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The Good Earth

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By Pearl S. Buck

For anyone who’s ever held a handful of dirt just for the pure pleasure of feeling its pulse, for anyone who’s wanted to fall down and kiss the ground he grew up on after returning from a long journey, for anyone who is fascinated by the journey of mankind through challenge and riches and death – this is a must read. The Good Earth is the story of a poor Chinese farmer, Wang Lung, who begins with a small piece of land and a desire to live larger and winds up a wealthy landowner, still unable to read, knowing his sons will betray his wishes and sell his land after his death – in other words – wholly human.

The novel reads slowly, methodically, as if you were plowing the field, first this row, turn, now the next. Here’s a little snippet: “Then the good land did again its healing work and the sun shone on him and healed him and the warm winds of summer wrapped him about with peace.”

The Good Earth is, like all great literature, timeless and spaceless. While I have perhaps nothing on the surface in common with farmers living in pre-revolutionary China, I have everything in common with these characters because we are human. We live and suffer. We love and give and take. We breathe the air and we eat the bounty of the earth. We are all connected. Great books connect us across the ages and cultures to feel how one we are in purpose on this earth.

If you’ve been having a steady diet of murder mysteries and legal thrillers, this is probably just the change of pace your spirit needs. From Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck, The Good Earth now in a special Oprah Book Club paperback edition. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio, I’m Amanda Dickson.

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