New Year -- New Resources

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Salinger continued

There have been many interesting essays and discussions about Salinger, but among the best on his work is Louis Menard's essay on the 50th anniversary of CATCHER IN THE RYE, which you can find on the New Yorker site:

The New Yorker’s website has Louis Menand’s 2001 essay “Holden at Fifty.” They’re also offering links to thirteen stories by Salinger (subscription required).

Tom Ashbrook's radio show "On Point" (WNPR) also had an interesting discussion with two scholars and links, including the above.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

RIP JD Salinger

Catcher in the Rye was my mother's favorite book. It came out the year I was born, and whenever she was feeling blue, she would take a long bath and reread an often soggy paperback. I don't remember when I first read it myself, and that may be because I thought I had inherited it imbedded in my memory since birth, rather than having acquired it like other books.

The book of his that became my solace, in college, was Franny and Zooey. I treasured every sentence of Nine Stories; I was moved by the finality of Seymour, An Introduction, but above all I loved -- and still do -- Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters, probably because its about a Manhattan much like the post-war city in which my parents had met. Adding to that patina of false nostolgia, I learned for the first time from his obituaries today, that Salinger had landed on Utah Beach at D-Day, where my mother's only brother had come ashore in the first wave. I always knew that I probably wouldn't have known Uncle Frank if it had been Omaha instead. Now I imagine (with a mind's eye totally saturated by "Saving Private Ryan") the Captain and the Sergeant passing like ships in the night on the battlefield.

What is also ironic -- but not surprising -- is what I just read in the NYT today about how Harcourt (the company where I first worked in publishing) rejected Catcher in the Rye. For proof of "the more things change the more they remain the same," check out the David Itzkoff's blog:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lots of e-book reader hardware to come

You will be reading more and more hype about e-books this month, in part because of the Consumer Electronics Show and the Apple Tablet, but keep in mind a very interesting (and possible cheaper than Apple) solution: new dual black and white and color screens, such as The Alex Reader, from Spring Designs.

The advantage of a dual-screen reader over the Nook or Kindle is that you can browse the internet or follow URL links at the same time you are reading in black-and-white, which is better for text. You can also have imbedded links to color illustrations, which is essential for professional books.