Crossing California: A Cultural Topography of a Land of Wonder and Weirdness
For a reviewer, Crossing California is a tough one. Journalist/columnist Sam McManis’s writing is so good that most readers will agree—this book is hard to put down. Yet to savor his book, reading it a few sections at a time will prolong the reading pleasure. McManis speaks directly to the reader in an easy, pleasant, conversational style. Even the introduction is a delight to read. He is on assignment for the Sacramento Bee, traveling throughout California over a five-year span with a tiny budget and a small company car to discover “wonder and weirdness.” He divides his book into six chapters, plus a last chapter on Disneyland, sub-divided into sections representing the many stops on his explorations. His first stop is a tiny community called Felicity (population two) in the desert where a man named Istel is building a permanent granite monument of his own to last for millennia. And this brings up two of McManis’s major omissions: a location map of Felicity (and a location map of his many stops throughout) and photographs of his truly visual subjects. Though his descriptions are good, a photo illustration is sorely needed. This is sadly true throughout his book.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Page Count||296 pages|
|Publisher||Craven Street Books|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|