Summer Reading Challenge

UPDATE #4: Summer Reading Challenge

Just a little over 200 pages stands between me and the next book on my list. 200 pages of eloquent, intriguing words from John Steinbeck stands between me and. . . finishing Anna Karenina and Early Warning, a novel by Jane Smiley. If you remember, I have been battling through Tolstoy’s novel since [what seems like] the beginning of time. Jane Smiley’s new novel is off of the Book Club Summer Reading Challenge list (#challengeyourshelf), which you can find here. I’m finding August is drawing to a close way too quickly, which has actually motivated me to crack down on myself and become more organized and deliberate with these challenges and goals I have set out to accomplish. Someday I’ll be one of those people who doesn’t procrastinate.

Anyway, I’m completely captivated by East of Eden. Steinbeck’s use of simple, strange, yet enjoyable (both in a liking way and detestable way) characters, including himself, enhances his poetic descriptions of the Salinas Valley; farms, gardens, animals and the like. The parallels between some of the characters, their stories, and biblical figures and places (Eden, Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve) is clear to me at this point, but I am in the last half of the novel after all. No, the religious allusions do not take over the story if you’re interested in reading it and tend to stray away from religion of any intensity. I am dumbfounded as to how this will turn out for everyone in the novel, especially since the one character I was really hoping would live forever just died (of natural causes). Well, that’s quite a note to end on but I still need to do my workout, go get my laundry, and of course, finish East of Eden. Stay tuned for my next update, and leave a comment below telling me what you’re reading, or how you’re staying on top of your goals (as well as any discussion points or questions you may have). Happy Reading!

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