Opening lines of ‘Catcher in the Rye’

Still not convinced about giving this novel a chance? Here are the opening lines:

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

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J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger, author of  The Catcher in the Rye, passed away this week at the age of 91. 

Generations of students and teachers have been forever changed by this acclaimed novel, one of my favourites ever since I discovered it as a teenager. I was very proud of myself when I managed to read it in English the first time, and have often revisited it since, especially when I’m feeling a bit down in the dumps. The Catcher in the Rye, narrated by main character and hero Holden Caulfield, is the story of Holden’s life in the few days after being expelled from his Pennsylvania prep school. Holden, one of the most sympathetic and complex young characters of all time,  is an incredibly intelligent, sensitive young man on the verge of becoming an adult who has trouble functioning in the real world.  

The Catcher in the Rye has been translated to many languages and has sold more than 60 million copies worlwide 59 years after its publication in 1951. It has also been banned more times than you want to count by zealous parents and educators. Not that anybody’s surprised by this (because of the profanity, sex, alcohol abuse, prostitution – need I go on?), but interestingly enough, it’s also frequently used as part of high school English classes and it has become required reading in every English department in America.

There are also some curious facts connected to Salinger’s novel. Mark David Chapman, the man who shot John Lennon, was carrying a copy of The Catcher in the Rye when he was arrested. John Hinckley Jr., the guy who tried to kill US President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was also a Caulfield fan.

If you want to know a bit more about the life and other works of this very secretive author, here is a link to a good article by the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8486169.stm

Introducing the Book

My dear friend Helen found this video. I thought I would post it here!

The Millenium Trilogy

I’m currently reading the first book of the Millenium Trilogy, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; so what’s the deal, you will think, this book was published more than a year ago… Yes, my dear reader, you are very right. Why the post? Two very good reasons. The first one, I’m enjoying it immensely and, even if I am the last person on Earth to have read it this late in time, I wanted to share my experience with the rest of the world. The second one, ‘The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest’, the third novel in the ‘Millenium’ saga was published in English a few days ago.

I have had the first two books on my shelf for some time now, but I just refused to be influenced by the media hype around them. It was a little act of rebellion, but I hate to read what everybody else is reading. Don’t ask me why I bought them, though; sometimes I just can’t make sense of myself, and when it comes to books, I’m a bit of a compulsive buyer.

Even when a friend of mine at work – whose opinion I value highly – recommended ‘Millenium I’,  I did not give in, not yet. You could see everybody reading it, on the bus, on the train, or carrying one as if it was a treasured possession… But I would not surrender, I would not be one of them.

Then, the second part of the trilogy came out: The Girl Who Played With Fire. It became an instant success story, just like the first book, which was then being made into a film. So,  more Larsson everywhere, spreading like wildfire :-); on TV and cinemas, in bookshops and shopping centres, in magazines and newspapers. I was running out of stuff to read, and there they were, on my shelf, crying out to be read, but I was adamant.

Two weeks ago, though, while perusing my bookshelf desperate for something to read, I saw the red and blue spines (Millenium I and II),  and I succumbed. I have become a ‘common’ reader… after all, there is nothing wrong with that condition – unlike swine flu – and, even if I hate to admit it,  it has happened before.

So, I confess, I can’t wait to read the rest of the saga, but I won’t see the films… 🙂

Some books to read

The holidays are long gone, summer is over and a new academic year is starting, so it’s time for me to bring my blog back to life… it’s been a long, long while, but no more excuses.
So, how about a bit of reading? This is one of my favourite hobbies and I thought I would share some of the books I’ve read with you and try to convince you to get started on your reading!

Let’s get started with Dan Brown’s latest book,  The Lost Symbol, published a few days back; not my piece of cake, to be honest, but if his former books are anything to go by, it shouldn’t be hard to read, if you know what I mean…

More about The Lost SymbolMore about The Catcher in the RyeMore about The PyramidMore about Kennedy's BrainMore about Everything Is IlluminatedMore about Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseMore about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeMore about Bridget Jones Diary

As for the rest, I’ve read them all at different times, and I found them highly enjoyable. There is a bit of everything, crime, humour, ‘chick lit’, etc. and enough to give you a taste. There will be many more to share as I have set up a  page with some of my favourite books. You can find them at http://www.anobii.com/teresaslevel4, but it’s still under construction!