Sleep According to Holden Caulfield

"Anyway, I went into D.B.'s room quiet as hell, and turned on the lamp on the desk. Old Phoebe didn't even wake up. When the light was on and all, I sort of looked at her for a while. She was laying there asleep, with her face sort of on the side of the pillow. She had her mouth way open. It's funny. You take adults, they look lousy when they're asleep and they have their mouths way open, but kids don't. Kids look alright. They can even have spit all over the pillow and they still look alright."
-From The Catcher in the Rye

I got a call from the school nurse to pick up Ella today. Sick day! As she fell asleep on the couch watching Bob the Builder, all I could think about was the moment in The Catcher in the Rye when Holden watches his little sister Phoebe sleep. I love that part.

For years, The Catcher in the Rye was my favorite book. But when I learned it was a sort of a cliche answer, I started making up new obscure favorites! It worked out so well, that I started doing it with everything. Annie Hall was no longer my favorite movie. My So-Called Life was no longer my favorite show. Bob Dylan was no longer my favorite musician. At least not if anyone asked me! Oh how intellectual and interesting I must have sounded to name an oddball book, movie, show, or band!

I picked up a copy The Catcher in the Rye from the library today so I could find that passage. Owen and Oscar joined me. After I found the part I was looking for, I started reading the book from the beginning. I haven't read it for years.  It's weird and wonderful to read it from a NY parent's perspective. I continued reading it while my boys played on the train track carpet in the children's department of the library. I couldn't help but feel like my life was just about perfect in that moment. Obvious choice or not, it's by far my favorite book.

What are your (albeit obvious) favorites?

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  1. FILMS
    E.T. Steven Spielber
    Something about Mary

    Pippi Longstocking
    Black Beauty
    Catcher in the Rye
    The kite runner

    And then I love wathcing Chelsea Handler. Is that bad?

    Have a great weekend.

  2. I felt such an outsider reading your post! I better catch up on American literature before my kids start elementary school. I grew up reading Brazilian authors, a few translated Charles Dickens and classics, and I guess that is all. In the last issue of Matchbook online magazine they have an article about the 50 classic girl novels, kind of fun to look at their picks!

  3. I read Comfort Me with Apples first and didn't feel lost since both books are just from different times in her life. read both :)

  4. I'll have to add Breakfast at Tiffany's to my Netflix que. It's been too long since I last saw it!

  5. ha after I wrote this post, I realized how much I liked the name Phoebe. She's such a great character in the book! Great choice!

    Yes--I adore A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Did you like it? I remember never wanting it to end because I fell in love with all the characters. Also--it makes me want to move to Brooklyn. That last scene where she's walking around saying everything she loved about it--I would kill to write something so perfect. One of my favorite books for sure!

  6. haha same here! Add "This Boy's Life" by Tobias Wolff to the list of boys coming of age books that I'm obsessed with. You ever read it? Amazing.

  7. We named our daughter Phoebe, one reason being The Catcher in the Rye!
    I love so many books, how can one choose just one favorite!? Have you read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

  8. I've learned to just embrace my sometimes less than cool favorites! For instance, I have some friends who are always into cutting edge indie music that no one has heard of, and I just have to admit tat Death Cab for Cutie is still my favorite band :)

  9. They're both good, especially if you like food! I read then out of order, and it didn't matter too much. You can get a used copy on Amazon for just a couple bucks!

  10. i read catcher in the rye every summer for i don't know how many summers. love it.
    i also loved a separate peace- which makes me think i'm weird for loving books about boys coming of age. hmmm.

  11. Favorite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird; Favorite Movie: tie between To Kill a Mockingbird and Breakfast at Tiffany's

    Pretty darn cliche. But, boy, do they make me happy.

  12. yes---i can't wait for my kids to be assigned "To Kill a Mockingbird". I get to reread it with them. And I guess I'll have to read Gone with The Wind since three of my readers suggested it!

  13. Bowie--yes very cool. I've never read Pillars of the Earth. I'll have to check it out and give YOU the credit, NOT Oprah!

  14. Oh my--I loooooved the Bel Jar. It was kind of like the girl version of Catcher in the Rye---that is--until she started to spiral out of control half way through the book. Still love it!!

    Totally agree with your last statement!

  15. that's a good way to think about it--old and new! i like that. i'll have to steal that.

  16. oh yes--good idea. I need to read Peter Pan to my kids!

  17. i've never heard of Comfort Me with Apples. I'll have to check it out from the library. From what I've read on Amazon, it seems really good! It's a sequel, right?. Will I need to read Tender At the Bone first in order for it to make sense?

  18. i still adore catcher in the rye....it's cliche, but honest.


  19. Ha! My best friend was OBSESSEd with Dirty Dancing. good one! You're third reader to suggest Gone With the Wind--I'm embarrassed to say I've never watched the movie or read the book. I have to get on that.

  20. Aw what a sweet photo, she looks like an angel.

  21. I love Romeo & Juliet! A good classic. :)

  22. LOVE Catcher in the Rye and proud of it!

  23. So cliche but I love Breakfast at Tiffany's. If I'm ever in a "mood", a little Breakfast at Tiffany's always pulls me right out.

  24. So funny! I just read Catcher In The Rye this Autumn while living on an island in Greece! I don't know how I didn't read it when I was younger. So random! I also thought it was too cliche to tell anyone I was reading it, but I feel safe to tell you here: I love it. I'm not kidding. He really knocks me out, old H.V. Caulfield. Holden Vitamin Caulfield.

  25. My absolute favorite book is Pillars of the Earth, I discovered it at 21 & read it three times in one year it became an Oprah Best Book pick and went hog wild. I felt funny saying it to people after that because they would all mention Oprah.

    My favorite bands: U2 & Coldplay - you can't get more cliche than that (but they are sooooooo good)!

    Although Bowie is my all time favorite musician, so I guess that lends a slight cool factor.

  26. I feel the same way. Before I was a creative writing major in college, I LOVED 'The Bel Jar' by Sylvia Plath, but then I felt like everyone thought I was an overly dramatic emo girl when I told them that.. ;)

    (Still love it though) The same happened with music, I went to a 'too cool' art school where there were music snobs that laughed at you when you told them you used to like Dave Matthews! So lame!

    I have since learned as an adult that popular isn't neccesarily a bad thing, I mean, it got there for some reason, right?

  27. I loved that book during High School!

  28. Lauren Morton-FarmerMarch 30, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    I will always love Peter Pan. It's something that I loved as a kid, love as an adult and can't wait to read to my kids one day!

    And as for music, while my "current" favorites are Frank Turner and Chuck Ragan, my heart will ALWAYS belong to The Beatles, and I don't care how trite that is! They were my mom's favorite band growing up, my dad used to impersonate Paul McCartney with his buddies and they were the first band I ever knew the words to their music!

    Love this post. I think I might have to pick up Catcher in the Rye tomorrow when I go to the bookstore and reread it again!

  29. Favorite book-(old)East of Eden,(new) The Book Thief, Favorite Movie,-(old)Manhattan, (new)Hope Floats and Hitch, Favorite music Mamas and Paps (old) Kany West (new) But Dylan of course is AMAZING. Favorite show-Facts of Life (old) Parks and Rec (new). Favorite Blog -NYC taught me;)

  30. "Comfort Me With Apples" by Ruth Reichl..oh man! So good. Read it with a bag of Milanos.

  31. Beautiful picture! My favorite movie is without-a-doubt Dirty Dancing... embarrassing but true. Also embarrassing, the runner up is Annie. Love Gone with the Wind. And my favorite TV show of all time is probably Gilmore Girls. I'm such a girl.. oh well!

  32. Oh hun, I'm so obvious in my likes. Gone With the Wind is my absolute favorite - but up there too is The Giver, Ethan Frome, The Alchemist, Romeo and Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird, among others.

    I should tell you I JUST read The Catcher in the Tye this fall while I was living abroad in Istanbul. I ADORE it, and couldn't believe that as an English teacher, it was the first time I picked it up!

    Have a lovely rest of your week!! xoxo

  33. I have always loved "Gone with the Wind". Second favorite is "To Kill A Mockingbird". I could read both of these books a million times and still enjoy them.

  34. so-my favourite favourties...not just the ones I should say...

  35. hey girl. i'm going to call you tomorrow. prepare yourself!!

  36. I absolutely love Friday Night Lights (TV); I think it's the best television show produced. I also really, really love "Rumors" by Fleetwood Mac. It's a little before my generation, but it is my favorite album non-the-less.

  37. I've never read that book, but I'd like to! I love Animal Farm which is also cliche. Tuesdays with Morrie is also a great book.

  38. My favorite book is The Bell Jar, which people either see as a cliche or a sign that you're crazy. I totally don't care, though. Sylvia Plath is a genius!

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