continues the internet legacy of featuring all of the kooky and nutty things “white” Americans (and Canadians) enjoy. The blog writers select something trending or vaguely alt for city dwellers, like Trader Joe’s, and then writes a 500-word paragraph describing it. Unfortunately, they are really just describing it. Like, they’ll say, “Trader Joe’s is a grocery store that sells inexpensive wine to environmentally-conscious shoppers who bring their own bags.” HA HA HA HA HA ...more
Greg
Nov 05, 2010 Greg rated it really liked it
Stuff White People Like was one of the first big blog-to-book phenomenons, and two years later, Whiter Shades of Pale is no less hilarious. This time the focus is more on the geography of whiteness, mainly with 24 dead-on line drawings that depict the prototypical white person from each city/region with callouts of the accessories and icons that make them so...Caucasian (Seattle guy drinking coffee: "NOT Starbucks. This is some next generation coffee that you can’t even begin to understand right ...more
Adam Bricker
Nov 22, 2010 Adam Bricker rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Disclaimer: I read this book as part of the Goodreads first reads program.

This is one of those funny because it's true things. I recognized all but five of the attributes in myself or my friends. Be prepared to laugh at yourself...if you have no sense of humor about yourself or the ability to be self-deprecating then you might want to skip this read.

It's a pretty quick read in general, but if you just want a quick overview check out the drawings/descriptions because they are hilarious and spot o
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Nikki
Jan 20, 2011 Nikki rated it really liked it
It's funny 'cause it's true.

"Under no circumstances, should you imply that white people purchased their sunglasses because of celebrities that are not dead or because they saw them on other white people they think are cool. This will make them very upset as white people need to believe that they cannot be persuaded to buy anything. Saying something like “man, it’s pretty amazing how 65 people at this outdoor concert all decided to get their sunglasses at exactly the same time,” should only be di
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Brittany
Mar 20, 2012 Brittany rated it liked it
Recommends it for: White people. Ironically.
How I Came To Read This Book: The boyfriend owned the original [BOOK: Stuff White People Like] and finally got around to reading it, which inspired me to pick up the second one from the library.

The Plot: Technically speaking, this book is the same concept as the first one - short, non-fiction humorous essays on 'white culture' and how you, presumably as a non-white reader, can befriend a white person or identify with 'white' interests / hobbies / preferences, etc. Think of it as a tongue-in-chee
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Jonathan
Dec 27, 2010 Jonathan rated it liked it
As with any good sendup, this book and author harbor a not-so-secret affinity for the subject of its spite/barbs.

I laughed a couple times, probably; I chuckled a few times; and I smiled a lot. I was never offended (well, duh).

A good format in starting chapters with drawings of (white) people from various cities in the U.S. and Canada, spotlighting key attire and possessions that those folks prefer. Right on in a lot of cases. What to say? People are predictable. A lot of stereotypes are flat-out
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Kevin Summers
Mar 24, 2014 Kevin Summers rated it really liked it
Some people don't find this book to be funny because it supposedly points out the obvious, but parts of the book do seem to have a seriously critical tone that goes beyond just a good laugh. Other parts are just plain funny.

Sample quote: "When it comes to hiring a nanny, there are a lot of rules. White nannies are generally seen as problematic. ... [W]ith white nannies comes the fear that they will abandon the children if they find something better to do. This last fear is especially pronounced
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Harris
Oct 29, 2012 Harris rated it it was ok
More of the same, this time with the added bonus of stereotypically drawn vignettes of various "white" cities in the US and Canada; looking at it through the lens of Colin Woodard's book American Nations, is interesting, though. Using his concept of the eleven rival regions of North America paints Lander's ideas in a new light; more than half (12) of the 21 specific North American cities profiled are found in just three "nations," Yankeedom (i.e., Boston, Minneapolis), New Amsterdam (Brooklyn), ...more
Matt Lydon
Jan 04, 2015 Matt Lydon rated it liked it
Shelves: library-borrows
I'm a white guy, I like this stuff, and both laughed out loud at this and groaned about how ridiculous and insulting we generally are.

I think if anyone has trouble accepting white privilege, they can start here with the gentle ribbing of Christian Lander and then move on with more direct and honest criticism later.

Still, not bad for a laugh.
Kate
Jun 02, 2015 Kate rated it liked it
Recommends it for: the pigmentally challenged
Recommended to Kate by: that guy's studio at WEST
"A spouse with a good grasp of literature is a bit like a bicycle helmet--it's probably not very attractive, but it's great to have in emergencies."

"Being thought of as pretentious by people who are already pretentious is pretty awful. It's like a group of very smelly people giving you a stick of deodorant for your birthday."
Justin
May 06, 2011 Justin rated it really liked it
Those familiar with the first book might think that Christian Lander simply hammered out some new entries, updated a few old ones, and added some illustrations to his blog-turned-book "Stuff White People Like," so he could get a second payday. Well...you'd be right. But the good news is, the material is just as biting and hilarious. Anyone reading this book is likely to cringe and identify with one or 57 entries. The true question is whether we "white people," i.e., yuppies are able to laugh at ...more
Tracy
Mar 26, 2011 Tracy rated it really liked it
This book is funny and similar to the website, but there is not enough new information to justify more than picking it up from the library for a skim. It talks about all of the White People Places and intersperses them with reruns from the website. It does not hide that it is doing this and most of the old material directly relates to the place (i.e. a place where fixed gear bikes are a must includes the fixed gear bike post from the website). White people places include everywhere in the US you ...more
Gail
Dec 01, 2010 Gail rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. In fact, I breezed through it in a few days. I liked the way the chapters were arranged according to locale and covered most of the regional "Caucasian population". The author was concise and clear in his hilarious descriptions of "white people". Anybody reading this book will recognize themselves or somebody they know. It was entertaining and funny and it made me laugh. The author managed to make fun of "white people" all across the US and more in a very amus ...more
La'Tonya Rease Miles
Not as funny or as insightful as the first book, but still an important contributor to White Studies. The discussion of Barack Obama as the first true "white president" (he drives a hybrid and attended an Ivy League college)? Brilliant.
cristina g. dowdle
Apr 09, 2016 cristina g. dowdle rated it it was amazing
Awesome follow up. I live in Germany so the European critiques are spot on! I love you Mr. Lander.
Therese Gilardi
Jan 23, 2015 Therese Gilardi rated it it was amazing
This guy is hilarious. From ugly sweater parties to shopping at Trader Joe's he will keep you laughing.
Elizabeth
Dec 22, 2010 Elizabeth rated it liked it
I laughed aloud quite a bit while reading this book -- which is something that I'm quite fond of. I definitely agreed and appreciated most of what was written in here, while there were quite a few things that either mildly offended me or I just didn't agree with at all (which, in retrospect, is pretty white of me to say).

I also really loved the pictures and descriptions of people according to city. Although, the one for "Boston" was completely inaccurate, and was a better fit for Boston tourist
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Hina
Jul 26, 2015 Hina rated it really liked it
Not as funny as the first one, but still pretty good! Worth a read for sure!
Tom Goulter
Where the first book had an anthropologist's detached bemusement, this one chides its subjects for not making enough money or "contributing to society," which is pretty dominant hegemonic power-paradigm of it, something white people love both to do and to accuse others of doing. The result is a somewhat meaner, cattier work that's closer in tone both to its many short-lived, inferior imitators, and to what horrified Wrong Kind Of White People have always imagined SWPL must be like. But then I'm ...more
Theresa Milstein
Feb 21, 2011 Theresa Milstein rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It's rare for a humorous book to really be that funny and make me laugh out loud. This one did. It's also rare for a sequel to be just as good as the first one. This one didn't disappoint.

I saw the first book Stuff White People Like in a gift store. After laughing as I flipped the pages, I bought it. When I saw this book had come out, I bought it without high expectations. But it was definitely worth reading.

If the book isn't reminding me of me, making me laugh at myself, it's pointing out peop
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Laura
Jun 02, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
I did not read the first one but my brother who rarely reads thought it was hilarious and pretty much forced me to read through this one. Some points it made me smile thinking how fondly I fit the stereotypical white person, some things I didn't even know about like the really old tomatoes and some sections I just skipped over because they were boring. It's like a guidebook. It reminded me a lot of the Hipster Handbook. Except the illustrations were really poorly done. It even mentioned hipster, ...more
Scott
Jan 04, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it
Pretty clever and witty. Finished it in a very short time.
Stephanie
Jun 27, 2014 Stephanie rated it liked it
Meaner-spirited and less funny than the original.
Brandon Bellinghausen
Jun 26, 2016 Brandon Bellinghausen rated it really liked it
We like this stuff too!
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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.

More about Christian Lander...

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“If you look into the footnotes of the business model for Apple Computer you'll see that they actually give the computers away for free; they just charge for the inflated sense of self-worth.” 8 likes
“For white people, nothing makes them appreciate the gift of life more than voluntarily trying to end it.” 4 likes
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