We are always looking for the newest, most current book. We are either racing to read the book that is getting made into a movie before it comes out, or we are trying to keep up with the trends in the media. And don’t even get me started on Oprah’s Book Club. It can be overwhelming. In all the hype, maybe we are overlooking classic books that have been right under our noses the entire time!

 

For example, perhaps give an older book a try; we recommend you close off your summer by reading the book “A Movable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway. Not only will you feel innately cultured as you read the classic and underrated book by Hemingway, the famously tortured and talented writer from arguably the most iconic decade for art and literature: the 1920’s. You will also be shocked to find yourself enjoying a book that, instead of hinging on the romance between two estranged lovers like every modern book ever, centers on the long love affair with a truly lovely place: Paris in the 1920’s.

 

Although Hemingway writes with his signature straightforward tone and curt sentences, his memoir about life in Paris in the 1920’s is romantic in many ways. It is like something out of a dream; he sits and writes in little picturesque outdoor cafes by day, walks along “La Seine” by night, and parties with all of the contemporary and legendary writers of the time. But even though the book is a time capsule from another era, providing us snapshots of what life was like at the time, it is still relatable. The perspective this book gives is very interesting; you begin to realize that humans have essentially been doing the same thing for almost 100 years; when they drank too much back then, they woke up with a headache the next day. When they missed trains, they got angry. They encountered people with big egos and short tempers. They lived and laughed and did great things and unsavory things, just like today.

 

Time tends to change our perspective on what the world was like and how people acted. When we think back through the years, it is all so far away that it becomes out of focus and we imagine that life was better, that people were somehow better. But everything looks perfect from far away, and people, for the most part, have stayed the same. Still, this book remains honest; it is comical to hear the “dirt” on the writers, artists and poets who are now revered because of their distinguished work which is considered “high art” in this day and age. He recalls his experiences with the likes of Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Gertrude Stein, describing each of them in such earnest detail (no pun intended) that it is almost as if we get to know their true personalities and his own as told by an honest, unattached third party. In short, Hemingway is a trustworthy and overall likable guide through the wild life of 1920’s Paris.

 

Perhaps most interesting of all is his account of his good friend, Scott Fitzgerald, and the insight he provides into the onerous and long-examined relationship between he and his complicated partner, Zelda Fitzgerald. Hemingway was a very down-to-earth individual, and he was often less than enchanted by Zelda’s erratic habits and what he viewed as childish behavior. In her defense, Hemingway might have been enforcing an early version of a strict “bros before hoes” policy, hating to see his good friend and confidant so distraught over his complex relationship with what seemed like his troublesome wife, but Zelda Fitzgerald was another talented if not writer of the time.

 

In the end, you will conclude that although you may not be able to stay there forever, the dream of Paris in the 1920’s lives on, as it is “A Moveable Feast.”

 

Do you love the 20’s? Then read this book. Then comment below telling us how much you loved it or find me on Twitter @JenksUOhMeASoda