Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mad Men Mini: Memo - Summer Reading

TO: Guests of Mad Men Mini-hoopla

FROM: vvb

SUBJECT: The Definitive Mad Men Summer Reading List (2010)

Along with watching the show, you can check out some books that Flavorwire has compiled that are books featured in, based on, or that inspired Mad Men, broken down by season.

The complete Flavorwire list is here

Flavorwire excerpt Season 1 list:

Babylon Revisited and Other Stories
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Seeing as Mad Men is, among other things, a mid-century update of The Great Gatsby, it makes sense that Fitzgerald would come into the series sooner or later. After Arthur, the cute stable boy, recommends that Betty read the novella “A Diamond as Big as the Ritz” back in season one, we find her with her nose stuck in the collection that includes it.

Read it online: “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz”

Flavorwire excerpt Season 2 list:

Meditations in an Emergency
by Frank O’Hara (1957)
Perhaps the most visible book to appear on the show, Meditations in an Emergency is also the title of Mad Men’s second season finale. Way back in the first episode of that series, Don Draper meets a bohemian reading it in a bar where O’Hara happens to have composed much of the book who suggests that he’s too square to appreciate it. That, of course, is good enough to sell Don on the book. The New York School poet’s pieces, like the chaotic episode, are fraught with personal crisis.

Read it online: “Meditations in an Emergency”
Watch it online: Don reading from O’Hara’s “Mayakovsky”

Flavorwire excerpt Season 3 list:

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
by Edward Gibbon (1776-1789)
Is there any greater portent of total familial meltdown than Gibbon’s 18th-century masterpiece in the hands of little Sally Draper? Yes, that is the bedtime story she reads aloud to her beloved Grandpa Gene early in season three.

Read it online: All six volumes at Project Gutenberg

The complete Flavorwire list is here

AND, you are welcome to join in my Mad Men Reading challenge which lasts through November.

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