The Book(s) of Love No. 8: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

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“A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid any more.” 

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Apologies if you read this in high school, and hated it.  I don’t like saying this, but… you, or your younger self, might be wrong.  Even if you have read it and can’t stand to do it again, please please go watch the movie version with James Dean, if only because James Dean.  Anyway, if you’re as fascinated by female psychopaths and biblical symbolism as I am, you will probably love this book.  It’s Steinbeck, so I’m not saying it’s unproblematic, but I think it’s a much less melodramatic and well-thought-out novel than Grapes of Wrath.  Can a black heart be inherited?  Can a good one?  Or is it all nurture?  And, what happens when the people we love turn out to be, well, super evil?  Read, and find out!  This is a hefty tome, though, so may I suggest the e-reader version, for supreme portability?

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