The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Looking For Recommendations > Books set in the early 1900s?

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Melissa Tufo (melissamarilyn) I'm thinking early like from 1900 - 1930s maybe?

Nonfiction is fine, but I'm not looking for information books. I want some good stories :)

I've always just loved the idea of this time period, though I haven't read many books set in it. For some reason I'm also particularly interested in the US alcohol prohibition that went on during the 20s, so any books about that would be great.


Jennifer D (DawsonOakes) I would love to recommend My Antonia Library Edition by Willa Cather. It is a wonderful examination of early immigrant, homesteading life.


Suzanne | 610 comments 'The Ghost Writer' by John Harwood


El Twilight Sleep, Edith Wharton - focus is on the Jazz Age.






Elena | 127 comments I just finished the The Good Earth but it is not set up in the US but China. Excellent book.


Kathryn Most of the 1920s era books I have read are set in the UK. I highly recommend Agatha Christie's books if you like mysteries; they are very atmospheric and tied to the time period! The Secret Adversary and The Seven Dials Mystery come to mind!

Our Hearts Were Young And Gay An Unforgettable Comic Chronicle of Innocents Abroad in the 1920s is GREAT fun! A true story about college friends ("gay" in the 1920s sense of the word) traveling around Europe.

Then, of course, if you like classics, there are the "Lost Generation" writers, though those can be quite sad. I am partial to
I, too, love that era! The Great Gatsby and it is American.


Donna | 137 comments How about the novel Loving Frank A Novel interesting look at the life of Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress then wife Mamah Cheney in the early 1900s.


Carol I just finished Homage To Catalonia-George Orwell backdrop for Spanish Civil War. He went as a journalist,but ended up fighting.


Carol Writerlibrarian wrote: "I have a few here : http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...

and here : http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/..."


Those are good.


message 11: by Michelle (last edited Oct 01, 2009 04:20AM) (new)

Michelle I also like this time period a lot --

Top rec: The Power Broker Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, which is both nonfiction and a great story about the development of New York. Long but fascinating.

I also really enjoyed Amy Bloom's Away.

A few other recs (some of which may slightly pre or post date the time period by just a bit:
Housewrights
Winter's Tale
The Master Butchers Singing Club
The Alienist
East of Eden
The House at Riverton
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Marjorie Morningstar

As Kathryn noted upthread, Agatha Christie is great for this period. My favorite three:
And Then There Were None
Murder on the Orient Express
Appointment with Death


Renata | 67 comments Try Serena by Ron Rash. It's set in the late 1920's and it is a great story. It's one of my favorite reads this year.Serena A Novel


Susanna (jb_slasher) I haven't read it yet so I'm only going by the description but Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald takes place in late 1800s and early 1900s.


Lisa (llawrence) | 1 comments Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow, or World's Fair which is more 1930s.
If you want to go southern, read some Faulkner. Or Hemingway for American expats, The Sun Also Rises.


Kathryn One other author great for the 1920s is P G Woodhouse His books are very British in flavor, though. They are romantic comedies, mostly, and I think they are hilarious. However, if you don't like his humor you will probably want to put the book down after a chapter. You either love it or you don't. His "Jeeves and Wooster" series is very popular. In terms of stand-alones, I really liked Damsel In Distress, A


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 1733 comments If you like historical mysteries, the Maisie Dobbs books I've read have all been very good.


Denise Jill Churchill writes a great series set in the time directly after the stock market crash in 1929. This series is called "The Grace and Favor" series and is categorized as cozy mysteries. They are really good books and give the reader a flavor of the time period.

A good site that has books listed by themes can be found at http://www.cozy-mystery.com/Cozy-Myst....

Scroll down the page and there is a category: MYSTERY SERIES THAT TAKE PLACE IN DIFFERENT PERIODS OF TIME (Period Mysteries or Historical Mysteries).

Granted these are all mysteries but I'm sure you can find something there to your liking.


Jennifer D (DawsonOakes) Susanna wrote: "I haven't read it yet so I'm only going by the description but Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald takes place in late 1800s and early 1900s."

This is an amazing book! I would certainly second the recommendation. Great choice Susanna...you should read it too!

:)



Susanna (jb_slasher) Jennifer wrote: "This is an amazing book! I would certainly second the recommendation. Great choice Susanna...you should read it too!

:)"


It's #2 on my TBR list :D


Edith | 256 comments Donna wrote: "How about the novel Loving Frank A Novel interesting look at the life of Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress then wife Mamah Cheney in the early 1900s. "

I second that suggestion. I'm reading that book currently and it's very descriptive of the time period.


Rachel Erin | 21 comments I love this period too-now I have to add a lot more books to be tbr pile!

Fitzgerald and Hemmingway are my favorites-The Great Gatsby, of course is classic, but The Last Tycoon is really good too. For non-fiction, Devil in the White City is a good look at World's Fair era Chicago


Denise I find that reading books set during the Depression are helpful in finding ways to cut costs in today's economy. I like both fiction and non-fiction from that period.


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