East of Eden is really, really good. This is actually the second time I've had a stab at reading it. The previous attempt floundered in the early chapters as the slow start failed to gain speed. It does gain speed toward the middle. So there are two tips:
1. Audiobooks, which you listen to while your entertainment options are limited (driving, housework, gardening), can get you through books you might otherwise quit reading.
2. Don't attempt a slow start with your own book. And nor shall I, not being John Steinbeck.
My favorite feature thus far is a female character so chilling that King and Koontz can only dream of the like. Yoiks! Carry on, Mr. Steinbeck!