Friday, January 29, 2010

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

This classic the only novel written by J.D. Salinger was a must read when I was teenager. I was fifteen and it was a much talked about novel among my peers when I read it. Holden Caulfield the protagonist was considered the original angry young man of the fifties generation.

As he died at 91 just two days ago I decided to pay tribute by posting an entry here.

Text below is copied from:

Salinger's only novel, The Catcher in the Rye, was published in 1951 and gradually achieved a status that made him cringe. For decades the book was a universal rite of passage for adolescents, the manifesto of disenchanted youth. (Sometimes lethally disenchanted: After he killed John Lennon in 1980, Mark David Chapman said he had done it "to promote the reading" of Salinger's book. Roughly a year later, when he headed out to shoot President Ronald Reagan, John Hinckley Jr. left behind a copy of the book in his hotel room.) But what matters is that even for the millions of people who weren't crazy, Holden Caulfield, Salinger's petulant, yearning (and arguably manic-depressive) young hero was the original angry young man. That he was also a sensitive soul in a cynic's armor only made him more irresistible. James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway had invented disaffected young men too. But Salinger created Caulfield at the very moment that American teenage culture was being born. A whole generation of rebellious youths discharged themselves into one particular rebellious youth.

Photo and Biographical Info courtesy of Wikipedia.

Salinger in 1950
BornJerome David Salinger
January 1, 1919
Manhattan, New York
DiedJanuary 27, 2010 (aged 91)[1]
Cornish, New Hampshire, United States[1]
Writing period1940–1965
Notablework(s)The Catcher in the Rye (1951)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Double Fault by Lionel Shriver

Tennis Balls
Originally uploaded by Esterburja

Click to view large image of cover in new window...

Although this novel was first published in the USA in 1997, it was only published in the UK in 2006 after the success of ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’. It has similarities in style but I do not think it should be unfavorably compared as it was written much earlier in the authors career before her writing style had fully developed.

Tennis is the dominate theme in this novel based on a relationship between two ambitious tennis players.
The female protagonist is Wilhelmina Novinsky a professional tennis player whose life has been devoted to the game for as long as she can remember. Tennis has also been the only love in her life until she meets Eric Oberdorf a gifted player come late to the game but determined to make a success on the international tennis circuit. They marry and at first seem deeply in love but ambition and determination soon begin to affect the relationship as the competition between them causes tensions between them. Loyalty is well tested in this battle of the sexes on and off court.
What could have been a great relationship is ruined by the demands of both Willy and Eric who at times were both in my mind rather unpleasant characters.

Using tennis as the vehicle to write a relationship novel was for me a very interesting one, but somehow I doubt I would have enjoyed it quite so much if I was not a fan of tennis myself.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I think you will find many of your favourite titles from the last decade on this list and hopefully I have also introduced you to another great website for Booklovers.

Vote for the best book of the decade at 

In association with Good Housekeeping, here at Lovereading we have compiled an all-important ‘Top 50 Books of the Last Decade’. There are numerous prize winners, occasional debut novels as well as novels that have now been made into films, but rest assured we think each and every one is, in its own unique way, a fantastic read and a book that will stand the test of time.

And we want your help in choosing the Top 10 books of the decade. It’s very easy – to put your favourites into the Top 10 just click the ‘Vote for Book’ button below each title.
You can vote for as many books as you wish — but only one vote will be counted per book.
The shortlist will be published on the website in April 2010. Thank you for your help.

Free emails and book extractsYou loved your last book...
but what are you going to read next?

Using our unique guidance tools, Lovereading will help you find new books to keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hurting Distance by Sophie Hannah

Click to view large image of cover in new window...My reading has got off to a very slow start this year, very unusual for me, but I seem to have had lots of other distractions. I have even been too tired to read before going to sleep at night recently!
So it is the 19th of January and this is my first book review of the year as I have only just completed my first novel of 2010. What a brilliant start to a year of reading though, thrillers are not my favourite genre but for Sophie Hannah’s excellent writing I am prepared to make an exception.
I think that ‘Hurting Distance’ is every bit as good as her last novel ‘Little Face’. I am now looking forward to reading the two titles she has published since, ‘The Point of Rescue’ and ‘The Other Half Lives’ both of which I am lucky enough to already have on my bookshelf.

Using the same successful pattern as her previous novel Sophie Hannah uses the two female protagonists Naomi Jenkins, the victim and Charlie Zailer the detective investigating the case to tell the story in alternating chapters. In fact two of the detectives Charlie and Simon both appeared in her previous novel and it seems they are to become regular characters as they are apparently also in the next one. Be warned though rape is featured in this novel and some of the descriptions may be upsetting, the rapist is a particularly nasty piece of humanity!

Both disconcerting and compelling this chilling tale of obsessive love certainly kept me guessing right to the end.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Winnie The Pooh

Winnie the Pooh Day is an opportunity to enjoy your favorite bear and all of his friends. This day was created to celebrate the birth of A.A .Milne on this date in 1882.

Pooh Shepard 1926.png   

I just loved Winnie the Pooh as a child and again reading the adventures to my children when they were little, also teaching them to play 'Poohsticks'
A full and interesting history can be read here.