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Why Kerouac Matters by John  Leland
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Like most die-hard Kerouac fans, I was hooked after "On the Road". My affection for his other books and poetry was largely engendered by that first love for the enthusiasm, even sentimentality with which he wrote "On the Road", and for the book's ...more
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X20 by Richard Beard
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Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
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This book was the first I've read in a long time that felt purely like a pleasure-read, and what made it most pleasurable was that the book was punctuated by moments of clear, realistically lyrical writing, including the following from the ...more
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What Is the What by Dave Eggers
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I read this after seeing the documentary "God Grew Tired of Us," a film that set me off on a long learning-about-the-Lost-Boys-of-Sudan kick. I decided to teach it in my freshman comp classes because Eggers handles Valentino Achak Deng's ...more
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The Sea Wolf by Jack London
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What began with seafaring adventure and philosophy on the human condition, particularly concerning class, devolved into a cheesy, verbose romance that affirmed rather than overturned conventions it originally seemed to be questioning.
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War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges
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A quick read, and not a polemic. The author, a war correspondent whose work led him into the heart of Central American, Bosnian, Sudanese and Iraqi conflicts, is not even a pacifist, but challenges us to strip back the myths of war (myths which ...more
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Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway
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Oh how I wish Hemingway had lived to revise and compile this book. Published posthumously and with only minor attention given to copy editing by Papa's publisher and last wife, the book limns its main character in three parts: as an artist living in ...more
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The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea
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