Tag Archives: Catcher in the Rye

Another Sad Chapter in the Story of Mankind

Did you know that Charles Manson co-wrote a book containing his “true confessions”? It’s true – it’s available on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He also recorded an album. Actually he is credited with many records – the last of which (The Lost Vacaville Tapes) was released in 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you also know that the Unabomber’s Manifesto is available on Amazon for $9.95?

There are also books written by John Wayne Gacy, David Berkowitz and quite a few other notorious killers.

 

I’m sure the list of books written by the worst members of society is surprisingly long, which is a little disconcerting. Not exactly the finest in American Literature, but when it comes to art, whether the written word, recorded music or any other medium, one man’s art is another man’s trash – and vice-versa.

Would it be fair to lump Manson, Gacy and Berkowitz in the same category as Mark Twain, Harper Lee and J. D. Salinger (each of whom has had attempts made to ban their books from school curriculums).

Who is to say which books are good or which ones are bad?

Nobody.

That’s who.

Which brings me to the inspiration behind today’s rant.

This story;

 

https://pen.org/press-release/proposed-book-banning-bill-in-missouri-could-imprison-librarians/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=social-pug&fbclid=IwAR0uEnZHDx67lBmsXxVZhe72LxW8T1-d6Apdap80JwZwXiarwOPV8PDAoC8

 

This is the third time I’ve blogged about censorship in one form or another – once here and once here –  and it really pisses me off.

Is it just me, or does the concept of banning books from a public library bring with it a bit of deja-vu?

Trying to legislate morality is like trying to prevent your car from breaking down by only driving it on “the good roads.”

It just doesn’t work that way.

I am not an expert in sociology, but it seems to me that banning books only creates a “forbidden fruit” mentality.

This whole affair reminds of the song Harper Valley PTA (Jeannie C. Riley 1968) – where a select group of hypocrites makes it their mission in life to preach about character, morals and integrity.

Does anybody, beside me, see the inherent problem there?

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Ten Classic Novels I’ve Never Read

One of the first tenets in the writing world is to be well-read.

It’s one of those givens…in order to be a good writer you must read – a lot.

What should prospective writers read? you ask…

The accepted philosophy is anything and everything – whether it’s Gone With the Wind or the back of your cereal box.

Just read.

should be reading

Well…I have a confession to make, but before I bare my soul…I want to say that I do love to read. I read as much as I can (when I’m not writing) so I would like you to take that fact into consideration as you read on.

This is my confession (I feel like I should genuflect and cross myself or something)…

There are many great…no CLASSIC works of literature I have not read.

Sometimes when I’m with other writers I feel somewhat ashamed when the conversation turns to Dickens or Shelley or Verne, because I’ve never read them, but I hide it well and I’ve learned to bluff my way through the conversation.

Now it’s time to ‘fess up…I’m going to list 10 classic novels I have never read.

Why am I doing this?

Well, ordinarily I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, but I think when 2015 gets here I am going to make a concerted effort to read more – starting with some classics.

So, without further ado…

 

10 Classic Novels I Have Never Read

 

10) Pretty much anything by Charles Dickens. I’ve seen many of the movies/plays, but I have never finished a Charles Dickens novel. They were assigned reading in high school (David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations) but I could never get past the first few chapters. I blame it on the distractions of youth.

dickens

9) Ditto for Ernest Hemingway. More assigned reading in high school (The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms & The Old Man and the Sea) which I never bothered to read. Once again…chalk it up to a wandering teenage mind.

8) 1984 by George Orwell. Another example of assigned reading that took a back seat to girls and baseball. Even though I’ve learned a great deal about the story by osmosis I have yet to actually read it.

7) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I’ve never even seen the movie. Horror just isn’t my thing – although I do appreciate the metaphor of people creating a monster and not being able to deal with it afterward.

6) On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Even though I’ve always considered myself more of a hippy than a beatnik – Kerouac’s handbook for the Beat Generation seems to be going strong even after 57 years, so it must have something really cool to say, daddy-o.

5) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. More classic literature I was supposed to read in high school. Judging by the classroom discussions, it’s a fairly interesting story, but I still don’t know for sure. I’m not really a high society kind of guy.

gatsby

4) Animal Farm by George Orwell. Naturally I’m familiar with the concept, and I love political satire, but the fact remains I’ve never read a single word of it.

3) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I’ve heard many things about this book. Unfortunately, thanks to some of the more deranged members of our society, I have avoided reading it. That needs to change.

2) The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. A Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by a Nobel Prize winner, this tale of American history should be a must read for every citizen…at least that’s what I’ve heard.

1) Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. I know, probably not the most influential novel of all time, but it’s about the military (I love books about the military) it’s about bureaucratic logic (or the lack thereof) another theme near and dear to my heart. I remember my mother reading this book when I was young and she seemed to really enjoy it. I’ve seen the movie and loved it, so it’s high-time for me to read the book.

catch 22

They say confession is good for the soul…I think it’s true. I feel better now that I’ve come clean about my lack of literary diversity. This is not to say that I am totally lacking in that department…I’ve read many classics, but the majority of my reading is contemporary, and not considered classic.

They also say that knowing you have a problem is half the battle…so I’m halfway home – I just need a good book for the rest of the trip!

road reading

What classics are on your list? Share them in the comments if you dare!

 

As always – thank you for reading

 

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