The Great Gatsby

From  Alexus  Haddad

Title:  The Great Gatsby

Author:  F. Scott Fitzgerald

 A 1920s era setting in Long Island, NY. This is an amazing novel that tells of the corruption and looseness of the Roaring Twenties. Jay Gatsby wants to fall back in love with his one true love, Daisy Buchanan. However, Daisy is married to a Yale polo player. As time goes on, we find out about Daisy’s and Gatsby’s “adventures” together when they were young.

Great Expectations

From Terry DelBalso

Title:  Great Expectations

Author:  Charles Dickens

This was such a beautiful coming of age book about relationships and a young boy named Pip growing up and experiencing the beauties and challenges of life. Throughout the entire book I could almost feel his emotions and became close with those he loved and disliked those characters I thought were bad. It truly felt as though I was in the moment with him watching him grow.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

From Grace Segers 
Title:  Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Author:  Eugene O’Neill
 This play, which spans the day in the life of a dysfunctional family, just might be one of the most ridiculously depressing things that I have ever read. It’s an easy read, nicely written, but it is extremely heart wrenching and personal. The play is, in fact, semi-autobiographical, which serves the purpose of making the reader feel extremely, extremely bad for the author. It is very good, but it is not feel-good.

The Diary of a Young Girl

From Catherine Costanzo
author: Frank, Anne
 The Diary of a Young Girl
A true story as you know — but a classic tale of a young girl and her family as they are “hidden” during world war II.  Anne keeps a diary about their day to day trials and events, and one can see the young girl that she is, as well as sometimes an adult insight into what is happening to the family.

The Great Gatsby

From Julie Rosslee
author: Fitzgerald, F. Scott
The Great Gatsby
I haven’t read this text in years and it was such a thrill to be able to pick it up and fall in love with Fitzerald’s story once again.  Reading this as a teenager, I may have been naive about several of the characters’ identity crisis and transformations, but now, seeing it through the eyes of adult, I truly appreciate the full essence of each of the characters, especially Gatsby.

The Count of Monte Cristo

From Rebecca Segers
author: Dumas, Alexandre
The Count of Monte Cristo
Edmond Dantes has it all: youth, love, and career mobility.  But a jealous rival for his job and another for his fiance falsely accuse him of Bonapartism and a judge looking out for his own interests seals the deal, sending Dantes to the prison Chateau d’If.  There he struggles in solitary for years, until he meets the Abbe Faria, who teaches him and opens his heart to the power of human friendship.  They plan their joint escape, but Faria dies before it is able to be effected, thus leaving Dantes alone again – but this time with the knowledge of the whereabouts of a great hidden treasure.  Dantes escapes, claims the fortune and remakes himself as the Count of Monte Cristo, with the sole purpose of avenging his false imprisonment by ruining the men who put him there.  He does manage his aim, but along the way, also discovers that revenge is not a suitable reason for living. He is redeemed by the love he had for his former fiance, the love he still has for the family who remained true, and the love he begins to have for a woman in his current life.  This novel, published in 1844, is still just as entertaining as it was the day it came out, a page-turner for anyone looking for an adventure that takes them into the devastation of prison life, the glamorous world of 19th century Paris or the unmapped territory of the human heart.

The house of mirth

From Charlene Muhr
author: Wharton, Edith
The house of mirth [sound recording]
I recently listened to the audio book The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, read by Barbara Caruso.  Caruso mesmerizes the listener with her reading of this classic novel.  Wharton’s novel was first published in 1905, and it was her first important work of fiction.  The novel deals with the social classes in the late nineteenth century.  Lily Bart is twenty-nine, unmarried, and obsessed with wealth and luxury.  She is dependent on her aunt for her meager allowance and the only way to secure her place among the upper class is to marry a wealthy man.  Lily has passed up some marriage proposals, always feeling she could do better.  She even turns away from her true love, Lawrence Selden, because he couldn’t provide her with the life she desired.  Lily’s obsessions, gambling addiction, and bad relationships, cause her to fall from her aunt’s good graces and be rejected by her friends.  Her world as she knows it collapses and she is faced with only one tragic choice.