Monday, September 9, 2013

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Cry Like Nobody's Watching  
(Read ’Em and Weep Week)

Sometimes we all need a good cry.  A good cry is cathartic, a purging of the soul. Tears can provide a good emotional washing and afterwards you feel fresh and new.  It just feels good.

That’s why we love a good tear-jerker movie every once in awhile. Something like, oh, how about “Steel Magnolias”?

My mom and I went to see “Steel Magnolias” when it first came out in the theaters in 1989. During a particularly heart-breaking scene when Julia Robert’s character wasn’t doing so well, I got a little choked up.  As the scene went on and on and got sadder and sadder, I desperately tried to keep my composure. Tears threatened to break through my tough veneer, but valiantly I held them back. I was ashamed, ashamed to let my vulnerability be known.  Instead of letting loose and embracing that mental release, I held a big burning grapefruit size lump in my throat.

Suddenly, I heard a sniffle in the crowd.  The sniffle worked its way into a sob, then several sobs. They became louder and louder. That made me feel better. Apparently I wasn’t the only sap. Maybe I could cry too.  So, I scanned around to see the brave soul; the person who let it all out, and you know what?  It was a man! Yes, it wasn’t some weepy woman.  It was a burly man. He was sitting a few rows ahead of us and as the scene went on, he cried louder and longer than any woman in the audience.  Well, that sealed the deal.  If a man sitting all by himself in a theater of women can let loose and cry, well then so could I. Finally, I quietly released my own captured tears. I let the hot drops of sorrow flow out of my eyes and down my flushed cheeks.  As they slid down the waterslide of my face one by one and landed on my shirt I slowly felt the lump in my throat dissolve. And you know what?  It felt good! 

That’s the same with books.  Every once in awhile it just feels good to read a sad book and have a good cry. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is just that kind of book. Growing up, it was required reading in school, so many people have already read it.  But sometimes as kids we don’t appreciate books as much as adults. If you read it in school, it’s probably worth a second look. If you’ve never read it, like my mom who did not grow up in America, it’s time you read it too.  

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is about the bond of friendship between two migrant ranch workers. It’s also about compassion and a heartbreaking decision. George takes care of Lennie, a man with limited mental abilities, as best as he can.  They share a dream of buying their own property, but Lennie always seems to get them in trouble. This time things just went a bit too far.  Find out the fate of George and Lennie in this quick and easy read.  I think it’s a story that will stay with you a long, long time.

When you do read it, remember, it’s really okay to let those tears flow.  Read it and weep.

As a side note: Katie Couric listed this book as one of her favorites in the February, 2003 issue of O. MagazineRead more:

Likewise, author, Dan Brown, considers Of Mice and Men one of his favorite books, too. "This tale is simple, suspenseful, and poignant," according to O. Magazine, September 2003 issue. 

Happy Reading,

What about you?  What book made you cry?  Enter a comment or email me at and I will post your answer.

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1 comment:

  1. I must say this is a book EVERYONE should read. Super quick but will always stay with you. I read it in High School but just recently read it again. Well worth the 2nd read. I even let some tears flow which is no an easy task for me. 2 Thumbs up for this one! Thank you.