Jack Kerouac, Dharma Bums. Highly recommended, except for a chapter or two in which he goes home to North Carolina and his brother-in-law thinks he drinks too much and works too little.
I've never read Kerouac's On the Road, but this book is terrific, fresh, immediate, charming. San Francisco and Berkeley (mostly) in the 50s, the Beat scene, portraits of Ginsberg and of Gary Snyder, hanging out in Berkeley, Marin, SF, hiking in the Sierras.
Also reading Thom Gunn's last, I think, collection of poems, Boss Cupid.