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California's Gold Coast

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

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Enrich your travels with reading! Here's a hand-picked list prepared for your journey in conjunction with the book experts at Longitude.

Essential Reading

Item EXCAL45. Buy these 5 items as a set for $83 including shipping, 15% off the retail price.
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Eyewitness Guide California

Eyewitness Guide California

by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 660 PAGES

A literate, visually rich guide to the Golden State, featuring color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of California's attractions with a particular focus on San Francisco and Los Angeles. (USW146, $30.00)

Assembling California

Assembling California

by John McPhee

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

Another fine book on geology and natural history from John McPhee, this time in the company of scientist Eldridge Moores, on travels throughout California. (USW187, $17.00)

My First Summer in the Sierra

My First Summer in the Sierra

by John Muir

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 353 PAGES

Muir's original account of a summer in Yosemite and surrounding High Sierras, based on his youthful notebooks of the summer of 1869. (CAL47, $13.00)

Travelers' Tales San Francisco

Travelers' Tales San Francisco

by James O'Reilly | Larry Habegger | Sean O'Reilly

  • ANTHOLOGY
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 496 PAGES

Experience San Francisco from the inside out with this engaging, insightful and entertaining selection of mostly contemporary eyewitness reports -- a terrific literary profile of a dynamic city. (SFO15, $18.95)

California Map

by Borch Maps

  • 2008
  • MAP

A laminated, folded map of California, shown at a scale of 1:1,100,000. (CAL55, $9.95)

 

MapEasy's Guidemap to Napa & Sonoma


by MapEasy

  • MAP

A handy, informative road map and guide to wineries. (CAL118, $7.95)

Yosemite National Park Map

Yosemite National Park Map


by Trails Illustrated

  • MAP

A detailed, topographic map of Yosemite National Park, shown at a scale of 1:100,000. (CAL40, $11.95)

Eyewitness Top Ten Los Angeles

Eyewitness Top Ten Los Angeles


by Eyewitness Guides

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 176 PAGES

A shirt-pocket guide to Los Angeles, this slim book includes an excellent map of the center of the city and essential information on its highlights. (USW186, $14.00)

Fodor's San Francisco's 25 Best

Fodor's San Francisco's 25 Best


by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 128 PAGES

A shirt-pocket guide to San Francisco, this slim book includes an excellent map of the center of the city and essential information on its highlights. (USW185, $12.99)

The Complete Guidebook to Yosemite National Park

The Complete Guidebook to Yosemite National Park


by Steven P. Medley

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 120 PAGES

Published by the Yosemite Association, this slim guide includes practical information on activities, hiking trails, wildlife and history. (CAL51, $12.95)

California, A History

California, A History


by Kevin Starr

  • HISTORY
  • 2007
  • PAPER
  • 400 PAGES

A lively short history in the excellent Modern Library Chronicles series, written by a renowned historian. (CAL204, $14.95)

Napa, the Story of an American Eden

Napa, the Story of an American Eden


by James Conway

  • HISTORY
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 560 PAGES

Conway expertly combines history, personal anecdote, wine criticism and social commentary into a definitive portrait of place, overflowing not only with cabernets and chardonnays, but also with genuine connoisseurs, scores of dilettantes, feuds, scandals and plenty of money. (USW169, $17.95)

Rush for Riches, Gold Fever and the Making of California

Rush for Riches, Gold Fever and the Making of California


by J. S. Holliday

  • HISTORY
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

An illustrated, oversize history of the California Gold Rush and its effects by a noted expert, covering the 1830's through the 1890's and packed with more than 200 illustrations and archival photographs. (USW190, $41.95)

The West: An Illustrated History

The West: An Illustrated History


by Ken Burns | Geoffrey C. Ward

  • HISTORY
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 464 PAGES

The lavish illustrated companion to the PBS series with essays from seven renowned writers and historian. (USW674, $27.99)

Fifth Chinese Daughter

Fifth Chinese Daughter


by Jade Snow Wong

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1990
  • PAPER
  • 246 PAGES

First published in 1945, Jade Snow Wong's memoir is a simply told, moving story of family life in pre-WWII San Francisco Chinatown. (SFO08, $16.95)

Horatio's Drive, America's First Road Trip

Horatio's Drive, America's First Road Trip


by Dayton Duncan | Ken Burns

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2003
  • HARD COVER
  • 173 PAGES

The companion volume to the PBS film chronicles the nation's first road trip by Horatio Jackson, a 31-year-old Vermont doctor who drove his car from San Francisco to New York on mainly unpaved roads in 1903. (USA439, $24.95)

Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch


by Henry Miller

  • LITERATURE
  • 1978
  • PAPER

A loving, observant tribute to Big Sur, Miller's home for 15 years. As with many of his works, this is more a collection of reflections, anecdotes and character portraits than a straightforward narrative, and it's just as evocative and thought-provoking as anything he has written. First published in 1957. (CAL143, $18.95)

Cannery Row

Cannery Row


by John Steinbeck

  • LITERATURE
  • 1993
  • PAPER
  • 193 PAGES

Based on memories of characters he met living in Monterey, including his good friend the marine biologist Ed Ricketts, this is Steinbeck's story of the good-natured bums, prostitutes, alcoholics and other denizens of Cannery Row. (USW150, $15.00)

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Slouching Towards Bethlehem


by Joan Didion

  • LITERATURE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 238 PAGES

A classic collection of essays on the19 60s cultural climate, first published in 1968. In the acclaimed title essay, Didion vividly describes the landscape, mood and culture of '60s San Francisco. (SFO11, $15.00)

The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep


by Raymond Chandler

  • LITERATURE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 231 PAGES

The classic crime novel from the master of the genre. Here is a journey into the dark underworld of 1930's Los Angeles. (CAL17, $15.00)

The Golden West, Hollywood Stories


by Daniel Fuchs

  • LITERATURE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 272 PAGES

This marvelous collection of stories and essays from Sunny California, many originally appearing in The New Yorker and Commentary, capture the spirit (and personalities) of Hollywood in the heyday of the studio era. (CAL188, $16.95)

The Valley of the Moon

The Valley of the Moon


by Jack London

  • LITERATURE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 425 PAGES

In part a tribute to his wife and rural life on his ranch in Glen Ellen, London's California novel follows Billy and Saxon Roberts from Oakland to Sonoma, where they strive to live independently off the land. (CAL169, $28.95)

Yosemite

Yosemite


by Ansel Adams

  • NATURAL HISTORY
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 112 PAGES

A handsome collection of Ansel Adams' photographs of Yosemite National Park. The 66 photographs include portraits of Moon and Half Dome, Clearing Winter Storm and El Capitan. (CAL49, $21.99)

Mac's Field Guide to Yosemite National Park: Birds and Mammals

Mac's Field Guide to Yosemite National Park: Birds and Mammals


by Craig MacGowan

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2000
  • PLASTIC CARD

This double-sided, laminated card features color drawings of the birds and mammals commonly found in Yosemite National Park. (CAL48, $4.95)

National Audubon Society Field Guide to California

National Audubon Society Field Guide to California


by Peter Alden

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 448 PAGES

A compact, easy-to-use guide to 1,000 California trees, wildflowers, mammals, insects, birds and other flora and fauna. (CAL07, $22.00)

Yosemite Wildlife

Yosemite Wildlife


by James Kavanagh

  • FIELD GUIDE
  • 2007
  • PLASTIC CARD

A handy, laminated fold-up card featuring 140 birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. (USW499, $6.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.