life in and around NYC is insane

Sunday, January 31, 2010

favorite book

Ever have a book that you've read multiple times, one that stays with you long after you put it down?

To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light—these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.

With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. And he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, on a particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere, and on the unexpected kindness of strangers that is also a very real part of our national identity.

I read this book as a teenager, long before I fully appreciated Steinbeck, long before I read The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men.  There was much my teenaged self didn't understand about Steinbeck's journey, much that I appreciate now as an adult.    I'm going to have to find a copy and reread it, I suppose.  but back then, what I loved about the book was the spirit of adventure and discovery, the idea that a person could throw some gear into the back of an RV and just go...without a real plan or destination, just an idea to rediscvoer America....and travel and explore for months. 

I'm more of an armchair traveller, I haven't been very many places and most of my travels have been short-term and to specific destinations.

Someday, if I have the time and the funds, I'd like to take a long trip like that...just travel and explore and discover....

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