Friday Favorites: Travels With Charley

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Today I'm starting a little segment I'm going to call Friday Favorites. Each Friday I'm going to talk about one of my favorite books and why it meant so much to me. It might be a book I read as a kid or one I read just last year.

For the very first segment may I present "Travels With Charley" by John Steinbeck. Over the decades Steinbeck's books have been lauded by critics and readers alike. Classics like "Grapes of Wrath," "Of Mice and Men," and "East of Eden" all poured from his pen. All of which are truly remarkable books, but "Travels With Charley" hit me on a completely different level. 
It's a nonfiction book written later in Steinbeck's life. He decides that after having written about the underdogs in America for years he has grown out of touch with his beloved country. He decides to take his dog Charley and travel across the United States. The book is about the people he meets and the thoughts he has along the way. The book combines so many things that I love; great writing, travel memoirs, a deep love for pets.
(My bag Charley)

I'm particularly attached to this book because my Mom gave me a copy of it for my birthday one year and she passed away when I was 14. I didn't read it until 10 years later, at which time I realized, once again, what great taste she had and how well she knew me. After reading it I named my trusty backpack after Charley. That bag has been my devoted companion on some fantastic treks across Europe and those trips became my own "travels with Charley."

How about you? Any favorite books? Any favorite travel memoirs?

Photo by moi.

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