- The Pastures of Heaven (John Steinbeck)
Steinbeck published The Pastures of Heaven in 1932, making it one of his earliest works. I haven't read East of Eden or The Grapes of Wrath (yet!!), but if this is his early work, I can't even imagine how good his later works are. I really enjoyed this book - it's a collection of short stories featuring a community of people who live in a valley called the Pastures of Heaven. Most of them end on a poignant or melancholy note (so certainly the same man who wrote Of Mice and Men and The Red Pony), but they are thoughtful little stories with a surprising amount of depth (lack of depth is usually my biggest complaint about short stories, but stories like these prove that it is possible to explore big ideas in a small number of pages). Definitely recommend!
Other than that, I have been reading various conducting students' dissertations and treatises about David Maslanka's music in preparation for writing my prospectus this summer. I'm also currently in the middle of Catch-22, so stay tuned for my thoughts on that next week!