I had the opportunity to pull together the introductory page about John Steinbeck’s writings. One of my favorite books is East of Eden, which I’ve read twice. I have also read Of Mice and Men, but beyond that, I haven’t read anything else by Steinbeck! Here are some of the books that I really want to read.
- The Pastures of Heaven (1932). Short stories. Always a good place to start.
- The Long Valley (1938). A collection of twelve short stories, including “The Red Pony.” Again, stories seem like a good place to start.
- Cannery Row (1945). A series of vignettes about a few people living in Monterey, California. I like vignettes.
- Sweet Thursday (1954). A sequel to Cannery Row that takes place after World War II. I hope to like Cannery Row, so would then of course like this one.
- Tortilla Flat (1935). A novel set in Monterey, California, portraying with great sympathy and humour a group of paisanos – literally, countrymen – a small band of errant friends enjoying life and wine in the days after the end of the Great War. I loved East of Eden’s setting in California. Maybe this one would likewise capture the setting beautifully.
- The Grapes of Wrath (1939). A Pulitzer Prizing winning novel about a family of poor sharecroppers driven from their home during the Great Depression. Can you believe I haven’t read this yet? This is the one I’ll read for the tour.
- The Wayward Bus (1947). A novel written as internal monologues for characters in Salinas Valley, California in the years after WWII. I’m curious to see how Steinbeck captures the interior monologues. He has such a way with words.
- Travels with Charley: In Search of America (1962). A travelogue with his poodle, Charley. Sounds interesting.
- Burning Bright (1950). An experimental morality play written in the form of a novella. I’m intrigued.
- The Short Reign of Pippin IV: A Fabrication (1957). A political satire that pokes fun of France. This sounds quite funny.
- The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976). A retelling of the Arthur legend, based on L’Morte D’Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory. I’d love to read this when I’m trying to get through the original Mallory version. Or maybe I’ll just try Steinbeck’s retelling (I hear Mallory is quite a challenge…).
Which of these have you read? Which others on Steinbeck’s list have you read? Are you going to join in the tour? (These are just the ones that stood out to me.)
If you are unfamiliar with The Classics Circuit, here’s how it works. You read a book. We assign you a day during the tour. On that day, you post about the book on your blog (you must have a blog to participate). Whether or not you have time to read a book and be a participant on the tour, you can always follow the schedule of stops and see what others have to say.