You don't read the same books everybody else reads? Neither do we. At this meeting, we invite you to read any book about or that takes place in California, fiction or non-fiction. You could read about the Gold Rush, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Hollywood moguls, or Native Americans. www.goodreads.com has an extensive list of California fiction (including Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck, Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, The Onion Field by Joseph Wambaugh, any of several books by James Ellroy). After much searching, and almost selecting Lawrence Coates' The Garden of the World, I'm likely to read Ki Longfellow's China Blues, a book about a socialite in Roaring 20's San Francisco. Come to the meeting ready tell us about whatever book that you read, and the other members will do likewise.
I've uploaded one of Diane's famous Book Lists to this site under More/Files, a list of about 28 books called "Books on California". This file includes title, author, a minimum of a paragraph description of the book, how many copies are available within the Orange County Public Library system, and publication year. Some of the titles and authors are:
Southern California: An Island on the LandCarey McWilliams (1946)
The Anza Trail and the Settling of California]Vladimir Guerrero (2006)
Mickey Cohen: The Life and Crimes of LA's Notorious MobsterTere Tereba (May 2012)
State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of CaliforniaLaura Cunningham (2010)
Dark Side of Fortune: Triumph and Scandal in the Life of Oil Tycoon Edward L DohenyMargaret Leslie Davis (2001)
Endangered Dreams: The Great Depression in California Kevin Starr (1997)
Material Dreams: Southern California Through the 1920s Kevin Starr (1991)
Land in California: The Story of Mission Lands, Ranchos, Squatters, Mining Claims, Railroad Grants, Land Scrip, Homesteads WW Robinson (1979)
City of Nets: A Portrait of Hollywood in the 1940s Otto Friedrich (1997)
Americans and the California Dream Kevin Starr (1986)
Elusive Eden: A New History of California Richard B Rice and William A Bullough (Dec 2001)
We'll have our meeting at one of the member's houses, which is near the intersection of the 55, 73, and 405 freeways, with plenty of street parking. I'll email out the address and other directions twice in the week before the event, to people who RSVP. We meet over the dinner hour, so please bring some type of food or drink to share.
We have two types of meetings in this book group. At one type of meeting, we meet at Panera Bread, and we alternate monthly between fiction and non-fiction at this type of meeting, and we all discuss the same book. At the other type of meeting, we meet at a member's house, and read on a theme, such as science fiction, mysteries, Japan, Founding Fathers, the economy, or France. In either case, if you find you haven't completely finished the book, or arriving late, we'd rather see you at the meeting late and telling us about the portion of the book you read, rather than not at all. No worries!