If Kerouac is too mainstream or perplexing for your tastes, why not check out two different voices from the same crowd? Neal Cassady, Kerouac’s inspiration for Dean Moriarty, wrote just one book called The First Third. It’s an uneven memoir, especially when he conveys his crazy old school dad’s philosophies as truths, but it’s also wildly interesting, especially for Beat lovers. For a female Beat’s take on the times, check out the work of Diane DiPrima. Her book, Recollections of My Life as a Woman, showcases one of the few female voices in the beat scene and her prose proves just as captivating as any of her male counterparts.