Reading California

I spent the end of September in California and came back laden with books:

IMG_20151006_131517699 (2)

The theme of my souvenir shopping spree was, of course, California itself. Charles Bukowski spent many years in Los Angeles, as did Ray Bradbury (most of them on roller-skates, apparently, in Bradbury’s case). Henry Miller lived in Big Sur from 1944 to 1963 (a “Memorial Library” and arts center bearing his name stands among the redwoods along Highway 1). Jack London was born in San Francisco, lived in Oakland, and attended UC Berkeley before settling down on a ranch in Sonoma County. Lawrence Ferlinghetti famously went on trial for publishing Allen Ginsberg‘s “obscene” collection Howl and Other Poems at City Lights Books in San Francisco.

All of them are going on my shelf.

I also bought this tiny City Lights publication printed on vintage construction paper:

IMG_20151006_132640782 (2)

The best one starts off like this:

Having been told I have an excelling command of the English language (and this is not making fun of you – I know how many semi-illiterate people there are floating around on the internet), here goes…

In addressing California’s literary legacy, I wouldn’t want to leave out Robert Frost, a native San Franciscan. For the length of my trip (that is, 1300 miles), I couldn’t get this evocative post-Gold-Rush line out of my head:

I was one of the children told
Some of the blowing dust was gold.

Well, that, and The O.C.‘s iconic theme song.

Happy reading, and happy weekend!