To prepare for my upcoming trip to California, I've decided to read a bunch of books that are set there. First up: The Octopus by Frank Norris, about an epic battle between wheat farmers and land-grabbing railroad barons during the Gilded Age.
Also on the list (which I cribbed and condensed from National Geographic Traveler's California guidebook):
Ishi in Two Worlds by Theodora Kroeber
Oil! by Upton Sinclair
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
I haven't started reading yet, but I'm gonna have to step to it if I want to cram all of these books into my brain in time for my trip, especially since some of them—The Octopus, for instance—appear to be about a million pages long. And I don't intend to let my other reading obligations slide, either (I typically try to keep four books going at once: something from the last five years, something from before that, a theater-related title, and the monthly Two-Person Book Club selection).
I'm not worried. After all, I managed to read the Bible in 90 days, and that thing wasn't even interesting.