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Creative Curmudgeon

January 29, 2010

“I hope to hell that when I do die somebody has the sense to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.”
~ JD Salinger

BooksThe world lost a writer yesterday. He penned one of my first favorite characters. JD Salinger died at age 91. He was a loner, like me. He spent his life avoiding the limelight rather than seeking it. Although he continued to write daily for himself, he had nothing published since 1965. No one knows what has been left behind or if it will ever be released.

Last year, a judge stopped the publication of an unauthorized sequel to “The Catcher in the Rye” entitled “60 Years Later” by Swedish author Fredrik Colting. JD  Salinger responded to the Boston Globe, commenting:  “There’s no more to Holden Caulfield. Read the book again. It’s all there. Holden Caulfield is only a frozen moment in time.”

That is the essence of all good writing – capturing frozen moments and allowing others an intimate look.

Would you want to see Holden at 60? I wouldn’t. It would be as disappointing as attending a High School Reunion. Besides, the point of Catcher in the Rye  is a sixteen year old’s angst with themes of alienation and rebellion demonstrated to his last and my favorite line in the book: “Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”

I have many books near and dear to my heart lined up waiting for me to pick them up again and again.  They include Twain, Hemingway, Salinger, O’Connor, Shakespeare, Tolkien, Joyce, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Thoreau; to name a few. I will never be a Kindle kinda gal. I love the smell of leather, holding onto something, turning pages. The beautiful BOOK sign was hand painted by the very talented, fellow blogger, Susie Harris. Stop by her Etsy shop and see which one of her creations would compliment your decor.

Who are your favorite authors? Who are your favorite characters and/or lines?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    January 29, 2010 8:40 am

    Oooh I couldn’t do kindle either. It’s my favorite past time…curling up with a good book, and I can’t comprehend that changing. My favorite authors are a mile long, but I have to say that Jan Karon is my “comfort” read. I’m requesting all of her books in hardback for my birthday this year; they’ll hold a place of honor on a prominent shelf somewhere. Whenever I’m feeling a little blue, or if I don’t have any new books around, all I have to do is crack open one of her books, doesn’t even matter the page. One paragraph and I’m at that happy place: “He left the coffee-scented warmth of the Main Street Grill and stood for a moment under the green awning. The honest cold of an early mountain spring stung him sharply. He often noted the minor miracle of passing through a door into a completely different world, with different smells and attractions. It helped to be aware of the little things in life, he told himself, and he often exhorted his congregation to do the same. As he headed to the church office two blocks away, he was delighted to discover that he wasn’t walking, at all. He was ambling…”

    • January 29, 2010 2:55 pm

      I too ador the writings of Jan Karon and was recently bestowed with the book of Timothy Kavanagh writings and collections. A very dear friend sent me this and I’m sure it was her only copy that lovingly sat on her nightstand close to her bedside.

      She has new books planned that is due out sometime this year I think.. I look forward to read them.

      with love,


  2. January 29, 2010 2:50 pm

    Beauty is truth, truth beauty, –that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know – John Keats

    I had a small book that contained poems from John Keats years ago.. long lost from relocations or lending the precious book out. It was old, smelled like woodland mushrooms or that deep earthy scent.

    I would read his works over and over. One that stood out clearly over the rest to me was ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ first penned in 1819. This is to me an unrequited love after a battle which the Knight was sent for and years later came back to a disillusioned world. I wonder if this is how many men felt after they arrived home from battle that was fruitless to a world that did not care and was worse off than he left it. Almost a Romeo and Juliet saga.

    ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’

    Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms ,
    Alone and palely loitering?
    The sedge has withered from the lake,
    And no birds sing.

    Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
    So haggard and so woe-begone?
    The squirrel’s granary is full,
    And the harvest’s done.

    I see a lily on thy brow,
    With anguish moist and fever-dew,
    And on thy cheeks a fading rose
    Fast withereth too.

    I met a lady in the meads,
    Full beautiful – a faery’s child,
    Her hair was long, her foot was light,
    And her eyes were wild.

    I made a garland for her head,
    And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
    She looked at me as she did love,
    And made sweet moan.

    I set her on my pacing steed,
    And nothing else saw all day long,
    For sidelong would she bend, and sing
    A faery’s song.

    She found me roots of relish sweet,
    And honey wild, and manna-dew,
    And sure in language strange she said –
    ‘I love thee true’.

    She took me to her elfin grot,
    And there she wept and sighed full sore,
    And there I shut her wild wild eyes
    With kisses four.

    And there she lulled me asleep
    And there I dreamed – Ah! woe betide! –
    The latest dream I ever dreamt
    On the cold hill side.

    I saw pale kings and princes too,
    Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
    They cried – ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
    Hath thee in thrall!’

    I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
    With horrid warning gaped wide,
    And I awoke and found me here,
    On the cold hill’s side.

    And this is why I sojourn here
    Alone and palely loitering,
    Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
    And no birds sing.

    – John Keats 1819

    Some day I’ll come across a small collection once again.

    with love,


  3. January 29, 2010 4:42 pm

    I read Catcher in the Rye for the first time as an adult. I remember wondering if I would have appreciated it as much if I had read it when I was younger. I read it because I was working with a high school student who needed help with it. Looking back, it was a perfect way to enjoy that book – discussing it with a teenager. Perfect.

    I love Pat Conroy – I could read Beach Music every year. And as for favorite lines – an all-time favorite is from Kiterunner… “For you, a thousand times over.” Oh I cried like a baby when I read that line.

  4. January 29, 2010 6:15 pm

    I don’t know why, but these days I feel as though Dr. Seuss and Frank L. Baum have life all wrapped up.

  5. January 30, 2010 9:51 am

    Oh now this IS a challenge.

    My dear girl, The Fashionista, called me in tears. “Mom, JD has died.” “What!” I replied, unbelieving that a literary hero was gone. Angst has overwhelmed us both. She also gave him a proper send off on her blog Where The Quaint Things Are. We are both hoping that there will now be numerous previously unpublished wonders set to print.

    So in honor of our JD

    “If a girl looks swell when she meets you, who gives a damn if she’s late? Nobody.”

    And a few more,

    One of many by the delightful Anne (with an E) Shirley is “Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.”

    Fearless Jo March “If only I could be like father and crave violence and go to war and stand up to the lions of injustice.”

    Little Laura Ingalls Wilder, “Home is the nicest word there is.”

    From our little hero, Scout, in TKAM, “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”

    Miss Scarlett “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

    There are just too many more to mention. But I too adore Jan Karon.

  6. January 30, 2010 7:42 pm

    Looks great there! Thank you thank you thank you~

  7. January 30, 2010 8:31 pm


    I, too, will NEVER be a Kindle groupie. Yikes! Those things are ghastly! Some of my favorite places have always been libraries and bookshops, and I feel so grateful to be surrounded by the many books in our home everyday.

    The sign is wonderful. I’ll have to check out the Etsy shop.


  8. January 31, 2010 12:17 pm

    First, thanks for stopping by my blog. I love when someone comments and I can go find them too! I’m sorry to say I’ve never read Catcher In The Rye..really. I was so busy trying to raise kids and husbands back then …
    But now I plan to, along with so many other wonderful books..NOT Kindle!
    I can relate to his wanting to be ‘left alone’. I think most famous people are sad.
    Ok, again, thanks for stopping by and I’ll be back here also.

  9. January 31, 2010 2:27 pm

    Oh dear… I feel like a dunce posting here. I love books, and get more than I can carry from the library every week. I couldn’t Kindle at all. I need to turn pages and smell the book. HOWEVER….I only read ‘how to’ books….:-/ I did get a few Thoreau books out, and read those. I do have a couple of books this week that aren’t how to books. “Lessons from Nature” and a book of poetry. I love love love reading, but don’t have a favorite author, or book. I like to learn something from the books I read. I know that I’m sorely missing out.

  10. February 1, 2010 6:12 am

    Although I am familiar with this author and never really read anything he has written, I heard about his passing in the news. It is always sad when someone talented leaves, but the fact that hi did lead a long and rich life can be of some consolation.
    My favorite genre in literature changed as I changed as well. If I am to pick an absolute favorite that will stay with me forever, it must be all the novels written by Jane Austen.
    Thank you so much for your kind visit and a lovely comment, I too enjoyed my stay here.;)

  11. February 1, 2010 6:33 pm

    i am crossing my fingers in hopes more will be published! as far as “60 Years Later” i do not think that i would read it. i want to remember my holden forever at 16, just the way he was.

  12. February 1, 2010 10:41 pm

    Gosh, I dont know how I missed this post… sorry Im a slacker! I LOVE your old books- actually your stack looks a lot like mine. My husband and I love collecting old books- especially old classics! I snatched up a leather volume of Jane Austen’s ‘ Emma ‘ the other day and have been itching to read it. It looks a lot like the leather and gold volumes in your photo. You just cant go wrong with books- ever. I like to read ebooks on my lap top occasionally- especially when I was working as a receptionist- but now I am back to reading the old ‘hand-held’ way. (NPR did a wonderful comparative article on ebooks and ‘real’ books.) Oh and please. You my dear are anything but a loner- your a shining star in a dark sky- just look at all the people who love to read your thoughts. 😉 Hope all is going well.

  13. February 2, 2010 11:17 am

    Hmmm…I haven’t read a book just for me in such a long time. My days are filled with nursery rhymes and childrens history and science books. I have a feeling, though, that you could write a good book. Surely, it’s crossed your mind. You should go for it!

  14. February 2, 2010 7:57 pm

    HI, Deborah, I have to confess, I have never read Catcher in the Rye. I’m remiss in reading old classics. Now, I do love To Kill a Mockingbird & was lucky enough to find a tattered old copy at a yardsale last year. I’ll treasure that one.

    Thanks for the mineral makeup caution. I will definitely do some research on that, this is the first I’ve heard about any problems with it & I dearly love it.

  15. February 2, 2010 9:33 pm

    I am also a fan of having an actual book in my hands. I love to read, and am a fan of Christian Fiction books at the moment. One of my favourite authors though was Catherine Cookson, a British author. Just loved her books.

    Gill in Canada

  16. February 3, 2010 8:11 am

    I enjoy reading different genres, but nothing too deep or complicated. Randy Alcorn, Mary Higgins Clark, Anita Diamant, Dorothy Cannell…many more i can’t remember.

  17. February 4, 2010 9:04 am

    My two favorite (among) many are Party Of One (The Loners’ Manifesto) by Anneli Rufus..if you haven’t read it I know you would enjoy it. The other would be Pack of Two..the intricate bond between people and dogs by Caroline Knapp…I love to read and have many favs….

  18. February 4, 2010 9:08 pm

    I have to hold the book. Read it. Get lost in the story. Can’t put it down until I finish the whole thing.

    My favorite book? Well, this may sound corny. But for me it’s the Bible. I can’t get enough.

    p.s. I think you must have a lovely morning walk each day. I was sneaking around some of your previous posts.

    Sweet dreams.

  19. February 6, 2010 9:28 pm

    hi there! what a treat to come across another new (for me) lovely blog.

    i love reading, and curling up with a good book and couldnt imagien doing the same with kindle.

    have got many favourites aming books and authors. if i had to pick one, its probably going to change from day to day, depending on my mood. today, i am going to say jane austen and pride and prejudice. love that book!

    macbeth by shakespeare somes a close second.

    ask me tomorrow and my answers may be quite different!

  20. February 8, 2010 6:23 pm

    Hi Deborah 🙂

    I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t read his work in so long that I don’t remember a word of it. When I was in school, I was NOT a good student. Too busy finding the next party. I’ll have to try it again as an adult. I’m not that silly girl anymore, thank God 😉

    Don’t even get me started on that awful Kindle… ugh. Nothing like a good book that you can hold in your hands 🙂


  21. February 12, 2010 11:14 pm

    Well hi there!

    I happened to read a comment you left at Karen’s and had to come say what a lovely blog you have and how i totally agree with you.

    I love holding the book…turning the pages one by one… yes the smell and being able to go BACK to read what i slept walked through. (dang disstractions of life 😉

    If you ever get a chance look like many of your topics would be perfect to finding beauty… 🙂 join us some time!


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