Back in 1940 – two years before penning his first novel whilst in the Marines, and eleven before completing the Beat bible On The Road – an 18-year-old Jack Kerouac wrote a required reading list into his notebook. Of the books and writers included, from Eastern religious texts to the works of Thomas Wolfe and James Joyce, many an influence can be found in Kerouac’s later writings.

Dive into some of Jack Kerouac’s early literary tastes below, and complement with the bookshelves of Hunter S. Thompson, Tom Wolfe, Patti Smith, Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, and Ralph Steadman.

Indian Scriptures

Chinese Scriptures

Old and New Testament

Work by Gibbon and Plutarch

Work by Homer

Work by Shakespeare

Work by Wolfe

Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce

The Outline of History by H.G. Wells

Work by Thoreau and Emerson

Work by Joseph Conrad

Remembrance by Proust

Work by Dante

(via Mental Floss)

Categories: Writers

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