Thanks to the Google Doodle, I learned that today is one of my favorite authors’ birthday!
John Steinbeck would be 112 today!
Never read a Steinbeck novel? You should!
I’ve read three: The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and The Pearl.
Growing up in Oklahoma, reading Grapes is like a rite of passage. You have to do it! Its part of our history and culture (my grandfather actually traveled to California when he was a kid to pick fruit during The Great Depression). This heart-wrenching tale of drought, hardships, and the changing world from farmer to industry is an American classic.
I read Of Mice and Men in high school. Not going to lie, I remember feeling super depressed after reading it. But, I think that was kind of what Steinbeck was going for. Also set during The Great Depression, Mice is a story of two men, George and Lennie, who are desperately trying to survive one of the hardest times in our nation’s history. They travel through California, looking for some land that George can farm and Lennie can raise (and pet) rabbits. I won’t spoil the end for you if you haven’t read it, but be warned: buy tissues.
The Pearl is a short read, only about 90 pages! The story starts with Coyotito, a young boy living on the shores of Mexico, getting stung by a scorpion. Unable to pay the doctor, Coyotito’s father, Kino, looks for anything he can find of value to pay the doctor to heal his son. Kino finds an enormous pearl and decides to use it to pay the doctor, but not without showing it off first. The people of Kino’s impoverished village grow envious of the pearl and soon Kino fears for his own life. This is definitely a must read! And its so short you could be finished in the time it takes to watch tonight’s all-new Vampire Diaries! (Come on, people, that’s what a DVR is for!)
What about you? Have you read anything by Steinbeck? What’s your fave?