Nonfiction on the Times and Themes of ‘The Great Gatsby’

by Kim on August 7, 2012 · 7 comments

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If there is one book-related thing I love to do more than actually reading, it’s putting together themed reading lists. Although I haven’t been doing much of that lately here, I have been putting together some lists over at Book Riot, a bookish website I contribute to weekly.

As part of Book Riot’s inaugural Riot Read (group readalong), I put together two lists of nonfiction that could be read in conjunction with The Great Gatsby, one about the life and times of F. Scott Fitzgerald and one with more contemporary books about two of the major themes in The Great Gatsby.

Comments over at Book Riot have been pretty low, but I know many readers of this blog love a good nonfiction list. I’d love to hear what you think about some of my suggestions — everything from a book on flappers to the definitive sociological look at the world of con men.

I’ve only read a couple of books on each list, but now that The Great Gatsby movie has been delayed until Summer 2013, I should have time to get to a couple more. I’d love to hear which ones you’re curious about.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Trisha August 7, 2012 at 10:47 am

I miss having the time to read like this. I really enjoy reading a work of fiction and then reading some nonfiction which relates (or reading the nonfiction first, depending).

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Nikki August 7, 2012 at 10:51 am

I think your coverage of the con men books was a great add-on to the discussion of Great Gatsby. It’s a good way to notice different layers to the character we all love, especially in conjunction with the story of Frank Abagnale.

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Athira August 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I missed the news that Great Gatsby has been delayed but I’m actually glad about it. I’ve been worrying that I won’t have time to squeeze in some time to read that book, so maybe this way, I’ll be able to get to the book before the premiere! Those two lists are great! I will have to check out some of the books.

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susan August 15, 2012 at 8:50 am

Yeah the Gatsby delay might push back my re-reading of it and other books. But I like your lists, and perhaps most interested in Fitzgerald’s life so perhaps the biography Fool for Love is the ticket. thx
http://www.thecuecard.com/

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Jennifer August 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I’m going to be teaching Gatsby this year for the first time. I am a bit bummed that the release has been delayed; I was hoping I could somehow use it to build up some excitement in my classes! Still, I am excited for the opportunity to reread and teach the book. I’m going to probably be look at a lot of the books in your lists to help supplement some lessons with exciting and interesting facts for my students! Thanks for the lists!

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Kim August 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I am a bit bummed too — I read the book in anticipation of the movie, but now that it’s delayed I may want to read it again. I hope you find some books to help your class!

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