Camp Fire Book Reviews | The Biblio File – Chico Enterprise-Record

Journalists, poets, photographers, artists and ordinary citizens have chronicled the deep and lasting impact of the campfire. Here are the books we’ve covered in the Biblio folder, along with excerpts from my reviews; for more information see the column archives at

“The Campfire 2018: Living on the Ridge” by Paula Link
“Link summarizes some of the harrowing escape stories found on YouTube and there are dozens of color photographs.”

“Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Fire” by Lizzie Johnson
“Johnson’s story, the culmination of 500 interviews, is unmatched in its gripping emotional intensity, taking readers deep into the lives of the mostly working-class residents of Ridge on that fateful Thursday.”

“After/Ashes: A Camp Fire Anthology” edited by John LaPine
“As the editors write in a new anthology of prose, poetry and imagery – a creative response to the campfire – it took seventeen days to fully contain.”

The Campfire: Dreams, Nightmares, Hopes by JR Henson
“His escape on the day of the fire is more difficult because his truck has run out of gas. …He traces his emotional journey through poems and essays….

“I Escaped the Campfire in California” by Scott Peters and SD Brown
“The story is a fictionalized account of the fire that relies on published reports.”

“Fire in Paradise: An American Tragedy” by Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano
“Together, drawing on hundreds of interviews, they tell the campfire story with skill and fairness.”

People, Places and Pieces of Heaven by Douglas Keister
“Keister has created stunning images that capture the soul of paradise…”

Paradise Is Not Lost: Embracing Resilience in the Face of Loss by Kari Carter
“There are losses, from family members to prized possessions, even his marriage. Yet she finds resilience.

“My name is Haley and I live in paradise” written and illustrated by Steve Ferchaud
“Memories of paradise in a children’s book for all ages.”

“The California Camp Fire: Reflections and Remnants” by photographer Ron Schwager
“…a masterpiece that will make readers stop and think at every turn.”

“California Burning: The Fall of Pacific Gas and Electric – and What is Means for America’s Power Grid” by Katherine Blunt
“…a measured, yet devastating, PG&E story.”

“The Burnt Offerings” by illustrator Steve Ferchaud
“After the fire he decided to compile the 62 sketches into a book, the proceeds of which would go to help the survivors of Camp Fire.”

“Burn Scar: A Contemporary Disaster Thriller” by TJ Tao (Michael J. Orr)
After surviving the fire, the author offers a fictionalized version set in Idaho.

Paradise Found: A High School Football Team’s Rise from the Ashes” by Bill Plaschke
“Report on the Bobcats’ first football season after the campfire.”

“Fire on the Ridge: A Collection of Poems” by Bill Hartley
Destroying Joy Lyn’s candy and poems to release grief.

“Out of the Ashes: A Survivor’s Story of Two Historic Wildfires” by Antoinette Peppler
The Saddle Fire in 2016, then the Camp Fire.

“Where to go next?” By Joan Goodreau
From evacuations to the pandemic, the poet Chico asks a deep question.

“The Sound of Snow Geese: A True Story of Surviving California’s Deadliest Wildfire” by Dax Meredith
“…caught in the campfire as she and one of her young sons fled to paradise from Magalia.”

Dan Barnett teaches philosophy at Butte College. Send review requests to Columns archived at

Alycia R. Lindley