One of the many benefits of living in northern California is being immersed in Steinbeck country. I read TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY last year — I’m pretty sure there’s a blog post on here about it — and it ranks as one of my favorite books. It’s one of those books I put off reading for years and years, and then voilà … read it in a day or two and fell in love.

We spent this weekend on Cannery Row. Growing up in Missouri, Cannery Row seemed like certain fiction. It’s still exactly like Steinbeck described it (minus the tourist junk).  Our hotel corridors were lined with photos of the Row back when sardines were the industry and Steinbeck and Doc Ricketts were there. And though the weather can be iffy in February, let me tell you … it was paradise. 75, sunny, and calm.

And being there made me, of course, want to read more Steinbeck.

CANNERY ROW is a favorite. So is EAST OF EDEN, which my book club read last year (thanks, Bonnie). I’ve tried to start THE GRAPES OF WRATH about 10 times. At least. I feel bad that I can’t get going, or rather, I can’t keep going.

Any Steinbeck fans out there?

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