AN NPR BOOK-OF-THE-DAY • A PUBLISHERS WEEKLY STAFF PICK • A NYLON MUST-READ • A FORTUNE NEW BOOK TO READ IN AUGUST
“And, at the center of it all, am I actually nice or am I just performing a role I think I’m expected to play?” Mia Mercado is a razor-sharp cultural critic and essayist known for her witty and hilarious dissections of the uncomfortable truths that rule our lives. In this thought-provoking collection of new essays, Mercado examines what it means to be “polite,” “agreeable,” and “nice.” She covers topics from the subtleties of the “Bad Bitch” and why women dominate the ASMR market, to what makes her dog an adorable little freak and how you know if you’re shy. This is a book about the unspoken trick mirror of our “good” intentions: the inherent performance of the social media apology, celebrating men when they do the bare minimum, and why we trust a Midwesterner to watch our stuff when we go pee.
Throughout, she ponders her identity as an Asian woman and asks what “nice” even means—and why anyone would want to be it. With writing that is as precise as it is profound, and cultural references that range from trash reality television to the New York Times Sunday-morning crossword puzzle, Mercado uncovers weird, long-overdue truths about our frailties and failings. In the end, she sees them not as a source of shame but as a cause for celebration. Filled with revelations that range from the silly to the serious,
She’s Nice Though offers a mind-bending glimpse into the illusions and delusions of contemporary life—and reveals who we *really* are when no one is watching.