The latest in this series of guest posts about the books that most affected us while we were growing up is from Mindi Scott.
a teen, my private high school skipped out on most of the required
literature that other people my age were reading. But I remember that
during my senior year, several of my favorite young actors cited The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger as an all-time-favorite book, so I decided to check it out on my own.
happened after is that I fell in love. Holden Caulfield's story
surprised, amused, and moved me. I found the narration to be so fresh,
real, and unlike anything I'd ever read. To be completely honest, I had a
huge crush on Holden because he seemed to me to be so fearless, while
at the same time, so very sensitive.
Catcher is one of the
few books that I've read repeatedly over the years--once as a teen, at
least three times while in my twenties, and once while in my thirties
(so far). What I'm finding, the older I get, is that while I still enjoy
the voice and the writing, Holden himself holds diminished appeal for
me with every read. His instability and superior attitude can really
grate on my nerves. There's a scene where he judges someone's cheap
luggage and I become irritated every time I read it. (Strangely, I know
that deep down, that scene is what has inspired me to always carry nice
I have no idea how I'll feel about Holden the next time I read Catcher.
I strongly suspect that I will never again crush on him the way I did
at age 17, but I will always appreciate that J.D. Salinger gave me this
character, who inspires me to look at things differently.
Mindi Scott lives with her drummer husband near Seattle, Washington, and is the author of Live Through This (Pulse/10/02/2012) and Freefall (Pulse/2010). Live Through This just received a starred review from Kirkus.