Assigned Reading: The Ultimate Hipster Reading List


Now that it’s the end of the year, there are a million suggested reading lists out there — including a few from us. So with such an overwhelming array of choices, how’s an aspiring literary hipster to know which books are most important in terms of general knowing-it-all-ness? Like last year, 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. Click through and enjoy!

Keith Gessen , author of All the Sad Young Literary Men and founding editor of n+1 .

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq The Places In Between by Rory Stewart Every Man in This Village Is a Liar by Megan Stack Forever War by Dexter Filkins Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier Freedom by Jonathan Franzen The Possessed by Elif Batuman The Ask by Sam Lipsyte The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason Losing My Cool by Thomas Chatterton Williams And the Heart Says Whatever by Emily Gould

Read more about Keith’s selections, along with some additional picks, over at The Millions.

Dennis Cooper, author of Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and Period:

Eat When You Feel Sad by Zachary German The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney by Christopher Higgs An Island of Fifty by Ben Brooks Coma by Pierre Guyotat Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever by Justin Taylor Witz by Joshua Cohen The Failure by James Greer Firework by Eugene Marten Museum of the Weird by Amelia Gray Inferno: a Poet’s Novel by Eileen Myles Sick City by Tony O’Neill Richard Yates by Tao Lin Museum of Fucked by David Peak Diary of an Innocent by Tony Duvert Easter Rabbit by Joseph Young

Read more of Dennis’ 2010 favorites — including his best of picks for poetry, albums, films, visual arts, and the internet — on his blog.

Maud Newton, writer, blogger, and editor of

Autobiography of Mark Twain The Hypochondriacs by Brian Dillon The Instructions by Adam Levin Collected Stories by Deborah Eisenberg One Man’s Meat by E.B. White Everyday Drinking by Kingsley Amis You Lost Me There by Rosecrans Baldwin

Read more about Maud’s favorite books of 2010, and other highlights, here.

Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story and Absurdistan

All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost by Lan Samatha Chang A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee Freedom by Jonathan Franzen The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

Read his full reviews of all five picks here.

Jami Attenberg, author of Instant Love, The Kept Man, and The Melting Season:

A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden Make Me A Woman by Vanessa Davis

Read more about Jami’s favorite books from Brooklyn authors this year — and check out other picks from independent bookstore owners, culture editors, and writers over at Brooklyn Based.

Stephen Elliott, author of The Adderall Diaries , editor of The Rumpus

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen Bluets by Maggie Nelson 2666 by Roberto Bolaño We Did Porn by Zak Smith Zeitoun by Dave Eggers Lush Life by Richard Price Ray by Barry Hannah Smoke by Nicholson Baker Stoner by John Williams Sylvia by Leonard Michaels Advertisements for Myself by Norman Mailer The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm The Places In Between by Rory Stewart

Read more about Stephen’s favorite books from 2010 (and 2009, 2008, and 2007) over at The Millions.

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

The Size of the Universe by Joseph Cardinale A Little Middle of the Night by Molly Brodak Nick Demske by Nick Demske

Read Blake’s full reviews of all three books here.

David J. Gutowski, editor of largeheartedboy:

Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco The Instructions by Adam Levin Kapitoil by Teddy Wayne The Orange Eat Creeps by Grace Krilanovich Room by Emma Donoghue The Singer’s Gun by Emily St. John Mandel Skippy Dies by Paul Murray Super Sad Love Story by Gary Shteyngart Termite Parade by Joshua Mohr A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

See his reviews for each recommended book here.

The editors of The L Magazine:

C by Tom McCarthy The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman Freedom by Jonathan Franzen The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick edited by Darryl Pinckney The Ask by Sam Lipsyte Purge by Sofi Oksanen, trans. Lola Rogers Nemesis by Philip Roth The Best of It: New and Selected Poems by Kay Rya Just Kids by Patti Smith Acme Novelty Library #20 by Chris Ware

Read their full year-end review here.

The editors at Vice Magazine:

Vice published short fiction from Terry Southern, Jim Tully, and others in their 2010 Fiction Issue, alongside interviews with Flavorpill favorites like Sam Lipsyte, Amy Hempel, Charles Burns, and Mary Karr.

“Welcome” by Deb Olin Unferth “Janus” by Terry Southern “The Welcher” by Sam McPheeters “Quant” by Sam McPheeters “Hey Rube!” by Jim Tully “The Sisters Brothers” by Patrick deWitt “Two Stories” by Gina Berriault