Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org
, a website that supports local bookstores.
Where I Was From
Supreme essayist Didion's personal history of California spanning the 18th to 21st
centuries. More than a family chronicle, it's also a provocative cultural critique that
attacks the myth of the Sunshine State.
Fodor's Los Angeles
A practical guide in the popular series, saturated with valuable information on
accommodation, shopping, sights, and dining.
Art in Time, A World History of Styles and Movements
In this innovative compendium, art scholars reveal fascinating connections between
great works of art, art movements and historical progress. Moving from present to
antiquity, they highlight 450 paintings, sculptures, photographs, installations, video and
new media from around the world.
William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles
A biography of William Mulholland, the man who led the project of bringing water to
Los Angeles. Written by his granddaughter, who seeks to dispel what she believes are
common misconceptions about him.
Creating the Future: Art and Los Angeles in the 1970s
Fallon contests the standard assumption that art in L.A. declined after the 1960s
through this cultural and social history that highlights the innovative and independent
voices and interesting, sometimes bizarre artwork that came out of the 1970s.
The Getty Center: Richard Meier & Partners
A photographic tour of the Getty Center.
The Story of Art
Comprehensive and introductory without being elementary, this celebrated work is
essential reading for anyone with any interest in art, architecture or aesthetics.
California the Beautiful
Rowell's exquisite photographs are accompanied by excerpts from Joan Didion, M.F.K. Fisher, Jack London, William Saroyan and many other luminaries in this celebration of the nature and spirit of California.
Sidewalking, Coming to Terms With Los Angeles
Growing out of a series of strolls, this smart, deeply affectionate portrait peels back the
many layers of L.A., revealing a great city that's much more interesting than its sunny
beaches, gridlock and movie stars.
As I See It: The Autobiography of J. Paul Getty
The famous L.A. tycoon recounts his life in his own words in this timely autobiography:
it was published right before his death in 1976.
Ask the Dust
Fante's oft-forgotten classic novel of Arturo Bandini, a confused young man trying to
make it as a writer in L.A.
The Art Book, Mini Edition
A mini edition of the Phaidon classic. Marching through all periods and schools, the
editors at Phaidon juxtapose salient examples of paintings, photographs, sculptures,
video, installations and performance art with brief explanatory text.
Building the Getty
An account of the construction of the Getty Center, written by its architect.
Water to the Angels, William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles
In this powerful, beautifully-told biography, Standiford narrates William Mulholland’s
drive to bring water from the Sierra Nevadas to Los Angeles, one of the greatest civil
engineering feats in history.
Los Angeles City Center Map
A map of the center of L.A.
James Ellroy's modern noir thriller, a densely plotted yarn in the style of Raymond
Chandler. Made into a critically acclaimed film.
Ways of Seeing
Art critic, painter, essayist and Booker Prize-winning novelist Berger concentrates on
how we look at art in this eye-opening and influential classic.
California: A History (Modern Library Chronicles)
Arguing that America’s most populous state has always been blessed with both spectacular natural beauty and astonishing human diversity, Starr unfolds a rapid-fire epic of discovery, innovation, catastrophe, and triumph.
For generations, California’s native peoples basked in the abundance of a climate and topography eminently suited to human habitation. By the time the Spanish arrived in the early sixteenth century, there were scores of autonomous tribes were thriving in the region. Though conquest was rapid, nearly two centuries passed before Spain exerted control over upper California through the chain of missions that stand to this day.
The discovery of gold in January 1848 changed everything. With population increasing exponentially as get-rich-quick dreamers converged from all over the world, California reinvented itself overnight. Starr deftly traces the successive waves of innovation and calamity that have broken over the state since then–the incredible wealth of the Big Four railroad tycoons and the devastating San Francisco earthquake of 1906; the emergence of Hollywood as the world’s entertainment capital and of Silicon Valley as the center of high-tech research and development; the heroic irrigation and transportation projects that have altered the face of the region; the role of labor, both organized and migrant, in key industries from agriculture to aerospace.