The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
My family on my mother’s side is from Oklahoma. While I have read other Steinbeck novels, and find the John Ford film to be one of his finest, especially Henry Fonda’s portrait of Tom Joad, I am just getting around to the novel. I would recommend the Viking Critical Library Edition containing essays that give it historical context.
American Terroir Rowan Jacobsen
This is a fascinating account of how geography, cultural tradition, and a little happenstance give our food a uniqueness we take for granted considering the rather historically late homogeny of the super-martket. Jacobsen covers, maple syrup, coffee, apples, potatoes, oysters, avocados and salmon.
Read of late:
Time Must Have A Stop Aldous Huxley
This could be a life changing novel if read at the right time. The question of How To Live One’s Life, is conveyed by a brief meeting between uncle and nephew: one looking back and the other forward. What is important to live a meaningful life? If meaning indeed is to be found.
How I Live Now Meg Rosoff
A novel that lives in the moment. How I Live Now is classified in the Young Adult genre, but Rosoff has written a transcendent novel in any genre. She captures an idyllic that subtly shifts to the uncertainty of live during war as told though her young narrator fifteen-year-old Daisy.
Revolutionary Road Richard Yates
Unfortunately Richard Yates is an under-read writer. Like Leonard Cohen, people seem to find his truths depressing and miss the humor. Yates characters are brilliantly and realistically tragic: caught between the lives they don’t want, yet unable to articulate the desires of the lives they long for. Vintage UK is adding a bitter-sweet element in publishing the series Vintage Yates: the covers are period advertisements: visuals of the ideal, yet remaining ironically inchoate.