Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that should absolutely be put at the top of your TBR pile. Recommended books will vary across genre and age category and include shiny new books, older books you may have missed, and some classics I suggest finally getting around to. Make space for another pile of books on your floor because here we go!

Today’s pick is an intense and eye-opening nonfiction book that will change the way you view some common American obsessions.

Book cover of Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo

In the introduction, the author dissects white supremacy and details some of the ways in which it works according to design. White supremacy is not a broken system. The system is absolutely working as intended. In discussing the title and the thesis of the book, Oluo makes it incredibly clear (because there are always people who are going to play ignorant) that no, she is not arguing that every white man is mediocre or that any race or gender is predisposed to mediocrity; however, our society focuses on preserving white male power regardless of skill or talent. She calls us all in to examine the complacency throughout society that maintains this system.

This book explores and interrogates things that have been normalized in the U.S. like some men’s obsession with cowboys and westerns or the obsession with American football. I learned a staggering amount of history from this book. The chapter on cowboys and Buffalo Bill in particular left me speechless. I know I am not the only one who has a father, uncle, in-law, or grandfather who romanticizes cowboys and westerns. This chapter hit really close to home and has shed some light on many things that I thought I was familiar with.

Oluo writes about the centering of white men in social justice movements including but not limited to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. She talks about the assault on higher education and how as soon as people of color were allowed to attend universities, suddenly sentiments around higher education took a dive.

This book is so extraordinarily good and necessary. It is a phenomenal read and it’s definitely one you will want to read as a book club pick or at least get a copy for a spouse or friend so that you can discuss it because believe me, there is a lot to talk about and contemplate after digesting this hard-to-swallow book.

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That’s it for now, booklovers!


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