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So you want to be an author? A cult must-have list!

Lee K Geston
 
The Losers Club
The Losers Club
"Charles Bukowski appears as a shadowy mentor to a failed poet and loser in the restored version of this novel. Strangely, this is a very funny, soulful, even romantic book -- full of guts."
Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954
Windblown World: The Journals of Jack Kerouac 1947-1954
"Kerouac's early, early writing. Very revealing."
The Selected Letters: 1957-1969
The Selected Letters: 1957-1969
"I love the letters to Ginsberg in which he discusses different methods of writing, even various narcotics to help him write."
The Crack-up Reissue
The Crack-up Reissue
"Fitzgerald records his breakdown. Considered a washout, a has-been, he died at age 44, his novels all out of print. (Since then, of course, his books have reaped millions.)"
Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure
Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure
"Paul Auster talks about his days of struggle as a writer. He even mentions being a ghost writer for Jerzy Kosinski."
A Fan's Notes
A Fan's Notes
"An amazing book before memoirs were popular. Exley's struggles to be a writer despite being labeled a failure. He brings into question the so-called American Dream."
The Books in My Life (New Directions Paperbook)
The Books in My Life (New Directions Paperbook)
"This book will inflame your passion for books! The first Henry Miller book I ever read. I love this one!"
Henry Miller on Writing (New Directions Paperbook)
Henry Miller on Writing (New Directions Paperbook)
"Henry Miller has much to say about the craft. Always exhilarating."
Tropic of Cancer (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
Tropic of Cancer (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
"The first and most electric of Miller's books. You'll want to read this book many times over. The vulnerability of the writer's life. Slave to poverty."
Quiet Days in Clichy (Miller, Henry)
Quiet Days in Clichy (Miller, Henry)
"A fun, Boho romp in Paris -- one of Miller's most playful books."
Black Spring (Miller, Henry)
Black Spring (Miller, Henry)
"Powerful shorter pieces include: The Angel is my Watermark! -- about the creative process. Wonderful!"
Henry and June: (From the Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin) (Penguin Modern Classics)
Henry and June: (From the Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin) (Penguin Modern Classics)
"Few people know that Anais Nin actually put up the money to print Miller's Tropic of Cancer"
A Moveable Feast
A Moveable Feast
"Hemingway's early days in Paris as he struggles to be a writer. Evokes powerful longing."
Hunger
Hunger
"This book speaks of loneliness and hardship -- sadly, this is what being a writer is really about. The antidote? Laughter. Lose your sense of humor, and you're in trouble."
Joe Gould's Secret (Vintage Classics)
Joe Gould's Secret (Vintage Classics)
"This is a great non-fiction book by Joseph Mitchell about Joe Gould, resident bum in Greenwich Village and would-be author of a mythic novel."
Ask The Dust
Ask The Dust
"Essential for any lover of underground novels. Bandini struggles to make it as a writer in LA."
Post Office: A Novel
Post Office: A Novel
"A realistic portrait of Bukowski as wage slave for the US Post Office. 12 Years of Buk's life wasted. This may be his best book. It asks: do YOU what to spend the rest of your life in a cage?"
Factotum
Factotum
"I dig this anti-work ethic book. Let's face it: most menial jobs = legal slavery. What's the US minimum wage, again? After taxes? $3.00?"
Ham On Rye
Ham On Rye
"Bukowski survives his childhood determined to always tell the hardcore truth."
Notes of a Dirty Old Man
Notes of a Dirty Old Man
"Early Bukowski -- and essential for any lover of the ultimate down and out author/poet. I admire Bukowski for being a great survivor. And he never lost his sense of humor, see?"
The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967 (Fear and Loathing Letters)
The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967 (Fear and Loathing Letters)
"Hunter S Thompson's early letters spanning high school graduation in 1955 through the triumph of his first book, Hell's Angels, in 1966. Very cool."
In the Drink
In the Drink
"A funny novel about a frustrated writer and loser (female, this time) forced to ghostwrite for a hideous uptown socialite/witch. She drinks heavily, too. Pretty funny. My kinda gal."
Ignatius Rising: The Life of John Kennedy Toole
Ignatius Rising: The Life of John Kennedy Toole
"By now we all know the sad story of John Kennedy Toole, author of A Confederacy of Dunces -- who commited suicide in despair over not being published. Publishers = spineless bastards!"
Adios, Scheherazade
Adios, Scheherazade
"Out of print book by Donald E. Westlake about a writer forced to writed porn novels to earn a living. Funny book. What people will do to maintain the illusion of being a writer."
Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print
Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print
"Actually, the only useful book on novel writing -- written by Lawrence Block. Mentions he also wrote dirty books in the beginning of his career. Rock on."