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Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & Ranked

Below I’ll give you my selections for the best Steinbeck books by a few categories. I will cover these and other great books more in depth later.

1. East of Eden (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) (1992)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & RankedIn his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.The masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years, East of Eden is a work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the…
Author(s): John Steinbeck, David Wyatt

2. The Short Novels of John Steinbeck: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (2009)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & RankedCollected here for the first time in a deluxe paperback volume are six of John Steinbeck’s most widely read and beloved novels. From the tale of commitment, loneliness and hope in Of Mice and Men, to the tough yet charming portrait of people on the margins of society in Cannery Row, to The Pearl’s examination of the fallacy of the American dream, Steinbeck stories of realism, that were imbued with energy and resilience.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin…
Author(s): John Steinbeck

3. The Log from the Sea of Cortez (Penguin Classics) (1995)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & RankedIn the two years after the 1939 publication of Steinbeck’s masterful , Steinbeck and his novel increasingly became the center of intense controversy and censorship. In search of a respite from the national stage, Steinbeck and his close friend, biologist Ed Ricketts, embarked on a month long marine specimen-collecting expedition in the Gulf of California, which resulted in their collaboration on the . In 1951, after Ricketts’ death, Steinbeck reissued his narrative portion of the work in memory of his friend and the inspiration for ’s “Doc”. This exciting day-by-day account of their journey together is…
Author(s): John Steinbeck, Richard Astro

4. Travels with Charley in Search of America (1980)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & Ranked  To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light—these were John Steinbeck’s goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years. With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. Along the way he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and  the unexpected kindness of strangers….
Author(s): John Steinbeck

5. Cannery Row: (Centennial Edition) (2002)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & RankedUnburdened by the material necessities of the more fortunate, the denizens of discover rewards unknown in more traditional society. Henry the painter sorts through junk lots for pieces of wood to incorporate into the boat he is building, while the girls from Dora Flood’s bordello venture out now and then to enjoy a bit of sunshine. Lee Chong stocks his grocery with almost anything a man could want, and Doc, a young marine biologist who ministers to sick puppies and unhappy souls, unexpectedly finds true love. Cannery Row is just a few blocks long, but the story it harbors is suffused with warmth,…
Author(s): John Steinbeck

6. Of Mice and Men (1993)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & Ranked  They are an unlikely pair: George is “small and quick and dark of face”; Lennie, a man of tremendous size, has the mind of a young child. Yet they have formed a “family,” clinging together in the face of loneliness and alienation. Laborers in California’s dusty vegetable fields, they hustle work when they can, living a hand-to-mouth existence. For George and Lennie have a plan: to own an acre of land and a shack they can call their own. When they land jobs on a ranch in the Salinas Valley, the fulfillment of their dream seems to be within their grasp. But even George cannot guard Lennie from the…
Author(s): John Steinbeck

7. The Pearl (1993)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & Ranked  Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the Kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull’s egg, as “perfect as the moon.” With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security…. A story of classic simplicity, based on a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man’s nature, the darkest depths of evil, and the luminous…
Author(s): John Steinbeck

8. The Winter of Our Discontent (Penguin Classics) (2008)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & RankedIn awarding John Steinbeck the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Nobel committee stated that with The Winter of Our Discontent, he had “resumed his position as an independent expounder of the truth, with an unbiased instinct for what is genuinely American.” Ethan Allen Hawley, the protagonist of Steinbeck’s last novel, works as a clerk in a grocery store that his family once owned. With Ethan no longer a member of Long Island’s aristocratic class, his wife is restless, and his teenage children are hungry for the tantalizing material comforts he…
Author(s): John Steinbeck, Susan Shillinglaw

9. To a God Unknown (Penguin Classics) (1995)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & RankedAncient pagan beliefs, the great Greek epics, and the Bible all inform this extraordinary novel by Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck, which occupied him for more than five difficult years. While fulfilling his dead father’s dream of creating a prosperous farm in California, Joseph Wayne comes to believe that a magnificent tree on the farm embodies his father’s spirit. His brothers and their families share in Joseph’s prosperity, and the farm flourishes—until one brother, frightened by Joseph’s pagan belief, kills the tree, allowing disease and famine to descend on the…
Author(s): John Steinbeck, Robert DeMott

10. The Harvest Gypsies: On the Road to the Grapes of Wrath (2011)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & RankedGathered in this important volume are seven newspaper articles on migrant farm workers that John Steinbeck wrote for The San Francisco News in 1936, three years before The Grapes of Wrath. With the inquisitiveness of an investigative reporter and the emotional power of a novelist in his prime, Steinbeck toured the squatters’ camps and Hoovervilles of California. The Harvest Gypsies gives us an eyewitness account of the horrendous Dust Bowl migration, a major event in California history, and provides the factual foundation for Steinbeck’s masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath. Included…
Author(s): John Steinbeck, Charles Wollenberg

11. Sweet Thursday (Penguin Classics) (2008)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & RankedIn Monterey, on the California coast, Sweet Thursday is what they call the day after Lousy Wednesday, which is one of those days that are just naturally bad. Returning to the scene of —the weedy lots and junk heaps and flophouses of Monterey, John Steinbeck once more brings to life the denizens of a netherworld of laughter and tears—from Doc, based on Steinbeck’s lifelong friend Ed Ricketts, to Fauna, new headmistress of the local brothel, to Hazel, a bum whose mother must have wanted a daughter. This Penguin Classics edition features an…
Author(s): John Steinbeck, Robert DeMott

12. Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research (2009)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & RankedThe collaboration of two friends—one a novelist, one a marine biologist—produced a volume in which fascinating popular science is woven into a narrative of man’s dreams, his ideals, and his accomplishments through the centuries. Sea of Cortez is one of those rare books that are all things to all readers. Actually the record of a brief collecting expedition in the lonely Gulf of California, it will be science to the scientist, philosophy to the philosopher, and to the average man an adventure in living and thinking. The teeming and…
Author(s): John Steinbeck, Edward F. Ricketts

13. The Red Pony (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) (1994)

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & RankedWritten at a time of profound anxiety caused by the illness of his mother, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck draws on his memories of childhood in these stories about a boy who embodies both the rebellious spirit and the contradictory desire for acceptance of early adolescence. Unlike most coming-of-age stories, the cycle does not end with a hero “matured” by circumstances. As John Seelye writes in his introduction, reversing common interpretations, is imbued with a sense of loss. Jody’s encounters with birth and death express a common theme in Steinbeck’s fiction: They…
Author(s): John Steinbeck, John Seelye

Best Steinbeck Books Reviewed & Ranked

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some steinbeck books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

John Steinbeck: A Literary Life

Author(s): Linda Wagner-Martin
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK, Year: 2017, Size: 12 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1701214

The Western Flyer: Steinbeck's Boat, the Sea of Cortez, and the Saga of Pacific Fisheries

Author(s): Kevin M. Bailey
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press, Year: 2015, Size: 1 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1324966

John Steinbeck. The Voice of the Land

Author(s): Keith Ferrell
Publisher: Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group;M. Evans & Company, Year: 2015, Size: 719 Kb, Download: epub
ID: 1346612

Cup of Gold: A Life of Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer, With Occasional Reference to History

Author(s): Beegel, Susan F.; Steinbeck, John
Publisher: Penguin Classics, Year: 2014, Size: 279 Kb, Download: epub
ID: 2414954

A Russian Journal

Author(s): John Steinbeck
Publisher: Penguin Group, Year: 2011, Size: 180 Kb, Download: epub
ID: 793043

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are absolutely chart-busters according to The Wall Street Journal, others are composed by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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