BOOK REVIEW: Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

RELEASE DATE: September 1, 1993
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Purchased

The tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. They are George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simple-minded man, calming him and helping to rein in his immense physical strength.


I had read Steinbeck in both high school and university–though to say I actually “read” him in high school would be a mistake. I had to read The Grapes of Wrath and write a paper about it. I found the book to be so boring that I couldn’t even make it past the first few pages without falling asleep. When university came, I had to read Of Mice and Men for one of my courses. Feeling a little leery about reading more Steinbeck, I was reassured by its short length. Continue reading


Teaser and Top Ten Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  1. Grab your current read
  2. Open to a random page
  3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  4. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  5. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Kavita stiffens. She clutches the baby to her chest and awkwardly tries to sit up. “She is here. Your little princess is right here.” Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, pg. 15

BOOK REVIEW: Holes, by Louis Sachar

RELEASE DATE: September 2, 2000
PUBLISHER: Scholastic
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Borrowed

And so, Stanley Yelnats seems set to serve an easy sentence, which is only fair because he is as innocent as you or me. But Stanley is not going where he thinks he is. Camp Green Lake is like no other camp anywhere. It is a bizarre, almost otherworldly place that has no lake and nothing that is green. Nor is it a camp, at least not the kind of camp kids look forward to in the summertime. It is a place that once held “the largest lake in Texas,” but today it is only a scorching desert wasteland, dotted with countless holes dug by the boys who live at the camp. 

The trouble started when Stanley was accused of stealing a pair of shoes donated by basketball great Clyde “Sweetfeet” Livingston to a celebrity auction. In court, the judge doesn’t believe Stanley’s claim that the shoes fell from the sky onto his head. And yet, that’s exactly what happened. Oddly, though, Stanley doesn’t blame the judge for falsely convicting him. Instead, he blames the whole misadventure on his “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather.” Thanks to this benighted distant relative, the Yelnats family had been cursed for generations. For Stanley, his current troubles are just a natural part of being a Yelnats. 

At Camp Green Lake, the warden makes the boys “build character” by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the treacherous warden is searching for something, and before long Stanley begins his own search—for the truth. 

Fate conspires to resolve it all—the family curse, the mystery of the holes, the drought that destroyed Green Lake, and also, the legend of Kissing Kate Barlow, an infamous outlaw of the Wild West. The great wheel of justice has ground slowly for generations, but now it is about to reveal its verdict.


My brother isn’t a reader. He’s older than I am and just hasn’t been taken by the loveliness of books. That’s not to say he hasn’t read anything. There are a few books that he’s read and just loved and Holes, by Louis Sachar, was one of them. Continue reading