Tuesday 25 January 2011

VIXEN Blog Tour: Jillian Larkin discusses her favourite books from the 1920's.

I'm happy to have Jillian back on the blog today as part of the blog tour for her Jazz-Age book, Vixen.  Here, she discusses some of her favourite books from the 1920's. Check out the first part of her list at Bloggers [[Heart]] Books.

Over to Jillian....

Hi, everyone.  I’m excited to let you know about another stack of fantastic 1920s favorites today! 

6) Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
This book was a runaway bestseller in 1920s, and it’s not tough to see why.  It’s another satire—I must have a thing for it, I guess.  Either that or the 1920s did.  I’m from the Midwest originally and no matter what time period, Sinclair seriously nailed the feel of a Midwestern city with his fictional Zenith.  Like many of the great books of the Jazz Age, it focuses on the way overt materialism can lead to tragedy. 

7) The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
William Faulkner is one of my favorite authors.  “A Rose for Emily” is the creepiest story I’ve ever read and The Sound and the Fury is a beautiful novel.  Like Mrs. Dalloway, which I mentioned yesterday, it employs a stream-of-consciousness form of storytelling.  I swear the first time I read this book I could feel my mind bending into a new shape.  A full fourth of the book is highly disjointed and tough to read, but if you can get through it, it’s so worth it. 

A Passage to India by E.M. Forrester
While I love thinking about the fantastic cities of Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles during the Roaring Twenties, it’s fascinating to get a glimpse of what was going on in other parts of the world during this time period.  This book takes place in India while the country was still under British rule, though striving for independence.  It gives a great portrait of the racial tensions felt between the Indians and British at that time.

9) The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
What is there not to love about this book?  Expatriates!  Paris!  Bullfighting in Pamplona!  When I think of the dangerous, beautiful lives people were living in Europe during the 1920’s, I think of this novel.  And Brett Ashley is the epitome of a flapper: a bobbed beauty with charisma who isn’t afraid to be independent.

10) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I know I’m being predictable and am giving Fitzgerald an unfair two spots on this list, but I don’t care.  Gatsby is my absolute favorite book of the 1920s.  It’s probably my favorite book, period.  Nick Carraway sits back and watches a story unfold between Daisy, Tom, and Gatsby—a story which by turns is bitingly satirical, hauntingly beautiful, and achingly tragic.  The reader’s left wondering if Nick is the most innocent of them all, or perhaps the guiltiest for being a spineless observer.  Also, who couldn’t adore a book with a line as unexplainably perfect as “Her voice was full of money?”

And that’s all of them, though I possibly could have gone up to my Top 20, or at least Top 15.  I am so glad I have a career in which my love for old books that few of my friends have read turns out to be a positive   Thanks for reading!   

Thanks to Jillian for the fab post!

You can also check out lots of extras for Vixen on the dedicated website at: http://www.randomhouse.com/teens/flappers/ where you can watch the book trailer for Vixen, and create your own Flapper, amongst other fun things! Enjoy! 

Don't forget to check out the rest of this blog tour.  Here are the rest of the stops on the tour!


  1. I adored The Great Gatsby! That was one of the few books I had to read in school that I actually didn't feel like I was being forced to read. I think I even read ahead of our assigned chapters. Yes, I am a nerd:) Love this post!

  2. I have Vixen waiting for me to pick it up and get into. I was very excited about this book because as a kid I listen to my father tell me about this era as he grew up and became a young man in the 1920's.

    The Great Gatsby is also a favorite of mine so I need to check out some of these other classics this year. Thanks for the guest post!

  3. I really need to read The Great Gatsby. Can't wait to read Vixen though!

  4. I'm dying to read Vixen...and Gatsby is one of my absolute favourites!

    Great guest post :)

  5. Love this list! Vixen was really good! Now I’m off to create my own flapper :)

  6. Jillian Larkin has some great picks! Except Babbitt, I have read and loved the rest of the books especially The Great Gatsby.

  7. I'm with Jenny on The Great Gatsby as a book pick. I remember reading it in high school and out of all the school assigned reads we've had, that is the one book that has managed to stick with me the most! Lovely Guest Post Leanna - will have to check out some of the other books on Jillian's list.

  8. Great guest post! I love The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises as well. I'm excited to read Vixen. I just love this time period!

  9. I'm ordering Vixen pretty soon. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is one book I haven't read. I really want too now! ;)


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