Reading Coast-to-Coast :: California

It’s summer and that means vacation time. One of the fun things to do on a vacation (or before one) is to read books about or set in the place you’re going. Not only does this create excitement, it gives you insight into the destination that you can’t get from sight-seeing. Over the next several weeks we’ll take you on an American vacation from coast to coast. Whether you’ll physically be leaving home this summer or not doesn’t matter – with our mode of travel you can vacation from the comfort of your back porch.

First stop: California. From the Redwoods down to San Diego, California is an incredibly diverse state. Start at the coast to do some surfing, and then drive a couple of hours inland for a ski vacation. Don’t shave and live off the land up in Humbolt County before you cruise down the 5 towards the central coast for some wine tasting. Don’t forget to leave time to get stuck in a traffic jam in Los Angeles and max out your credit cards while running into a few celebrities (or getting trampled by paparazzi). Regardless of what you do, be sure to check out some of the books set in California. We’ve hardly begun to scratch the surface, so let us know what books you would add to the list.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain
The White Album by Joan Didion
Post Office by Charles Bukowski
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger