Every four years or so, I’ll randomly pick up a book and soon discover it’s one of Those Books. The ones you read at just the right time, just the right place, just the right frame of mind.
That happened this last week and accounts for my absence from blogland. The book is East of Eden by John Steinbeck and it’s now a Top Ten Favorite Book for me. The book itself covers decades in two families’ lives: the Hamiltons and the Trasks. And the theme of the book is Timshel – the Hebrew word for “Thou mayest.” Using the story of Cain and Abel, the author presents the idea of thou mayest choose to do wrong, or thou mayest choose to do the right thing. (It’s right now I wish I could write a deeper analysis of the book, but I’d bore you and frankly, the fact that I can’t write a deeper analysis is why I’m just me in a suburb and not a great classic author such as Steinbeck)
I highly recommend the book, although some of the topics and language are rather harsh. But the overwhelming story of sin and redemption is powerful, to say the least.
And while books like these are so great to stumble upon, it’s always a major disappoint when they’re done.
This is why I read.