If You Liked The Great Gatsby, You’ll Love These Reads

Here’s a book list for all you Gatsby lovers out there. Feed your hunger for the wealth and glamour of the Roaring Twenties with these read-a-likes to The Great Gatsby. You will find flappers have all the fun! It’s mostly fiction, but we threw a few nonfiction titles in there as well. Have you read something similar recently? Leave your suggestion for a book like Gatsby in the comment field below.

We are encouraging everyone to read The Great Gatsby this February as we incorporate The Roaring Twenties and Gatsby‘s themes into book talks and other events.

Lilies in the Moonlight
Fun-loving flapper Lilly Margolis has had many gentlemen callers. Cullen Burnside, a disfigured veteran of The Great War, is determined not to be one of them. Wealth, decorum and beauty separate the two. Author Allison Pittman cleverly uses Cullen’s mother, who’s slipping into dementia, to draw the two together.

As Lilly and Cullen begin to redefine their own perspectives on faith and duty to family, the two embark on a road trip to reunite Lilly with her estranged mother. This spiritual story of healing and strength  – with a bit of fun thrown in – is a breezy tale of freedom and redemption containing characters you won’t forget.

The House of Mirth
Written in 1905, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton tells the story of Lily Barton who is torn between living a lavish and plush lifestyle and a relationship based on love and admiration.

Lily is a smart, beautiful and poor young woman, but high society is her weakness. In the beginning,  Lily is in good social standing and rejects many offers of marriage. But as Lily nears 30, she realizes that she must marry someone in high society to fulfill her needs.

Similar to Daisy in The Great Gatsby, Lily chooses wealth over love with dire consequences.
Review written by Kathy Jennings  

Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin
Oh those madcap Jazz Age writers!

The insults fly (Alexander Woollcott to Edna Ferber wearing a tailored suit: “Why, Edna, you look almost like a man.” “So do you,” she replied), the gin flows and the quips are unending as Marion Meade takes you on a boisterous romp through the 1920s.

Meade chronologically explores the private and public lives of Zelda Fitzgerald, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dorothy Parker and Edna Ferber as they drink, love, laugh, attempt suicide, feud, flee the country, pose for nude pictures, and oh yes, actually write their way through the decade.

Of course underneath the façade of talent and wit lay alcoholism, mental illness, and unrequited love, which lends this highly entertaining and lively book a certain poignancy.

Check out this nonfiction book today!
Review written by Julie Nelson

Rules of Civility
The story begins on New Year’s Eve 1937. Katey Kontent and her friend Eve Ross meet the wealthy Tinker Grey at a low-rent bar. It’s New York City; status and wealth, accents and manners are important here. Tinker is from old money, working in the bank his grandfather founded.

Eve’s from the Midwest, and her willful independence is established early with quotes like “I’m willing to be under anything, as long as it’s not somebody’s thumb.” Our narrator Katey is a Brooklyn native and gifted with words, although at 25 she’s stuck in a Wall Street secretarial pool. Eve introduces her thusly: “Katey’s the hottest bookworm you’ll ever meet.” Although Katey and Tinker connect immediately, Eve obviously wants him for herself.  Everyone’s path is altered by this encounter and the surprising and devastating effects of what comes after it.
Read more from this review written by Lissa Staley

A public relations professional, editor and writer, Lisa shares the library story in her blog posts, in the bimonthly Library News, and media interviews. A self-described social media and news nut, Lisa harnesses that passion to raise awareness and understanding of the library's vital role in this community.

  • Pingback: Tired of Gatsby? Get a Change of Literary Pace | Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library

  • Jim Allman

    Lisa:

    The author, Booth Tarkington, has long been out of favor but his riches to rags novel, “The Magnificent Ambersons,” might make your similar list. It was a terrific Orson Welles directed movie as well.

    Jim

  • Marie Pyko

    I got a recommendation from a friend that I should try Chris Bohjalian’s The Double Bind because Jay and Daisy appear in this literary thriller. I can’t wait to read it.