Assigned Reading: The Ultimate Hipster Reading List

There are a million suggested reading lists out there, especially now that it’s the end of the year/decade/life as we know it. So how’s an aspiring literary hipster to know which books are most important in terms of street cred and general knowing-it-all-ness? We decided to go straight to the source, and to that end, we’ve collected a few of our favorite and most knowledgeable lit-hipsters’ own hit lists for your cred-building convenience.

Most of the books and stories suggested here are completely awesome, and we’re pretty confident that these people know what they’re talking about (most of them create some not-too-shabby literature themselves), so we suggest that the anti-hipsters among you might do well to read on too. After all, we mean hipster in the good way (this time).


Blake Butler (author of Scorch Atlas, editor of HTMLGiant):

(Our favorite selections from his list of 25 Important Books of the ’00s – for the full article click here)

Oblivion, David Foster Wallace
Rising Up and Rising Down, William Vollmann
American Genius, A Comedy, Lynne Tillman
Pastoralia, George Saunders
Magic For Beginners, Kelly Link
Why Did I Ever, Mary Robison
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, Lydia Davis
Dear Everybody, Michael Kimball
The Collected Stories, Amy Hempel
Notable American Women, Ben Marcus


Miranda July (performance artist, filmmaker, author of No One Belongs Here More Than You):

Teased out from ‘Reading List’, in Vice‘s new Fiction Issue. Read the full and very adorable piece here.

milk containers
to-do lists
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Kim Cooper
addresses on packages
emails you receive
emails you send
Varieties of Disturbance by Lydia Davis
text messages
Marlon Brando, Pocahontas, and Me by Jeremy Deller
titles of Antony and the Johnsons songs while listening to Antony and the Johnsons
Mark Borthwick’s handwriting


Nick Flynn (poet, playwright, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City):

Read his explication at The Millions.

Eula Biss’s Notes on No Man’s Land
Rachel Zucker’sThe Museum of Accidents
Stephen Elliott’s The Adderall Diaries


Stephen Elliott (editor of one of our favorite blogs, The Rumpus, author of The Adderall Diaries):

Responding to HTMLGiant’s prompt to pick his three top books of the year.

I only read three books that were released this year. I loved two of them. But the best two out of three is an awfully small pool so you might want to ignore these recommendations:

We Did Porn by Zak Smith
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers


Keith Gessen (editor at n+1, author of All the Sad Young Literary Men):

Also responding to HTMLGiant’s prompt to pick three top books of the year.

The Ask by Sam Lipsyte
The Possessed by Elif Batuman
Perfect Rigor by Masha Gessen


Tao Lin (publisher of Muumuu House, author of Shoplifting From American Apparel):

Also also responding to HTMLGiant’s prompt to pick three top books of the year.

Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs by Ellen Kennedy – I liked this and published it on Muumuu House.
During My Nervous Breakdown I Want to Have a Biographer Present by Brandon Scott Gorrell – I liked this and published it on Muumuu House.
Waveland by Frederick Barthelme – His 10th novel.


David J. Gutowski (editor of largeheartedboy):

See his reviews for each recommended book here.

All the Living by C.E. Morgan
The World in Half by Cristina Henriquez
The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry
Lowboy by John Wray
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell
The New Valley by Josh Weil
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr.
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Big Machine by Victor LaValle


The editors at Vice Magazine:

Vice published four long-form comics in their Fiction Issue. We like them too.

The Haunted High School by Dash Shaw
Shopping with She-Moose by Lisa Hanawalt
The New Yorker Story by Sammy Harkham
The Miracle by Johnny Ryan

Tell us, what’s first on your list?