Wednesday, June 13, 2012

LOA: Steinbeck Novels & Stories 1932-1937

I was happy to find a package on my desk when I got home this afternoon - particularly, because it was so obviously the book I've been waiting to receive from the Barnes & Noble people.  I know that I must sound like a cheerleader when it comes to the Library of America books, but my appreciation for them has only grown over the years, and I want to spread the word about them.

This volume marks my 44th Library of America title and I have only put a good-sized dent in the list of those I plan to own someday.  Fans of classic (and almost classic) American literature will be hard pressed to find better editions of these works at twice the price.  They are of such high quality that, short of loss to fire or flood, they can be passed on from generation to generation as far as one can imagine.

This Steinbeck edition includes all those novels and stories the author wrote about central California from 1932 to 1937.  It is one of four volumes, the second I've acquired now, in the LOA's Steinbeck series.

Among the 44 others I own now, I've managed to complete the Twains (seven titles) and have picked up five of the seven Roths, four of the fifteen Henry James volumes, two of the five Faulkners, two of the three Bellows, and both Cheevers.  As you can imagine, it will take a few years to get there, but I plan to fill in the blanks as my budget allows.  Also high on my LOA wish list, are more books from the LOA noir collection that include works of Raymond Chandler, David Goodis, and at least three volumes of novels from various noir and crime authors.

The recognized masters are all there, of course, but the LOA presentations actually become more and more interesting as the years go by.  There are now nice anthologies representing science fiction, baseball, sports writers, food writers, movie critics, boxing, humor, and true crime writers.  Poetry fans will likely find their favorites well represented in the collection, also.  If you keep a shelf or two of beautifully bound classics this is a publisher you want to check out.

I remove the book jackets before shelving them and this is what that portion of my shelves looks like (the tans, blues, greens, and maroons that are all bunched together on two of the shelves - this bookcase is actually two shelves taller than I could fit into this picture):


  1. Very nice! I'm on a Steinbeck kick right now. Just read Sweet Thursday. Nice picture of John S. on the cover of that LOA edition. Did I say 'nice'? I think he was so hot.

  2. Well, Susan, I don't want to speak to Steinbeck's "hotness," but I do admire the man's writing. :-)