Fitzgerald Follies: Z by Therese Anne Fowler

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Title: Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Author: Therese Anne Fowler

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 371

Summary (from inside flap): When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant. Before long, Zelda has fallen for him, even though no one else believes that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. When Scott sells his first novel, she optimistically boards a train to New York, to marry him and take the rest as it comes. What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald legends in their own time. In New York City, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera, they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein. Everything seems new and possible, but not even Jay Gatsby’s parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous – sometimes infamous – husband? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda’s irresistible story as she herself might have told it.

It seems that for the past couple of weeks all I’ve wanted to read is historical fiction set in the first half of the 20th century (see my review of A Touch of Stardust here), and has been sitting on my shelf since Christmas, so I decided that now was as good a time as any to pick it up. Z, as it says in the summary I’ve included above, is a historical fiction novel that follows the life of Zelda Fitzgerald, from her early years as belle of the ball in Montgomery, Alabama, to the endless parties of Lost Generation Paris alongside her rather famous husband, novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. This novel is often compared to The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, which many of you may know is one of my favorite books, so I was worried going into this that it wouldn’t live up to my high expectations. I am very, very happy to say that I was wrong. This book was utterly, completely, 100 percent fantastic. Continue reading “Fitzgerald Follies: Z by Therese Anne Fowler”

Classic Hollywood Lit: A Touch of Stardust

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Title: A Touch of Stardust

Author: Kate Alcott

Publisher: Anchor Books

Pages: 290

Summary (from back of book): Julie Crawford left Fort Wayne, Indiana, with dreams of being a Hollywood screenwriter. Unfortunately, her new life is off to a rocky start. When she is fired by the notoriously demanding director of Gone with the Wind, she’s lucky to be rescued by Carole Lombard, whose scandalous affair with the still-married Clark Gable is just heating up. As Carole’s assistant, Julie suddenly has a front-row seat to two of the world’s greatest love affairs. And while Rhett and Scarlett – and Lombard and Gable – make movie history, Julie is caught up in a whirlwind of outsized personalities and overheated behind-the-scenes drama…not to mention a budding romance of her own.

‘Movies teach us how to do that,’ Carole had confided. ‘Create a set, sprinkle a touch of stardust. Who gives a shit if it’s real? Just make it good enough to believe.’

Like many other readers, one of my goals for 2016 was to finally read Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, a sheer beast of a book and Civil War historical epic. Though it took me over a month to read, I did complete this goal and finished GWTW back in March. I was utterly captivated by the story, the writing, and the world of Rhett and Scarlett, and ever since March I have been hungrily searching for everything GWTW-related that I can get my hands on. So, you can well imagine my delight when I stumbled across A Touch of Stardust, a historical fiction novel that takes place on the set of GWTW, sitting on a table at my local Barnes and Noble. This book promised glamour, romance, and an insider’s look at one of my favorite movies: my hopes were very, very high. Continue reading “Classic Hollywood Lit: A Touch of Stardust”

A Wilde Time: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories

oscar wilde**Note: I wrote the majority of this review back in December of 2015, right after finishing this book. Life got in the way, however, and I never got around to finishing this post, so it has sat in my drafts until now. I want to publish this post because it seems a waste not to, as I had 90% of the review already written, however since it was long ago that I read this collection I have forgotten a majority of the last story, “The Portrait of Mr. W.H.” For that reason, and because I do not think that I could accurately review that story now, it is not included in this review. All of the other stories in this collection are individually reviewed, however, and I hope you enjoy this rather delayed review of an excellent collection. 🙂

After finishing A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (which you can read my thoughts on here), I immediately went out and bought some more Hemingway, or, to be more exact, I went online and ordered The Sun Also Rises. I knew I would want to pick that up as soon as it came, so while I was waiting for it to arrive I wanted something short to read. Since I have never read any of Oscar Wilde’s short stories I thought that now would be the perfect time to start! Continue reading “A Wilde Time: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories”

What I’m Currently Reading: An Update

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Hello lovely readers! It’s been far too long since I’ve sat down at my laptop to type up a new blog post, but I officially graduate high school this Sunday (cue internal happy dance),
which means I will have much more time to write and post on here. I have lots of exciting things planned for the weeks to come, such as continuing my Hemingway Files series, a literary Paris-inspired reading list, and some art history book recommendations, but for now I will leave you with a quick list of all the books I am currently reading. I don’t know about anybody else, but I tend to read a lot of books at once and read little bits of each when the mood strikes me. I find I read more overall this way, as when I get tired of one book I just move on to another. Continue reading “What I’m Currently Reading: An Update”

The Hemingway Files: A Moveable Feast

A couple weeks ago I read “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain, which is a historical fiction novel set in Paris during the 1920s about Ernest Hemingway’s marriage to his first wife, Hadley. To tell you the truth, I mainly picked “The Paris Wife” up because I love reading about artists and writers and I was aware that Hemingway was a good friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald, another literary giant who I have loved ever since reading “The Great Gatsby.” I knew nothing about Hemingway, other than he was this huge literary presence who readers either seemed to love or hate.

I finished “The Paris Wife” in a mere number of days. I was completely entranced by the atmosphere and climate of post-war Paris. The scandal, the passion, and, most importantly, the tragic love affair of Ernest and Hadley Hemingway. I was eager to learn more about the couple’s relationship and their time in Paris so I dove straight into “A Moveable Feast,” which is Hemingway’s own account of the same time period. (Side note: if you do not know anything about Hemingway, his wife Hadley, or 1920s Paris, then I highly recommend you read “A Paris Wife” before picking up “A Moveable Feast” because it more fully explains a lot of the events Hemingway writes about in his account.)

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You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.

Continue reading “The Hemingway Files: A Moveable Feast”