August 29, Friday afternoon -- Reading John Steinbeck

In a rooftop garden in the financial district--she saw it from the street below and figured out how to get up there (here). She's in town for an archivist convention.

Reading Cannery Row, by Steinbeck. She lives in St. Louis and purchased the book in light of her trip to California.

Before she left home she re-read Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, which is set in San Francisco. She and her husband went on a Maltese Falcon tour. Hammett used fake names for the hotels, but he used real names for the restaurants. This was a practical decision: When visiting restaurants mentioned in the book Hammett would show the page and get a free meal. The tour, she said, is unbelievable. It’s only $10 and you even get to visit the apartment where Sam lived. The guy who lives there now lets you come in and see the place, murphy bed and all.

She works as an archivist for the National Parks. Some good National Park books--a mystery series about a ranger named Anna Pigeon, by Nevada Barr. Another good author--Sally Wright, an historian who is selling books at the convention.

What works of fiction have you read to enlighten your visit to a new place?

5 Comments:

Pat Austin said...

I re-read Buffets "Tales from Margaritaville" every summer when I go to Florida!

Anonymous said...

I read "A Confederacy of Dunces" right after my first trip to New Orleans. The hotel we stayed at was originally the department store mentioned in the first chapter. I wish I had read the book first now!

Ms. B. said...

We go to the Adirondacks in the winter. A few years ago a new middle school book came out based on An American Tragedy. A Northern Light is a wonderful story set in places I have been to. It's a great read for any age.

Another middle school book that I highly recommend, by Gary Paulsen, is called The Monument. I first read it over a Memorial Day vacation, and it was about a small town making a monument to their war heroes. I remember it every May now.

alex said...

hmmm. most of the fiction I read is science fiction or fantasy. And I've never been to the shire.

BernadetteJoolen said...

I love your city, and books...oh, and john steinbeck!=) When i visited sf i studied very hard to get the lay of the land and be able to walk around all these places you write about. It is so fun to get a glimpse of the social landscape there through your postings! cheers, bernadette...