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JulieM

JulieM

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At Home in the World: A Memoir

At Home in the World: A Memoir - Joyce Maynard This memoir is the story of author Joyce Maynard's life, focusing mostly on her romantic relationship with J.D. Salinger (yes, the one who wrote Catcher in the Rye). The book covers in great detail, leaving out NOTHING, the bizarre romance between Maynard, a 19-year old Yale freshman, and Salinger, a 53-year old recluse. By the end of this book, I felt that I had spent hours reading a very long issue of a grocery tabloid. There are personal details about both authors' lives that might be juicy gossip, but are not at all interesting or inspiring. By the end of this book, I did not like either author. What I found interesting was my own reaction. I have on my 'to read' list books by both authors - Maynard's book, The Usual Rules (a 4.05 goodreads rating!) and Salinger's Franny and Zooey. After reading this memoir, I was toying with the idea of getting rid of both books, after all, too many books, not enough time. But, just because I don't agree with how a person lives their life or their values, doesn't mean that they aren't a great writer. We have this perverse fascination with authors, actors, politicians, etc. in the spotlight. We want to know everything about them, when what happens in their personal lives is not necessarily a reflection of their work. On a positive note, this book was our October bookclub read. Although I disliked the book, the discussion was great and lasted many hours. The book raises many issues - dating someone who is 35 years older, making the same mistakes as our parents, why do authors write, etc. - very interesting topics!