The Chico User’s Guide

Eric R. Norlie

Eric Norlie began dreaming about writing a book like this 15 years ago. Then, about 13 months ago, the 39-year-old Chico native got going on the project, spending 10 hours a day doing (mostly) online research. His sturdy, compact (4.5-by-5.5-inch), 356-page compendium collects just about every scrap of information a long-time resident and/or a newcomer will find useful. Norlie has gotten to Chico’s essence in very creative ways: For example, to illustrate Enloe Hospital he took a nighttime shot of its neon sign; in “Upper Park,” there’s a terrific shot of a four-point buck on the golf course. Chico’s 36 murals (some inside buildings) get a four-page spread that includes their locations and artists. Movies made in Chico? Check out “Chico Film History,” another four-page recap—as with “Books about Chico” (eight pages!). Who knew there were so many? His depth of research is astounding. In the Calendar section—in December—he includes (among 22 listings) the Centerville Flume Wildflower Survey and the Terry Jones Memorial Toy Run. Each entry includes phone number, address and, when available, online address. This is an amazing piece of work that delights as it informs.