East of Eden | Book Review 3

And my love for Steinbeck grows! What a whirlwind of a book, vast and episodic yet focused and detailed. Set, mainly, in the ever changing hills of Salinas valley East of Eden is a novel that keeps your brain awake the entire time you read.  In East of Eden Steinbeck plays out the age old battle, good vs. evil, over and over through the life of Adam Trask starting from his birth. Steinbeck deals with the fight of good vs. evil in the world in general and also the fight between good and bad that is within each individual person.

The battle is best represented in Adams son Cal. He observes the battles between light and dark in the world around him but has a difficult time facing them within himself. He feels stuck in the shadow of his brothers purity and perfection. Cal struggles with the idea that if you are bad you are all the way bad and his love for his brother blinds him to Aron’s shortcomings. Though it is not till the end of the book that Cal has a revelation and realizes that no one is purely good and he must learn this.

I have two quotes from this book that I wanted to share with you the first being:

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect you can be good.”

I will let you all read the book to find out the context of this quote but I think standing alone this quote says a lot about pressure that can be put on people. How people deal with being held up to a standard of perfection when there is not a single person on this earth that is perfect. Reading this quote reminds me that once I stop pressuring myself to be perfect at every aspect of my life, I can be good.

The second quote is:

“We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal.”

I love this quote for its final line “virtue is immortal”. It makes one feel as though even with the constant battle of good and evil going on inside of ourselves and in the world virtue will always prevail because it is immortal.

I was so excited to read this book as I had read reviews and heard that it was one of Steinbeck’s best. And now I cannot wait to re-read it and fill the margins with notes and comments, and to highlight all of my favorite quotes. This book is amazing to read for fun but was for me a great learning experience. I feel that by focusing on how the book was written as I read I was able to learn more and more about Steinbeck’s writing style.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is willing to take it on. It’s definitely a commitment as it is quite long, but I think if you do read it you will not be disappointed.

$20 Thrift Haul

On a recent thrifting adventure I somehow managed only spending 20 dollars. The fact that Thrift City was having a 50% off day might have had something to do with that, but as I was really impressed with everything I got I thought I would show you just how much I got on my thrift trip.

The first place we went on this thrifting day was Thrift city and as I mentioned it was 50% off day so everything I got was under $2 and I spent a total of $7. First up is this American Eagle Outfitters tank top. It is a dark grey with sheer and lace along the neckline. I thought this would be good for all seasons and it was basic, good quality and in good condition so I decided to grab it.

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The second thing I got from Thrift City is this Ann Taylor sweater. It is an older sweater which you can tell by the tag and by the fact that Ann Taylor is know better known as LOFT. But despite its age it is in very very good condition, no holes or stains and it doesn’t smell. I really liked the color and the neckline of this sweater, I especially love the cabling down the center. It is super cozy and I am looking forward to wearing it in the Fall.

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This little bracelet from Thrift City seemed super cute and a great accessory it was super cheap and it is really beautiful.

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The next piece from Thrift City is this blanket/shawl/scarf. Really I just like the embroidery on both ends of this and it works as many different things. I thought this would be a great blanket scarf for the fall and also when I get my own apartment or house it would make a great throw for the couch or end of the bed.

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Now on to my goodwill finds. All I ended up getting at Goodwill was books and I spent $13 dollars there. The firs book I picked up was this amazing Robert Frost poetry book. I couldn’t even believe I found it. Not only does it contain my favorite poem but the photography is amazing. It was such a great find and I can’t wait to spend forever going through it.

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The next 3 books I got are all Barbara Kingsolver books. I really love her writing style and just finished reading her book The Poisonwood Bible. I was super excited to find three of her books on this goodwill trip. Pigs in heaven is one of her novels, High Tide in Tucson is a collection of essays and Homeland which is a collection of short stories.

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I was also really excited to find a copy of Great Expectations, my all time favorite book. Until now I had only had a copy on my kindle and its so nice to have the actual physical book.

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The last book I got was Schindler’s List. I saw this book and was actually suprised because I though it was only a movie but I decided to pick it up because it seemed interesting and a good addition to my library.

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So that is everything in my haul. All together it cost me approximately $20 and I feel like I definitely got a lot of good stuff for that much.Can’t wait to wear all my new clothes and read all of these books.

-Hanna Caroline