Shelf Control #191: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!


Title: The Grapes of Wrath
Author: John Steinbeck
Published: 1939
Length: 468 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers.

First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics.

How and when I got it:

I had (and then lost) a copy years ago, but just got a new one earlier this year.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve always meant to read this book. I know a lot of folks ended up having this on a school required reading list, but I never did. This year, my book group decided to do a reading challenge based on the PBS Great American Reads list, and this is one of the books I chose for my challenge. Now if only I’d actually crack it open and get started!

What do you think? Have you ever read The Grapes of Wrath, and if so, do you recommend it?

Please share your thoughts!


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

10 thoughts on “Shelf Control #191: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

    • I read Of Mice and Men in high school, and somewhere about that time I read East of Eden as well. I remember that I really loved EoE, but I don’t think I could tell you anything about it at this point! We’ll see how Grapes of Wrath goes — maybe I’ll keep going with Steinbeck!

  1. I 100% had to read this in High School and it was…okay. HS was forever ago for me, but there were books we had to read that I would still consider among my very favorites and that I revisit from time to time. This was not one of those. I think I am just not big into the American Classics. 😦

    • Fair enough! HS was forever ago for me too, but I also had some assigned reading from that time that have stayed with me and remain favorites (like A Tale of Two Cities).

  2. I loved this book, fell into it and lived it. Not required in HS so read it one college summer (not as required reading). I had large blocks of time to read it, which probably helped in getting immersed in the story. One of my favorite books.

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