Tag Archives: classics

Classic Revisted: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Steinbeck Centennial Edition
Originally Published 1937
112 Pages

The compelling story of two outsiders striving to find their place in an unforgiving world. Drifters in search of work, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream–a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, but their hopes are doomed as Lennie, struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy, becomes a victim of his own strength.- Goodreads

Why was it banned & challenged?

In 2001 it was banned for using offensive language, racism, violence, and being unsuited to age group (Source).

I read this book when I was in high school as required reading and like most of the required reading, I didn’t like but unlike most of the required reading, I fell for this book about half way through.

This isn’t a long read. Of Mice and Men is considered more of a novella than anything and I appreciate that because anything longer would be pushing it. But beyond that can I honestly say I liked George or Lennie? No, but I loved and respected their loyalty to each other (to a certain extent) and what it represented during that time period. George did his best and unlike Glibert Grape, George was able to have other relationships/interactions while balancing his responsibilities, dreams and relationship with Lennie.

What I liked about this book was how simple it was. And what I mean by simple was how you can see the steps of what a story should consist of. You see the foreshadowing, you build to that climax and you see feel that conclusion. That flow chart you learn about in school, is exactly what I see when I read this book.

Is this book a bit slow? Slightly. But it is deep and tragic. Shakespeare would truly be proud.

Overall, it is a memorable book and not a bad movie.

4 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin: An Anthology by Alan Bennett

Yale University Press To Be Published Oct. 6, 2015 224 Pages
Yale University Press
To Be Published Oct. 6, 2015
224 Pages

In this anthology English author Alan Bennett, chooses six poets to not only display and explain their works but to break down the author themselves. 

The six poets are Thomas Hardy, A. E. Housman, John Betjeman, W. H. Auden, Louis MacNeice, and Philip Larkin. 

*Short Review*

I decided to step out my recent norm and read some poetry. But not just any poetry but what is considered classic poetry from authors in England.

I enjoyed this book. Not only did it introduce me to poets I have never heard of but I actually liked some of the poetry. For each poet, their writing was a hit or miss. Not every poem was good, even with Bennett’s explanation for the piece.

All the poets wrote in a realistic manner. What I mean by this is they took more of non whimsical approach to their works. This is not to say that their poetry lacked imagination because it didn’t. It just wasn’t as romantic (nothing is wrong with that).

What I loved the most about this book was Bennett’s insight to the poets and each poem he presented. He made things easier to understand and he justified the poets and their words. Granted no writer really needs to justify their writing but I was able to appreciated it more.

My only issue with this book is I wish it was formatted differently. Not sure if it was because I was reading it on a kindle but it came off overwhelming and without proper dividers. I lied. My other issue with this book is the lack of women.

Overall I enjoyed this.

3 Pickles

Out of Curiousity

The BBC apparently believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here:

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – read some, but not others…
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy.
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth.
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck (One of my favorite books by the way)
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt.
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


I’ve read 12 . . . does that mean I need to go back to the classics?