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Riot Recommendation

40+ Tales of the Jazz Age

Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.

This week’s Riot Recommendation is sponsored by An American Duchess by Sharon Page.

an american duchessAt the height of the Roaring Twenties, New York heiress Zoe Gifford longs for the freedoms promised by the Jazz Age. Headstrong and brazen, but bound by her father’s will to marry before she can access his fortune, Zoe arranges for a brief marriage to Sebastian Hazelton, whose aristocratic British family sorely needs a benefactor.

Once in England, her foolproof plan to wed, inherit and divorce proves more complicated than Zoe had anticipated. Nigel Hazelton, Duke of Langford and Sebastian’s austere older brother, is disgraced by the arrangement and looks down upon the raucous young American who has taken up residence at crumbling Brideswell Abbey. Still reeling from the Great War, Nigel is now staging a one-man battle against a rapidly changing world—and the outspoken Zoe represents everything he’s fighting against. When circumstances compel Zoe to marry Nigel rather than Sebastian, she does so for love, he for honor. But with Nigel unwilling to change with the times, Zoe may be forced to choose between her husband and her dreams.


In this Riot Recommendation, we asked for your favorite gin-soaked, jazz-filled books about the Roaring 20s. Here’s what you came up with:

1929 by Frederick W. Turner

The Jazz Flower by Vee Williams Garcia

Jazz by Toni Morrison

Oh, Play That Thing by Roddy Doyle

“The Girl the Prince Liked” by Zelda Fitzgerald

Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood

Grand Days by Frank Moorhouse

Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King

Miss Anne in Harlem by Carla Kaplan

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos

Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh

Passing by Nella Larsen

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

To the Ligthouse by Virginia Woolf

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Sirens by Janet Fox

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine

Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott FItzegerald

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Havoc by Tom Kristensen

The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum

Island of Vice by Richard Zacks

Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje

Everybody Was So Young by Amanda Vaill

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ragtime By E. L. Doctorow

The Disenchanted by Budd Schulberg

Love in a Cold Climate Nancy Mitford

The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue

Dream Street by Damon Runyan

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

Shadows of the Sun by Harry Crosby

Live by Night by Dennis Lehane