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Month in review

Reviews:
The Altman Code by Gayle Lynds
The Art World Dream by Eric Rudd
The Autobiography of Malcolm X retold by Alex Haley
Bare by Elisabeth Eaves
Being Committed by Anna Maxted
Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly
A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd
Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K Dick
Giorgio by Anita Benarde
GIS: Socioeconimic Applications by David Martin
Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood
Headache Relief for Women by Alan M. Rapoport and Fred D. Sheftell
Housekeeping by Marilynn Robinson
In the Beginning... Was the Command Line by Neal Stephenson
The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters
The Mother's Recompense by Edith Wharton
Mario and the Magician by Thomas Mann
Mrs. P's Journey by Sarah Hartley
Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Puckoon by Spike Milligan
Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
Sacred Flowers by Roni Jay
Sacred Symbols: Ancient Egypt by Thames & Hudson
Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
Spooky California by S. E. Schlosser
Trapped in Death Cave by Bill Wallace
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Ward No. Six by Anton Chekov

Miscellaneous
Baby Teeth and Eating
Dinner with Sean
Eight Facts About Me
Eight Months Old
Happy Monkey's Day
Harriet at 8 1/2 Months
Heat Wave
Ian's Teeth
Maxine Runs Cold
Maxine Runs Hot
New Jeans
New Postal Rates
No Swimming and Other Stuff
Swimming
Swimming Again
Toast
The Wooden Spoon

Vacation
Traffic
South Pasadena

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8


Comments for Spooky California

Spooky CaliforniaSpooky California: 05/09/07

Spooky California is one of a series of "Spooky" tales from each of the 50 states. I picked up a copy because I'm a native Californian and have visited many of the places pointed out on the map at the front of the book. To see the entire set of books, check out the author's website.

The book contains a mixture of ghost stories and folklore. The first half of the book is devoted to the ghost stories. The second half contains the stories that defy categorization.

Of the stories my favorites were "Vengeance" about a vengeance demon, in this case the ghost of a murdered wife. I liked it because it reflected the strong Japanese cultural influences in San Francisco. The "Ghost Ship" story reminded me of Inca Gold by Clive Cussler and I have to wonder if the folk tale wasn't inspiration for his novel. The story of the ghost bells brought back memories of tales we were told about the San Diego mission. For San Jose, the book includes a brief history of The Winchester Mystery House (a place I still want to visit).

While the stories were interesting to me as a Californian because I've visited most of the places listed and have heard versions of most of these stories, the writing was at times rather dry. I had to read a story or two and put the book aside and then pick it up again later.

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