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Life in a California Mission
A remarkable essay about the natural life and native customs of 18th-century California, written by a French explorer while his ships lay at anchor in Monterey Bay.
Images of America: Ventura
Local historian Jackson covers the history of Ventura, California, from the dedication of Mission San Buenaventura to its present status as the Gateway to the Channel Islands and home to more than 100,000. Includes archival photos.
The Santa Barbara County Courthouse
An architectural study of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.
Moon Handbooks Santa Barbara & The Central Coast
A practical guide in the Moon series, packed not only with travel necessities (hotels, restaurants, sights), but also with a good overview of history and destinations throughout central California.
Santa Cruz Island: A History of Conflict and Diversity
In this thorough history of the largest Channel Island, Gherini introduces the Chumash Indians who lived on the island in pre-Columbian times and details early European explorers and the Spanish-Mexican period, when the island became a haven for smugglers.
This gorgeously tinted hand-drawn map displays California Missions in excellent detail.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to California
A compact, easy-to-use guide to 1,000 California trees, wildflowers, mammals, insects, birds and other flora and fauna.
The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collection
Prepared by the museum, this illustrated handbook to the J. Paul Getty Museum provides a comprehensive overview of the collection as well as a history of both the museum and its founder.
Reagan: The Life
The most recent biography of Ronald Reagan collects his story in detail in more than 800 pages. Brands argues that Reagan is one of the two great presidents of the 20th century, alongside FDR.
Justinian Caire and Santa Cruz Island: The Rise and Fall of a California Dynasty
This history of one of California’s Channel Islands covers everything from the island’s original Chumash population to its acquisition by the Nature Conservancy. Special attention is paid to the 50 years when the island was owned by Justinian Caire and family. The author, a descendant of the Caire family, uses family archives to flesh out his tale.
President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime
Noted as a "superlative study of a president and his presidency" by the New Yorker, this definitive biography runs 920 pages and reveals the man behind the make-up. Written by a former White House correspondent for the Washington Post.
Natural State, A Literary Anthology of California Nature Writing
Divided by ecological region, this book is a literary tour of California's unrivaled natural diversity, featuring essays and excerpts by such great writers as Barry Lopez, Gretel Ehrlich and John McPhee. Gary Snyder provided the afterword.
Building the Getty
An account of the construction of the Getty Center, written by its architect.
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.
California's Channel Islands: A History
The Channel Islands, a string of eight islands off the coast of Southern California, are home to stunning landscapes and remarkable biodiversity. This scholarly work covers ecology as well as natural and human history.
Natural History of the Islands of California
A survey of the ecology, geology and human history of California's coastal islands.
The Getty Center: Richard Meier & Partners
A photographic tour of the Getty Center.
Images of America: The California Channel Islands
This Images of America installment introduces all eight of the Channel Islands, located off the coast of Southern California. Features archival photographs.
The Golden Shore, California's Love Affair With the Sea
In this eminently readable and well-researched tribute, Helvarg, an environmental journalist and filmmaker, considers the crosscurrents of culture, history, economy and myth that come together on the state’s golden shores.