The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is my all-time favorite book. I appreciate Holden Caulfield’s wit, sarcasm, charm and ability to exaggerate the facts. To my parent’s dismay, I was once a teenager like Holden and possessed many, if not all, of his aforementioned qualities.
I read this book twice. Once in my native language Czech to keep up with the contemporary Czech authors and also my native language, and the second time in English to compare the precision and style of the translation. The book is a literary debut by this young Czech author. When this book was first published it became the most read book of the year in the Czech Republic and won several European awards.
This book describes turmoil on many fronts. Felix Hoffman, a Dutch Ambassador finds himself in Prague just before the Velvet Revolution of 1980s, his final diplomatic posting. In Kafka’s haunted city Hoffman spends his insomniac nights studying Spinoza and revisiting the traumas of his life.
I recently read, and thoroughly enjoyed, The Murder of King Tut. Like many others in the world, I have been fascinated by the story of Tut and his untimely death when he was only a teenager. Unlike some people, I have never been interested in reading tomes of history on this subject. I do, however, love a good mystery.
Two newly –wed Americans in their late 20s, Margaret and Patrick, find themselves in Africa in the late 70s, where Patrick, a medical doctor, is working a year in Kenya as part of his fellowship in equatorial medicine. An adventure, climbing Mount Kenya with two other couples, takes a deadly turn, and deeply affects the relationship between Margaret and Patrick. Anita Shreve fashions this almost autobiographical story (she lived in Kenya in the late 70s and climbed M
Blue Heaven is what the locals call a rural area in Idaho where retired LAPD Blue Officers move when they retire. This gives residents a feeling of security and welcome income. But some of the former policemen are not are as noble and upright as they would have the local authorities believe. When two children are seen witnessing a murder, they run for their lives.
I didn't check out this story collection until after Christmas but reading it out of season did not lessen my enjoyment. Great writers from Charles Dickens to Richard Ford are represented in this collection. There were a couple of stories that I had read previously - A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote and The Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle - but they are well worth reading again.
Generation Dead by Daniel Waters is another take on teen vampires. In this vampire tale, teens, and only some teens, who die are coming back as the living dead. These living dead teens have lost a lot of their previous personality and functionality however, in Oakvale; there is a significant number of "living impaired" or "differently biotic" teens attending Oakvale High.
This book, Tana French's debut novel, is a mystery set in a suburb of Dublin, Ireland. Most of the story takes place in the present, but there are important references to an event that happened in August 1984. That 1984 event happened to the book's main character, Adam "Rob" Ryan, who is now a detective partnered with Cassie Maddox.