Readalongs with Karen discussion

Cannery Row (Cannery Row #1)
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Cannery Row > Cannery Row FINISHED Discussion questions/thoughts

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Karen | 161 comments Here we can leave our thoughts/discussion questions on finishing 'Cannery Row' by John Steinbeck.


Mela (melabooks) | 26 comments A remarkable novel.
Those men...
That poverty...
And the beauty that you can find everywhere - you just have to look carefully...
Here link to my review.


PattyMacDotComma I first read this in my teens and enjoyed it then, but reading it now many decades later, I realise how many people I’ve met who remind me of some of Steinbeck’s characters. Some of the most generous people are those who have nothing to begin with except bad luck and a lot of hope. They just keep going.

I wrote a review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


☕️Hélène⚜️ (timelessnreading) I’ll have to skip it because I haven’t been able to find this book even the library there’s a waiting list mile long. Hope October will be a book I can find


Mela (melabooks) | 26 comments ☕️Hélène⚜️ wrote: "I’ll have to skip it because I haven’t been able to find this book even the library there’s a waiting list mile long. Hope October will be a book I can find"

I recommend OpenLibrary.org.


☕️Hélène⚜️ (timelessnreading) Thanks for the suggestion but I live in Canada and it downloads on US based Kindle. I will try Libby app.


Rosemarie I read this early last year. What stays in my mind is that really wild party towards the end of the book.


message 8: by Danada (last edited Sep 04, 2019 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Danada | 19 comments ☕️Hélène⚜️ wrote: "Thanks for the suggestion but I live in Canada and it downloads on US based Kindle. I will try Libby app."

Helene, I have an extra copy of Cannery Row that I found in the book exchange at my work. It is an older paperback and a bit yellowed, but still in very good shape. If you send me a personal message with your mailing address I can mail it to you - I'm going to the Post Office this afternoon after work [eta: also again soon!]


PattyMacDotComma Mela wrote: "☕️Hélène⚜️ wrote: "I’ll have to skip it because I haven’t been able to find this book even the library there’s a waiting list mile long. Hope October will be a book I can find"

I recommend OpenLibrary.org..."


☕️Hélène⚜️ wrote: "Thanks for the suggestion but I live in Canada and it downloads on US based Kindle. I will try Libby app."

You can download Epubs and/or PDFs to Adobe Digital Reader and then convert to Mobi using the Calibre software program. I haven’t tried their Kindle format, but I assumed they just let you download a Mobi file rather than send it to a Kindle.


Pamela (bibliohound) I liked this a lot, Steinbeck is good at pulling out the beauty from unlikely places. It was often funny but sometimes sad (Frankie was heartbreaking). I loved the deceptively simple style of writing as it stopped it getting cheesy or sentimental


Cendaquenta | 4 comments I just finished it, thought it was great.

Something's puzzling me though - what is Frankie's condition supposed to be? I assumed he was autistic (possibly projecting, since I am too), but the mention of "what will happen when he reaches puberty" was baffling.


PattyMacDotComma Cendaquenta wrote: "I just finished it, thought it was great.

Something's puzzling me though - what is Frankie's condition supposed to be? I assumed he was autistic (possibly projecting, since I am too), but the ment..."


I felt it was more an intellectual disability rather than autism - what would have been called "simple-minded" perhaps back then. I had a quick look online and found a reference to SparkNotes. Have a look at this bit.
http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/cannery...


message 13: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen Mace | 9 comments I really enjoyed it too! Got off to a slow start and wasn't sure what to make of it all - the first time i've read steinbeck! - but loved the characters and the emotion portrayed through something so simple. Have heard good things about the follow up so now looking to read that!


Karen | 161 comments Hi Mela, Patty,Rosemarie, Danada, Pamela, Cendaquenta and Karen. Thanks so much for reading this great book with me.
I finished this book yesterday and absolutely loved it !
For such a small book, it really packed a punch. Full of fantastic characters that I will never forget.
It is claimed to be Steinbeck's funniest novel and I can see why.That being said, all the characters are vulnerable and lonely in some way, which makes you feel sorry for them, even when their personalities aren't that likeable.
Which characters did you like the most?
I really thought that community was important to these characters and they all kind of looked out for each other.
I laughed out loud at this bit a lot -
'By six o'clock they had finished the gallon of whiskey and were buying half pints of Old Tennis Shoes at fifteen frogs a crack, but the pile of decorating materials was heaped on the floor of the Palace Flophouse-miles of crepe paper commemorating every holiday in vogue and some that had been abandoned'.
I could picture the inside of Lee Chong's grocery store very clearly, every shelf packed full of bizarre items.
I would love to read Sweet Thursday soon which is the follow on from this book.


Cendaquenta | 4 comments I adored the frog economy. 😄


PattyMacDotComma Cendaquenta wrote: "I adored the frog economy. 😄"

I've just finished a book where the story takes place just before WW1 in New Jersey where they sold frogs to sell!


Karen | 161 comments Cendaquenta wrote: "I adored the frog economy. 😄"
Me too ! :D


Karen | 161 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Cendaquenta wrote: "I adored the frog economy. 😄"

I've just finished a book where the story takes place just before WW1 in New Jersey where they sold frogs to sell!"

Very strange currency indeed !!


Cindy (cindypp) I really liked this. It was my first time reading it and Grapes of Wrath is one of my favorite books so my expectations were pretty high. One thing I love about Steinbeck is how real his characters are. They come off the page. There were times I laughed and times I was shocked. I like that it could bring emotion out of me. It's not my favorite Steinbeck, but it had the same feel of Grapes that I loved. It has made me look into reading his other books that I haven't taken the time to read. Thanks for giving me the push to read a classic. I very rarely do and I enjoy them so much I don't know why I avoid them.


message 20: by Karen (last edited Sep 12, 2019 01:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Karen | 161 comments Cindy wrote: "I really liked this. It was my first time reading it and Grapes of Wrath is one of my favorite books so my expectations were pretty high. One thing I love about Steinbeck is how real his characters..." Hi Cindy, I'm so happy you enjoyed this novel too. I agree, the characters are fantastic and made me laugh a lot. I'm yet to read 'The Grapes of Wrath', but I've read 'East of Eden' and loved it.Maybe we could read another of his shorter books soon, like Of Mice and Men The Red Pony The Pearl


message 21: by Mela (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mela (melabooks) | 26 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "I've just finished a book where the story takes place just before WW1 in New Jersey where they sold frogs to sell!"

Can you tell the title of this book?


PattyMacDotComma Mela wrote: "PattyMacDotComma wrote: "I've just finished a book where the story takes place just before WW1 in New Jersey where they sold frogs to sell!"

Can you tell the title of this book?"


Mela, it was a small part of Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart, which I just read and really enjoyed. When Fleurette was little, a neighbour used to pay her to catch frogs from the pond, and when she got older, she still liked to catch them, and it helped the family grocery bill.

Here's my review. The story is based on real people and is the first of a popular series.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Karen | 161 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Mela wrote: "PattyMacDotComma wrote: "I've just finished a book where the story takes place just before WW1 in New Jersey where they sold frogs to sell!"

Can you tell the title of this book?"

Mel..."
Sounds fun, added to my tbr thanks


message 24: by Cendaquenta (last edited Sep 15, 2019 01:54AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cendaquenta | 4 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Mela wrote: "PattyMacDotComma wrote: "I've just finished a book where the story takes place just before WW1 in New Jersey where they sold frogs to sell!"

Can you tell the title of this book?"

Mela, it was a small part of Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart, which I just read and really enjoyed."


... Whoops, I checked your profile when you mentioned it, assumed you meant A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and bought that! 😅 At least I won't be bewildered by a lack of Brooklynite frogs, I guess.


PattyMacDotComma Cendaquenta wrote: "PattyMacDotComma wrote: "Mela wrote: "PattyMacDotComma wrote: "I've just finished a book where the story takes place just before WW1 in New Jersey where they sold frogs to sell!"

Mela, it was a small part of Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart, which I just read and really enjoyed."

... Whoops, I checked your profile when you mentioned it, assumed you meant A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and bought that! 😅 At least I won't be bewildered by a lack of Brooklynite frogs, I guess.."


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is terrific - you won't be sorry. And when you see the different ways the kids did earn money, you'll find that frogs aren't the only commodity children trade in!


message 26: by Mela (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mela (melabooks) | 26 comments PattyMacDotComma wrote: "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is terrific - you won't be sorry. And when you see the different ways the kids did earn money, you'll find that frogs aren't the only commodity children trade in! "

I agree, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" is a masterpiece.


Danada | 19 comments I had forgotten almost everything about the book. I'm about a third done with it now.

The thing that strikes me the most is how much it reminds me of Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. The stories are completely different, yet both books are beautifully written, almost more like poetry than prose. They both also feel to me more like a series of vignettes with an overarching purpose/story, but it is not always evident that the individual story is part of the overarching story line.


Onceinabluemoon Thank you for inviting me to participate, i read this forty years ago and it was a treat to step back in time to cannery row. I lived in this area for years so every place he mentioned is crystal clear in my mind, it was so nostalgic for me it was like time travel. I think this is the one author i relate the most too from my youth, he really represented california to a tee. He is still revered in monterey and salinas, very much a part of the fabric of the area and i loved getting the chance to revisit doc, the lab and all his endearing friends.


Karen | 161 comments Danada wrote: "I had forgotten almost everything about the book. I'm about a third done with it now.

The thing that strikes me the most is how much it reminds me of Dandelion Wine by [author:Ray Bra..."

Hi Danada, thanks for joining in. I've not read Dandelion Wine, so I will check it out. What other Steinbeck books have you read and enjoyed? I loved this one very much.


Karen | 161 comments Onceinabluemoon wrote: "Thank you for inviting me to participate, i read this forty years ago and it was a treat to step back in time to cannery row. I lived in this area for years so every place he mentioned is crystal c..."
Hello Onceinabluemoon, Wow living in Steinbeck country must of been amazing! I'm so happy rereading this novel brought back happy memories for you. Who was your favourite character?


message 31: by Onceinabluemoon (last edited Oct 01, 2019 06:37AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Onceinabluemoon Karen wrote: "Onceinabluemoon wrote: "Thank you for inviting me to participate, i read this forty years ago and it was a treat to step back in time to cannery row. I lived in this area for years so every place h..."

Doc is my favorite, living in the area i swear i have walked in his lab, noticed him in the tidal pools, seen him at the bars, growing up i always felt doc was a mirror image to steinbeck himself, not sure if taught that in grade school or not but my impression has lasted me a lifetime. Doc was a good man, always watchful of others in hard scrabble times with a love of the sea.


Karen | 161 comments Onceinabluemoon wrote: "Karen wrote: "Onceinabluemoon wrote: "Thank you for inviting me to participate, i read this forty years ago and it was a treat to step back in time to cannery row. I lived in this area for years so..." Poor Doc puts up with so much :/ I think he was my favourite character too, along with Dora.


message 33: by Danada (last edited Oct 02, 2019 04:33AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Danada | 19 comments Karen wrote: "What other Steinbeck books have you read and enjoyed? I loved this one very much."

The only other Steinbeck I have read is The Grapes of Wrath - in high school (mumble mumble years ago). I loved it!!

I am enjoying Cannery Row too! I'm still reading - life has been super hectic here. My cat was diagnosed with diabetes (I spent over an hour at CVS the other evening filling his insulin prescription) and we adopted a rescue cat from the humane society who had to have some teeth extracted - probably due to some injury he received before going to the human society. Plus work and prepping for winter (had to replace some shingles on top of the other preparations). It doesn't rain but it pours!

I read this one before, but don't recall much about it. I don't think I was in a place to appreciate it as much as I am this time reading it.

Once I finish Cannery Row I have the sequel lined up to read as well.


Karen | 161 comments Danada wrote: "Karen wrote: "What other Steinbeck books have you read and enjoyed? I loved this one very much."

The only other Steinbeck I have read is The Grapes of Wrath - in high school (mumble mumble years a..."
Hi Danada, I'm looking forward to reading Sweet Thursday too soon. Hope all ok with the cats now x


Susan | 24 comments I’m late finishing, but I did enjoy Cannery Row. I’d read and liked it in high school, but didn’t remember much of the story or details, besides Doc and his biological supply company. Steinbeck is a very engaging writer, but I missed the passion of The Grapes of Wrath, since this was a lighter read even though it had its serious/realistic side. I also missed having more developed women characters like Ma Joad. But it was good to explore the denizens of Cannery Row and to see how Doc’s party turned out


Karen | 161 comments Susan wrote: "I’m late finishing, but I did enjoy Cannery Row. I’d read and liked it in high school, but didn’t remember much of the story or details, besides Doc and his biological supply company. Steinbeck is ..." Hi Susan, thanks so much for joining in. I'm yet to read The Grapes of Wrath . I really enjoyed this story though and think it's perfect if you are new to Steinbeck's work.
I loved reading East of Eden and it's now a favourite of mine.


Susan | 24 comments Karen, East of Eden is on my list to read so glad to hear you enjoyed it. I’ve heard good things about both the book and the movie.


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