Tasha (@tashacortez) is one of the most well-read people we know... she lives half in reality, and half in a Kerouac novel. Having longed to see the world through her eyes (we've always thought it would be a little more sepia-toned than our own, like a dusty polaroid) we realised the way to do this was through the words running around in her head. Introducing the #SheLivesFree bookclub - where we ask our favourite Auguste Girls to let us know the books to read that will change us from the inside-out.
1. The Dharma Bums, by Jack Kerouac
You may be more familiar with his other work (ahem – mandatory On The Road high school reading, anyone?)
But this account of later years attributes to his legend that was part of the movement that changed literature forever and consequently influenced generations for years after. This novel is the counteractive purge to youthful, decadence elucidated in the one that made him famous. This is a little more of a sage, spiritual search both inside and outside of a brilliant mind.
2. Tender is The Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The master of the morality tale, no one manages to weave a painfully and realistically complex protagonist quite as well as Fitzgerald does. I love his work for the character development- the deterioration of the delicate human condition will force you to look deeper inside your own conceptions and dogmas.
3. Imperial Bedrooms, by Bret Easton Ellis
There is no one who can quite get inside the darker side of human behaviour that Easton Ellis. This is a sequel to his first novel - Less Than Zero – and it denotes the consequential destruction of humanity due to material excess, trivialities and superfluous abandonment of integrity. In his signature eerily detached, impartial voice, it’s a bluntly refreshing, albeit melancholy, look at human principles.
4. The Time of Assasins: A Study of Rimbuad by Henry Miller.
While his work is notorious for being banned from school libraries due to perceivably provocative content detailing his affairs with literary extraordinaire Anais Nin; this is Miller’s sojourn into drawing parallels to his life and that of a man he never knew. An insightful, penetrating look into the enigmatic creative consciousness of the French Poet Arthur Rimbuad and the lasting connection of people to others' art.
5. Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir, by Joyce Johnson.
Johnson these days is most notorious for being involved with Jack Kerouac; however this ironically titled memoir counteracts her second-string cachet. It details the influence these women had on the infamous iconoclasts and their role in forging the formation of The Beat Generation. Not as able to live or express as freely as the men did at the time, this is a really compelling look at what it means to be female and emancipating yourself from social confines and rigid societal expectations.