Jazz Age January 2014: Sign Up

Posted December 2, 2013 by LeahAdmin in Blogging & Challenges / 105 Comments

Step right up guys and dolls, Bettys and old boys, flappers and fellas! The year is winding down and I want to party like it’s 1925.

I’ve been in a Roaring ’20s spirit lately, and I’ve decided to run with it. I’ve never hosted an event on my blog before, but I’m excited to announce my first! Get ready for Jazz Age January. I have a feeling it’s going to be the bees knees… the cat’s pajamas, if you will. I’m nearly copacetic with excitement. (How much ’20s slang can I fit in one blog post? Let’s find out.)

Know Your Onions (or what this baloney is all about):

I’m inviting bloggers to read books related to the Jazz Age during the month of January. Readers are welcome to read novels written by Jazz Age authors, non-fiction about the ’20s, and contemporary fiction set during this time period.

After doing some research, I’ve come up with a list of recommended books, but readers are welcome (and encouraged) to read outside of these titles; I’d love to learn about Jazz Age books I don’t know about yet!

Recommended Reading:

Books by Jazz Age authors:

  • The Beautiful and Damned – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Save Me the Waltz – Zelda Fitzgerald
  • A Moveable Feast – Ernest Hemingway
  • The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  • The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Gertrude Stein


  • Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby – Sarah Churchwell (pub. Jan. 23)
  • Zelda – Nancy Milford
  • Ernest Hemingway: The Paris Years – Michael Reynolds
  • The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York – Deborah Blum
  • Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern – Joshua Zeitz
  • Anything Goes: A Biography of the Roaring Twenties – Lucy Moore

Contemporary fiction:

  • The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
  • Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald – Therese Anne Fowler
  • Call Me Zelda – Erika Robuck
  • The Chaperone – Laura Moriarty
  • The Other Typist – Suzanne Rindell

How to Participate:

All you have to do to participate in this event is read at least one Jazz Age book and write about it on your blog! I plan to read ’20s books all month, but participants are free to read as many or few books for this event as they please.

If you plan on joining the fun, please sign up using the Mister Linky widget at the bottom of this post. The event will start on January 1, and I will post weekly linkups for participants to share their posts. Non-review/reflection posts are welcome, too! Feel free to write informational posts about the Jazz Age and its authors, recommendation lists, or anything that catches your fancy.

Please grab the button at the top of this post and post it somewhere on your blog, like in an introductory post or in the sidebar, to share this event with others and help spread the word!

If you’d like to share your posts or discuss the event on Twitter, use the hashtag #JazzAgeJanuary.


jazz age january prizes
In addition to reading some amazing books and learning about this fascinating period of time, participants will have the chance to win a book of their choice from Penguin’s beautifully designed Fitzgerald Classics editions. I’m so in love with the art deco covers on these hardbacks!

I will announce the full details of this giveaway in the event’s start post on Jan. 1, so make sure to check in!

Sign-Up Linky:

Well, I’d best be off. I’m totally zozzled on white lightning, and I’m getting the bum’s rush to clear out of this speakeasy. I’ll see all you Janes and dewdroppers at the starting line next month!

  • I can commit to at least one book about the Roaring 20’s, dollface. Something to look forward to this winter!

    • Yay! I’m breaking into the Charleston in excitement.

  • Exciting! I was in the 20s mood earlier this year when I read a bunch of books based on Zelda Fitzgerald. However, I’d like to post on the book that snagged me, The Great Gatsby. I know it’s a bit hyped, but I’m hoping that I can bring some different or more intricate views since I’ve taught it so many times. Let me know, I can change it if needed.

    • Okay, don’t hold me to that choice. I just realized I have the memoir written by Zelda Fitzgerald’s granddaughter! I can read it during Christmas break. It’s a bit more unknown and probably filled with interesting insider stuff. (Also out of print, but can be bought from Amazn Market.)

      • You can write about whatever you like! Either of those books would be perfect, and you have plenty of time to choose πŸ™‚

    • I wouldn’t mind reading a review on the Great Gatsby! If you’re still interested you could write it for our blog! πŸ™‚ let me know… Just follow the name.

  • Congrats on your first event! Sounds like a great one. A couple of the books you listed are on my TBR pile, so I can definitely commit to reading at least one. Sounds like fun!

    I’m thoroughly impressed by your use of 20s slang. Wowzers.

    • Thanks for signing up!

      I had way too much fun with a ’20s slang dictionary while writing this.

  • Am not sure I still go a book around unread that qualifies, love the 20’s! Which does make this a good excuse to buy a new book..

    • Because we all need a good excuse to buy more books, right? πŸ˜‰

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for hosting this! Such a brilliant way to start the year…I will definitely be joining in πŸ˜€

    • Wonderful! I’m having a hard time waiting until January to dig in πŸ˜›

  • Jan

    Oooh, what a great sounding challenge! I’ll definitely have a think about participating! Love the 20s and I was actually at a 20s themed bar on Saturday!

    • That sounds so cool! I’ve heard of a few “speakeasies,” but there aren’t any in my city — bummer!

  • Ok, you got me with all the lingo. I think this is the cat’s pajamas. You can count me in.

    • I had a LOT of fun with a 20s slang dictionary while writing this post πŸ˜› Thanks for signing up!

  • I’m sooooo excited to take part! The 20s is one of my fave periods, so I’m all in!

    • Yay! I’m doing a happy dance — the Charleston, to be specific πŸ˜‰

  • I am committing to reading at least one and I might like it and challenge myself to read more. Great idea by the way!!

    • Thanks for joining!

  • I have at least one to read and review, I’ll be there with bells on!

  • I’ve been curious about Careless People, so count me in too!

    • Awesome! I’m really looking forward to that one, too.

  • What a great event! My January is going to be slightly insane so I’m not going to sign up, but I’ll help spread the word. πŸ™‚

    • Totally understandable. Thanks Monika πŸ™‚

  • Well, since the requirement is only ONE I can definitely participate πŸ™‚

    • I thought I’d make it as easy on people as possible πŸ˜›

      • Megan @ The Whynott Blog

        Perfect! I’ve been needing an excuse to read The Beautiful and Damned!

        • Welcome aboard!

  • Oooo… this sounds exciting! Let me see if I can get my hands on one of these!

  • I think I’m in! I will decide on a book once I’m back from holiday πŸ™‚

    • Woohoo! Thanks for joining the fun!

  • I’m in! And I’m going to try to read 2 books for this! Something or multiple somethings by Hemingway and I’ve had The Paris Wife on my list for a while!

    • Yaaay! I actually just listened to The Paris Wife on audiobook (which may have been part of my sudden desire to read everything Jazz Age), and I enjoyed it!

  • What a fun idea! I’ve already set my January plans in stone, but I do like the way you’ve themed this one. Have fun!

  • Wonderful first event! I’m definitely participating, though I’m not sure what I’ll read. I’ll explore my options in a few weeks, so I can let you know πŸ˜‰

    • I’m excited for you to join us! There’s plenty of time to decide what you want to read πŸ™‚

  • Great event! Perfect reason to read CALL ME ZELDA which has been sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read.

    • I’m happy to provide an excuse!

  • I’ve never done one of these before but have wanted to read A Moveable Feast for a long time. Very excited – I love the theme!

  • Ummm, seeing as this is the first time I’ve done this I screwed up the linking thing and ended up with both 16 and 17. Can you remove me from 16? Sorry!

    • No worries, all fixed. Thanks for signing up!

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  • Oh my gosh, I love reading books set in the 1920s. Can’t wait for this! I think I’ll only have time to read 1-2 books, what with everything else I have to read, but I’m still super excited πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for joining us!

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  • This sounds like so much fun! I can’t wait to try this out. Looks like you have a lot of people interested as well. Good luck with your first event! I’m sure it’ll be the talk of the Jacks and Jills. (I need the 20s slang dictionary, lol.)

  • I read a lot of the contemporary fiction titles you have listed here earlier this year, and have been meaning to go back and read some nonfiction from the era to supplement that. I’ve also got The Sun Also Rises waited for me, so this seemed the perfect excuse to get me moving!

    • Perfect! Glad to have you with us πŸ™‚

  • What a great idea — there are so many great books (novels and nonfiction) about the Jazz Age. I will post on Careless People — I’m organizing an event for the author. I just read Dollface by Renee Rosen — wonderful Roaring Twenties book, set in Chicago. I posted an author interview on my blog, Books on the Table.

    • Perfect! I haven’t heard of Dollface, but I’ll check out your post!

  • Well, since you said we only need to read ONE, I signed up. It’s pretty terrific that Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald just happens to be one of the recent books I picked up and haven’t gotten to yet. Looking forward to seeing what we all come up with.

    • I’ve heard so many good things about that one! I can’t decide if I want to read the novel Zelda wrote or the Nancy Milford’s biography of her.

  • Jie Yi See

    One of the first events I’ve ever signed up for and I’m definitely excited to start the new year off with some Jazz age read. Thanks Leah!
    – JY

    • Thanks for signing up!

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  • One book is def doable! I’m going to pick The Diviners and perhaps read The age of Innocence or something else πŸ™‚
    Thanks Leah!

    • Woohoo! Glad to have you with us!

  • This sounds like fun, I need an excuse to read The Paris Wife and maybe even The Other Typist.

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  • Wow! This sounds like such fun! I’m definitely in. I’m not sure what I’ll be reading, but it’ll definitely be by Fitzgerald or Hemingway. Talk about a fun and exciting way to kick off the new year πŸ˜‰

    • Welcome, and thanks for signing up!

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  • What an amazing event, Leah! Sadly there is not a single Roaring 20’s book on my too-large TBR pile. If anyone is interested in biographies, I highly recommend “Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation” by Judith Mackrell. (http://booksandreviews.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/flappers-six-women-of-a-dangerous-generation/) and I encourage everyone to read “Z” by Therese Anne Fowler.

    Happy reading!!

  • This sounds sooo fun! I already know what my 1st read will be. I have Tales of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 2nd collection of shorts. I’ve been meaning to get to it and had already thought of starting off 2014 with it. Perfect!

    • Nice choice! Thanks for joining πŸ™‚

  • So apparently I was being crushed by uni when you first posted about this and now I’m not sure I’ll have enough time to get my hands on a 20’s book. But I will try my best because this does sound like such a great event and I’ve had a ton of fun reading the Great Gatsby so I’m sure I’ll enjoy other books from the same decade.

    Anyway, good luck with event! πŸ™‚

    • Oh no! Well, the event runs all month, and the last linkup will actually be Feb. 8 (to give people reading at the end of the month time to finish up and write their posts), so there’s plenty of time if you want to join!

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  • arabellabramble

    Wow I just stumbled across your Jazz reading event which is so serendipitous, I just started reading Z a novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. I read a few related titles last year and feel like some more Jazz age reading, so if it is not to late I would love to join in on this event. I may only read a couple of titles starting with Z a novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. I will put up a sign up post some time today. Thanks for hosting this event.

    • Perfect! It’s absolutely not too late to join! All you have to do is link up your reviews. Glad to have you aboard!

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  • I am just beginning my own blog & was already planning on reading some 1920’s inspired literature when I found your event. Since I’ve already torn through the first few short stories in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tales of the Jazz Age this month I figured that’d be a good place to begin with this event, perfect way to start off my blogging for the new year!

    • Congrats on starting your blog, and welcome to the blogosphere! Sounds like a perfect plan!

  • I just found this post– I know we’re a week into January, but is it too late to join? One of my goals this year is to participate more with the literary blogging community, and this would be a great way to start.

    • Definitely not too late to join! I’ll be posting weekly link-ups every Saturday, and the last one won’t be until Feb. 8; plenty of time to read and write about a Jazz Age book! Thanks for signing up πŸ™‚

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  • oh, good grief! i was so tired when i posted here, that i just posted the link. so sorry! thanks for making it look presentable. i’m really enjoying the event.

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  • What a great idea – I will check my TBR pile to see if I have something suitable!
    Congrats on hosting your first event πŸ™‚