East of Eden East of Eden question


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Book lovers, I have a senior high school book list!
Jaime Jaime Sep 05, 2012 09:40PM
I need your help! (Also, I'm a bit new, so I apologize if I'm putting this in the wrong place, knowing that I think I am putting this in the wrong place). Well, I've cut down the list from about 50 or so, about 13 which I have been familiarized with, and painstakingly cut down to an even more selective list.

It would be wonderful if I could have an idea by Friday, I have no where to ask but here!

East of Eden - John Steinbeck (I’ve wanted to read this for a very long time, probably for as long as I wanted to read Rand, lol! I tried once but like Rand, I was unsuccessful; I only wanted to read it because Meg & Dia suggested reading it, and their song Monster was based off the novel, so I had to read it, or at least say I tried to..)

Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (Was on my to read lists)

Farenheit 451 - Bradbury (on my to read list, and I think I recall some work by Bradbury from many years ago and the name always stuck with me for reference, mainly I’m sure because I thought he was rather excellent at the time of discovery. I can’t recall much but I’m going to look up more on it to see what was so fantastic in my youth)

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath (familiar with her poetry and particularly very intrigued by her character, but I hear the book is rather self-indulgent and a waste of time, mentioned that one reader would prefer childbirth over reading it again, and another would do more painful things than to have experienced reading that book. It’s the least to say I’m a bit concerned.)

The Underpainter - Jane Urquhart (I hear nothing but great things about this book and I read The Stone Carvers a few years ago and I remember I really liked it, I don’t know how I picked up the book but it was a pretty awesome find from what I recall. I also remember I was pretty inspired by it as well.)

Requiem for a Dream - Hubert Selby Jr (I tried watching the movie, got bored of it… I heard it was an excellent movie but I really just couldn’t get through it; mainly only influenced because of Jared Leto but that is beside the point. I attempted reading it as well but it was a bit hard to follow. I want to read it again perhaps that now that I have to read it, I’ll get through it one way or another?)

Phantom of the Opera - Gaston Leroux (Embarrassingly enough, I know nothing about the Phantom of the Opera, not a single idea I have. I want to familiarize myself so I don’t feel so isolated, good idea?)

1984 - Orwell (I think I’m a bit interested in political reading, and I read Animal Farm by him and I pretty much fell in love. I was able to actually say I had a favourite book for the longest time, it saddens me that I forgot about it. I adored Animal Farm, would 1984 give me something of equal or greater value?)

Vanity Fair - Thackeray (THEY SPELLED IT WRONG IN MY BOOKLIST OMFG I KNEW THAT. Well anyway, I tried reading it, obviously didn’t want to bother with it, I couldn’t get into it. I think I read a good portion of it before I gave up, it just didn’t pick up.)

So I know it’s bad for psychology purposes and ruining the point of asking and giving this many options and all, but I just have to mention that I am learning toward 1984, The Underpainter, and The Bell Jar. Anyone?



East of Eden!!! It is a slow classic at first and long, but well worth the effort. You will get to a point where you don't want to put it down.


Farenheit 451 and 1984.


Greetings Jaime :)

You mention in your closing this request is "bad for psychology purposes" so I'm confused as to the purpose of this list--other than a senior high school class (?).

In any case, if you were looking for a theme to connect any choices, I would go with Farenheit 451, 1984, and Brave New World which I see is not on your list. They all have common themes of over-reaching bureaucracy, limiting freedom(s), and the ideology of "Change is Bad".

Hope that was helpful. I'd be interested in knowing which choices you made.


East of Eden and Fahrenheit 451 for sure. 1984 since you already like Orwell.


If you like Orwell and would like something other than "1984", you might want to take a look at "Down and Out in Paris and London", great read, plenty of illuminating digressions on poverty and society in general.

Based on the choices you presented though, I would have to say "East of Eden" without a doubt. Sad, but uplifting. Best evil woman in all of literature (at least for me), good laughs, superb characters and setting. Oh, and chapter 13...


East of Eden. I read this when I was in high school but I really enjoyed it. However, I must agree with Sandyboy. I probably missed a lot of its meaning reading it at that young age.


I just finished East of Eden. I loved Steinbeck at your age, and agree with readers that say no or to wait. It's heady stuff & philosophical discussions could bog you down.

I think 1984, 451 & Catch-22 would be good choices. Haven't read the others.

Oh, and Vanity Fair was soooo boring for me. I was around 30 when I read it.


East Of Eden, easily the best choice!


East of Eden or 1984 - 1984 is much shorter and has less people in it to keep track of ;) East of Eden is very sad and depressing and very long. I enjoyed 1984 more but East of Eden leaves you feeling like you've been run over by a train in a bittersweet sort of way.


i'd agree with East of Eden but would maybe worry that it is an older read - i read it when i was 35 and appreciated it a whole lot more than i would have done aged 22. not saying it's impossible for a younger person to read, just that by 35 i'd put a whole lot more baggage on my back that made the book a lot more relatable

anything but 1984 is a good choice, 1984 is so unfairly praised given it is a rewrite of a better novel - We by yegevny zamyatan


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