Well, the snow is falling, I’ve been Christmas caroling all around my Muslim village, and it’s beginning to look a lot like the season for a re-posted new edition of Readers by Author, my rudest and most popular post to date. This, an idea copied from Lauren Leto’s blog, is a short list of what you might (and should) extrapolate about a person once you hear them mention how they “love So-and-So.”
There are four categories. 1: Favorite Authors That Only Make Me Sad. 2: Authors that Suggest the Reader Doesn’t Actually Read, subdivided into A) At least you read your required reading and B) At least you give it a stab now and then. 3: Okay I Get that You Read but You Have to Stop Talking About that One Book and finally, 4: Favorite Authors that Make Me Think HEYO
A caveat, I’m not so much serious about any of this… as I am extremely serious. But really, don’t be offended, because what do I know?
Category 1: Favorite Authors that Only Make Me Sad
(Let me say, while most of the books on this list are girly books, here’s the thing. At least stupid girls read! )
Stephenie Meyer: Horny Christian housewives (or future ones) who get French pedicures.
Jodi Picoult: Ladies who scrapbook and/or find the high school party scenes in Law & Order: SVU mildly titillating.
Lauren Weisberger: Girls who either secretly or openly like the idea of marrying for money (which corroborates Leto’s statement, “Girls who can’t read. Or think.”)
Ayn Rand: People who spend a lot of time thinking about themselves.
Nicholas Sparks: Land’s End-wearing ladies who peaked in high school, or never peaked at all.
James Patterson: Tired people with unsatisfying jobs.
Mitch Albom (author of Tuesdays with Morrie): People who are prone to bursting into tears.
John Grisham: People who decided to read something and John Grisham was kind of the first thing handy.
God (there are quite a few people on Facebook whose favorite book is the Bible, and I’m sure that they all think God sat down and penned it directly): People who, rather than read something non-Christian, would far prefer to pop out seven babies and sit down in front of a good Veggie Tales.
The Bitches that Wrote Skinny Bitch: Girls who “forget to eat” but always end up downing quarts of ice cream at 3 AM.
Whoever Wrote Redeeming Love: Girls who would throw away their birth control if their boyfriend wasn’t making enough progress, nahmean?
J.R.R. Tolkien: People who, during the early AOL era, were not unfamiliar with erotic chat rooms.
Dr. Seuss: Those of simple emotions and feeble minds.
Category 2: Authors that Suggest the Reader Doesn’t Actually Read.
At least you read your required reading:
Edgar Allen Poe: Middle-schoolers who are about to graduate to reading erotic bondage fiction online.
Mark Twain/Ralph Waldo Emerson: Men who harbor elaborate woodsman fantasies but never consider career options outside of business.
Harper Lee: You could’ve been a reader, why did you lose steam?
George Orwell: People who stay up late watching creepy things on A&E.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: People who are either really rich or really want to be.
J.D. Salinger: Boys who wish they went to boarding school so they’d have more space for their angst.
Emily Dickinson: Girls who would go to Canada just for the Anne of Green Gables museum.
Allen Ginsberg: People who in actuality never made it through all of “Howl” but really liked that part about “angelheaded hipsters.”
Lewis Carroll: People who will take any drug you offer them, no explanation necessary.
Joseph Heller: Guys who sometimes have idle visions of intense physical violence.
Oscar Wilde: People who sit around thinking about what they’d look like in various outfits.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery: Dreamy-eyed victims of the fact that everything sounds better in a foreign language.
D.H. Lawrence: People who would rather talk about something than do it.
Sylvia Plath: Girls who are a lot like Sylvia Plath, minus the genius part.
At least you give it a stab now and then:
Dan Brown: People underexposed to books.
Chuck Klosterman: People underexposed to thought.
Chuck Palahniuk: People who can’t control their rage and/or rape fantasies (which corroborates Leto’s statement, “Boys who can’t read.”)
Philip Pullman: Not sure, but they’re all frustrated.
C.S. Lewis: Christcore hipsters who would be atheists if they hadn’t been born in the South.
Philippa Gregory: Sexually unsatisfied pale girls who secretly want to put on a wench costume and finally get those tits out there.
Emily Giffin: Women who work really hard but would switch lives with Betty Draper in a second if they could.
James Frey: People who try to read the news and then get bored and start texting.
Sophie Kinsella: Women who will call themselves “girls” well until their forties.
Khaled Hosseini: Either people who are somehow personally involved with Middle Eastern politics or white-bread Americans who can’t stop thinking about that butt sex scene.
Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael: Well-meaning people with greasy, greasy hair.
Category 3: Okay I Get that You Read But You Have to Stop Talking About that One Book
Jack Kerouac: People who like the idea of camping… but not camping.
Jonathan Safran Foer: Impressionable people who take all the outlets at coffee shops.
Raymond Chandler: Men who feel like the twenty-first century is not giving them a good enough forum to enact their manhood.
Agatha Christie or any other mystery writer: Grandmas.
Paulo Coelho: People who sometimes contemplate one idea for an entire afternoon and then wake up and are like, “Wait, is Chipotle still open?”
Nicole Krauss: Nice mousy people who lack gaydar.
Dave Eggers: People who at one point thought about joining the Peace Corps but then went to see a jam band and forgot.
Robert M. Pirsig: Semi-lame guys who frequently try to impress girls with the fact that they’ve read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Jane Austen: Girls who would rather cuddle than have sex.
Virginia Woolf: Girls with other, more complicated sexual issues.
Jon Krakauer: Guys who get huge boners when they walk into REI.
Kurt Vonnegut: People who look on Wikiquote a lot in search of something that really really defines them.
Michael Pollan: Self-righteous anorexic vegetarians, or rich people who like doing things halfway.
T.S. Eliot: People who believe that The Wasteland is actually incomprehensible but bought that giant folio edition anyway.
Elizabeth Gilbert: Ladies who don’t understand their tax forms and just want to find love.
Malcolm Gladwell: People who will be extremely hilarious when they finally discover TED Talks.
John Kennedy Toole: People who are not not frat boys at heart.
Jared Diamond: Men who read in their studies and own the John Adams miniseries on DVD.
Howard Zinn: People who can’t let a Thanksgiving go by without being like “You know, what we’re really celebrating is smallpox and genocide…”
Richard Dawkins: God-haters who should be stuffed with Xanax once they start arguing.
Neil Gaiman: Freaks! Just kidding. Still, people who really like Emily the Strange and probably roleplay in the bedroom.
Bret Easton Ellis: People who have had a higher-than-average amount of experiences with whiskey dick.
Category 4: Favorite Authors That Make Me Think HEYO
(This category is Janus-faced, if you will. I do not appreciate it when people start Anna Karenina or Finnegan’s Wake, instantly collapse from exhaustion, and then claim Tolstoy or Joyce as their favorite author all the livelong day. With certain exceptions—the first three—people who truly love these authors usually have little to prove in terms of their intellect, so these aren’t common points of conversation.)
J.K. Rowling: Mostly Gryffindors. Some Ravenclaws, the occasional Slytherin. No Hufflepuffs.
Roald Dahl: People who don’t seem sentimental but are.
Madeleine L’Engle: Weird girls who are actually totally awesome.
Cormac McCarthy: Guys who have been clinically depressed and girls who have orgasmed on accident.
Margaret Atwood: Girls who date guys with delicate bones.
Leo Tolstoy: Awesome people who don’t get out enough but feel like they do because they think so much.
Donald Barthelme: The lovable insane.
Philip Roth: Men who could successfully maintain a string of extramarital affairs.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: People who are only really happy at weird, random moments.
Ernest Hemingway: People who don’t feel particularly attached to their romantic relationships but end up in a lot of them anyway.
Fyodor Dostoevsky: People who are born ethical and don’t really know what to do about it.
James Joyce: People who have lots of vaguely ecstatic, sublime moments while they’re traveling but end up overly fond of alone time.
Jorge Luis Borges: Smart people with good spatial reasoning that wouldn’t feel bad about jacking off while a family member was in the room.
Henry James: Distant, perceptive people.
John Cheever: Alcoholics.
Raymond Carver: Alcoholic stoners.
Any other writer famous mostly for his or her short stories: People who took creative writing a lot in college and want to be writers, but whose own stories are mostly full of mediocre artificial realism. People… like me…
Thomas Pynchon: People with big ambitions and even bigger egos.
Haruki Murakami: People who are good at keeping secrets.
Sherwood Anderson: I’ve never met any of these people. If you exist, I’m ready to become best friends.