I guess when I was reading The Pearl or The Grapes of Wrath or East of Eden, I never quite internalized the obvious fact that John Steinbeck was from California—just east of Monterey Bay. As soon as I drove into the Central Valley, though, I felt like I had been there before, and I suppose I sort of had been, through Steinbeck's writing.
I want to read all of his books now and re-read the ones I've already studied. I'm starting with Cannery Row, and after just one chapter, I'm hooked. This writing is a work of art:
When you collect marine animals there are certain flat worms so delicate that they are almost impossible to capture whole, for they break and tatter under the touch. You must let them ooze and crawl of their own will onto a knife blade and then lift them gently into your bottle of sea water. And perhaps that might be the way to write this book—to open the page and to let the stories crawl in by themselves. (6–7)
It's gonna be a good book-reading week.
Thing I'm thankful for: dark hot chocolate
*Steinbeck, John. Cannery Row. London: Penguin, 1994. Print.