Rules to Live By

Near the close of the summer a book hit the shelves that had all the literary critics crossing their eyes they were so excited. The book was Rules of Civility written by Amor Towles, first-time novelist and principal at a Manhattan investment firm (sounds scripted, eh?), was immediately hailed as a “love letter to New York in the 30s” and compared to the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

It’s a novel about exactly what you’d expect you to be about with a setting like 1930s New York. Flashy, society climbing twenty-somethings carving out their existence in The City. Katey Kontent narrates in a voice that is fascinatingly modern. She’s the daughter of Russian immigrants living in a boarding house when we meet her. Her roommate, Eve, is from the MidWest. Together they race around Manhattan having a grand ol’ time.

New Year’s Eve 1937 finds them in a seedy Jazz Club drinking their way through their last 15 cents when Tinker Grey wanders in reeking of wealth and prestige. The girls instantly latch on to him and promise to show him a wonderful time.

Continue reading “Rules to Live By”



the beautiful and damend by f. scott fitzgerald

I consider myself a self-motivated person. But apparently I’ve found my limits when it comes to Modern American Literature. Or maybe it’s just Classic Literature in general. I honestly haven’t read enough Classic Literature outside of an academic setting to know if I enjoy it or not.

This summer I made an attempt to remedy that. I picked up The Beautiful and Damned and For Whom the Bell Tolls in effort to better acquaint myself with these bastions of American Literature. I didn’t even crack the cover of FWtBT (unfortunately). And I made several attempts to march through TBaD. 

I mentioned in my review of Rules of Civility that RoC was everything I wanted The Beautiful and Damned to be: New York looking glamorous and some devil-may-care main characters that undergo some essential maturity and growth. Continue reading “self-motivated?”