California -- fiction

Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson

Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson

Part fantasy, part romance, Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson is a time travel novel featuring Richard Collier, who falls in love with a turn of the century actress and travels back in time to meet her.

In 1971, Richard, on finding out that he is suffering from terminal cancer, embarks on a road trip from Los Angeles to Denver.  On the way, he stops at a historic hotel on the coast in San Diego where he sees a play program from the late 1800s and falls in love with the woman pictured on the front.  Captivated by her beauty, Collier researches the actress, Elise McKenna and finds out that she never married, had an overbearing manager named W.F. Robinson, and that she had a brief encounter in 1896 with a mysterious man at the hotel he is currently staying at.  Throughout his research, he realizes that he has fallen deeply in love with the woman, and convinces himself that he is the mysterious man with whom Elise had an affair.

The Wild Girls

By Pat Murphy

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It's 1972. Twelve-year-old Joan is sure that she is going to be miserable when her family moves. Then she meets a most unusual girl. Sarah prefers to be called "Fox," and lives with her author dad in a rundown house in the middle of the woods. The two girls start writing their own stories together, and when one wins first place in a student contest, they find themselves recruited for a summer writing class taught by the equally unusual Verla Volante.

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Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild

By Kristiana Gregory

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Susanna Fairchild and her family sail from New York to the West, where they plan to start a new life in Oregon. But tragedy strikes when Susanna's mother is lost to the sea. Hearing stories of great wealth, Susanna's physician father decides he wants to join the hordes of men rushing to California to mine for gold.
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The Island of the Blue Dolphins

By Scott O'Dell

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Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island off the coast of California, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.

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Katapult

By Karen Kijewski

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KAT COLORADO
A thirty-something California bartender-turned-P.I.--a curious lady with nine lives, nerves of iron. . .and a passion for justice.

KATAPULT
A murderer has struck home--and Kat Colorado is taking it personally. Her cousin Johnny has been found stabbed to death in the parking lot of the Homestead Cafe. And now Kat's on the prowl--trailing a killer through a dangerous world of shady real estate shenanigans and teenage hookers. And she's about to uncover a closetful of sordid family secrets almost certain to get an overly inquisitive Kat skinned.

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Zorro, a Novel

By Isabel Allende

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"Born in southern California late in the eighteenth century, he is a child of two worlds. Diego de la Vega's father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner; his mother, a Shoshone warrior. Diego learns from his maternal grandmother, White Owl, the ways of her tribe while receiving from his father lessons in the art of fencing and in cattle branding. It is here, during Diego's childhood, filled with mischief and adventure, that he witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans by European settlers and first feels the inner conflict of his heritage.

"At the age of sixteen, Diego is sent to Barcelona for a European education. In a country chafing under the corruption of Napoleonic rule, Diego follows the example of his celebrated fencing master and joins La Justicia, a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor. With this tumultuous period as a backdrop, Diego falls in love, saves the persecuted, and confronts for the first time a great rival who emerges from the world of privilege.

"Between California and Barcelona, the New World and the Old, the persona of Zorro is formed, a great hero is born, and the legend begins. After many adventures -- duels at dawn, fierce battles with pirates at sea, and impossible rescues -- Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to reclaim the hacienda on which he was raised and to seek justice for all who cannot fight for it themselves."

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And the Shadows Took Him

By Daniel Chacon

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Moving from the Fresno barrio to Oregon in an effort to climb up the socio-economic ladder, a Latino family learns that its ethnicity presents unexpected obstacles.

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Tortilla Flat

By John Steinbeck

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Adopting the structure and themes of the Arthurian legend, Steinbeck created a "Camelot" on a shabby hillside above Monterey on the California coast and peopled it with a colorful band of knights. As Steinbeck chronicles their thoughts and emotions, temptations and lusts, he spins a tale as compelling, and ultimately as touched by sorrow, as the famous legends of the Round Table.
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The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove

By Christopher Moore

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A comedy set in a town where hundreds of inhabitants are on anti-depressants, prescribed by Dr. Valerie Riordan. After a patient dies she asks the druggist to substitute placebos. Freed of drugs, the town comes alive with wine and song, so loud it even awakens a sea monster.

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