Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Reading List 2013: The Great Gatsby

Hello again, Internet, friends, fellow writers and readers! So sorry for the absurdly long break in blogging--the second year of law school does that to you, as it turns out. So much has happened since I last blogged--I finished my second year of law school and am now officially a rising-3L (how?!), I...attended the GRAMMY awards (yeah that was amazing--a separate post on that to come), I started writing my third book, and a million other things. But for now, to keep it short(er) and sweet, I'm sharing with you the first book on my 2013 Summer Reading List

Throughout the summer, I'll be updating you on what I'm currently reading, and I'd love for you to share what you're reading in the comments below! One can never have too many great book recommendations, right? 

You can also check out my to-read list, my current reads, and the books I've read and my ratings of them on my GoodReads profile. I'm hoping you've all heard of GoodReads (basically it's a social media site for book lovers where you can organize books you've read and want to read into shelves, check out what your friends are reading, and read reviews from book lovers v. randos who are probably related to the author or tend to either vaguely love a book or hate every book ever written--right?). If you love to read, it will complete your life. Seriously, I can't say enough good things about GoodReads, go sign up and add me as a friend! 

Without further adieu, the first book in my Summer Reading List is none other than: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. 

Top Ten Reasons The Great Gatsby Should be on Your 2013 Summer Reading List

1. The Movie Just Came Out

2. This quote: "And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."

There are so many gems in Fitzgerald's lyrical writing. Each sentence demands to be savored slowly, each word appears to have been carefully selected to evoke an emotion. But this sentence in particular in Chapter One could easily be passed over, but it rings so true, particularly during this time of year. 

Summer is so often written about because it is a time of re-birth, of new beginnings, of freedom. Fitzgerald captures the entire season so effortlessly with this one sentence that many readers likely skim over. 

This particular sentence also caught my eye because my current work-in-progress, my third book, is all about summer functioning as this time of life beginning over again and freedom. More on that another time ;).

3. You (probably) didn't appreciate it in high school

"But I took AP Lit and AP Language and I was so literary in high school!"...I'm just saying, you probably didn't appreciate it enough. (If you're in high school now--read it anyway, enjoy it, appreciate it as much as you can, then read it again in four years and see the difference). This has been my experience, anyway, and the experience of many of my friends. I was horrified to find that I rated Gatsby 2/5 stars on Goodreads from my first read of it, when it is now absolutely one of my favorites and hands down 5/5 stars for me.

4. You've read The Beautiful and Damned 

Fans of other Fitzgerald works, such as The Beautiful and Damned, will love Gatsby even more and appreciate Fitzgerald's writing evolution. 

5. This video from John Green

A separate post will need to be reserved for John Green's general brilliance, but this YouTube analysis of The Great Gatsby will make you appreciate the book so much more (and make your brain explode with knowledge and wit):

6. A Classic is classic for a reason

Only a select few books achieve "classic" status, and this is one of them because of the truly amazing writing and the portrait of the 1920s that Fitzgerald was able to craft in such a concise book.

7. Check off one of the Top 100 best novels

If you're into reading "the best" books from a list of top 100, like this one from the Modern Library, this will be on it. 

8. Mix up your beach reading and take a break from the trashy novel

Summer can be a great time to read fluffy beach reads, and who doesn't love those at times? But it's also great to mix it up and read something with great writing and substance. 

9. The writing is incredible

I just can't even say this enough so I'll throw in another one of my favorite quotes:
“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” 
10. It's short and sweet

At only 180 pages in paperback, this book is a quick and satisfying read, perfect for summer. 

*Bonus 11th: The original cover is gorgeous*

Thanks for reading this post and for reading with me this summer! Please share your summer reading list below! Let me know if you re-read Gatsby before the movie came out or if you're planning to now. Leave me your thoughts on the movie too!

P.S. I'm going to be doing an exciting signed book giveaway soon by an awesome author, so stay tuned for that and subscribe below so you don't miss out!

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