White Annotated Biography :: from Stuff White People Like, the book

Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius “Honestly, I’m not afraid to call this the book of our generation. He captures all that we are and aspire to be.”

Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated “The book is incredible. The accented English literally jumps off the page and demands to be read out loud.”

Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay “His first book was good, but I think he really comes into his own as an author with this novel. It does this amazing job of combining all that I remember loving about comic books with all that I love about prose fiction.”

Henry James, all books “If you send me to a desert island, just make sure I have a page of James’s delicate prose in my back pocket. I promise you it can keep me entertained and thinking for months.”

All Victorian novels “So your favorite books are Pride and Predjudice [sic], Wuthering Heights, and Vanity Fair? Convenient that they’ve all been turned into movies, don’t you think?”

Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma “The politics of food are fascinating, and this book will change the way you eat and the way you think forever.”

James Joyce, Finnegans Wake “I love Joyce, although I feel as though Dubliners captures the spirit of the Irish more than this book.” (Note: It is an old white-person trick to steer conversation away from books that you have not read.)

William S. Burroughs, Junky “Did you like Trainspotting? Yeah, well, Burroughs was doing that in 1960 with this book.” (Note: Do not bring up Naked Lunch; white people don’t even pretend to understand it.)

Jack Kerouac, On the Road “I read this book when I was sixteen years old. I would say that by the time I reached page 2, I wanted to be a writer.” (Note: Advanced white people are disgusted by people who like this book.)

Chuck Palahniuk, Lullaby “You know, I’ve never read Fight Club. I find his other works to be far more engaging.”

Nick Hornby, How to Be Good “I fell in love with Hornby when I read High Fidelity in 1995, and I think he gets better with each book. This one is my absolute favorite though.”

Jay McInerney, Bright Lights, Big City Note: This novel is written in second person (“You step outside,” etc.). This makes it very easy to test if a white person has actually read it or just watched the movie starring Michael J. Fox.

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho “Reading Ellis is like watching an amazingly melodramatic soap opera and then realizing that it actually taught you something at the end. I can’t tell you how much time I really spent thinking, just thinking, after reading this book.”

David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest “Did you know that this book is more than 1,000 pages long? I read it in high school, on spring break. A thousand pages.”

Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past “I hope to read this one day.” (Note: Any person who has actually read all fifteen volumes has a graduate degree in English.)

*

Source: [Lander, Christian. Stuff White People Like: The Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks. 2008.]

One thought on “White Annotated Biography :: from Stuff White People Like, the book

  1. STUFF WHITE PEOPLE LIKE? Now THIS is an interesting concept. And as this white guy was reading the roster of books, he kept muttering “Damn, I’ve got that one…got that one too…”

    Fun concept, Doc. My favorite Nabokov quote is his challenge to write “even in defiance of all the world’s muteness”. Brilliant!

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