ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Books for Readers Who Enjoyed "The Catcher in the Rye"

Updated on June 16, 2013

Interesting Facts about "The Catcher in the Rye"

  • First published in 1951
  • Frequently listed as one of the best books of the 20th century
  • Frequently appears on lists of "most challenged books" on high school curriculums
  • Has never been produced as a play, movie, or television series, based on Salinger's own refusal to license the rights
  • Roughly 250,000 copies of the novel are sold per year
  • John Lennon's killer was obsessed with it
  • Salinger's only full-length novel

Books with Similar Themes/Characters as "The Catcher in the Rye"

Though J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" is a controversial and frequently banned novel, it is also a staple of many high school English class curriculums and is beloved by readers the world over. Generations have read the book as adolescents, connected with its angry and confused hero, Holden Caulfield, and gone on to pass the story on to their own children.

If you loved Holden Caulfield, then you may also enjoy these novels, all of which feature protagonists with mental illness struggling to mature and develop an identity:

  • "The Bell Jar," by Sylvia Plath
  • "The Silver Linings Playbook," by Matthew Quick
  • "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky

Read "The Bell Jar"

"The Bell Jar," by Sylvia Plath

Like J.D. Salinger, Sylvia Plath wrote one novel--"The Bell Jar." Like "The Catcher in the Rye," is it is semi-autobiographical and its protagonist struggles with growing up, society, and connecting meaningfully with others.

The heroine of "The Bell Jar," also like Holden, suffers from depression and struggles with the death of a loved one.

There are many similarities between the two books, and readers who enjoyed "The Catcher in the Rye" will also likely love "The Bell Jar." You can tell from her prose that Plath is a renowned poet, and passages of the "The Bell Jar" will stay with you long after you finish the story.

Read "The Silver Linings Playbook"

"The Silver Linings Playbook," by Matthew Quick

A more contemporary offering, Matthew Quick's "The Silver Linings Playbook" was just adapted into an award-winning movie starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

In it, Pat Peoples emerges from a mental institution, uncured but determined to improve--and win back the love of his wife, Nikki. Pat refuses to face up to the reason his wife left him, and he struggles with depression, anger, and an excess of honesty--which is sometimes brutal and alienating to those around him.

Pat is what Holden might be like if Holden decided to grow up without addressing his depression or getting help; however, "The Silver Linings Playbook" is much more humorous than "The Catcher in the Rye" and has a host of interesting, funny side characters.

Pat himself often drops gems of real wisdom, mental illness or not, that make you think, laugh, and appreciate him as a character.

"Silver Linings Playbook" Film

Read "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower," by Stephen Chbosky

Stephen Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" also just made it to the silver screen, and the best-selling novel focuses on its hero's first year in high school. Charlie is quiet and awkward, sometimes going to a "dark place" and struggling with depression and anger, but at the same time he's eager to please and make new friends.

When he's adopted by a group of misfit but undeniably cool seniors, including Sam, who he falls in love with, his life changes and begins to have new experiences and stretch his boundaries. His angst, unlike Holden's, is less angry and focuses on his struggles to fit in and understand the new experiences being thrown at him as a result of his new friendships.

Charlie has been compared to a modern-day Holden, and while his mental illness is a bit more severe and much more frightening to Charlie, it's an apt comparison. Readers who love "The Catcher in the Rye" will find much to enjoy in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" Film

Which of these novels is your favorite?

See results

Reading Beyond "The Catcher in the Rye"

If you came of age reading "The Catcher in the Rye," you'll probably identify with and love the books in this list! While all deal with adult themes, they're also appropriate for teens age fourteen and up (as long as you're open in your family about sexuality and adult language, etc.).

Consider reading one or two of the novels with "The Catcher in the Rye" to enhance your enjoyment of each and explore the similar themes, symbolism, and portrayals of the struggle to come of age when suffering from depression or other mental illness.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • SaffronBlossom profile imageAUTHOR

      SaffronBlossom 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thanks Abby! I actually like all the other books way more than I like "The Catcher in the Rye," but I feel like it helped me enjoy the others more, if that makes sense. The layout was a suggestion I stole from Hubpages but I'm glad to hear it is eye-catching!

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Dr Abby Campbell 

      6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      You always have such great advice, Erica. Thank you for sharing this. By the way, I love the way you layout your hubs. The upper right-hand box in blue always catches my attention and gives me a brief synopsis that is always so interesting for your hubs. ;)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)