Monday, July 21, 2008


Russian critic Vissarion Belinsky said of his country “We have no literature,” but he still managed to find stuff to read[1]. A similar approach is required for Santa Clarita. While we may lack a literature somewhat more profoundly than 19thC Russia, there has most certainly been stuff written about SCV and stuff written by people who live in SCV. And by my reckoning, the time to read all that stuff is now. We need the I Heart SCV Book Club.

It is with some trepidation that I propose a book club. The institution is widely caricatured as an excuse for (peri)menopausal women to gather, guzzle wine, and spew gossip. Then there are the unfortunate associations of book clubs with Oprah. This book club, however, will be different. You may join whether or not you have the anatomical prerequisites for menopause and/or are experiencing it. And we will not be bound to the books deemed readable by O. Winfrey.

Furthermore, I don’t think we’ll be meeting in person since I presume I am the only one who will actually be reading the literature. I guess that makes the exercise more of a book report than a book club...but I’ll be delighted if I’m proved wrong and some other Claritans actually join in the fun. Most likely, I will post my take on the book and people can comment, but this “synthesis/discussion” part will remain flexible.

Finally, rather than Freudian readings or Neo-post-deconstructionalist readings or whatever those crazy English kids are doing with their books nowadays, our books will be read with an eye out for Clarita’s soul. If the book is by a Claritan author, for example, we will pay attention to how life in SCV has shaped that author's work.

We begin with John Boston’s[3] Naked Came the Sasquatch.
Read the first chapter by clicking here.

It may be purchased in “web novel” format for a mere $2.99[3] or as a more traditional set of printed pages if you do a bit of searching online.

Planned “discussion” is for September 6, 2008.

Future books will include William S. Hart’s My Life East and West, John Boston’s other books, Gail Ortiz and Diana Sevanian’s (and various contributing authors') The City of Santa Clarita: Celebrating Twenty Years of Success, The Santa Clarita Food Pantry Cookbook (no, really--OK, probably not), Jerry Reynolds’ Santa Clarita, Valley of the Golden Dream, and Grace Norwich’s Ashley Tisdale: Life is Sweet!, An Unauthorized Biography (no, really…and I won't back down on this one—she’s our most famous former resident and inquiring minds want to know how time in Valencia made her who she is today). If you have further suggestions, please let me know.

Happy reading!

[1]At least in Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia, which I read for a real life book club I’m in.
[2]SCV's own best known, most awarded author, should you not have known. His website is the Boston Report.
[3]Click on the link in footnote No. 2 and you'll see opportunities to buy.


Courtney said...

Why not books NOT involving SCV? And Ashley Tisdale..REALLY? Our most famous resident? I beg to differ. There are actually alot of actors who live out here...and none of them are in a silly teen musical.

Lindsey Newhall said...

Courtney is right. I believe someone named William S. Hart was from here. And Jack Palance of City Slickers fame lived here as well. And I think Bill Henderson, also of City Slickers fame, also calls SCV his home, or at least visits often. And I heard TAYLOR LAUTNER lives here tooOOO!! And went to Valencia High!

Lindsey Newhall said...

Oh yeah and Victoria Jackson, from early SNL! She came into our store once! That was such an exciting day. AND GARY HOFFMANN from Bill Handel's morning show on KFI AM 640 More Stimulating Talk Radio, he lives in Stevenson Ranch!

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