Lisa’s December Recommendations

As Maureen Corrigan, Gatsby lover extraordinaire, points out, while Fitzgerald’s masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power. Offering a fresh perspective on what makes Gatsby great-and utterly unusual-So We Read On takes us into archives, high school classrooms, and even out onto the Long Island Sound to explore the novel’s hidden depths, a journey whose revelations include Gatsby’s surprising debt to hard-boiled crime fiction, its rocky path to recognition as a “classic,” and its profound commentaries on the national themes of race, class, and gender. – from publisher’s summary
Similar Titles: 
What Makes This Book So Great by Jo Walton – Over 130 essays in all, What Makes This Book So Great  is an immensely readable, engaging collection of provocative, opinionated thoughts about past and present-day fantasy and science fiction, from one of our best writers. – summary
Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of the Great Gatsby by Sarah Bartlett Churchwell – Proclaimed the “crime of the decade” even as its proceedings dragged on for years, the Mills-Hall murder has been wholly forgotten today. But the enormous impact of this bizarre crime can still be felt in The Great Gatsby, a novel Fitzgerald began planning that autumn of 1922 and whose plot he ultimately set within that fateful year. Careless People is a unique literary investigation: a gripping double narrative that combines a forensic search for clues to an unsolved crime and a quest for the roots of America’s best loved novel. – summary

“Little black dresses. Fake pearls. Jersey knit. Blazers. Ballet flats. Today–and for nearly the last hundred years–we all see some version of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel every time we pass a woman on the street. But few among us realize that Chanel’s role in the events of the twentieth century was as pervasive as her influence on fashion, or how deeply she absorbed and then brilliantly reimagined the historical currents around her. Here, with unprecedented detail and ambition–and through fascinating, thoroughly researched portraits of Chanel’s lovers and friends–Rhonda Garelick shows us the Chanel who conquered the world.” – publisher summary
Similar Titles:
All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen – In All We Know, Lisa Cohen describes these women’s glamorous choices, complicated failures, and controversial personal lives with lyricism and empathy. The profiled women are Madge Garland, Mercedes de Acosta, and Esther Murphy.
Fashion: The Defininitve History of Costume and Style – From simple to sophisticated, elegant to excessive, what we wear says who we are. “Fashion” is the ultimate visual guide to everything ever worn. From the extravagance of Ancient Egypt, through the legendary fashion houses of Chanel and Dior, to the latest cutting-edge labels, this gorgeous collection of costume and dress shows how fashion reflects people and places, and captures the times in which they lived.
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