J.D. Salinger, 91. I remember being around 10 years old and sitting on my grandparents' sofa when my parents returned from shopping and mother handed me a copy of "The Catcher in the Rye." I wasn't very enthusiastic about it, but I started reading it and soon was several pages into the book and laughing out loud. There was a time when I could pretty much rectite the book from memory. Naturally, I never was assigned the book in high school English.