Top Ten Tuesday (08/09/2020) – Books For My Younger Self

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish but was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is Books For My Younger Self

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Maybe it’s a terribly romantic notion and really rather silly… but I like to think that I found the right books for myself at the right times in my life… as if there are some bookish gods at work out there that drop these precious book babies into our hands at the right time.

Yes perhaps there are some children’s books I wished I’d read as a child… but my childhood reading was so full and happy that I have no regrets.

And as a teenager I found great solace in a wide variety of classics both old and modern. Authors like Austen, Dickens, Irving all helped to shape the adult I became.

But I think more than any other book, the one that had the greatest impact on my life is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. It is the book I would still recommend to someone who felt as lost and adrift as a teenager as I was.

In Catcher I found Holden Caulfield.

Holden is of the most divisive characters in literature. Many people find him self absorbed, narcissistic, unlikeable…

But to me he was a beacon.

He showed me that it’s okay to not know where you are going in this life. To not yet understand who you are as a person. That your identity is a constantly evolving thing.

In Holden I found a confidant. I found a soulmate. I found comfort. I found my peace.

So this isn’t a TTT list about the books I wish I had read, instead this is a thank you, and an ode to The Catcher in the Rye and to Holden Caulfield for finding me when I was in greatest need during my teenage years.

“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know.

Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them – if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you.

It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement.

And it isn’t education.

It’s history. It’s poetry.”

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

My full review of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger can be read HERE.

Have you a book you cherish above all others? One that came to you at the right time in your life? Let’s chat in the comments below!

21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday (08/09/2020) – Books For My Younger Self

  1. I wonder what I would have thought of Holden back when I was in high school because I just read The Catcher in the Rye for the first time earlier this year and couldn’t stand him. I might have liked him when was younger though, who knows?

    Lauren @ Always Me


  2. Wonderful post, Emer! I read this for school and I remember I did enjoy it (unlike many of my peers lol) but I also remember very little of it now. Very tempted to read it again to see how I feel about it now as an adult. Do you re-read it at all?


  3. Hello Emer. I had a look at my books and the one that stands out for me is 1984. It didn’t help me in any way, and in fact I was almost afraid of it. When I was reading it, it sat on top of the breadbin in the kitchen and I could feel its atmosphere every time I passed it. It had a more profound and lasting effect on me than any other book. George Orwell surely was a prophet!


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