Lists, Personal, Reviews

Confessions: A Top Ten List

Subtitle: What happens when you realize you may actually be a hipster. By the mainstream cultural standard only, of course.


Let me be clear, I am not a hipster. Hipster is a term that now describes a sub-culture that was initially intended to value independent thought and progressive politics, but instead describes intentional mainstream “obscurism”. And I am not…whatever I just described.

But I like craft beer. And Bob Dylan. And Joan Baez. And Fleet Foxes. And Morphine. And The Smiths. I like milkmaid braids and knit hats. I own my weight in flannel.

(Regarding that last one, I place the blame squarely on Nirvana. I do, however, draw the line at flower crowns. Let’s just say that ain’t never gonna happen. We all have limits.)

I drink my mint (grown at home!) ice water out of a mason jar while sitting at my desk at work, where I’m a science librarian. I make kale and spinach smoothies for breakfast and I cook buckwheat pancakes on weekends. Ice Cream? No. I buy my Mediterranean mint gelato from Whole Foods, as well as my favorite dark chocolate with sea salt (and who, pardon my language, the fuck pays $9 dollars for a chocolate bar? Because I definitely do, against my better, rational judgement). In regards to reading, do I read standard zombie novels? Nope, no World War Z for me! That’s just…too mainstream – I mean, seriously, it was made into a Brad Pitt film. Personally, I go for Pontypool Changes Everything – also made into a film…starring no one I can name.

And then, I read all of the above, and think “Holy shit, I’m practically…mockable.”

Tomorrow. Tomorrow it’s Dan Brown and James Patterson and Budweiser. Pseudo-problem solved. And my bank account will thank me.

Now that I’ve shared my deep, dark, worrisome secret with you…

It’s confession time, that’s always fun (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish). Or they can be. In that vein, this list is a mix of fun and not so fun blogging confessions. Given the nature of my not-so-serious introduction, do realize you can take all of these with a grain of salt.

10. I will judge your blog design. Sad, but true. If your content is good, I’ll read it regardless, but  still…

(That being said, I understand my blog deisgn is not everyone’s cup of tea either)

09. I will cringe a little if you use amazeballs, fangirl, squee, etc. I just will. My inner grammarian is a total pedant, I hope your not offended.

08. I don’t understand the appeal of YA. I don’t think it’s bad and I don’t judge anyone for reading it, I just don’t get it. I imagine others feel the same way about my love of Stephen King or quirky literature.

07. I read the first few chapters of a book, then the end, and then the rest of the book. Scandalous, I know, but I like to know how something will turn out before fully committing to it. I also write inside of my books.

06. I often start a writing a review before I’ve finished a book. I don’t actually know if this is normal or not.

05. I am entirely as obsessed with Bob Dylan as I seem. The same is true about Stephen King.

04. I’m a wicked procrastinator. Case in point, this post is late. Top Ten Tuesday…on a Wednesday.

03. I worry that I’m trying to do too much (books, food, music) on this tiny corner of the internet and therefore haven’t developed a distinctive voice. I also worry, that by liking the lesser known authors that I do, I’ll never gain a large audience. I am okay with this (because honestly, how many of you actually made it through my logorrheic introduction? If you did, I’ll love you forever.).

02. Comments. We all love comments. No one likes comments solely for self-promotion. Think politely before leaving that link.

01. I want to, but I don’t like Goodreads (despite being a stats nerd). Or John Green (he seems like an awesome person though). Or The Hunger Games. There, I said it.

What about you? Any confessions you’re dying to get off your mind? Like you put a lame grammar joke in your blog post and you’re worried no one will get it? Because I would totally understand that.


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  • Kidd

    Question: how do you feel about the word “woot”?

    Confession: I borrowed books from a library, without officially checking them out, and returned every single one the very next day.

    • Rory

      Woot is fine, I consider it onomatopoeiac and therefore acceptable.

      God, just don’t tell your local librarian that. He or she would be horrified.

  • Alice

    Crash Course made me like John Green, but I’m not a fan of his writing… at all.

    I think it is better to write about what you love and have a smaller audience, than try and write about what seems popular. You have a marvellous blog and while our reading preferences are different I always like to check in and see what you’re writing (even if sometimes I lurk and don’t comment.)

    My confessions – I always hate my blog design a day or two after I change theme. I’m never happy with it.

    • Rory

      I honestly feel like his writing is almost…manipulative. Like he’s purposefully trying to throw every sad thing in. But I do like his youtube channel.

      I do think we overlap with Nancy Mitford. And I always like your blog makeovers, they are very soothing and minimalist, which I love.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading

    Here’s where I talk about how much I love Fleet Foxes and I how I saw them “before they were big” and it still counts among one of the best live shows I’ve seen. And…you can count me among the mockale hipsters as well.

    A few books aside, I’m totally with you on number 8.

    • Rory

      I firmly believe there is something good in every genre, including YA, but on a whole…no. Just not for me.

      Mockable hipster unite.

  • Kate @ booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    10. Sigh… I just picked something with yellow because that was all that was important to me at the time…

    9. Ditto. Unless it’s done in an ironic-hipster way (a friend and I do this quite often – our kids don’t realize we’re taking the piss out of them yet)

    8. Ditto

    7. Really?

    7. Really, really?

    7. I’m shocked. I NEVER skip ahead. Ever.

    6. Same.

    3. Remind yourself of the reasons you started a blog. If you wanted a large audience, wouldn’t you just write lots of John Green reviews? 😉

    1. It’s TBR list is handy. And I do like reading other people’s reviews.

    • Rory

      If I wanted a large audience, I’d have jumped on the YA bandwagon. But then I would have to read it, in theory.

      Re: your comment on #9, I do that all the time too. It’s fun.

      7. I love doing it. I’m a book rebel.

  • Charleen

    I heartily agree with #2 and #8. I do sometimes start writing a review while still reading the book… usually just notes on things to touch on, but if a particular turn of phrase jumps into my head, I might start writing the actual text.

    And I totally read your entire introduction.

    • Rory

      Thank you. That made my day. You are the best.

      And yeah, #2, it’s a pain. Sometimes I’ll just spam them and then I feel evil.

  • Christine

    03. You totally have your own distinctive voice. You should stop worrying about that. 🙂

    • Rory

      Thank you! It’s hard to tell when you’re the one writing it.

  • Andi @ Estella’s Revenge

    There seem to have been a lot of people confessing that they worry their writing voice or blog isn’t distinctive enough. Just for the record, I think you’re very distinct…the look of your blog, your content and your writing “voice.”

    • Rory

      It is something I worry about, especially given how many book blogs there are right now (and I’m not exactly one of the super successful).

    • Rory

      But thank you!

  • Jennine G.

    I got your joke! Lol and agree with that one. Eek is the one that really bothers me.. But the reading the ending before the middle? Ah – kill me why don’t ‘ya?! Lol. But I sometimes start a review before finishing a book because I would otherwise lose the thoughts on it or couldn’t see/remember how my thoughts changed as I read.

    • Rory

      Excellent. I wonder if anyone else did?

      I’m honestly not bothered by spoilers at all.

  • Laura Frey

    This feels like the most honest of these confession posts so far. I keep waiting for the “I secretly hate these bloggers” or “I’m secretly in love with this blogger” – now that would be interesting haha.

    #3 – you have a distinct voice precisely because of the different things you talk about. Your blog design and pictures compliment everything so well, I think you have one of the most cohesive “voices” (I mean more than voice, but I hate to say “brand” because ugh.) that I know of in the book blogging world.

    • Rory

      My blogging brand…haha. But thank you, that just made my day.

  • Words for Worms

    Your hipster confession is the best thing I’ve read all day. There are enough Budweiser/Patterson folks out there. Let your hipster, quirky literature, cranky-pants grammar flag fly.

    • Rory

      I will Katie, I will.

      And, honestly, Budweiser is never going to happen for me. Never. I’d stop drinking beer first.

  • Acid Free Pulp

    Don’t get me started about amazeballs…or awesome possum…

    Oh, hipsters. I think they take generally enjoyable things that many of us like and take them too far or ridiculous or make them completely obnoxious. I like pickles and craft beer and riding bicycles, but these things to do not define me. For hipsters, I think this is the case. I also find flannel quite comfortable and ideal for keeping warmth close to my body and anything reminiscent of Nirvana is always a good thing.

    For shame, reading the ending before, well, the ending!

    • Rory

      I am truly not bothered by spoilers, so I don’t mind reading the end first. And I don’t do it every time, but maybe half…? Especially if I see the story heading in a direction I don’t like.

      Anything Nirvana will always be the best. This included flannel.

  • Dr Frood

    “My inner grammarian is a total pedant, I hope your not offended.”


    I hated hipsters before it became cool.

    Yup, I too display some worrying hipster traits (brogues, skinny-ish jeans, disliking popular things because they’re popular; I own about 3 satchels. Seriously.)

    • Rory

      There is nothing wrong with brogues. And I own a satchel made out of a recycled tool bag (in a literal sense, though I worry that could be refashioned as an insult).

      Thank you for finding my lame joke. I feel a little better.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB

    1,2, 8, 9, and 10 –> me too. I feel like saying that you’re not YA these days is a huge nono these days, but I just can’t get on board, as I’ve mentioned a million times before. Articles on sites like Book Riot imply that you’re close-minded and stuffy if you don’t ready John Green or whomever, but seriously, I just can’t. And won’t.

    • Rory

      I don’t either. I didn’t when I was a teenager. It’s not that I think John Green is a bad guy, I’m just not going to read him.

  • tanya (52 books or bust)

    You made me laugh out loud and for the most part I agree with you. Except for the whole reading the end of the book thing. That’s just weird and something my mom does and it has always driven me crazy.
    And have you ever tried basil in your water? Heavenly.

    • Rory

      Basil in my water? No, but not I have to. Even the thought…yum.

  • Allison @ The Book Wheel

    This list is amazeballs! Just kidding – I don’t use that word and if I ever use it again, feel free to Internet-slap me. I’m with you on not understanding YA and blog designs, but I also know that my “news” look isn’t for everyone, either. I also like that you procrastinate because I see so many TTT in my feed on Tuesdays that it’s nice to get one all by itself 🙂

    • Rory

      Top Ten Tuesday on a Wednesday is so much more unique. I should keep it up. I do like being unexpected.

  • Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    This list is just the best 😉 Love it! You know, I was doing and liking most of those things back in the ’90s before any of it was “cool”. I don’t understand the label, man. Hipster? Hippy? Whatever, I’m just me.

    You’re just you, and you’re a good egg. 😀

    • Rory

      Thank you!

      And a lot of the things on here, like flannel, I’ve since the ’90s. I’m just lucky it came back in style.

  • AMB

    The first half of #5 could’ve been written about me! I also identify with #1.

    • Rory

      Yes! Glad to know another fan.

  • Erin


    This whole list…just the whole thing. But #4 and #6 especially. I just missed a whole week of posts because every member of my family, myself included, came down with some bug. Also, I create my review posts in WordPress and then access them via the WordPress app on my iPhone while I’m reading and record notes as they come to me. Totally normal, right?

  • Care

    I agree with Andi. Your blog (look and voice) is one of the coolest.

    I do love goodreads but likely because I am now entrenched and had a horrid experience trying to use LibraryThing.

  • Marisa@TheDailyDosage

    This is one of the most sincere TTW I’ve read in awhile and the intro is spot on. Wait, do you dislike “spot on”? I’m with you on #3 & #4. As much as I like routine and a sense of structure, it’s fun to shake it up now and again. 🙂

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