There is a wealth of knowledge out there for people who want to learn – including hippies. If you are interested in learning more about the hippie lifestyle today or yesterday, there are quite a few different books that you can choose from – both for entertainment and for knowledge.
Farm City by Novella Carpenter
Farm City by Novella Carpenter is the story of a young girl who is raised by hippies but feels a strong pull toward urban life. She has to find ways to bring those two things together and combine her love of both worlds. She starts an urban farm in an abandoned lot behind her home and raises animals and vegetables. This is all a true story and helps people to see how the hippie mindset doesn’t mean you have to look or act like one thing.
Be Here Now by Ram Dass
Ram Dass was born Richard Alpert and was a professor at Harvard when he met Timothy Leary. Together, they worked together on hallucinogenic drugs. When they went to India in 1967, they met American spiritualist named Bhagavan Das and Neem Karoli Baba, changing their lives forever.
Alpert left academia, became Dass, and wrote Be Here Now. This is one of the most popular hippie books about spiritual living, yoga, and seeking higher existence.
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
If you are worried about the world and climate change, Rachel Carson has been worried about it a lot longer than you. Silent Spring was written in 1962 and focuses on how pesticides and other poisons are changing the Earth. This book is one of the formative texts of the environmental movement.
Even those who did not read the book have likely heard of the dangers it accurately predicted. There are times when it can be a bit dense, but it is a great read.
Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
Poetry has had a bit of a renaissance in the last few years, but few people can compare to Allen Ginsberg. His work is some of the most revered and feared. It is widely banned in some places because it talks about authority, freedom, government, sex, and more.
Ginsberg himself has some problems, of course, but his work has pushed poetry and literature into the next century. Even today, his work brings up many new thoughts and ideas to a wider public.
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
Arcadia is another popular read, especially for young women. It takes place in western New York in the 1960s, at a hippie commune. The story focuses on Bit, the first child to be born at the commune.
Throughout the book, the hippies try to build a Utopian society and be self-sufficient. Bit shows off how amazing and how terrible this type of world could be. While the story isn’t heartwarming all the time, the prose is something everyone needs to read.
Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver
Eldridge Cleaver was an inmate in the Folsom State Prison in 1965. He began writing there and continued it beyond that. This is widely viewed as one of the most honest and heartfelt detailings of African-American experience in the United States at the time.
Cleaver’s writing is raw and honest. It is also a discussion of race, gender, and liberation. At times, it is hard to read, but it is a must read.
Daisy Jones & The Six By Taylor Jenkins Reid
If you love fiction, music, and feminism, Daisy Jones & The Six is a great read for anyone. It is a long one, but it is worth it. This is the story of The Six, a rock band led by fictional Billy Dunne in the 1970s. Daisy Jones is a singer-songwriter with a little bit of magic in her bones. The book is told as a retrospective and it is something quite amazing.
If you haven’t read any of these books yet, go support your local library and take them out. Or, go support your local indie bookstore if you cannot get them at the library.