For the challenge, I’m to post a picture of my favorite book. Well, hands down, that book is Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
Catcher in the Rye is the story of Holden Caufield, a misfit expelled from prep school who hides out in New York City for three truant days. Instead of returning to his home, he checks into the Edmont Hotel and encounters all things unseemly from a prostitute named Sunny to a controversial teacher named Mr. Antolini. We learn about Holden’s deceased brother, Allie, and watch through his eyes as he wallows in drunken loneliness.
He decides to spend an afternoon with his previous girlfriend, Sally Hayes. When she turns down his idea to move to out west he becomes determined to leave alone. On the way out of town, he stops to see his sister, Phoebe, causing her to want to leave with him. To distract her from wanting to go, he takes her to the Central Park Zoo and, while watching her on the carousel, he realizes he’s “getting sick.” I won’t fill you in on anymore details except that the final words of the book are, “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you’ll start missing everybody.”
I adore this book, however, it is surrounded by controversy. Between 1961 and 1982, Catcher in the Rye was the most censored book in high school libraries in the United States. However, in 1981 it was simultaneously the most censored and most taught book? The long list of charges against the book include vulgar language, promotion of rebellion, smoking, drinking and promiscuity, blasphemy, and undermining of family values and moral code. And, there’s another super-creepy fact about the book on this list (#9).
But all that being said, Holden made my heart ache as I quickly flipped page after page, engrossed in his stream of consciousness. As I read, I couldn’t help but want to leap in to the pages and save him from himself. When I finished and put down Catcher in the Rye, I immediately picked it up to start reading it again.