Nine Stories

Salinger, J. D. Nine Stories. Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1948.

Reason read: June is Short Story Month


Both short stories I read share a central theme of a soldier who is more comfortable conversing with a child than any adult.

“A Perfect Day for a Bananafish”
He is a soldier who strikes up a conversation with a young child on a Florida beach. The phone conversation his wife has with her mother early in the story indicates he is suicidal, although the reader doesn’t clearly see this until the end. For that reason, it is worth rereading. Clues become clearer with a second read.
Line I liked, “She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing” (p 4).
“For Esme – with Love and Squalor”
He is a soldier who strikes up a conversation with a teenager in a restaurant. She is precocious and intelligent. Wise beyond her years. Through letters with Esme the soldier is able to cope with the squalor of war.

Author fact: Everyone knows Salinger penned Catcher in the Rye because everyone has read Catcher in the Rye. Right?

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Good Things Come in Small Packages” (p 102).

Thrush Green

Read, Miss. Thrush Green. Read by June Barrie. Hampton, NH: BBC Audiobooks America, 2005.

High blood pressure? Stressful job? Crazy life? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, read Thrush Green for a small respite from a hectic, busy, insane world. There is no overwhelming fast paced drama in Thrush Green. Other reviewers have called it “quaint” and “pleasant” and it is both of those things and more. I personally would call it sweet. Thrush Green is a countryside community in England looking forward to their traditional May Day celebrations, especially the annual fair. Every member has a reason for wanting to go to the fair.  Young lovers looking for a chance to court. Older generations insisting on tradition. Children having fun. Miss Read uses the fair to create a focal point around which her characters circulate.

Note for the audio: June Barrie does a wonderful job with all the different voices. She had me laughing at times when she was the voice of the small boy.

Reason read: Miss Read was born in April.

Author fact: Miss Read is a pen name. Her real name was Dora.

Book trivia: Thrush Green is the first book in a whole series about the country community. I’m only reading the one.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Barsetshire and Beyond” (p 16). There is another Miss Read book mentioned in the chapter but it does not belong to the Thrush Green series.