I’ve read several books lately that I’ve been meaning to post reviews for here on the site. But, I never seem to have time to sit down and write good lengthy reviews, so I figured I’d give just a quick run-down of some of the good ones.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
This is a beautiful novel that tells the story of two families in the late 19th to early 20th century who relive the biblical story of Cain and Abel several times. I liked it because it was a wonderful exploration of human character and the battle between good and evil that goes on in all of us, and the redemption that is possible. It’s a great book — I’m definitely going to have to read more Steinbeck.

The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien
I was really excited to read a new complete Tolkien novel — the first new one to be published in 30 years. It’s a story that takes place during the pre-Lord of the Rings history that is covered by the Silmarillion. It starts out reading much like the Silmarillion, as it is covering the history and getting you prepared for the story, but after getting the background completed the narrative reads easier and closer to the style of Lord of the Rings. I loved it and thought it was a great and tragic story. A must read for any fans of Tolkien. And you don’t really have to read the Silmarillion first. If you’ve never been able to make it though it, this novel does a good job of covering the necessary history beforehand. But, I’d recommend reading the Silmarillion just to fill in the gaps between this old Middle Earth history and that in the Lord of the Rings.

Right now I’m reading 1984 by George Orwell. It’s a very scary glimpse at a society in which the government exercises complete and total control over everything. It was written 30 years ago, but I believe it is very timely for today.