Chico writer-photographer Doug Keister is haunting cemeteries these days, and what he's dug up is on display in "Forever L.A.: A Field Guide to Los Angeles Area Cemeteries & Their Residents" ($19.99 in paperback, $7.99 Kindle edition, from Gibbs Smith). Delightfully, Keister's text and color photographs are instructive both for the armchair traveler and the on-scene trekker--who will "be rewarded with a whole new perspective on art, architecture, symbolism, and stargazing. Indeed, where else can you easily get within six feet of your favorite celebrity?" From Forest Lawn ("the Disneyland of cemeteries") to Pet Memorial Park--each page surprises.
Oroville resident Vernon Carter's book is "primarily for my family" but has a wider appeal as the "rags to riches . . . story of achieving goals, one step at a time." "One Man's Journey" ($20 in paperback from Memoir Books) tells about life growing up in the Depression (Carter was born in 1923) and the effect of his parents' divorce when he was five. Along the way he had a teaching career, married Bev in 1947, traveled the world, formed the Oroville Optimist Club in 1997. An active volunteer, he's been doing "nothing" since his retirement three decades ago.
Portland-based Pam Glenn "grew up in Chico (1953-62) and attended" Chico High School; her father taught at what is now Chico State University. Her new work, "Barter World" ($12.95 in paperback from Class Action Ink, available at Lyon Books in Chico), is a fanciful collection of intersecting tales about the fate of a red bead necklace, a wedding present to Scheherazade from the King. As the beads are traded, Hans Holbein enters the story, and still later one of the beads becomes a marble, traded for tutoring, in "a story so old, or so new, nobody knows where it begins."