Reading List: Some Of The Most Iconic Books From the 1920s

Pottermore takes a trip back in time to the Fantastic Beasts era and explores some of the best books and writers from the 1920s.

If Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them got you curious about life in the 1920s, Pottermore has assembled an essential reading list for you!

The 1920s was a golden age for the arts with great movements in music, fine art and literature. The era, known as the Jazz Age or the Roaring 20s, housed movements like the Harlem Renaissance and introduced artists to the world that would be recognized for generations to come.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

You can’t talk about literature in the 20s without mentioning F. Scott Fitzgerald. His work defines the Jazz Age, despite only publishing four novels in his life. His stories This Side of ParadiseThe Beautiful and DamnedThe Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night are all worth reading, but Pottermore suggests you start with The Beautiful and Damned or The Great Gatsby if for some reason you haven’t already read it.

Ernest Hemingway

Another iconic author of the era! Hemingway and Fitzgerald are both part of the Lost Generation, which is men who came of age during the first World War. This is a big part of Hemingway’s work, particularly his first novel The Sun Also Rises. Published in 1926, the story sees many figures from the Lost Generation (based on Hemingway and people from his real life) as they travel across Europe.

Langston Hughes

Hughes was a leader of the Harlem Renessaince, a movement that an explosion of art, music and literature from Black artists in Harlem, New York. Hughes was a poet, playwright and author with an extensive bibliography. His first ever collection of poetry, The Weary Blues, was published in 1926 and speaks of music, inequality and pride.

Virgina Woolf

For a non-American perspective, Virgina Woolf’s work reflected her views on English society at the time. The aftermath of World War I is still a defining factor in her work, with the war’s lingering impact felt in both To The Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway. They also, however, include Woolf’s own struggles with mental illness and feminism.

Check out the full list of recommended books via Pottermore.

1. Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence

2. D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love

3. James Joyce’s Ulysses

4. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned

5. Richmal Crompton’s Just William

6. T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land

7. Margery Williams’s The Velveteen Rabbit

8. P.G. Wodehouse’s The Inimitable Jeeves

9. E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India

10. W. Somerset Maugham’s The Painted Veil

11. Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans

12. Alain LeRoy Locke’s The New Negro

13. Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway

14. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

15. Langston Hughes’s The Weary Blues

16. Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises

17. Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse

18. William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury

19. D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover

20. Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms

Although these novels don’t explore the Wizarding World, they still give insight into the 1920s and life during the Fantastic Beasts era.