The Girl Booker

The Girl Booker

Monday, May 26, 2014

Her Salinger Year

Often when I read a good book I think of the different kinds of people who I think would also enjoy it. And that is often what I have in mind when writing about said book on this blog. I am struggling a little with this one, because I loved it so much, that it felt almost as if it were written for me alone. I am very hard pressed to think beyond how much I loved it, and as a result I am unsure whether or not anyone else will like it at all. I can only imagine every person in the world will love it but I know my judgement is clouded.

My Salinger Year is the book industry’s version of The DevilWears Prada. It’s New York, it’s a young female narrator, and its a view into a world that sounds glamorous and dreamy to outsiders. However, there is no nastiness or spite. Instead, there is a dictaphone and typewriter in a computerless office in 1996. Rakoff brings New York to bustling life as a contrast to the cool, dark quiet of the office where she works. She makes both locations covetable, which means the book is a joy to read.

It wasn’t a bombastically life changing book. It was quiet and nice and I looked forward to the end of each day so I could read a bit more. It was also about the struggles of life as a young adult trying to figure it all out. I loved the world the book conjured up, and I loved reading about Rakoff’s journey to figuring out exactly where and how she fit in it. 

The tagline on the cover of my editions says "We all have to start somewhere", and that's a sentiment I really appreciated in the book. I love to learn about people's beginnings; the experiences they have had that have set them on the paths they take. And having spent quite a lot of my professional life in rather humble jobs, it's inspiring to know that such roles can be exciting, enjoyable, enviable and other nice things starting with the letter E.

My Salinger Year spoke to me for so many reasons. It was a book about the person I was 10 years ago, and also about the person I am today. It was about a world I dream about visiting, and also about a world I live in now. The only fault I can really find with it is that I wish it were double the length; it was over way too soon. I would recommend this book to: anyone who can read.