READ GATSBY-DISCUSS GATSBY is the blog to go to if you are part of The Big Read. In addition to Vigo County, Indiana, the following communities have been selected to participate in The Big Read and have chosen The Great Gatsby as the book they will be reading: Libertyville, IL, Sioux City, IA, Craven, Pamlico and Carteret counties of NC, Newark, OH and Charlottesville, VA. All are invited to post comments and questions on The Great Gatsby and The Big Read on this blog. At READ GATSBY-DISCUSS GATSBY we agree with F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Either you think, or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.”

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gatsby for the Grad

Out of ideas on what to say on that graduation card to the nephew you haven’t seen in three years? The one who (somewhat amazingly by most family estimates) now has his diploma in hand and is finally leaving Old Siwash U.? Because the chances are good that he spent more time playing around on the computer than reading the books assigned in his general education literature courses, here’s a not so gentle hint you could send his way.

Send him to this page on the web site “gradspot.” There he will find suggestions that a newly minted grad burdened with serious student loan debts and a serious reading deficit to match might find useful. "gradspot," in the fashion so popular today, promotes fixes based on style over substance. Here’s their pitch on handling the pesky book display problem twenty-somethings face.
25 Books That Look Good and Read Even Better
Building a sexy library

By Orli Van Mourik

“After graduating college, I found my new Ikean bookshelves filled with nothing but books from various classes in Victorian Lit (all of which were marked with a big orange “Used” sticker) and several well-thumbed copies of US Weekly. Though my collection did manage to bring to the fore a couple of potential suitor’s obsessions with Britney’s latest drinking binges or the use of simile in Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley, I wanted a library that inspired sexy pseudo-intellectual banter, not just weed out the weirdos. So I started by building one book at a time, and I eventually came up with what I think is the best androgynous library for looking (and maybe even being) sexily smart.”

And which book leads this hot, I mean Hot! list? What is the sure fire open sesame book to “sexy pseudo-intellectual banter”? Right. You guessed it. It’s The Great Gatsby.

And, in homage to the reading-challenged undergrad’s staff of life, CliffsNotes, "gradspot" dishes up this breezy synopsis:

“Gatsby loves Daisy, but Daisy’s married to Tom. Tom loves Daisy, but he’s having an affair with Myrtle. Tom confronts Gatsby and Daisy. Daisy and Gatsby leave in a tizzy, mowing down Myrtle on their way home. Melodrama ensues.”

Then "gradspot" chips in with this deeply felt “Reason to read.” And don't you think Myrtle's sister would get it?

Reason to read:

“This short novel reads like an incredibly erudite episode of 'Days of Our Lives.' Fitzgerald paints an indelible picture of the glamour, gaudiness, and depravity of the roaring ‘20s that’ll make us feel a little bit better about our own drinking and carousing.”
Hope the nephew appreciates your thoughtful graduation advice. If he sees value rather than humor in this instant library recovery project, I suggest you forget about including a check with the card–-it's clear the young grad would only use the long green in the clubs. He quickly learned in college that books and reading made his head hurt more than hangovers.


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