Swagbucks Book Club – Egg Salad

Hello, Swagbucks Book Club members!  Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s discussion of the March reading selection and those that voted on April’s book.  The theme for April is “Books that are being made into movies for release in 2013” and the winner is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  If you aren’t familiar with this classic of twentieth-century literature here is a brief synopsis from amazon.com:

A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author’s generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald’s–and his country’s–most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. Gatsby’s rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It’s also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby’s quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means–and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy’s patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout.

You can pick up a copy through amazon by clicking here.  Need an amazon gift card first?  Click here to go right to the Rewards Store.  Or check out your local library or secondhand book store.  (Not sure if you have a secondhand book store close by?  Do a search and you might win Swag Bucks and unearth a new favorite haunt)

Many of you may have already read The Great Gatsby so I hope you will join us on Friday April 26th for the discussion.  I also wanted to call your attention to a related book my friend Amanda recommends called The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian.  What is the relation to The Great Gatsby?  Here is how Publishers Weekly sets it up:

Readers will be startled to learn early on that the heroine of this engrossing puzzle, 26-year-old Laurel Estabrook, was born in West Egg. Wait a minute, wasn’t West Egg where Jay Gatsby lived? Laurel works in a Burlington, Vt., homeless shelter and is trying to overcome mental and physical scars incurred from a brutal assault some six years earlier. After being given a portfolio of photographs taken by a recently deceased resident of the shelter, Bobbie Crocker, she becomes obsessed with questions surrounding what appears to be a picture of herself shot on the day of her attack. Laurel’s already fragile mental state begins to unravel as she follows Bobbie’s life from his rich-kid childhood on Long Island to homelessness in Vermont. The Gatsby references form the basis of the mystery, compelling readers to try to imagine how this fictional backdrop relates to the novel’s “reality.”

I’m intrigued by this description and hope to refresh my memory on The Great Gatsby and then dive into The Double Bind.  Won’t you join me?

Today’s Discussion Question: Can you think of other books or artistic works by two different authors that reference the same characters and/or settings?  

My immediate example is how the song “Major Tom” by Peter Schilling picks up where David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” leaves off.  What other examples are you aware of?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below and on Monday I will randomly pick 3 contributors and award them with 25 Swag Bucks each.