Christian Lander's first book, Stuff White People Like, is based on his popular Web site of the same name. Both are tongue-in-cheek studies of the cultural quirks of those organic, ironic Americans who — whatever their race — can't live without NPR, Whole Foods, The Daily Show and bicycles.
What is on your nightstand?
I just finished American Nerd, by Benjamin Nugent. I'm currently reading City of Quartz, by Mike Davis. I live in Los Angeles, and I'm fascinated with the history of the area. So few people seem to care, and in a land where things built in 1955 are landmarks, it's kind of understandable.
Can you tell me what books white people like most?
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers. Also, every author associated with McSweeneys. The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. Everything Is Illuminated, by Jonathan Saffron Foer. Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonathan Lethem. The Corrections (pre-Oprah sticker), by Jonathan Franzen. I guess mostly books written by people named Jonathan.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor