Sunday, April 6, 2014

The thirteen best John Steinbeck books

Susan Shillinglaw is professor of English at San Jose State, former director of the SJSU Steinbeck Center, Scholar in Residence at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, and author of the recently published On Reading “The Grapes of Wrath” (Penguin 2014) and Carol and John Steinbeck: Portrait of a Marriage (Nevada, 2013).

One title from her list of the thirteen best John Steinbeck books, as shared at Publishers Weekly:
Of Mice and Men (1937)

Only a year after the March 1937 publication of the book and opening of the Broadway play (November), Steinbeck’s George and Lennie had entered America’s popular lexicon. This odd couple still worms its way into readers’ hearts—“a little study in humility” Steinbeck called his novella. Lennie’s worshipful love of George and George’s equally sharp need for Lennie’s adoration is archetypal. Everybody is lonely in this book—where a visionary cooperative farm is a temporary and ever-poignant stay against confusion. “Tell me about the rabbits, George.” Who wouldn’t sign on?
Read about the other books on the list.

Of Mice and Men is among Becky Ferreira's six most memorable bullies in literature, Paul Wilson's ten top books about disability, and Sarah Salway's top ten books about unlikely friendships.

--Marshal Zeringue