"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, April 26, 2019

Classics Club Spin #20---My selection---East of Eden---Let's begin

Well, now that the spinner has spun and the selection has been made I shall be reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck for the Classics Club Spin. It's a big tome of a book, weighing in at 600+ pages. As with most things, I often think I know something until I learn, to my chagrin, that I don't. That is what happened today when I looked up the introduction to the East of Eden on my favorite "cheating" site, Shmoop---what I thought I knew about the book was completely wrong but, as is often the case, way better than I thought. Here's what I learned:

  1. The book's major theme comes from the Book of  Genesis. Yes, that Genesis. The one at the beginning of the Bible. So no wonder there is "Eden" in the title. Garden of EDEN, Duh!
  2.  So I guess you could say additional themes are the creation of the world and what humanity does with it. Talk about huge themes.
  3. The writers over at Shmoop say that the major elements have to do with what it means to be human, our need to be loved, and the fear that we are not loved (Shmoop Editorial Team). Jeez, Steinbeck, think you could pick any bigger themes and elements to cover?
  4. The Cain and Abel story from the Bible plays very prominently in this book, but is enlarged and expanded (to meet that 600 pages I mentioned before) and so is the theme of jealousy. Why can't mankind figure it out that everyone and everything is not equal and just get over it? Well, apparently Steinbeck explores jealousy to the nth degree in East of Eden. 
So I begin and here is my plan---  Each week between now and the end of May I hope to:
  • Read at least 100 pages.
  • Blog an update on my progress, what I've learned
  • Ask and answer a question about the book, the author, my reading progress, etc.
  • Hopefully finish by May 31st, but it looks like if I stick to my plan perfectly it will be June before I finish up.
Stay tuned for updates on my progress, or, better yet, dust off your old copy and join me. I'll be reading from the Steinbeck Centennial Edition, published in 2002. (The first question I will likely ask and hope to answer is how does that make it a centennial edition, if the book was first published in 1952?)

Work cited:
Shmoop Editorial Team. "East of Eden." Shmoop. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 26 Apr. 2019.


  1. My daughter read East of Eden in her Long Novel class last year. I think she quite liked it even though 600 pages is so long!

  2. The themes are fascinating! 600 pages though--wow!

  3. Good luck... this is one of my all-time favorite novels.


I look forward to your comments and interactions! Join in the conversation.