With the release of The Great Gatsby coming in May 2013, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the Big Read Wichita was a fun way to get in the mood! I had forgotten what a good story it is, until I watched GG on YouTube of a student video project, so I did reread it in short order. But the fun came when the Library made a display depicting the Robert Redford/Mia Farrow version in a stylized way, accented by information from all Gatsby movies, and a “star walk” of a quote that described Jay Gatsby. Some of the events surrounding the Big Read made the singular art of reading into a true community gathering. At the Art Museum kickoff, a jazz band played, as excerpts were read, and a Packard car show carried on outside. An afternoon of listening to a Reader’s Theatre of three Fitzgerald one acts was followed by cookies and “green light” punch. Zelda Fitzgerald, the real-life Daisy, came to life in a presentation by
Debra Conner that was superb in her knowledge and manner. Other Big Read events, past and still to come, offer so much Fitzgerald, we’ll be dreaming we’re in the 1920′s, dancing, partying, and very rich! If you’re reading the book, be sure to also read the story of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. Their meteoric high life rise and crash puts all that wealth and partying in perspective. But it’s still great to dream!