J. D. Salinger’s noble opposition

The paperback edition of Kenneth Slawenski's biography of America's iconic literary recluse was released the beginning of this year. I read it, curious about the many things I probably didn't know about the man who wrote "The Catcher in the Rye." One of my biggest surprises was learning Salinger fought in some of World War II's most difficult battles. I also came to know Salinger as less of a bizarre eccentric and more of a person whose experiences influenced his behavior.

Pick a name, write a book

Here's a collection of entertaining short biographies about writers who assumed pseudonyms as protective covers, such as the Brontë sisters, who wrote under the pen names Acton, Currer and Ellis Bell; and Eric Blair, who took the pen name George Orwell. Carmela Ciuraru's "Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms" is delightfully engaging.