The long-awaited release of "The Great Gatsby" movie is nearly here, with all its attendant hoopla and theme parties and drop-waist dresses hung on flapper mannequins under hand-painted banners declaring it "The Summer of Gatsby." But while a girl can only drink so many champagne cocktails and dance the Charleston for so many hours before she turns from a beautiful little fool into a sweaty Jazz Age mess, you can always get in the Gatsby mood with a good book. So today, before the era-defining deco drama of F. Scott Fitzgerald's story roars its way into theaters, we're highlighting five fabulous novels that "Great Gatsby" lovers can get cozy with.
"Vixen," by Jillian Larkin
A society wedding in the works, a host of sordid secrets and a bride-to-be who just wants to bob her hair and dance the Charleston until she's dragged down the aisle: the first of Jillian Larkin's "Flappers" books plunges readers right into the thick of a 1920s party scene so debaucherous, even the Buchanans would be like, "Whoa."
"The Diviners," by Libba Bray
A supernatural murder mystery with a Jazz Age setting, "The Diviners" follows heroine Evie through a tangled web that winds through the secret entrances of underground speakeasies, beneath the bright lights of Broadway and through the doors of the strange and spooky Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult. Read our review.
"Brideshead Revisited," by Evelyn Waugh
Doomed longing and decadent lifestyles of England's pre-World-War-II rich and famous form the heart of Waugh's arguably most famous work. If you love Gatsby for the forbidden love, lavish upper class settings and prose that reads like a love letter to the bygone glamour of the early 20th century, "Brideshead Revisited" should be your next stop.
"Save Me the Waltz," by Zelda Fitzgerald
If you've ever wondered about the man behind "The Great Gatsby," consider reading this roman a clef by the woman behind that man. Zelda Fitzgerald was best known in her day as the unhinged wife of the great F. Scott, but she was also an artist in her own right; this novel, about a 1920s party girl who aspires to a career in the ballet, is chocked with vintage glamour, authentic settings and provocative insights into the real lives of a fascinating couple.
"Great," by Sarah Benincasa
What would Gatsby look like in the internet age? Probably a lot like this novel, a modern-day take on "The Great Gatsby," which takes the classic story of ambition and obsession and updates it for the 21st century—replacing the enigmatic Jay Gatsby with a mysterious Hamptons fashion blogger named Jacinta Trimalchio. Of course, you'll have to wait until April 2014 to get your mitts on this one—but any Gatsby lover worth her salt shouldn't have trouble keeping the party going until the spring of next year, right?
What's on your "Great Gatsby" reading list?