1 – The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald


Dear ______________

The problem with lists is that you can’t please everyone. I could say that something is the greatest thing since sliced bread and someone else will be allergic to wheat. Lists are like that. They are as divisive as they are unifying.

I remember when I was a kid listening to Capital Radio’s annual countdown of the top 1000 songs of all time. They would play hours of classic songs every day over Christmas, leading up to the New Year. I still remember the anticipation of waiting to see what would be number 1 that year. Would it be `Bohemian Rhapsody`? Or `Imagine`. Perhaps even `Stairway to Heaven`?

But there was one year when the listeners, or staff at Capital Radio went off piste. They chose something else, something quite horribly vile. I think they chose… `Angels` by Robbie Williams. That was the moment when I stopped believing in the magic of other people’s lists.

Doing this for World Book Day has been cathartic. I feel like it’s ok to think again about my ex-books. For inspiration I revisited all of the books on my bookshelf at home, plus the  ones in my cupboard at school. I even walked laps of the school library reminiscing about those books that I had once loved, whilst fluttering my eyelashes at some new ones that caught my eye.

`The Great Gatsby` is one of the loves of my life. It inspired me to write my own book and for that I will be forever grateful.

I still remember the moment in `The Great Gatsby` when I realised it was different from the rest. Up until that point it can only be compared to the early days of a relationship. I was nervous and unsure whether it was lust or the real thing? I was young and often easily pleased.

Then I read these words:

“There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”

That was the first paragraph of Chapter 3 and it was the moment when I knew.

Sometimes I don’t tell you enough but I love you The Great Gatsby. I love you lots and lots. I’m sorry if I take you for granted. Thank you for inspiring me to be a writer.



AB  xx


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