John Steinbeck's classic novella follows two migrant workers, George and Lennie, as they struggle to subsist during the Great Depression. They're driven by the American Dream to own their land, but as the title foretells, best laid plans often go awry. And that becomes part of the devastating journey readers take with characters who you can't help but care for. The novel exposes the social justice issues of its time period, which remain relevant for contemporary readers. The shattering, but inevitable, turn of events speak to the universal desire for dreams and justice and the ways they are so easily thwarted for those who are oppressed. These are the books that will completely change your life.