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The Hipster Reading List

Blog Posted:2/15/2014 5:05:00 PM

In the interest of equality, after my previous blog knocking Amazon's "100 Books to Read in a Lifetime" reading list, I thought it only fair to publish a hipster reading list, for those interested in this lifestyle. Of course we all know the effort is self-defeating because real hipsters are too cool to actually pay attention to a reading list... it's so mainstream, dude.

Actually there are two lists. The first one is a list of books. As a hipster, you are not actually required to buy them. OK, you might need to buy one (better if you can borrow), but it's just to carry with you to the coffee joint to show off. Place it casually on the table you plan to hog for 4 hours, so the title is well visible. You might want to read the dust cover in case of questions, but you can always say that you just got it, to avoid embarrassing details.

The other list just below you need to remember, at least 4 titles. These are recent books by cool authors no one has probably heard of, at least non-hipsters. As soon you find two people who have heard of one, remove it from your hipster reading list immediately. Never actually say you have read any of these. Memorizing the list serves merely to ask someone else if they have read any of them. You of course have to practice several reactions to the likely negative answer.  First, assume the standard hipster bored look. If queried about the author, the hipster answer de rigeur is "Oh, it's someone you've never heard of", followed by a sigh. Look away and roll your  eyes. If queried again, say the author's name, then say "But their earlier work was better". This should cement your non-mainstream coolness.

  1. A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
  2. All the Living by C.E. Morgan
  3. American Genius, A Comedy, Lynne Tillman
  4. Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell
  5. Big Machine by Victor LaValle
  6. Dear Everybody, Michael Kimball
  7. Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr.
  8. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  9. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Kim Cooper
  10. Lowboy by John Wray
  11. Magic For Beginners, Kelly Link
  12. Marlon Brando, Pocahontas, and Me by Jeremy Deller
  13. Notable American Women, Ben Marcus
  14. Oblivion, David Foster Wallace
  15. Pastoralia, George Saunders
  16. Perfect Rigor by Masha Gessen
  17. Rising Up and Rising Down, William Vollmann
  18. The Ask by Sam Lipsyte
  19. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, Lydia Davis
  20. The Collected Stories, Amy Hempel
  21. The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry
  22. The New Valley by Josh Weil
  23. The Possessed by Elif Batuman
  24. The World in Half by Cristina Henriquez
  25. This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
  26. Varieties of Disturbance by Lydia Davis
  27. We Did Porn by Zak Smith
  28. Why Did I Ever, Mary Robison
  29. Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

OK, now here is your real hipster reading list:

  1. addresses on packages
  2. billboards
  3. emails you receive
  4. emails you send
  5. Mark Borthwick’s handwriting
  6. marquees
  7. milk containers
  8. text messages
  9. titles of Antony and the Johnsons songs while listening to Antony and the Johnsons
  10. to-do lists












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  1. Date: 2/17/2014 11:43:00 AM
    The fact that you know and understand the "hipster" (GOD I GAG on the word!) mentality is hilarious to me as well. Lord knows I'm too old to care how "cool" I am these days. Haven't heard of any of these; not sure if that's a good thing or not lol. Thanks for posting and for the chuckle :) ~Chan

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    Jerden Avatar Roy Jerden Date: 2/17/2014 3:10:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Got my hipster education watching "Portlandia". Anyway, it's a phenom that occurs every generation in some form in affluent societies.
  1. Date: 2/16/2014 11:26:00 AM
    this one rocks, roy... lol, heelarious.. i needed this today!... huggs

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  1. Date: 2/16/2014 6:14:00 AM
    This sure is a witty and funny blog, Roy! I really enjoy your blogs, thanks for the laughs!

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  1. Date: 2/15/2014 8:05:00 PM
    hahaha, and I never heard of any of these either!!

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  1. Date: 2/15/2014 7:27:00 PM
    No, Roy, I have never read any of these books. LOL Love the real reading funny. hugs, Catie :)

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  1. Date: 2/15/2014 5:49:00 PM
    Haaaaaaaa! I find this blog to be hilarious. More hippies, less hipsters! The Hipsters of the 30s and 40s were cool cats. These new emo-kids are so urban and gentrified, they are like dress-up hamsters living in a cage called: Hipsturbia. Their rhetoric role-playing is the assassin of the very things they supposedly stand for and against, until all that is left, is meaningless social climbing, metrosexuality and mass-consumerism just like everyone else.

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    That Archaic Poet Avatar Just That Archaic Poet Date: 2/17/2014 11:45:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    AGREED! :D Wait, is that too "mainstream" to be agreeing with you? LOL! ;) ~Chan

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