25 Books That Will Make You a Better Person

Franny and Zooey

Author: J.D. Salinger
Released: 1961
Guaranteed to improve: Your sibling skills (so you can finally stop being a dick to your brother).

Much has been made of the aspects of Eastern thought in Franny and Zooey. The book has been read as "a modern Zen tale, with the main character Franny progressing over the course of the short story and novella from a state of ignorance to the deep wisdom of enlightenment." Salinger is a bit less direct in his own assessment of the book. He begins the "Zooey" novella by introducing the debate of whether the book is a "mystical story" or a "love story."

The philosophical questions of the book may stick with you, but the simple moments of a brother and sister trying to relate with and comfort each other might hit you with equal or greater force. The book is a reminder of the unique position of the closeness of family in the face of an alienating society. In short, it may just prompt you to give your brother a call.

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