Monthly Archives: July 2018

One of the Best

I finished reading John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” a few days ago. Here’s my review:


Now, I’ve always enjoyed Steinbeck’s writing, but it was mainly his shorter works, like “Cannery Row” and “Tortilla Flat. This was my first time reading one of his long novels. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

Now I’m embarrassed at having waited so long to do it. From the first page, I knew I was in the hands of a master. And those 600 pages felt like 200.

I’m not going to bore you with a full review, seeing as how there are better, more informed ones out there already. The New York Times called “East of Eden”  “A fantasia and myth . . .a strange and original work of art.” Indeed, it is a work of philosophy, theology, and Biblical exegesis as well as a personal memoir and meditation on life and what it means to be human.

This novel is a marvel and a wonder, unlike anything I’ve ever read.

Read this book.

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Posted by on July 12, 2018 in Uncategorized


Of Pigs and Wings and Literary Things

This past weekend me and the wife took a drive to a small town here in central Arizona called Yarnell. Now Yarnell has become somewhat famous because of the horrible wildfire that decimated the town and took the lives of 19 brave men known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots. The recent film “Only the Brave” was based on this fire and its aftermath.

I’m happy to say the town is bouncing back bravely, and there are several interesting shops doing business there. While browsing through one that featured the work of several local artists and craftspeople, I noticed more than a few renderings of pigs with wings. Some of glazed ceramic in bright colors. Some in bronze. Some of red pottery clay. Even a cast iron wall hanger with a small flying pig.

And it made me think of John Steinbeck.

As I wrote earlier, I’m reading Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” and getting very close to finishing it. (Great gnashing of teeth can be heard if you listen carefully). Anyway, as I learned from the book’s introductory notes, Steinbeck had a personal logo that he used on nearly all of his personal correspondence; a small drawing of a pig with wings. True story. He described it as symbolizing himself as “a lumbering soul but trying to fly.”

His logo also had a Latin motto reading “Ad Astra Per Alia Porci.”  Which translated means, “To the stars on the wings of a pig.”

I love John Steinbeck.

And I REALLY want one of those flying pigs.

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Posted by on July 4, 2018 in Uncategorized