Tortilla Flat

Why am I tackling Tortilla Flat again when I didn’t care for the characters and their stories five months ago, and stopped reading mid-way? The book was a publishing success back in 1935, so I thought I should give it another go. I’m glad I did. Tortilla Flat is one of those tales where nothing … More Tortilla Flat

To a God Unknown

What is it to be a farmer? Is farming about yields, faith or something more? In his third book To a God Unknown, John Steinbeck explores Joseph Wayne’s relationship with the environment. With a farm struggling to support his family, Joseph leaves Vermont and his dying father for the riches of California. He settles in … More To a God Unknown

The Pastures of Heaven

This second book that John Steinbeck published is quite extraordinary. What starts off as a simple, restrained read becomes something else – a shocking tale about how seemingly small life events can shape destinies and impact community. In this collection of interwoven short stories, we meet two generations of farming families who call the pastures … More The Pastures of Heaven

Cup of Gold

John Steinbeck’s first book about pirates is an interesting read. Published in 1929, when Steinbeck was 27, Cup of Gold is a historical fictional account of Henry Morgan’s rise from humble beginnings in Wales to notorious buccaneer in the Americas in the 1600’s. For all the promise of swashbuckling adventures, plus romance and allegory too, … More Cup of Gold