Tag: California

Top Six Books Dealing With the Manson Murders

 

In 1969, four Manson Family members invaded the rented home of Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski in Los Angeles. Sharon Tate, who was pregnant, was murdered along with three friends and an 18 year old visitor.

The murders have gone down in history as one of the most infamous murders in America and the story isn’t fading away anytime soon, especially with Quentin Tarantino’s most recent film, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, dealing directly with the subject.

These ‘Manson Family’ murders have been dealt with in various ways through television, movies, and of course, books. Thus, we have created a list of six books for those interested in learning more about the man and the myth.

 

 

Member of the Family

Image via Amazon

6. ‘Member of the Family’ by Dianne Lake

Member of the Family by Dianne Lake is a memoir by one of Charles Manson’s ‘girls’, telling her story of life under him. At age 14, Dianne became part of the Manson cult and its youngest member. For two years, she endured manipulation, psychological control, and physical abuse under Manson’s dark sway.

From her perspective, Dianne describes the cult’s descent into madness before their forgone conclusion. With the help of authority figures, therapists, and the police, Dianne was rehabilitated and grew to live a normal life. Now with have her book which tells her side of the story, giving key insights into Manson’s madness and showcasing one of the darkest chapters of American history.

 

 

The Life and Times of Charles Manson

image via Amazon

5. ‘Manson: The life and Times of Charles manson’ by Jeff Guinn

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn is a definitive account of Charles Manson himself. The author puts Manson in the context of the sixties, showing how Manson adapted to the turbulent era, an era dominated by race riots, cultural revolutions, and the Vietnam War. The author traces Manson’s origins back to his childhood, utilizing interviews with Manson’s sister, cousin, friends, classmates, and his old cellmates to show how his personality developed overtime.

All this combines to create a portrait of the man known as one of America’s biggest monsters.

 

 

The Girls

Image via amazon

4. ‘The Girls’ by Emma Cline

The Girls by Emma Cline is a work of fiction but invaluable part of the Charles Manson myth nonetheless. The story tells of a familiar idea: where in Northern California, a girl called Evie Boyd is drawn into a group that showcases idea of freedom, disrespect for authority, and reckless abandonment of society. She becomes a thrall to a soon-to-be infamous cult, led by an enigmatic cult leader. Each day, Evie spirals further into darkness and further towards a path that leads to violence.

This is a great coming-of-age tale that explores the conditions that lead to the Manson Family to thrive and how that intertwines with the ideology of a teenage girl.

 

 

The Family

Image via Amazon

3. ‘The Family’ by Ed Sanders

The Family by Ed Sanders was originally published in 1971 and has become a classic of the true crime genre. Meticulously researched, Sanders interviews dozens of members of the cult, including Manson himself, providing a detailed look into their origins, ideology, and motives. While some information in this book is rife with potential misinformation, given that Sanders promotes ideas of urban myths and some ugly victim blaming, the bulk of the information is not only credible but also incredible.

 

 

Chaos, Charles Manson, the CIA , and the Secret History of the Sixties

Image via Amazon 

2. ‘Charles Manson, the Cia, and the Secret History of the sixties’ by Tom o’neil

This book by Tom O’Nei is less a straight account of the Manson murders than a fascinating, dizzying, at times frustrating array of all of the alternative theories surrounding the case, from the suggestion that the murders may have been the result of a drug deal gone sour to the theory that Manson was a participant in CIA-sponsored LSD mind control experiments. While such theories are by no means proven, and vary wildly in terms of their believability, O’Neill does an excellent job at poking holes in the Helter Skelter narrative (not to mention the reliability of Bugliosi, who died in 2015) and forcing readers to reassess what had already been viewed as the definitive take on the case.

 

 

Helter Skelter

image via AMazon

1. ‘Helter Skelter’ by Vincent Bugliosi 

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi was published in 1974 and is considered the definitive account of the Manson Murders. The chief prosecutor of the case, Bugliosi takes the readers through the twisted journey of his detective work surrounding the trial of Manson and his cult.

Although far from an unbiased source, Helter Skelter remains to this day a fundamental resource for anyone interested in the case.

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon 

This University’s Edible Books Festival Offers Tasty Reads

Great books and delicious food are the perfect match. And a fun new trend helps bring both of them together!

Edible book festivals have popped up on college campuses all over the USA, and each one has the same idea: book lovers show up to display their culinary skills and their love of puns and serve delicious treats for all to enjoy. Though these festivals have taken college campuses nationwide by storm, for now let’s focus on the festival at UC Berkeley, California.

The third edible book festival at Berkeley was held on March 18th. Organized by librarian Susan Powell, the event is open to students and faculty. The festival is held in an effort to bring people together.

“We wanted to celebrate books in a fun, lighthearted way that we felt could touch a lot of people. Whether you’re more of an artistic type, or you love literature, or you’re creative — no matter where you’re coming from, you can find some way to get involved,” said Stacy Reardon, a literatures and digital humanities librarian at Berkeley.

In addition to uniting the community, there are also judges who hand out prizes based on: Punniest, Eye Candy, Least Edible, People’s Choice and Best Student Entry.

Judging by these photos, it looks like everyone was a winner:

 

Tail of Two Kitties entry
Image Via Berkeley Library News

 

A more political entry from 2018 is "The Handmaid's Tamale."
Image Via Atlas Obscura

 

The one and only "Communist Antipasto."
Image Via Atlas Obscura

 

You can read more about the festival here.

 

 

Featured Image Via Berkeley News

Fire Story

Graphic Novelist Who Lost Home in Wildfire Creates Beautiful Comic

The California firestorm devastated hundreds of families and has left forty-two dead. Among the many who lost their homes was graphic novelist Brian Fies. As difficult as it must be for his family, his community, and him, Fies transformed the loss of his home into a brief comic called ‘A Fire Story.’

 

Fire Story p1

Image Via Brian Fies

Fire Story p2

Image Via Brian Fies

 

As heartbreaking as it is to see this happen, Fies’ comic is extraordinarily creative. His style is light and cartoonish, which makes gives the reading experience kind of an ironic feel. You can’t help but laugh when he yells at his neighbor through bad reception, telling her she’s lost her home. It’s kind of funny.

 

Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, Fries talked a little about the process of writing a comic dealing with a really fresh wound. He wrote:

 

‘A Fire Story’ was done under duress, much faster and rougher than I normally would. I drew it with Sharpie markers and colored highlighters on terrible pulp paper because they were the only art supplies I could find at Target, the only open store within 20 miles of home. That’s part of the point: how the comic was made reflects the circumstances it was made in.

 

It’s always difficult to see photographs of tragedies, but it’s almost worse seeing the wildfire depicted in such a personal way. Fies thinks of himself as a sort of “graphic journalist.” One of his previous works, Mom’s Cancer, was a sort of self-therapy for Fies when his mother got sick, but it was also about witnessing and recording the truth of a situation. Considering comics is obviously a visual medium, it’s odd this sort of thing is done so rarely. Though, some nonfiction graphic novels do come to mind: John Lewis and Andrew Aydin’s March, Craig Thompson’s Blankets. Hopefully other artists take Fies’ approach. It’s powerful.

 

Fire Story

Image Via Brian Fies

Fire Story

Image Via Brian Fies

 

Read the full ‘A Fire Story’ on Fies’ blog here.

 

Feature Image Via Brian Fies

Feature Image Via PBS

‘Peanuts’ Creator Charles Schulz’s Home Destroyed in California Wildfire

Author and Peanuts creator Charles Schulz’s home in Sonoma, California has been victim to the devastating brush of wildfires in Northern California.

 

His son Monte Schulz tells LA Times that his stepmother, Charles’ widow Jean Schulz, luckily made it out of the home before the flames took over and destroyed it. Charles and Jean moved there in the 1970s and Jean has lived there until now. This is also the same place Charles passed away back in 2000.

 

Although Charles worked in a studio outside of the home, it still possessed memorabilia from his past work and his family that is now gone forever. Fortunately, The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa is the primary location for most of Schulz’s work, and it has not been affected by the wildfires. But this fact alone doesn’t exactly replace the loss felt by his family. “Obviously stuff from my dad and their life together, all gone,” Monte says. 

 

Charles Schulz

Image Via Pinterest

 

The wildfire has devastated people living in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Rosa, and other parts of Northern California. Towns are being evacuated, over 2,000 homes have been destroyed, and the death toll continues to rise. California is in a state of emergency.

 

Charles Schulz is a prominent figure in the Sonoma and Santa Rosa area. The Santa Rosa Airport was named The Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport and its logo is of Snoopy flying his infamous red doghouse. The Schulz family has lived in Sonoma for over thirty years.

 

Feature Image Via PBS