Thursday, June 11, 2015

Book Beginning: McCallandia by Bill Hall


Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

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A crisp January day in the nation's capital, January 1983.

The network news cameras focused on the prototype all-electric car pulling up in front of the National Cathedral in Washington. D.Ca., where the state funeral of the thirty-eighth president would soon begin.

-- McCallandia by Bill Hall.

What if Tom McCall, Oregon's popular, environmentally-friendly governor, had succeeded Richard Nixon as President when he resigned in 1973? That's the premise of Bill Hall's clever new novel, McCallandia.

McCall was a moderate Republican, best remembered for passage of Oregon's Bottle Bill and making the state's ocean beaches public. Portland's Waterfront Park is named after him.

You can order McCallandia from Nestucca Spit Press or Powell's Books.


  1. What an interesting connection you have with this man! Sounds like a fascinating period!

  2. I love "what if" stories. At first I was confused w/ the electric car in 1983, and I know Reagan wouldn't have been in one. But an environmentally conscious person becoming president in the 70s would have made a huge impact on the development of technology and laws that are environmentally friendly and protective. I'll definitely be reading this one.

  3. I entered the wrong link at #4 and used the remove tool, but it's still there, so you can remove it when you have time. #6 is my correct link.

  4. Sounds intriguing....thanks for sharing.

  5. Sounds like a fascinating "what if" story. I don't know much about this gentleman, but I have a feeling he was an interesting man.

  6. I've always enjoyed speculative fiction - this could be an interesting one!

    Check out my 56 (With Book Beginnings).

  7. Hi Gilion,

    Whilst of course, as a Brit, I can remember the scandal surroundng Nixon and his government, I know nothing about Tom McCall. I spent a few moments acquainting myself with his potted biography on Wikipedia and his success introducing the two policies you mentioned in your post.

    Whilst, back in the 1970s, glass bottles came with a refundable deposit, these days all bottles, both glass and plastic are recyclable and collected as part of our kerbside refuse collection service, so the refundable deposit has long since demised!

    We do still have a surprising amount of privately owned coastline in the UK, where there are access restrictions, but on the whole, the majority of our coastline is free access for all and much of it is now managed and protected by The National Trust, a charitable based organisation.

    An interesting book, although not one for me.

    Thanks for sharing your lines and for hosting BBOF :)


  8. I had never heard of Tom McCall, shows how much I know about American history. However. this sound like a really interesting starting point for a book. 'What if' stories can quickly run out of steam but this one sound like it has a real message as well!
    Thanks for hosting :) I hope you enjoy your weekend!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  9. I haven't heard of him either. I don't think I can name more than a couple of Minnesota politicians and I was born and raised here. Happy reading!

  10. This sounds interesting. I've never heard of McCall but I have no ties to Oregon and try to avoid politics so that's not surprising. Enjoy your read!

  11. An interesting premise I'll have to keep this in mind.

  12. Sounds good...ENJOY!!

    I don't know of him.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings

  13. I love books with "what if's". Any environmentally-friendly governor would have my vote! I love that he made the state's ocean beaches public and got the Oregon's Bottle Bill passed!

  14. The book seems really interesting. :)


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