Official Review: It's a White Life by Jim Trebbien

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
User avatar
CatInTheHat
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 2232
Joined: 31 May 2016, 11:53
2019 Reading Goal: 75
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 2
Favorite Book: Cry the Beloved Country
Currently Reading: The Hangman
Bookshelf Size: 473
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-catinthehat.html
Latest Review: It's a White Life by Jim Trebbien
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Publishing Contest Votes: 0

Official Review: It's a White Life by Jim Trebbien

Post by CatInTheHat » 29 Dec 2018, 15:38

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "It's a White Life" by Jim Trebbien.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Jim Trebbien’s dedication, “Dedicated to all of the people who believe everyone should have equal opportunities in life,” in many ways describes the essence of It’s a White Life. Author Jim Trebbien shares the experiences of a mentor/mentee relationship he had with Cameron Johnson, which takes place during the past decade of modern America.

Jim was raised on a farm in Iowa and is a dean at a community college at the time this story takes place. Cameron grew up in the projects in Omaha, Nebraska and is now a student at the community college Jim works at. Jim is a white male nearing his retirement years; Cameron is an African-American college student in his mid-twenties. These distinctions are integral to the story. The two men developed far more than the mentor/mentee relationship that they initially signed on for, as they discovered both many similarities and differences in their lives. Discover what they found out about themselves and life in their journey together.

The author presents his discoveries primarily through stories, with each man sharing experiences and thoughts from their past. Additionally, Jim provides his observations on the contrasts as well as their similarities. Many themes are covered, including family, legal issues, discrimination, and religion. The author tackles the many themes in an engaging manner, keeping his readers wanting more.

In many ways, the men are similar to each other. Both men grew up in close-knit families that are very supportive of them. They view themselves as born-again Christians and are very active in their churches. Both men are in loving marriages and place high importance on family life.

Early in the book, we hear one of the more shocking contrasts in how the two men were treated after each of their first wives falsely accused them of physical abuse. Jim’s background did not prepare him for Cameron’s experiences, especially with law enforcement. For example, Cameron shared that he and his friends would often get pulled over for “being black.” Jim gets to learn first-hand later on as to just how scary it is to be pulled over with someone who is black. It also makes Jim think of all the things that should have gotten him into trouble with the law but didn’t. The subject of guns comes up at various times in their childhood backgrounds: Jim hunted with his brother and father, while Cameron watched bad people shooting each other while playing outside. What Jim recognizes in himself by the end of the book is in many ways a stunning sociological perspective on life as a white man.

I rate It’s a White Life 3 out of 4 stars. It provides a hands-on reflective look at the reality of white privilege in the United States in an incredibly engaging manner. I particularly enjoyed the way the stories were presented as it helped me to get to know both Cameron and Jim. The only reason it is not worthy of 4-stars is the numerous grammar errors that would have been picked up with better editing. Outside of the editing issues, there wasn't anything I outright disliked in the book. This book would appeal to people who want to know more about racism in the United States while engaging with real people instead of stereotypes.

******
It's a White Life
View: on Bookshelves

Like CatInTheHat's review? Post a comment saying so!
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.


Grateful to get the opportunity to explore new books with those in the OBC.

User avatar
Cecilia_L
Posts: 1611
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 135
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: The Blue Gate by LL Fox

Post by Cecilia_L » 30 Dec 2018, 18:49

This book sounds relevant and intriguing. Thanks for the excellent review.

User avatar
Alicia09
Posts: 230
Joined: 10 Jul 2018, 12:29
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 57
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-alicia09.html
Latest Review: Winning the War on Cancer by Sylvie Beljanski

Post by Alicia09 » 30 Dec 2018, 20:41

Race is always a difficult subject to discuss, because unfortunately, some people still experience discrimination. Yet I think that as a non fiction book, this story can help bring those issues out in the open through real interactions. It seems as if the author did a good job of describing how people of different races are treated differently, without stereotyping anyone.
:character-beavisbutthead:

User avatar
Jessacardinal
Posts: 98
Joined: 21 Dec 2018, 17:49
2019 Reading Goal: 40
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 5
2018 Reading Goal: 40
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 29
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jessacardinal.html
Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Jessacardinal » 30 Dec 2018, 23:01

Your review definitely makes me want to read this book. It sounds like this story would make a phenomenal movie!

User avatar
melissah30
Posts: 33
Joined: 29 Dec 2018, 01:56
Currently Reading: Winning the War on Cancer
Bookshelf Size: 42
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-melissah30.html
Latest Review: Hello, My Love by Evy Journey
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by melissah30 » 31 Dec 2018, 02:23

This book sounds like an excellent way to examine how white privilege affects us in ways that we take for granted! It seems like a great read and I should definitely try it out!
"Go then, there are other worlds than these." -Stephen King, The Gunslinger

User avatar
stevenkay
Posts: 2
Joined: 31 Dec 2018, 01:31
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by stevenkay » 31 Dec 2018, 03:23

Interesting title interesting reflection of colour and privilege, and opportunity. It sounds realistic and more of the daily life . I want to dig in more so I can hear the nitgrities involved

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 6727
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 115
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 94
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading: The Fire Prophecy
Bookshelf Size: 242
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Project Tau by Jude Austin

Post by kandscreeley » 31 Dec 2018, 08:33

It provides a hands-on reflective look at the reality of white privilege in the United States in an incredibly engaging manner.
That sentence makes the whole book very intriguing despite the numerous grammatical errors. Still, I've got so many books on my to read list, and this one is just not striking a chord with me at the moment. I'll keep it in mind for the future, though. Thanks!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

C-Extra22
Posts: 220
Joined: 29 Aug 2018, 20:10
Currently Reading: Blessed By the darkness
Bookshelf Size: 17
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-c-extra22.html
Latest Review: Days of the Giants by RJ Petrella

Post by C-Extra22 » 01 Jan 2019, 07:53

I would love to read each man's stories about his past. Thanks.

User avatar
CatInTheHat
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 2232
Joined: 31 May 2016, 11:53
2019 Reading Goal: 75
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 2
Favorite Book: Cry the Beloved Country
Currently Reading: The Hangman
Bookshelf Size: 473
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-catinthehat.html
Latest Review: It's a White Life by Jim Trebbien
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Publishing Contest Votes: 0

Post by CatInTheHat » 01 Jan 2019, 13:49

Alicia09 wrote:
30 Dec 2018, 20:41
Race is always a difficult subject to discuss, because unfortunately, some people still experience discrimination. Yet I think that as a non fiction book, this story can help bring those issues out in the open through real interactions. It seems as if the author did a good job of describing how people of different races are treated differently, without stereotyping anyone.
You are right that it's hard to talk about. More than anything, the author listened as much of what we learn about Cameron's experiences are in his own words.
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.


Grateful to get the opportunity to explore new books with those in the OBC.

User avatar
CatInTheHat
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 2232
Joined: 31 May 2016, 11:53
2019 Reading Goal: 75
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 2
Favorite Book: Cry the Beloved Country
Currently Reading: The Hangman
Bookshelf Size: 473
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-catinthehat.html
Latest Review: It's a White Life by Jim Trebbien
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Publishing Contest Votes: 0

Post by CatInTheHat » 01 Jan 2019, 13:51

melissah30 wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 02:23
This book sounds like an excellent way to examine how white privilege affects us in ways that we take for granted! It seems like a great read and I should definitely try it out!
There are so many ways that those of us who are white don't even realize is truly a privilege.
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.


Grateful to get the opportunity to explore new books with those in the OBC.

User avatar
CatInTheHat
Bookshelves Moderator
Posts: 2232
Joined: 31 May 2016, 11:53
2019 Reading Goal: 75
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 2
Favorite Book: Cry the Beloved Country
Currently Reading: The Hangman
Bookshelf Size: 473
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-catinthehat.html
Latest Review: It's a White Life by Jim Trebbien
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Publishing Contest Votes: 0

Post by CatInTheHat » 01 Jan 2019, 13:52

kandscreeley wrote:
31 Dec 2018, 08:33
It provides a hands-on reflective look at the reality of white privilege in the United States in an incredibly engaging manner.
That sentence makes the whole book very intriguing despite the numerous grammatical errors. Still, I've got so many books on my to read list, and this one is just not striking a chord with me at the moment. I'll keep it in mind for the future, though. Thanks!
Definitely intriguing and so personal.
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.


Grateful to get the opportunity to explore new books with those in the OBC.

kdstrack
Posts: 1782
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 6
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: A Light in the Window
Bookshelf Size: 195
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: Hologram Deception by Ed Sheehan

Post by kdstrack » 01 Jan 2019, 16:40

Your description of Cameron and John's relationship makes me want to read this book. I agree that the errors are frustrating. It still sounds like a compelling story. Thanks for your review.

User avatar
shaid01724
Posts: 1
Joined: 01 Jan 2019, 22:06
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by shaid01724 » 01 Jan 2019, 22:29

This book has been read by Khobi Anand and learned a lot about the life of man. The real book is a very realistic book.

User avatar
Helen_Combe
Posts: 2343
Joined: 18 Feb 2018, 12:17
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 150
2017 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Martian
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 177
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-helen-combe.html
Latest Review: Four Funny Potatoes! by Len Foley
Reading Device: B00M4L4MFC

Post by Helen_Combe » 02 Jan 2019, 16:34

Great review, it sounds like a book that covers important issues. Such a pity that so many books are let down by their editing.
A thesaurus is necessary, essential, indispensable, vital, crucial and fundamental.

User avatar
gen_g
Posts: 1480
Joined: 22 Apr 2018, 10:31
Currently Reading: Just Drive
Bookshelf Size: 50
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gen-g.html
Latest Review: Beyond Absolute by S R Gurney

Post by gen_g » 02 Jan 2019, 23:11

The book sounds like an inspiring read, but like you mentioned, it is a pity about the editing. I'm interested in this issue, and I will pick this up after it goes for editing. Thanks for the review!

Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”