Travels with Charley: In Search of America - John Steinbeck I haven’t read Steinbeck since it was required reading in high school, so when this showed at my doorstep thanks to a friend I was admittedly a little apprehensive. I’m not even going into my fear of dry, boring non-fiction. After reading the blurb and some of my friends’ earlier comments I decided to take the plunge and travel with Charley. I must say Charley makes one hell of a traveling companion.

This didn’t read like typical dry non-fiction, rather it was full of beautiful descriptions, insightful thoughts and at times even funny. I thoroughly enjoyed Steinbeck’s account of his chosen route and what he found at each state. It really made me appreciate the beauty and diversity of America and yes, even inspired me to want to travel more…particularly to places like the Grand Canyon and Redwood National Park. It was neat seeing these places through someone else’s eyes, but I would love to see them through my own someday.

I also enjoyed Steinbeck’s observations of people. Steinbeck was more liberal minded than I thought. I also think he was way ahead of his time with some of his observations, particularly those thoughts related to the environment and racism. I found myself nodding in agreement most of the time.

What I particularly loved were Charley and Rocinante, which I think were the best part in this trip. Charley was a hoot and I would love a traveling companion like him. Ftt!