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Since the 1945 publication of John Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row, literary travelers have been drawn to the seaside town of Monterey, California. A must-see is the diminutive, weather-beaten dwelling at 800 Cannery Row, once the home and professional domain of Ed Ricketts–a marine biologist, Steinbeck’s close friend, and the inspiration for the character Doc in Cannery Row. The Cannery Row Foundation gives tours of “Doc’s lab” on select days throughout the year, including this Saturday, February 27th, to commemorate Steinbeck’s birthday.

Steinbeck was a frequent visitor to the lab in the 1930s, along with other writers and artists who showed up for the legendary parties that sometimes went on for days.  He would often walk the short distance from his cottage in nearby Pacific Grove to Cannery Row, where he indulged in “whiskey and conversation” with Ricketts. “Life on Cannery Row,” Steinbeck reminisced years later, “was curious and dear and outrageous.”

Tours are given hourly from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The cost is $15 per person. For more information, visit

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The only good thing about being sick is the extra time to read. Thrillers and other gripping, fast-paced stories are a necessary remedy for making it through a wicked head cold. At the rate I’ve been going through books, I’m grateful to have access to my library’s offerings with the #libbyapp for an immediate and seemingly endless supply. I recommend all of these reads, in sickness and in health. I especially liked #Transcription by #KateAtkinson about a young woman recruited by MI5 in London during World War II and #LoveandRuin by #PaulaMcLain about Martha Gellhorn, a celebrated war journalist and Hemingway’s third spouse (the only one of his wives to leave him). #greatstorytelling #thankgoodnessfornovels #bookstagram #igbooks #theflightattendant #thedeathofmrswestaway #intothewater #librarylove
This was my book club’s most recent read, selected by me. I always find it a bit nerve-wracking when it’s my turn to choose, and I start making a list of possibilities several months in advance and narrow it down from there. I’m happy to report that LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE made for an interesting, in-depth discussion, largely because of the gray areas in the story. The complexity of human behavior and motivations, parent-children dynamics, taking sides, keeping secrets, making tough decisions, disguising manipulation and dishonesty as altruism. And how much responsibility a person bears when they compel someone, either intentionally or unintentionally, into a destructive course of action—igniting little fires everywhere. #greatstorytelling #discussionworthy #bookclubpick #bookstagram #booksofig #littlefireseverywhere #celesteng
From sunshine reading to snowstorm reading, in the span of a day. #welcomehome #snowstorm #books #reading #imissmiami

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