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.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||296 pages|
|Publisher||Craven Street Books|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|