If you picked up a hard copy of the NY Times this morning, you would have noticed an insert: An excerpt of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It's all apart of the NY Times's Great Summer Read, which is serializing four books starting today. Times readers will get excerpts from the book each day until Sunday, and other books coming up include Breakfast at Tiffany's, Like Water For Chocolate, and The Color of Water. For you NYTimes.com folks, the Great Summer Read should be online, but we don't know when. Gothamist thinks this is a great idea, because it's portable and convenient to read during the commute. The bad thing is that we do love the tactile pleasures of an actual book that we can later put on the shelf, but in this case, it's a nice way to revisit a book we read a while back.

The dashing Steven Weiss of The Forward let us know about tonight's event at the Borders at the Time-Warner Building at Columbus Circle, between 6-7PM, with Sam Waterston and his daughter, Elizabeth, reading from the book, which will be followed by a discussion. Waterston, our favorite lawyer (Law & Order AND I'll Fly Away), played Nick Carraway in the 1974 version of The Great Gatsby. James McBride, author of The Color of Water, will be giving a reading on August 23. Here is the Times' press release.

Buy The Great Gatsby book or movie form. And the "Great Summer Read" reminds Gothamist of Chicago's One Book, One Chicago program that gets the city to read a book and discuss it. This has been followed by other cities, but we're not sure with how much success. New York tried to emulate the program, by selecting Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee (narrowing beating The Color of Water), but we didn't hear much about it aside from a lone article. This article from Yale provides some good thoughts on the pros and cons of single-book programs. And Lee's sequel to Native Speaker, A Gesture Life is pretty good, and his current book, Aloft, is part of the new suburban novel movement everyone's been talking about.