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A Journey into Steinbeck's California (ArtPlace series) Paperback – February 1, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This amazing book explores Steinbeck's relationship with the area he both loved and hated."  —Offbeat Travel


"Provides a treat for both literary detectives and armchair travelers."  —
TravelSmart


"A warm portrait of a man by someone who has the ability to see California through his eyes."  —Suite 101.com


"A rich portrait of Steinbeck's California . . . excellent historical background. . . . Lavishly  illustrated."  —Janet Ross, former librarian, Sparks Branch Library, Nevada


"This is undoubtedly one of the most useful, delightful and enlightening books ever published on Steinbeck."  —Steinbeck Studies



"Generous enough with both text and pictures (modern photos by Nancy Burnett mixed with quality historical photos) to satisfy the armchair traveler."  —Worducopia



"Shillinglaw's book breathes new life into Steinbeck's story in light-hearted ways. . . will add a wonderful visual dimension to any Steinbeck collection." —Steinbeck Reviews (June 2012)

About the Author

Susan Shillinglaw is a scholar in residence at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California, and a professor of English at San Jose State University, where she was also the director of the Center for Steinbeck Studies for many years. She was a consultant to Harpo Productions for Oprah's website on East of Eden, and has consulted for popular media such as Good Morning America, the Discovery Channel, and A&E. She is the coauthor of How to Organize a Steinbeck Book or Film Discussion Group and a coeditor of Beyond Boundaries: Rereading John Steinbeck and Steinbeck and the Environment. She lives in Los Gatos, California. Nancy Burnett has been photographing the California landscape for more than 30 years. She is the producer of The Shape of Life and Strange Days on Planet Earth for PBS, coproducer of the photographic exhibit Sea Stars for the Smithsonian, and coauthor of The Shape of Life. She lives in the Carmel Valley in California.
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Product Details

  • Series: ArtPlace series
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Forties Press (February 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976670623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976670629
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,826,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Karen Mckeown on May 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my folks--who were planning a visit through California--and ended up reading it myself. I've been to the Steinbeck Institute (and loved it) in Salinas, but this book has a broader scope and takes you to the places in California where Steinbeck grew up and lived, as well as the places that appear in his books. I heartily recommend it for any Steinbeck fan.
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Format: Paperback
While this book works wonderfully as a travel guide for your visit to California's Salinas, Carmel and the Monterey Peninsula, it is equally enjoyable when you read it from the comfort of your armchair at home. The vivid pictures, poetic descriptions and interesting sidebars help Steinbeck's California come alive to diehard Steinbeck fans and the uninitiated alike. Beware though, because after reading Shillinglaw's book, you'll want to read all those Steinbeck books you missed in high school and college.
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Format: Paperback
Last weekend our family had a great time on vacation in Monterey. Following Steinbeck's story as it intertwined with places and people in Monterey made my walks around town alive with history. We spent part of a day in Pacific Grove and loved looking at pictures of the past incarnation of present buildings and sites. Definitely added a rich dimension to our trip.
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Format: Paperback
I accidentally found this book in the library and was amazed by it and will be purchasing it for my library. This book isn't only for Steinbeck readers, it's also for anyone who grew up in California during its Golden Years and wants to remember the way it was, not the way it is now. Yes all the negative aspects are covered as well, that are infused into Steinbeck's heartbreaking stories, such as the migrant workers lives. But also mentioned is the beauty of California's landscape and early productivity, and the various types of people who helped it grow by either their sweat, money, or entrepreneurial spirit. For example, Steinbeck's long description of the hierarchy of produce growers and the rise of bottom-rung dwellers toward the snobbish top of the ladder as the different types of produce increased is hilarious ("...Sugar People might never have got any place socially if lettuce had not become the green gold of the Valley...These Lettuce People had Carrot People to look down on..."). His friends and family are included in the landscape of his influences as well. And each of the places that inspired his well known stories are described and referenced, along with the actual people he knew who ended up being a part of those stories. This is just an all around enjoyable book, even for someone not heading out for a vacation in Monterey.
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Format: Paperback
I fell in love with John Steinbeck's writing in 1972 when I read The Grapes of Wrath. It was not an assignment; it was my book of choice for an extensive camping trip. From there, I read In Dubious Battle, and asked my then college professor if I could write a paper, an independent study, incorporating the ideas in The Grapes of Wrath and In Dubious Battle. That led me to East of Eden, and my world was changed forever by one word. Timshel.

Nearly two decades later, in pursuit of a teaching credential, we were assigned an oral presentation. I chose Steinbeck and his concept of "Timshel." That professor told me about Journal of a Novel, which, I read last summer while re-reading E of E for the 6th time, followed by listening to it on audiobook. Each time, I discover something new. I find that astounding. There are not too many books I can say that about.

I am now in my 21st year of teaching 7th grade English, and I teach The Red Pony. My students' final project for the year - their chance to show what they have learned in English that year - is "The Steinbeck Book," in which they write reader responses, write a biography of Steinbeck, plus a biography of one other Nobel Prize winning author, study a bit of California history and geography. They hand-illustrate a significant scene, nominate their favorite author for "The Steinbeck Young Adult Author Award;" the list goes on. Then I laminate the front and back covers and bind it for them, so they have their first "published" book of their own. It's a lot of work, and I am sure they are cursing me as they are working on it, but when I put their finished work in their hands, the look on their faces - their obvious sense of accomplishment is unmatched.
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