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#RogersReads 2020: Read a Book Set in the “Jazz Age” (1920s)

Feb 3, 2020

If you haven’t signed up for the #RogersReads reading challenge for 2020, now is the time! Click the #RogersReads image on the library website or use this link to begin logging your completed challenges and enter for monthly prizes! The first prize drawing will be March 1. Each month, prizes will be awarded to two readers who enter a new book into their online log by the end of the month. If you complete all twelve prompts before February 2021, you will be entered for the grand prize that will be awarded at the end of the challenge.

Each month we will be highlighting one of the twelve reading prompts along with some ideas of titles that could fulfill that prompt. Share your own ideas and show off your progress by tagging us on social media with #RogersReads. Please remember that you can complete the #RogersReads prompts in any order using eBooks, audiobooks, or print copies of a title. We are excited to see what you select to fulfill this prompt!

Read a book set in the “Jazz Age” (1920s)

As we begin the 2020s, the first #RogersReads prompt we will highlight asks us to look back to the iconic 1920s. There may be some classic “Jazz Age” titles that stick out as obvious solutions to this prompt. The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Sun Also Rises (1926) by Ernest Hemingway, The Age of Innocence (1920) by Edith Wharton are all classic texts by authors who helped define the 20s as a historical period.

Perhaps you are still interested in classics, but you want something in a genre that interests you. If you are interested in solving some classic crimes, the 1920s were a hotbed for detective fiction. Agatha Christie wrote some of her most well-known titles, like The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926), during the 20s. Dorothy Sayers, another popular author of detective fiction in the 20s, has titles–including the first entry in her Sir Peter Whimsy series, Whose Body? (1923)– available to download through Library2Go with the Libby app or OverDrive app.

If you are interested in poetry, Langston Hughes and T.S. Eliot were both popular during the 1920s and the library has several of their anthologies available.

There are a lot of newer historical fiction titles set in the 1920s that have been so popular in recent years that they may have already made their way onto your “To Be Read” lists. The Chaperone (2012) by Laura Moriarty, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (2013) by Therese Anne Fowler, and The Paris Wife (2011) by Paula McLain have all been recent picks for several popular book clubs.

The Diviners (2012) by Libba Bray and Harlem Summer (2012) by Walter Dean Myers (available to download through RB Digital) are both books set in the 1920s aimed towards young adult readers.

These children’s books that were written in or set in the 1920s may be nostalgic, quicker reads, but they are no less important for their short length. The Story of Doctor Dolittle (1920) by Hugh Lofting and Hitty, Her First Hundred Years (1929) by Rachel Field are both children’s classics from the 20s. Emily of New Moon (1923) by Lucy Maud Montgomery is available to download through Library2Go with the Libby app or OverDrive app. Ship of Dolls (2017) by Shirley Parenteau and Written in Stone (2014) by Roseanne Parry are both more recent publications that are set in the 20s.

If you are interested in a non-fiction selection with a more realistic view of the Jazz Age, you may want to check out these titles. The Ghosts of Eden Park (2019) by Karen Abbott, Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo (2018) by Zora Neal Hurston, and Ghost of the Ozarks: Murder and Memory in the Upland South (2012) by Brooks Blevins all deal with historical events from the 1920s. There are too many nonfiction titles to count, but you can rest assured that titles about Al Capone, Bootlegging, Flappers, the Harlem Renaissance, and Jazz will likely tend to center around the 1920s.

We are looking forward to a year full of challenging new reads with you!

Happy reading!