“The rest, with very little exaggeration, was books. Meant-to-be-picked-up books. Permanently-left-behind books. Uncertain-what-to-do-with books. But books, books."
“I’m to write and tell you that you have your Whole Life Before You and that it’s Criminal if you don’t go after your Ph.D….you dirty little bookworm”
“I don’t know what good it is to know so much and be smart as whips and all if it doesn't make you happy.”
It is rare that I close a book with the satisfaction of having just read something lovely, and I would have never guessed that Mr. J. D. Salinger would bring this moment to me. My only experience with JDS is The Catcher in the Rye which I read shortly after high school and felt that I needed to have read it five years earlier to feel any of the reverence that every guy I knew who read it between the ages of 13 and 17 seemed to feel about it.
In the great tradition of dirty little bookworms everywhere, I picked up this book because
a cute guy liked it I will be teaching American lit next year and am incredibly passionate about my subject.
First and only complaint: Little Brown, the original publisher of the iconic rainbow striped JDS books has apparently started a new trade paperback imprint called Back Bay Books which has decided to redo the cover meaning my JDS spines no longer match. I know I am not the only freak about this, and it's annoying, especially because Catcher in the Rye is also on its own planet when it comes to its new jacket.
The rest: this book was lovely and you should read it. It’s a quick read that has the cutest sentimental moment ever (it involves a child and a puppy omgawd it's a little kid and a little puppy what more do you want in life you heartless bastard?) intermixed with hilarious dry humor and criticisms of the academic system and certain kinds of religious people. If you are at all booky, educated, or quirky, you too will long to be a member of the Glass family and long to be taught under Seymour and Buddy so that you too can have a nervous breakdown at college – which is really all this book is about when you ignore the humor, charm, and writing. Part of the beauty is that it really is that simple – a girl has a breakdown – but JDS makes it so much more interesting than that. As someone who grew up in a household where buying books was forbidden, I am completely enchanted by the idea of a family growing up where bookshelves line bedrooms.