She's Nice Though: Essays on Being Bad at Being Good (Paperback)
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.
Mia Mercado is the author of Weird But Normal and a contributor to The Cut. Her work has also been featured in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post’s The Lily, Bustle, McSweeney’s, Reductress, Bust, the American Bystander, Gizmodo, and The Hairpin, and other media outlets. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
"A sharp essay collection that celebrates our collective insecurities and failures." — New York Times Book Review
"In these intimate and sharp explorations, Mercado interrogates the origins and edges of her own affability, probing the ways in which gender, race, geography, and other identity markers can shape—or warp—human personality." — Poets & Writers
"She’s Nice Though is the latest showcase of Mercado’s searing humor and insight. In her new book, she explores the limitations of being nice and polite. Delving into the cultural expectations of shallow pleasantries, Mercado wonders if there is actual value in being endlessly accommodating and polite. In humorous, relatable essays, Mercado explores this moral conundrum along with participating in the bread craze during the peak of the pandemic, her unique dog, what it’s like to be an Asian American woman living in the Midwest, the less than impressive “social media apology,” and more. " — Shondaland
“In this hilarious collection, Mercado explores the concept of what it’s like to be a “nice girl.” She plays with form, including essays written as lists: [e.g.] ways she’ll die because she’s too nice to ask for help. Mercado is half Filipino, and she examines the stereotype of the submissive Asian woman and how that has influenced her life. Mercado’s laugh-out-loud [stories] will delight readers.” — Booklist
“Mercado returns with another collection of humorous essays exploring her experience as an Asian woman from the Midwest. . . . Mercado maintains her self-deprecating humor while offering serious reflections on American culture, and the mix hits home. Mercado’s fans will eat this up.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Mia Mercado's writing is hilarious, warm, relatable, confessional and emotional. Her writing leaps off the page!” — Megan Amram, writer/producer of The Good Place and The Simpsons
“A millennial humorist takes on timely topics. . . . An often amusing romp through contemporary issues by a popular humorist.” — Kirkus Reviews
"This is a truly funny book...She's Nice Though skewers the full range of definitions—and expectations—of behaving well." — Vanity Fair