See Young Jack Kerouac's Reading List

It’s not every day that you get a chance to peek at a reading syllabus of sorts from one of the great American authors of the 20th century. In 1940, a young Jack Kerouac (then 18) scrawled a reading list on a piece of notebook paper. The titles included span eras and cultures, from the Bible to James Joyce, and offer a rare glimpse at the works of literature that were molding his teenage mind. 

In two years' time, Kerouac—who was born on this day in 1922—would join the United States Merchant Marines and then the Navy, where he’d write his first novel, The Sea Is My Brother—a work he later described as a “crock [of s--t] as literature.” We all have to start somewhere.


1. Indian Scripture
2. Chinese [Scriptures]
3. Old and New Testament
4. Gibbon and Plutarch
5. Homer (again)
6. Shakespeare (again)
7. Wolfe (always)

“Finnegan’s Wake”
“Outline of History” (again)
Thoreau and Emerson ([again])
Joseph Conrad
Proust’s “Remembrance”
Dante (again)

[h/t Bibliophilia]

This article originally appeared in 2015.

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Hamilton Broadway
A Hamilton-Themed Cookbook is Coming
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Hamilton Broadway

Fans of Broadway hit Hamilton will soon be able to dine like the Founding Fathers: As Eater reports, a new Alexander Hamilton-inspired cookbook is slated for release in fall 2017.

Cover art for Laura Kumin's forthcoming cookbook

Called The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World, the recipe collection by author Laura Kumin “takes you into Hamilton’s home and to his table, with historical information, recipes, and tips on how you can prepare food and serve the food that our founding fathers enjoyed in their day,” according to the Amazon description. It also recounts Hamilton’s favorite dishes, how he enjoyed them, and which ingredients were used.

Recipes included are cauliflower florets two ways, fried sausages and apples, gingerbread cake, and apple pie. (Cue the "young, scrappy, and hungry" references.) The cookbook’s official release is on November 21—but until then, you can stave off your appetite for all things Hamilton-related by downloading the musical’s new app.

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New Tolkien-Themed Botany Book Describes the Plants of Middle-Earth
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While reading The Lord of the Rings saga, it's hard not to notice J.R.R. Tolkien’s clear love of nature. The books are replete with descriptions of lush foliage, rolling prairies, and coniferous forests. A new botany book builds on that knowledge: Entertainment Weekly reports that Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium provides fantasy-loving naturalists with a round-up of plants that grow in Middle-earth.

Cover art for botanist Walter Judd's book
Oxford University Press

Written by University of Florida botanist Walter Judd, the book explores the ecology, etymology, and importance of over 160 plants. Many are either real—coffee, barley, wheat, etc.—or based on real-life species. (For example, pipe-weed may be tobacco, and mallorns are large trees similar to beech trees.)

Using his botany background, Judd explores why Tolkien may have felt compelled to include each in his fantasy world. His analyses are paired with woodcut-style drawings by artist Graham Judd, which depict Middle-earth's flowers, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and shrubs in their "natural" environments.

[h/t Entertainment Weekly]


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