Breakfast & Books: The Beats of Summer Style

Posted May 29, 2013 by Heather in Breakfast & Books / 10 Comments

I have quite a few books to tell you about today, loyal readers. I have been borrowing books from both of my local libraries in preparation for a pretty cool project I’m participating in next month, and figured I would wait to write about them when I had them all together.

Our breakfast dates have been lovely as usual. Yesterday was the second-to-last breakfast date before the school year ends, though. I’m getting a little misty-eyed just thinking about next week being the last one until September. But with the kids out of school, Eric’s Wednesdays off will become our weekly family trip to the library, so there’s that. BOOKS FOR EVERYONE!

Yeah, yeah, I know: you’re all like, “Blah, blah, breakfast dates, blah…SHOW US THE BOOKS!” Okay, okay…

The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler

For June, #1book140 voted for Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep. This is the book I borrowed when we went to the library yesterday. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, and though I’m hearing things about The Big Sleep containing all the misogyny and homophobia, I’m looking forward to reading it and knocking it off the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list that I’m casually working on. (You can get more information about #1book140 in my sidebar, if you’re interested.)



The Beats of Summer button - click for more infoClick here for more info and to sign up on Adam’s website

Now THIS is something I’m excited to tell you about. Adam of Roof Beam Reader is hosting a Beat Generation project that starts on June 1st and runs through July 14th. I’ve read a few books from the Beat authors (including On the Road), but they are a group of people whom I’ve been meaning to read more about. They’re a pretty fascinating bunch. I’ve been gathering up the books I want to read for the project, and I finally have them all together and ready to go (books are linked to Goodreads for more detailed information):

1. Jack Kerouac: Selected Letters, 1957-1969

  • I found this book by accident while looking for the one on the right in the photo. I love reading letters that well-known people have written to others. It satisfies a nosy curiosity that I normally ignore in myself. I expect this book to be very interesting.

2. Off the Road: My Years with Cassady, Kerouac, and Ginsberg, by Carolyn Cassady

  • I don’t know how much you know about the Beat guys, but they were rather…interesting. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be married to one of them (or to have just dated one of them, for that matter), so I can’t wait to read what Carolyn Cassady as to say about it.

3. Door Wide Open: A Beat Love Affair in Letters, 1957-1958, by Jack Kerouac and Joyce Johnson

  • Two words: MORE LETTERS.

4. Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs

  • I’ve been meaning to read this for a very long time. I kept passing it over for other things, but now I have a reason to read it.

5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey

  • I can’t believe I haven’t read this book yet. I also haven’t seen the movie, so I’ll be watching it when I’m done reading the book. I heart Jack Nicholson.

6. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, by Tom Wolfe

  • This book has one of the most interesting titles ever. I know almost nothing about the book aside from its status as a memoir about Tom Wolfe spending time with Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters (whom I also know nothing about). It should be a fun ride.

I will also be reading William Burroughs, written by Barry Miles (not pictured), which is one of the books I picked up from one of the library book sales I attended in April. I haven’t decided if I should read it before or after I read Naked Lunch. What do you think?

If you’re interested in joining us for The Beats of Summer, check out the sign-up post on Roof Beam Reader. The more, the merrier!

Happy reading, my bookish friends!


  • Your book selection for Beats of Summer is awesome!! *steals it* *puts Burroughs back b/c she’s not ready for it*

    • Haha! Thanks! *crosses fingers that she’s ready for Burroughs*

  • Your reading list IS awesome. Naked Lunch is a TRIP. It’s completely unlike anything else, so do be prepared – and push through it, it’s worth it. It’s brilliant, but it’s boundary-pushing, to put it mildly. I love One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and I think Off the Road looks really interesting. I’m hoping to read a few things from the much-overlooked ladies of the generation, too.

  • I enjoyed this post Heather! I love it when bloggers post more than reviews. I need to do more posts like this. I too need to read “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” I hear it’s good!

  • Yay, books for everyone!

  • Loooooooots of those are on the 1001 list!

  • Rob

    I really loved One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I look forward to your review of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, as I might have to check that out.

    I haven’t read The Big Sleep yet, so I can’t comment on the prejudice in it. I’ve read a few of his other books though, and while they certainly contain attitudes and terminology that is thankfully now outdated, the writing can be really wonderful at times.

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  • I have yet to read Naked Lunch, but it is sitting on my nightstand in the “more likely to be read sooner rather than later” pile. We’ll see. But One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest…loved. So much. And Jack Nicholson is awesome in the movie. 🙂

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