Reading the States: California

Friday, February 3, 2012

- East of Eden* by John Steinbeck
- The Graduate by Charles Webb
- Women's Murder Club series by James Patterson
- Tales of the City* by Armistead Maupin
- Gold: The Marvellous History of General John Augustus Sutter by Blaise Cendrars
- Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
- Cannery Row* by John Steinbeck
- Sideways by Rex Pickett
- The Crying of Lot 49 is a by Thomas Pynchon
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
- The Jane Austen Book Club* by Karen Joy Fowler
- Shopgirl* by Steve Martin
- The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
- Ask the Dust by John Fante
- The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
- The Loved One* by Evelyn Waugh
- The Swan: Tales of the Sacramento Valley by Andrew F. O'Hara
- McTeague by Frank Norris
- Ask the Dust by John Fante
- The Slide Area: Scenes of Hollywood Life, by Gavin Lambert
- The Big Sleep* by Raymond Chandler
- Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard
- House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
- The White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty
- A Visit from the Goon Squad* by Jennifer Egan
- The Joy Luck Club* by Amy Tan
- If He Hollers Let Him Go by Chester Hime
- Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber

- Freedom Writers* by Erin Gruell
- The Soloist* by Steve Lopez
- A Crack in the Edge of the World* by Simon Winchester
- Baghdad by the Bay by Herb Caen
- The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth
- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius* by Dave Eggers
- Wild Yosemite edited by Susan M. Neider
- The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston 

Authors Known for Writing About the State:
- Dashiell Hammett
- Sue Grafton (Alphabet murder series)
- Michael Connelly

Authors Who Lived Here:
- John Steinbeck
- Amy Tan
- Jack London
- Raymond Chandler
- Joan Didion
- Allen Ginsberg
- Octavia E. Butler
- Christopher Moore
- Ursula K. Le Guin

Great Bookstores in the State:
City Lights Books 

Literary Places to Visit:

*Books I've read

Photo by moi.


BookQuoter said...

Tempting to read all that's on the list!!

LindyLouMac said...

It is snowing here so I am enjoying staying warm and catching up with all my blogging friends. These states posts that you are posting are very interesting Melissa.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Thanks guys. I was shocked by how many books/authors there were for California. There are loads I didn't even mention, but I couldn't put them all on here.

annieb said...

I have read a few of the books on your list, but want to comment on the Jane Austen Book Club. This may be sacrilege, but I liked the movie much better than the book. It may seem odd, but I usually like to see the movie before I read the book; it seems I am usually not so disappointed that way. That applies to older books, but doesn't usually work with newer books. However, I don't read best sellers as a rule. I have been turned on to a lot of books with my plan and since I don't seem to be very good at picturing people or places from the written word, it helps that someone else has done the casting for me. I really like your listing of the states in alpha order. Some states will be more difficult I imagine, but you seem to have a good handle on it. Thanks.

Shane Marie said...

I am so excited about this series. I see a 50 states reading challenge in my future based on your lists. I wanted to participate last year, but didn't have the time to select books. Even more exciting is when I look at your list and realize I have an unread copy on my bookshelf!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

annieb - That's hilarious. The Jane Austen Book Club is one of the only exacmples I can think of where I liked the movie more than the book!

Shane Marie - I feel the same way when I find one that's already on my TBR list. I've slowly been working my way through reading one fiction and one nonfiction from each state.

Jeanne said...

I think Steve Martin's Cruel Shoes is better than Shopgirl. And his movie LA Story is more quintessentially about CA than either!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jeanne - I haven't read Cruel Shoes, but I wasn't a big fan of Shopgirl. I'll check it out. I really like him.

Nikki Steele @ said...

How did you like Cannery Row? I need a book for a Cali trip and will be in Monterey so it seems perfect. Love this feature!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Nikki Steele - I loved it! It's full of sweet characters and great writing. It's compeltely different from Steinbeck's more serious work.

Nikki Steele @ said...

Oh fantastic. I needed a lighter book for the road trip. Too difficult to stay in a serious book when you're also supposed to be looking at the scenery :)