A few days ago, just as February is getting underway, I found myself clueless, fumbling about who will I chose for the Author of the Month feature. At this early stage I never anticipated that I’ll encounter this blind spot — which may perhaps stemmed from my complacency over the enormity of books in Mt. TBR — that I may not have a particular author who celebrates his/her birthday in this month (or for any other month for that matter) in my TBR list.
However, a sudden turn of event presented a solution to this difficulty. I was lazing off last Sunday afternoon when I pick up — from no compulsion at all — John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony, a slim volume of four interconnected short stories not over a hundred pages. After finishing the book for a couple of hours, I know, just like when I read Of Mice and Men, that Steinbeck hit me again with something profound I — at the moment— seem incapable to articulate what it is and up until now I’m still digesting, savoring it. Then curiosity got the best of me, so I check out his biography at good ole’ reliable Wikipedia. Then lo and behold, the answer presented itself! John Steinbeck was born in February 27, 1902. Eureka!
Here you go!
So, it also goes without saying that you’ll expect a perfunctory review of The Red Pony here in a few days time, Gentle Readers. It seems that reading it, more than an act of mysterious coincidence, gave me ample time to adjust a bit to Steinbeck’s style — though in my opinion his writing is immensely readable even if it was published during the 1930s; I think the same thing can be said of Of Mice and Men. Well, just read his books to find it out for yourself.
Of course, February’s a fairly a short month but let me dabble into self-indulgence once again Gentle Reader — I feel like tackling something big for this month. After this I’m raring to read Steinbeck’s Pulitzer prize-winnng masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath, which has been gathering dust in my book shelf now for a year I suppose. And maybe after that I might also squeeze in some of his short works like The Pearl, Cannery Row and his excellent short story collection, The Long Valley.
Let’s just see if I can pull this one through. 😉
For those interested people and concerned parties, why don’t you check out The National Steinbeck Center for a line up of the programs they have in store for those who would like join or participate in the commemoration of John Steinbeck’s 109th birthday — I would love too see this one for myself but that’s just remotely impossible since I live half-way around the world. You may visit their site or Facebook Page for further updates.