Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, 1937
(I wrote the bulk of this post in April when I first read the book - so much for keeping on top of posts!)
Most people read this short book in high school. I managed to read both The Grapes of Wrath (496) and East of Eden (600) in high school, and I'm pretty sure I read The Pearl in 6th grade when I was part of a short story club for advanced readers (we also read The Veldt by Ray Bradbury- one of my favorites). I've always shied away from shorter works, thinking that they wouldn't have enough meat to them. My past experience with short stories always leaves me wanting more. This work could have easily grown to a 400+ page novel, but the simplicity of the story and characters warrants the length.
I realized partway in that this Bugs Bunny cartoon is a direct reference to this book. There are hundreds of cultural references to Lenny that keep connecting in my mind, popping up in old movies, commercials, etc.
Bugs Bunny Abominable Snowman cartoon
This link is to the complete cartoon - the Yeti shows up at 1:42.
Book rating: 4 out of 5
The language is so beautiful. Reading Steinbeck makes me want to make a blanket fort outside in the shade and spent all day reading and drinking iced tea under a canopy of trees and blankets, no wordly pressures creeping in, just the dimming sky forcing me inside for a late dinner.
Left me a bit sad. I knew as I read on that something terrible would happen, but all the same I hoped for Lennie, and for the others too, that somehow the dream of having their own place could materialize and not be just a far off dream to occupy their minds.