The Catcher in the Rye

A classic for a reason. The Catcher In The Rye is the sort of book everyone has read or at least heard of, but few have ever really engaged with as adults.

The hero-narrator of the story is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. Holden has one of those voices that you will recognise anywhere and his view on life is at once too simplistic and profound. If you haven't picked up Catcher as an adult, now, in the year of J.D. Salinger's centenary, is the perfect time.

Read a short extract here.
 

Franny & Zooey

Franny & Zooey are a short story and a novella about spirituality, privilege, relationships, genius and what it means to grow up in the limelight. 

Written in a time before social media, this book has only become more relevant today. If you are looking for a book that will challenge the way you think, make you interrogate the open lives we lead and stay with you, this is the one.

Read a short extract here.
 

For Esmé – With Love And Squalor

J.D. Salinger’s short story collection, For Esmé – With Love And Squalor opens with ‘A Perfect Day For Bananafish’ – the short story originally published in the New Yorker which catapulted Salinger into literary superstardom. Bananafish, like the rest of the stories in the collection, is a sharp and punchy look at human relationships and the way we interact with each other. If you’re a fan of Ian McEwan or Sally Rooney, this collection would make great reading for your commute.

Read a short extract here. 

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters; Seymour - an Introduction

Few words describe this hidden gem of a book as well as the author's own:

"The two long pieces in this book originally came out in the New Yorker (...). Whatever their differences in mood or effect, they are both very much concerned with Seymour Glass, who is the main character in my series about the Glass family. Oddly, the joys and satisfactions of working on the Glass family peculiarly increase and deepen for me with the years. I can't say why though. Not, at least, outside the casino proper of my fiction."

Read a short extract here. 

Related articles