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Month in review

Reviews:
Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood
The Best Friend I Ever Had by David Nuffer
Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederik Pohl
Black Rainbow by Barbara Michaels
The Bomb That Followed Me Home by Cevin Soling
Catalog by Eugene Mirabelli
The Chemist by Janson Mancheski
Culture Shock! California by Mark Cramer
The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig
Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
Duck for President by Doreen Cronin
Heechee Rendezvous by Frederik Pohl
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo
Keeping Hannah Waiting by Dave Clarke
Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
Love in 90 Days by Diana Kirschner
The Night We Buried Road Dog by Jack Cady
Of Dreams and Reality by Frank L. Johnson
Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
Purplicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann
School Days by B. G. Hennessy
The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay
Sister Margaret by Rhonda Parrish
A Surprise for Rosie by Julia Rawlinson
Texas Bake Sale by Charles Coleman Finlay
There's a Wolf at the Door by Zoë B. Alley
Tiger Burning Bright by Theodora DuBois
Venice by Adrian Stokes and John Piper
Winding Broomcorn by Mario Milosevic
The Whole Shebang by Timothy Ferris

Ulysses:
Episode 2: Nestor: Kif
Episode 3: Proteus: Georgia Nicholson
Episode 4: Calypso: Parasites Lost
Episode 5: The Lotus Eaters: Down to the River to Pray

Miscellaneous:
Historical Fiction

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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 Culture Shock! California

Culture Shock! CaliforniaCulture Shock! California: 03/06/09

I'm a native Californian. I grew up in southern California, about 24 miles north of the border, went to college in Santa Barbara and now live in the Bay Area. So what am I doing reading Culture Shock! California by Mark Cramer, a travel book about my home state? Curiosity of course. It's good to take an outside point of view to get a new perspective on things.

Culture Shock! California was published in 1997 at the start of the real estate bubble that popped about two years ago. With the dot-com bubble growing too, incomes were rising as were property values. There was money to be made in building: malls, homes, and amusement parks. Southern California got hit more by the madness of new buildings and widening freeways. Stretches of the I5 around Disneyland are almost unrecognizable to me now.

Coming into the midst of this building frenzy, Mark Cramer's initial pessimism about the state makes sense. His thesis s that there is no "sense of place" in California because of the over abundance of strip malls and franchises. Driving along the major highways it's easy to get that impression but go a few miles off the main drag and the neighborhoods reveal their personalities. And as you go north from the border, the state takes on a different feel. Likewise, go east and it's different again.

The book has a chapter on the state's history, a look at immigration through the years, a look at a "typical Californian" (conclusion, there isn't one; we're a state of iconoclasts), some tips on etiquette for social and business situations and some tips on fitting in and surviving. At the back of the book is a quiz to see how well the reader is ready to travel to California. I took the quiz and passed with flying colors, so I guess I get to stay.

Although I had a few quibbles with Cramer's observations and wished he would have covered more of the rural pieces of the state, I enjoyed the book. I think he did an admirable job at capturing the California culture and the differences at least between northern and southern California. His comparisons of Los Angeles and San Francisco were fascinating. If I come across more books in the series (the first one being Culture Shock! Bolivia, I will read them).

Learn more about the publisher Graphic Arts Publishing Center by visiting their website. You can even download their catalog.

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Comment #1: Saturday, March, 7, 2009 at 13:04:04

Pricilla

The publicist read Culture Shock: Italy before her trip to Florence and Rome and found it to be very helpful and informative. Well written and easy to read.



Comment #2: Monday, March 9, 2009 at 21:21:40

Pussreboots

If I ever get my trip to Venice, I'll look for Culture Shock: Italy.



Comment #3: Saturday, March, 7, 2009 at 14:21:48

Amy @ My Friend Amy

This might be interesting for me to read. I've been living here for 4 years and still feel like I'm in culture shock. ;)

I read Culture Shock! Japan and Culture Shock! France before going to each of those countries.



Comment #4: Monday, March 9, 2009 at 21:25:24

Pussreboots

I will read more books in the series especially if I plan on making any trips.