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.
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.
California, A History
A lively short history in the excellent Modern Library Chronicles series, written by a renowned historian.
Field Guide to Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast
Sophie Webb, director of Oikinos, contributes the exquisite paintings for this outstanding field guide, the 100th in the California Natural History Guides series, perfect for the Sea of Cortez.
Lonely Planet Los Angeles & Southern California
This practical guide to Los Angeles, San Diego, and Southern California features maps, a good overview of culture, history and nature, and plenty of information on excursions, accommodations and sightseeing. With color photographs and excellent travel information.
The Snorkeller's Guide to the Coral Reef, From the Red Sea to the Pacific Ocean
This take-along guide covers coral reefs, fish, invertebrates and plants of the Indo-Pacific and includes 200 color photographs.
A fun tour of California that begins with Disneyland and ends in San Diego and uses cartoonish illustrations and engaging narrative to teach children ages 9 to 12 about the state’s past and present.
California History for Kids, Missions, Miners, and Moviemakers in the Golden State: Includes 21 Activities
A history of the dreamers who shaped the great state of California, featuring a time line of important events and fun and educational hands-on activities.
The Basic Book of Sea Kayaking
A brief guide to the fundamentals of sea kayaking by a leading authority -- a useful introduction for the beginner and a review for experienced paddlers. With 50 color illustrations.
Islands Apart: A Year on the Edge of Civilization
McAlpine travels solo through Channel Islands National Park in California for week-long stretches while returning to the mainland intermittently. He mixes both experiences in this meditation on contemporary American life.
Ocean: A Visual Encyclopedia
Full of fun facts, beautiful photos and colorful graphics, this encyclopedic introduction covers everything from sea creatures and birds to the Great Barrier Reef, from the Arctic to the Caribbean. Perfect for curious children ages 8 through 12.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Island of the Blue Dolphins
The gripping story of a courageous American Indian girl left abandoned by her tribe on an island off the California coast. Recommended for children ages 12 and up. Karana's struggle to survive is riveting.
Natural History of the Islands of California
A survey of the ecology, geology and human history of California's coastal islands.
Channel Islands National Park
A National Geographic Trails Illustrated map of the Channel Islands at a scale of 1:25,000. Waterproof, durable and tear-resistant, it is the perfect map to take along to the islands.
When her plane crashes in the Indian Ocean, 16-year-old Frances winds up on a deserted island with few supplies and only a dog for company. Through her struggle for survival, she combats painful memories of her home life and discovers another survivor on the island.
American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of California
The ABA’s daypack-sized guide to more than 300 endemic and migratory species found in The Golden State. Each species is presented with 450 color photos, clear descriptions and spotting tips.