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Kootenay Co-op invites you to join our FREE community book club! Each month, a local personality will lead the discussion on their chosen book at the Nelson Public Library. You can find the books at the library, Otter Books, on your friend’s bookshelf, or as an audiobook from the library or audible.com. You can sign up to save your spot in the form below or at Customer Service once registration for the session opens, on the 1st of the prior month. Check out the rest of the books on the Book Club Page and share your thoughts on the Facebook Event.
Register below to save your spot!
From our host, Jon Meyer
My well thumbed copy of this book was thoughtfully left for me by our neighbour, beneath the boat house door where I would be certain to find it the next morning before setting out for an early dawn paddle with our dogs Winnie & Ted .
John Steinbeck is an author whose fame and wisdom had passed well over my head during high school. Though I had two books of his thrust on me during that time, my level of maturity was not up for the task.
Now that I am at an age, close to Steinbeck’s when he wrote this book, I was captivated from the first page, by his humility, transparency, and how concisely he could convey the wisdom of his years. This book documents his search for “America”, in part to compare it to the One he knew growing up. As he drives across the continent with his French Poodle Charlie during the autumn of 1960, his astute observations of a country he was born into are as revealing as his full disclosure of his own strengths and weaknesses, that he seems more then forthcoming about, to put on the table for the reader to learn about. He documents a time-period, sixty years back from our current point in time, that has more conceptual similarities then I might have guessed. His insightful observations point out cultural profiles as much as individual characteristics that contrast to his youth as well as to our present time period.
Two world wars have passed during his lifetime, and countless shifts in technology. His birth was soon after the harnessing of electricity, and his death narrowly preceded a Lunar landing. I can’t help reflect on this as I try to appreciate his viewpoint and the times that he lived through. Apart from his dry and understated intelligent humour, he seems to backlight his adventure with a melancholy that is well suited to the season and his observations.