Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Steinbeck, Winter Lists, and Hobros

I finished Cannery Row last night in the bathtub.
I didn't intend to finish it there, but I only had 20 pages to go, and couldn't bring myself to put it down.
The water was getting chilly too...

I have to say, this little book was the suprise of my reading year. I picked it up because I needed a smaller work to ofset my non-fiction mammoth, SP's Journals. I also picked it up at the recommendation of my hobro, Brian. (Turns out that kid isn't all hobo, but ACTUALLY SMART).

My goodreads review:
From the beginning, Cannery Row was akin to sitting on the porch with your grandpa while he smokes his pipe and tells the tales of a disjointed but delightful community, full of reality, beauty, touching kindnesses, the frailty of human isolation, and the melancholic nostalgia of lost love.
I wasn't expected to be touched by this work or even think of it as important in terms of Steinbeck's career, but I believe this little gem to be tantamount in importance to Grapes of Wrath or East of Eden - and even more nuanced and subtle than those works. But three Steinbecks in three years makes it official; it's a life goal to read them all.

I am continually impressed and intrigued with how Steinbeck writes his characters - so terribly touching, really heartbreakingly sad, and surprisingly courageous, witty, and strong. He is unabashed in who he wants us to love and who he wants us to be challenged by...I appreciate the clarity of voice and direction he gives his reader while still allowing the reader to think/conclude for himself.

WINTER READING LIST
- something russian, still have to narrow it down, but thinking The Death of Ivan Ilych - Tolstoy OR perhaps The Brothers Karamazov (if I am feeling especially ambitious!)
- Another Steinbeck, must research
- Finish A Wrinkle In Time series - L'Engle
What about you?!
~mme. bookling

4 comments:

Iscah Mara said...

I'll trade you Till We Have Faces for Cannery Row.

Winter Reading:
GGM - The General in his Labyrinth, Autumn of the Patriarch

Steinbeck - Wayward Bus

Brueggemann - Prophetic Imagination

Ricoeur - Time & Narrative

Wrinkle in Time, baby!

And, apparently, I need to read Cannery Row.

UmberDove said...

Right now I want to read nothing but my new book of Billy Collins poetry. However, the growing stack of books bedside says I've got more to read.

Billy Collins - Nine Horses

(Finish) Wrinkle in Time series - I'm on book four (so by the way, can I come raid your library for it?)

Michael Pollan - The Botany of Desire

Bill Santiago - Pardon my Spanglish

GGM - 100 Years of Solitude

Cormac McCarthy - The Road (I feel like I need to read it just to be educated on the book - since it has been life changing for some friends - NOT because it's the trendy thing to read!)

Clearly I need a new reading nook and LOTS of self-dates to get all this reading done!

mme. bookling said...

jess-
i am afeard to lend my books into the vortex called gomes so get your own damn copy. :)

kells-
Billy Collins! Must research. love The Road disclaimer you cute thing you.

GIRLS.
SELF DATES=MUST!

Brian Wigand said...

I'm so glad you liked it, Candace. I think this book would be way to diverse to attach only one drink to. Beer milkshake, Old Tennis Shoes, Wounded Soldier Surprise, Doc's Beer?