Books 2/3/05

I finished The Last Tycoon days ago. It was the book that Fitzgerald was working on when he died, and therefore is unfinished, but lucky for us, they printed it anyway. The copy that I got from the library had the 6 chapters he wrote, a summary of the rest of the book that was compiled from his notes, and then, at the end, a transcription of the notes he wrote on the pages of the draft. I found all of it interesting, but the part that captured my attention were his notes. I’m starting the process of starting a second draft/ reworking of my novel, and it was really instructive to look at what Fitzgerald had written (which was pretty dang good), and then look at his notes about it- how he thought he could tighten it up, what he thought needed changing. The story itself was compelling, I wish he had finished it so I could read the rest; the summary just wasn’t enough for me. I’ll just have to watch the movie.

I’m in the middle of America’s Women by Gail Collins, which is exceptionally good. It’s basically an US history book, starting before the Pilgrims and running up to present day, but it’s focus is on women’s lives- both famous and common. I’m up to the beginning of the 1900s, and I’ve learned more about US history than I think I’ve ever known. Collins’ sense of causality is great, and she’s quick to point out the contradictions in the expectations placed on women. I would recommend this book to anyone, and I still have over 100 years to go!

Current total: 13
Just Finished: The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Currently Reading: America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines by Gail Collins

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