Monday, February 1, 2010

J.D. Salinger Inspiration

I know this post is late, but I’ve been battling a stomach thing for the last few days *blerg*. But the death of J.D Salinger got me thinking about how poorly read I am with the classics. Shamefully, I’ve never read The Catcher in the Rye and many other staples of our literary history.

Just recently, I bought A Tale of Two Cities for my dad. He’d read it before but lost his copy. I thought of all the Charles Dickens novels that I loved and still, it didn’t move me to go on a buying spree.

Well, when J.D. Salinger passed, I felt embarrassed when everyone around me talked about reading it in school and because I’m a writer, they assumed I’d read it too. In my high school we had to read To Kill a Mocking Bird and Beowulf and Of Mice and Men and things like that, but never The Catcher in the Rye.

So that evening I went home, and utilizing both my handy-dandy B&N gift cards, bought the following:
Of course.

My sister told me a bit about this and it sounds awesome!

I hope I like this, but I don’t know.

I know some people will be shocked that I haven’t read this, but I didn’t think it would be my thing. I’m willing to check it out though and I hope I’m wrong.

I loved this movie so I’m thinking, if the movie was good the book HAS to be 10x better!

I got this because I love vampire movies/books/tv shows, so I should really read one of the first popular ones, shouldn’t I?

So here’s my challenge to you all. I’m on a mission now to bone up on the classics. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite classic novel and why you loved it. If it’s one I haven’t read, I’ll go out and get it!

As it was my goal to read 100 books in 2009—sadly I only made it to 77—my literary goal in 2010 is to read as many classics as I can.

Help me become a well rounded author/reader, please!


Tamika: said...

I join you in the sad history of our classics. I haven't read nearly as many as others have- none of the ones you mentioned except Jane Austen.


Tere Kirkland said...

I'm about to read Shelley's Frankenstein for the first time. Enjoy!

jdcoughlin said...

War and Peace. I know. It's long. It's tedious, but filled with history. Love learning history without trying to.
But if we're talking American classics, then I would have to say Toni Morrison comes to mind. The language in The Bluest Eyes is beyond amazing.

V. S said...

Jane Austen is remarkable. Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Jemi Fraser said...

Oliver Twist. Little Women. Anne of Green Gables. Not sure if some of those count, but I loved them :)

Karen Denise said...

Thanks Tamika for showing me I'm not alone! Join me in my quest if you like :-).

Ooh Frankenstein! Thanks Tere, I'm adding that to my list!

Jd--I don't know if I can tackle War and Peace, but I'll definitely add The Bluest Eyes to my list!

V.S.--I hope I like the two Jane Austen books I bought. I almost added Emma because I enjoyed the movie, but I thought I'd get those two first.

Great suggestions Jemi! I'll certainly add them to my list. Little Women is one I feel like I should read as well as Anne of Green Gables!

Thanks for all the suggestions, keep 'em coming!

Falen said...

i also haven't read The Catcher in the Rye, but i have read Nine Stories.

It's hard to pick a favorite classic, but the few that top my list are Pride and Prejudice, Three Musketeers, Tale of Two Cities and... i'm missing a big one, but i can't think of it off the top of my head...

Crystal said...

Karen, girl, you are NOT alone! Sad to say, but I haven't read nearly as many classics as I should--and I was an English major! *hanging head in shame* And yep, I haven't read Catcher in the Rye either. The ones I can remember reading (and liking) are Little Women, Pride & Prejudice, and To Kill a Mockingbird. I may just have to join you, too, in reading the classics! :)

Shelly Quade said...

I am slightly horrified that you've never read "Pride & Prejudice," "The Picture of Dorian Gray," "The Great Gatsby" and "The Catcher in the Rye." I hope you love ALL of them as much as I do!

Dracula, actually, I don't particularly care for, though I am also an avid vampire fan.

As for classics, if you are interested in seeing a master write characters whom you can't entirely trust as narrators, check out Nabakov. I really liked Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo." Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre." Thomas Hardy's "Jude the Obscure."

Karen Denise said...

Okay, Falen and Crystal, you know what this means...we have to start a classic reading group! I say we all read The Catcher in the Rye and talk about it in a month!

And Crystal, I loved To Kill A Mocking Bird. Honestly, I loved all of the assigned reading I had to do in school, but I went to a vocational high school which meant half a day of accademics and half a day of trade (cosmetology for me), so our reading list wasn't as long as other high schools.

Shelly, I'm so sorry to horrify you-lol. But think of how horrified I am to be admitting this. I hear that's the first step to healing-lol. Ooh I'll be adding your three suggestions to my list. Thanks so much!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Jane Austen's books and Jane Eyre are the only classics I've read--if you don't count Shakespear. But I HAD to read that for school. Too bad Jane Austen's books and Jane Eyre (Hmm, apparently I have a thing for Janes) weren't required reading for school. Those I loved at least.

I will read Catcher in the Rye--one day.

Natalie said...

Oh, great stuff here. I love all of Jane Austen's works and The Great Gatsby is one of my all time favorites. Catcher in the Rye is a must read too. I hope you enjoy them all!

Natalie said...

Oh, my favorite classic authors:
Thomas Hardy
The Bronte Sisters
Jane Austen
George Elliot
Edith Wharton
and Leo Tolstoy.

I know it's heavy on English lit--that's my favorite.

Karen Denise said...

Thanks Stina, I think I'll be adding some Jane Eyre books to my list as well. I got my books today, all but The Picture of Dorian Gray so I'm excited to start them!

Great list Natalie! Thanks so much! I just picked up 6 books from the library so I think I'm good for the rest of Feb, maybe even into March!

Guinevere said...

I'll be honest, I have to be one of the few people out there who don't love Salinger's writing. Maybe I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was too young or something, but I didn't like it at all.

However, The Great Gatsby and the Austen books are all wonderful, so happy reading!

Tiffany Neal said...

I have a goal of reading more classics this year also. Originally it was going to be 2 a month, but when I started in 2009, I wasn't so successful. I recently finisehd Merchant of Venice and 1984. Sometimes I get so caught up in the language that it takes me forever to get through the books and I am normally a very fast reader.
I loved Sound and the Fury, Farenheit 451, and Cathcer in the Rye.
Jane Eyre is on my shelf right now. Begging to be read.
I'm new to this blogging world and I am loving finding so many fellow writers. Hopefully you don't mind me blog stalking you. I'd love for you to stop by mine sometime.

Karen Denise said...

Guinevere, I'm sure you're not the only one who didn't love Catcher, it's just not for everyone, I guess. I'll see how I like it. I just got all the books I ordered and it's a small book so I should be finished soon.

Tiffany, welcome! And I've no problem with you cyber stalking me-lol. I'll stop by your blog too!

Amanda B. said...

Yay, Dracula! That really should be required reading so all the young ones know where all the vampire stuff started.

How about Jonathan Swift *Gulliver's Travels*?

You can always pick up some Poe short stories or poems when you don't feel like a novel.

Oh my goodness, you'll have a stack of books to the roof!

Possum said...

I can understand where you're coming from. I haven't read as much classics as I wish I could say I have. I mean, it seems a lot of people have read them! Just see the comments you got for this entry!

But I am slightly shocked you haven't read The Greaty Gatsby. It's good to know that you're checking it out, though! It's an okay novel. A good ol' amount of symbolism to enjoy. Hah.. Yes.

It's part of my resolution to read 10 classics this year, so good luck! We're in a similar boat.