What Caught My Fancy This Week
Well this is rather sad. I have not posted anything since last week (well I have but I have taken it down). I will be better at it. My only defence is that I have been sick and school asploded on me.
J.D. Salinger died this week and his death got me thinking. Not about death but about a conversation my brother and I once had about his book Catcher in the Rye. Let me set the scene for you: My brother is seven years younger than me. I was driving him home from school one day his senior year and for some reason we started talking about books and I confessed that I did not like Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caufield drove me insane. My brother on the other hand had really liked it. We started wondering if it was a boybook/girlbook thing. Boybook/girlbook has nothing to do with subject matter or intended audience, it is simply a very unscientific phenomena me and my highschool classmates discovered where all the girls would like a book and the boys would dislike it or vice versa (I wont veer off here and talk about gender construction but I will say I have some issues with this theory now) . As my brother and I continued the discussion however, we came to the realisation that he had read Catcher in the Rye in highschool while I had been in my early twenties. We wondered if perhaps our different reactions had to do with when in our lives we had read the book? My brother had been closer to Holden’s age whereas I had been older.
Do you think that there are some books that you have to be at a certain place in your life to enjoy? Or is it more to do with personality in general (my brother and I are pretty much polar opposites)?
From the Papers
The Guardian has an interview with Andrea Levy and The Times has a review of her book The Long Song. They also have a long article about the research that went into the novel. This book would work very well for the POC Challenge. This particular book is about slavery in Jamaica and I know that some of the criticism about books about and/or by POC is that it always harks back to slavery. I have only read one other book by Levy, Never Far From Nowhere. This book tells of the experience of two sisters growing up in London in the 1970s. The two sisters have very different experience of growing up. Olive is the older of the two girls and her skin is much darker than that of her sister Vivien’s. Personally I was not overly fond of the book because I felt that although Olive’s life was definitely changed by the way she was treated because of her colour she also had a sense of entitlement that rubbed me the wrong way. She expected her family to do things for her because she had been treated.
Did you read anything interesting in the papers this week?