1. Joan Didion
WASPS, gays, “cultured” celebrities, and intellectuals love Joan Didion. Oh yeah, and me. I fell in love with this crazy migraine-prone diva when I read her collection of essays, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, for a class in college. What intrigued me more than just her amazing prose is the fact that she’s kind of a nutjob. She’s a writer who has an unabashed bourgie lifestyle. She talks about her palatial mansion in Hollywood, dinner parties in Beverly Hills and her gaggle of famous friends without feeling uncomfortable about it, which is actually refereshing. So many writers find pride in being starving but not Didion. She was feasting on filet mignon before she even wrote her first book. One of my favorite Didion moments is in “Goodbye To All That” when she talks about being so poor in her twenties that she used to charge her meals at the cafe in Bloomingdale’s. I mean, isn’t that amazing? She has no money but she still insists on eating lunch in a cafe of a ritzy department store. Oh Didion! Fans of her work are usually nostalgic nightmares like myself who make no apologies for their life and also like to fixate on weird things like avocados and freeways.
2. Elizabeth Gilbert
I stopped reading Eat Pray Love in the middle of the eating part. I couldn’t go any further. Look, I know it’s trendy to hate Elizabeth Gilbert right now but she really does suck. I don’t mind the constant navel-gazing and #whitegirlproblems of her work (hello, look at the shit that I write) but I do find her victim-y tone and boring prose annoying. If I had to read another scene of her sobbing on the floor of her home in Connecticut, I was going to just…die? The people who enjoyed Eat Pray Love and Elizabeth Gilbert are the kinds of people who are searching for something in their lives. Maybe they’re in a rut and haven’t found quite what they’re looking for in the self-help section of Barnes & Noble. They’re people who cling to that awful book The Secret because they need someone to explain to them why they aren’t doing so well at this life thing. Elizabeth Gilbert fans post inspirational quotes on their Facebook and listen to Josh Groban.
3. Tucker Max
Tucker Max—the author to the unofficial guide to chauvinism, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell—did something sort of smart and wrote a book for the kinds of people who don’t read books. I bet if you talked to 60% of the dudes who read it, you would discover that it was the only thing they read that year. They aren’t really into reading but a friend of a friend recommended this book to them and they thought it was so so funny and so so true. Tucker Max fans deserve to get lured into a book signing and then get locked inside forever.
4. John Grisham
If you read John Grisham, you are someone’s grandparent. Oh my god, old people have the funniest taste in books. They’ll read stuff like Memoirs of Geisha and The Help and think they’re being super progressive by reading about prostitutes and racial tension. Oprah’s tapped into old people. She knows what’s up. Her book club recommendations are perfect for weepy 70-year-olds in their golden years.
5. Kurt Vonnegut
True confessions: I have never read a book by Kurt Vonnegut. I know, I know, I really should just so I can write in the Books section on my Facebook: “anything kurt vonnegut.” So is this dude any good or is he sort of like Animal Collective—something that has instant cool cred but no one actually pays any attention to. Like do people read his books on public transportation to get the attention of cool people? Maybe I’m just being a total brat but I imagine Kurt Vonnegut fans to be pretentious goobers. I much prefer someone who lists their favorite book as If You Have To Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone because at least you know they’re being honest.