Drinking, Smoking & Screwing

Jack Kerouac

If you have made it to this page, you probably understand. And even if you can’t (or don’t) indulge in any of the three above endorphin-releasing habits, you can still read about them.

Here are a few suggestions for books that celebrate activities which some people now call weakness. And which some, however, call strength.

Credit: this feature is based on the excellent 1994 anthology of short fiction from Chronicle Books edited by Sara Nickles — Drinking, Smoking & Screwing. Then there are the short stories about good times by Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller and Dorothy Parker, just to name a few. Anais Nin is in there as well, but she never really “fucked,” did she? Sorry, Nin-lovers everywhere. But really, several years back the Dalkey Archive published an amazing and fantastical bio of Nin–really good for reading aloud to friends late at night after too many bottles of wine. Especially the stuff near the end about her young boyfriend…

suggested reading list

Egon Schiele: The Scornful Woman


tell us your favorite titles

Charles Bukowski with beer and broad

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