John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck’s classic "Of Mice and Men" will remain on the classroom reading list for freshmen in a north Idaho school district.

New ownership is giving new hope to a decrepit, unseaworthy fishing boat with a notable literary pedigree.

John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men — about George and Lennie, two laborers and unlikely friends during the Great Depression — may seem like a quintessentially American story. But Irish actor Chris O'Dowd, who plays Lennie in a new Broadway production the novella, says Steinbeck is "quite oddly" very popular in Ireland.

There's something about Of Mice and Men that appeals to the Irish people, O'Dowd tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn. "All of us have chased the American dream so there's something very universal about it," he says.

We made it to California! And if you're reading along, you, like us, are two-thirds of the way through John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl classic. So it's time again for us to gather and share our thoughts.

Late last week, an email exchange between NPR Books' team members went something like this:


Nicole: YUP. But then, later, people eat pigs. So, does that make them even?

Colin: I trust this isn't a spoiler. Ahem.


Camila: Not a spoiler cus it's NOT EVEN A BIG DEAL. That's the worst part. It's just like "Oh yeah, remember the time that pig ate that baby? Memories."

John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl saga has been on required reading lists for decades, but somehow a lot of us at NPR Books have never read it. (We know! We know!) So when we realized the 75th anniversary was coming up on April 14, we thought: What better way to pay tribute to Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic than to actually crack it open?

That is to say: We're hosting a Grapes of Wrath book club and you're all invited to join.*

Book News: Italy Has A New Reality Show — For Writers

Nov 14, 2013

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

The Port of Port Townsend, Wash., is providing a temporary home to a piece of literary history. But the dry-docked sardine fishing boat once chartered by the writer John Steinbeck faces an uncertain fate. 

The 76-foot boat's original name was the Western Flyer. In 1940, John Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Ricketts (who later inspired the character Doc in "Cannery Row") chartered the wood vessel for a cruise around Baja California.