Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mr. Steinbeck

John Steinbeck

Today is John Steinbeck's birthday. As he was born in 1902 he would be 112. I imagine his typewriter would be a bit rusty by now.

The Google search graphic (which I have no idea how to link for you to see) today pays tribute to the author of Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, and my favorite, Travels with Charley: In Search of America.

I was a junior in high school when I read Travels with Charley, an account of Steinbeck's motor trip around America in 1960 in his green pickup truck with specially-outfitted camper. Charley was his black poodle and a welcome companion on the highway.

End papers showing  
the route taken in 
Travels with Charley

Travels with Charley was the first non-fiction book I remember reading that wasn't a textbook. I had no idea that people actually wrote about their experiences and adventures. 

Reading the book made me want to become a writer. And I did.

So Happy Birthday to you, Mr. Steinbeck. I hope your travels have been peaceful ones.


  1. I've only read a few of Steinbeck's books, but I like the way he writes. Travels with Charley sounds like a fun read.

    1. Well, Lark, it is a wonderful look at America in 1960. A year or so ago, there was some controversy about some of the events Steinbeck wrote about - did they really happen or not - but who cares! It is a great read.

  2. Funny, but, I just pulled out my copy of "Travels with Charley" this morning, Belle. I've put it on top of the pile, in hopes of a read very soon.
    What a lovely tribute to John Steinbeck.

    1. Thanks, Penny. I may just have to read my copy again soon. I have so many book in my TBR pile and new ones seem to come in every day. Oh, dear. And today is the Locust Grove Used Book Sale. I'm sure to come home with more!

  3. I need to read/reread some Steinbeck. So many authors, new and old, it's hard sometimes to narrow down who to read. Then someone reminds you - his books were good....

    1. I know what you mean, Joyce. I love it when an 'old friend' wanders into my world and I can once again pick up her or his book for a good visit.