If I liked "The Catcher in the Rye"

The Catcher in the Rye was required reading in my grade ten class, years and years ago. I liked it.

I’m not an avid reader. If someone asked me “What’s your favorite book?” I’d have to answer “The Catcher in the Rye” because I’ve never had one that really hit home for me. I just reread TCITR and it really wasn’t as great as I remember. The only other book I ever remember really enjoying was “The God Project” by John Saul, but I have a feeling it would no longer appeal to me.

In high school, I read a bit of John Saul and Stephen King. Then I got sick of them. University, I had no time for reading, and then I gave up on fiction for a few years, devouring cookbooks, self help books (Wayne Dyer and SARK are great), and other non-fiction subjects (anything related to shopping or advertising is fun). I tackled it again a few years ago with Sidney Sheldon, but I got sick of him too.

So I’m trying again. I’m looking for something that is an easy read, something that deals with the mundane, but interesting. A Sienfeld episode in a book, if you will. When I was at Chapters, I bought Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Running With Scissors. I finished Shopaholic easily, but it was a little too one-dimensional for my tastes. I’m hoping that Running will be a little bit more varied. If it’s not, I may slink off again to my trusty magazines. Sigh

Please, suggest some books I’d enjoy.

If you liked TCITR at all you may want to give Franny and Zooey (which is also written by Salinger) a shot, which, I would have to say, is heads above TCITR. In fact I really didn’t enjoy TCITR except for the style of it, (the rambling nature of the tale tickled me pink) but yes Franny and Zooey.

Though Franny and Zooey ties in with some of his other works. A Perfect Day for Bananafish in my opinion should be read first, and then Franny and Zooey and then lastly Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.

(A Perfect Day for Bananafish is a short story in Nine Stories, also if you happen to get that collection “For Esme - With Love and Squalor” is delicious)
But then again you may not much like Salinger at all any more, so I shall suggest some others.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Garcia-Marquez - This is quite nice, I would have to say has one of the best endings I have read.

The Remains of the Day by Ishiguro - Oh dear, this is a terribly pleasant book. It was like a refreshing walk in a park.

The Three Musketeers by Dumas - My, this really is just good clean fun.

Hocus Pocus and by Vonnegut - I did enjoy this one, if I remember correctly I laughed aloud during it, did indeed touch my fancy.

Cat’s Cradle by Vonnegut - Lovely little tale, rather interesting.

On the Road by Kerouac - A nice beaty book, definitive novel of the era and all that jazz.

The Godfather - Quite nice, made me want to make spaghetti as I read it, which I indeed did. Much better than any of the movies.

So there you go, sorry I didn’t really go into detail about what they were about, but you could always look them up, or ask.

Generation X by Douglas Coupland.

If you’re looking for episodic easy reads, then “Bridget Jones’ Diary” sounds up your alley - moves quickly, about the mundane life of a single girl trying to get along in the world.

If you like TCITR because of the sense of youthful disillusionment, then I would recommend either “The Scarlet and the Black” (also translated to “The Red and the Black” - great book. Or “The Magus” - both deal with teen/youthful angst in interesting ways.

Finally, if you just want a fast-moving, interesting book, then I would recommend Ender’s Game - it’s science fiction, but every non-sci-fi reader I have recommended it too has loved it.

Whatever you do, keep reading!

Thank you for the recommendations. I checked over most of the reviews on Amazon.com, and they sound quite exciting.

I don’t think I’ll like Bridget Jones’ Diary because I have a feeling it’s a bit too whiny. I’m much more excited about reading Franny and Zooey.

What I liked about TCITR is not the teenage angst per se, more the sense of incredible integrity that Holden possessed. I envy that he acts purely on his own motivations, without a need to please others.

I actually already have Ender’s Game, but it’s from a friend of my husband, so I didn’t really look at it yet. I’ll have to take a peek at it.

The Scarlet and the Black? This is in French? I’m trying to improve my French skills. Is this something I could read easily?

Now I just have to find all these books. E-bay? Amazon? New or used?

The Scarlet and the Black was indeed written in French, but I would probably recommend an English translation unless you are pretty fluent.

As for where to buy them, any approach you named is fine. Having said that, the titles named are all pretty popular, so a trip to your local used book store or library should do the trick.

Oh, and if you like Integrity-related books, I strongly recommend Birdy by William Wharton - it was the basis for a cult fave movie with Nic Cage and Matthew Modine, with a soundtrack by Peter Gabriel. Great book about friendship, sanity and personal focus. Very readable.

If you want a book about integrity, you might enjoy “Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig.

Well you could get more of the same from an Ayn Rand novel. :smiley:

I’d second “Franny and Zooey” although I must admit I preferred TCITR.

Perhaps you might also try “To Kill a Mockingbird” as it is a very easy read, and an absolutely fantastic book. Scout has a child’s honesty that is reminscent of Holden’s but is decidedly more endearing.

I second this suggestion. I just read Hocus Pocus recently and had the same reaction as Steven. I thought it was a neat, fun, quirky little book, and I imagine a lot of people who liked Holden in Catcher would also like the main character in Hocus Pocus. Plus, it’s a very quick read, which is a plus for people who aren’t big readers or who are very busy.

I think you should check this book out, guava–I bet you’d like it.

Yes, Duncan, my second favorite book would be To Kill a Mockingbird. You guys must be on the right track with your recommmendations then.

Believe it or not, I’m not familiar with Ayn Rand. Thanks for the tip.

I don’t think anyone’s mentioned it yet, so I’ll suggest The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky. It’s a newer book, and in many ways it’s like TCITR. It’s a psychological novel about growing up, told in the first person, and it’s in episodes…well, written as a series of letters to an anonymous person over a period of a year or so. Might want to give that one a shot.

I wasn’t that impressed by Running With Scissors. But if you like the Single Girl theme as in that and Shopaholic but you want something less one-dimensional you might try My Planet: Where English is Sometimes Spoken by Shannon Olson.

'Most anything by Tom Robbins is a good place to start. But I’d stick with Salinger if I were you. I could sit and read every one of his books front to back again right now.