Friday Fiction – California!

California by RossCalifornia!

Submitter: Just found this in the stacks today. I wish that I could have gotten a better picture of the uniform goldenrod color. Besides the very yellowed pages and cover, the book is being held together with a prayer and a wish. On a scale of gross to disgusting, it’s disgusting.

Holly: Oh good, a popular old fiction title for our readers to discuss! I can’t speak for any other public library, but my library no longer owns this title – or any other title in the Wagons West series – and we haven’t missed it. There are 15 copies available in our inter-library loan system. I wonder what kind of shape some of those are in! Submitter’s specimen is particularly…ripe.



  1. Ew, gross. (The condition, I mean.) My parents read those books–and a number of other sagas like that–when I was a kid in the 70s/80s. I can’t imagine there’s a lot of interest in them these days, though.

  2. I see this series every time I walk through the stacks! They just refuse to fall apart–maybe because nobody has been checking them out. Someone’s currently got “Celebration!” (which WorldCat tells me is about a bomb scare in Texas at the time of the 1876 Centennial). Everything else is dutifully Check Shelf.

    The catalog tells me we’ve got at least 20 titles–fully half of them in Large Type–leaving me wondering why the author saw fit to write “Mississippi!” and “Louisiana!” but not “Alaska!” or “Hawaii!” (titles that, if I can trust WorldCat, don’t exist at all). We’re not dealing in literal wagons are we? And why isn’t there a “Michigan!”?

    Seriously now … I can handle “California!” or “Wyoming!” (or the hypothetical “Alaska!”) But “Illinois!” or “Nebraska!” with an exclamation mark seems to be pushing credulity just a little.

  3. Most of the Wagons West series and the John Jakes Revolutionary War series were in a box of paperbacks for our train station “ride and read” shelf, which I stock. No one took any of them and after a few weeks I made them disappear.

  4. I have a bookmobile patron who just read the entire series last year, I didn’t have to ILL a single title.

  5. When the mountain man comes down for his winter stash of Westerns, he is going to be heartbroken to find this gone!

  6. I am a librarian with Richfield public library in Richfield Utah Our library has this and the entire series. Very popular with the rural crowd

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