What book are you reading about California?

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What book are you reading about California?

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Bearbeitet: Jan. 31, 2011, 1:12pm

David S. Terry of California: Dueling Judge by Albert Russell Buchanan

I can't say this is a very compelling read, the characters are not attractive and the history is competent but not really exciting. It is a non-fiction work, and what I find very interesting is the wild and woolly aspect of the beginnings of law and politics in California. The difference between the actions and attitudes of State rule over Federal rule and what that entailed back then as compared to now are instructive. It might take me awhile to finish, I can only read about a chapter a day before my mind wanders.

ETA: By the way, I am hoping that anyone reading anything, fiction or nonfiction which has a California connection will post in this thread. It doesn't have to be a close connection. :)

Jan. 31, 2011, 10:54pm

I just finished Jane Smiley's A Good Horse which takes place in central California during the 1960s. It's a young adult novel, the sequel to The Georges and the Jewels. Smiley is one of my favorite authors (and she's Californian, too) and one of the best when it comes to writing horses. My favorite character in her The All-true Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton was the horse :) and of course my favorite of her novels is Horse Heaven.

Feb. 2, 2011, 10:14pm

Carrying on in a manner of speaking with your bit of non-fiction, I'm currently reading Lynching in the West: 1850-1935 by Ken Gonzales-Day

I have a fairly extensive number of items tagged California in my library, with sub-tags of Native American, History, Printing, Art, Art History, etc.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 5, 2011, 8:16pm

#3 - That sounds interesting, but I doubt if I could read it. Ugh.

I finished the David S. Terry one. Couldn't recommend it to anyone except those who are very interested in early California history. Rather ho hum.

#2 - Horses and California seem like a very good fit!

ETA: There was a bridge in a community near where I grew up which was named "Horsethieves Lynch Bridge" for a very good reason. My grandfather remembered going by it once on his way to work on a ranch in the early 1900s and seeing three men hanging there. *shudder*

Bearbeitet: Mai 28, 2012, 7:43pm

The New Western Garden Book, by the Editors of Sunset Magazine 2012:


Lynching in the West: 1850-1935, by Ken Gonzales-Day

This last book was recommended by TV show and professional journalist Bill Moyers on one of his more recent TV series for Public Television. According to this author, 350 persons were lynched during this era, all non-white (mostly Latinos, but also native Americans, Asian Americans and African Americans).

When I visited an AAA local office recently, I noticed they had several books on California travel they published in the last year, such as AAA Spiral California.

Published in 2004, The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco written by Marilyn Chase. In an author interview on C-SPAN Booknotes, the author explains that differences between flea species in North America versus Asia (where many people died from plague) kept bubonic plague from killing many people in North America.

Jun. 2, 2012, 4:19pm

If I could just sit and read this summer, here's what I'd pick from what has been published in the last 60 days:

The Cookbook Library: Four Centuries of the Cooks, Writers, and Recipes that Made the Modern Cookbook (series: California Studies in Food and Culture)

2 from the Moon Outdoor Series:
Moon Northern California Biking: More than 160 of the Best Rides for Road and Mountain Biking.
Moon Tahoe Camping and Hiking

So Far from Home: Russians in Early California

Ghost Towns of California

California Fruit & Vegetable Gardening: Plant, Grow, and Eat the Best Edibles for California Gardens

Day and Section Hikes Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California

Wildflowers of California: A Month-By-Month Guide

The Northern Craft Beer Guide

The Banjo Clock: New California Poetry

The California Native Landscape

Divinely Guided: The California Work of the Women's National Indian Association

Field Guide to Mushrooms of Western North America

West of Eden: Communes and Utopia in Northern California

American Heathens: Religion, Race, and Reconstruction in California

They saved the Crops: Labor, Landscape, and the Struggle over Industrial Farming in Bracero-Era California

From Lonely Planet: California, Coastal California, Discover California, Northern California

Backroads & Byways of Northern California

The Best Beaches in California: The Top 20 Beaches for a Wonderful Beach Vacation

Explorer's Guide Northern California

Beach Boundaries: Fences & Gates of Southern California

Meet the Chumash Native American Tribe! (an e-book)

New California Writing 2012

Jun. 9, 2012, 2:34am

Wow, that's a lot of California!

Sept. 2, 2012, 4:58pm

Let's see, I just finished Sex, Murder and a Double Latte by Kyra Davis. It's set in San Francisco, and a fast, fun, easy read.

I'm beginning Maverick Mayor: a biography of Sam Yorty of Los Angeles by Ed Ainsworth. Kind of helps me see the history of my state during the years I was too young to remember, but were too recent to have been taught in school.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 10, 2015, 12:25am

I'm currently reading *The King of California*, the history of J.G Boswell and his 'secret' land empire in the San Joaquin valley.very readable!

Okt. 5, 2017, 4:40pm

"Cadillac Desert" by Marc Reisner is a good read of a potentially dry (pun unintended!) subject: Water Development in the West. Very readable history of different aspects: John Wesley's exploration of the Colorado river, and his disregarded report to Congress, The Bureau of Reclamation and Corps of Engineers, decades long feud, The Owens Valley war, and politics politics politics. :) very enjoyable.

Nov. 11, 2017, 10:41am

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