CalWild’s Recommended Reading List

CalWild’s Recommended Reading List 1024 768 California Wilderness Coalition

California has rich and diverse history, politics, and landscapes. Below is a list a recommended readings that capture a little bit of everything. Enjoy and if you think we’re missing anything, email us at info@calwild.org.

  • A Rage for Justice: The Passion and Politics of Phillip Burton, by John Jacobs, University of California Press 1995.
  • A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold
  • An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe 1846-1873, by Benjamin Madley
  • An Island Called California: An Ecological Introduction to its Natural Communities, by Elna Bakker, University of California Press 1972.
  • Beyond Chinatown: The Metropolitan Water District, Growth, and the Environment in Southern California, by Harold David Brackman and Steven Erie
  • Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, by Marc Reisner
  • California Condors in the Pacific Northwest, by Jesse De’Elia and Susan M. Haig
  • California Desert Miracle: The Fight for Desert Parks and Wilderness, by Frank Wheat, Sunbelt Publishing 1999.
  • California Field Atlas, by Obi Kaufman
  • California Greenin’: How the Golden State Became an Environmental Leader, by David Vogel
  • California Place Names: The Origin of Current Geographical Names, by Erwin G. Gudde & William Bright, University of California Press 1998 (paperback)
  • California Rivers and Streams: The Conflict Between Fluvial Process and Land Use, by Jeffrey F. Mount, University of California Press 1995 (paperback)
  • California: A History, by Kevin Starr, Modern Library 2010
  • Condor: To the Brink and Back, by John Nielsen
  • Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement, by Susan Zakin, Penguin Group 1993 (hardback)
  • Essential Muir: A Selection of John Muir’s Best Writings, Heyday Books
  • Field Guide to California Rivers, by Tim Palmer, University of California Press 2012 (hardback)
  • History of the Sierra Nevada, by Francis P. Farquhar, University of California Press 1965 (paperback)
  • Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin, by Gray Brechin, University of California Press 1999 (paperback)
  • Ishi In Two Worlds: A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America, by Theodora Kroeber, University of California Press 2004 (paperback)
  • Nothing Like It In The World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869, by Stephen E. Ambrose, Simon & Schuster 2000 (hardback)
  • Ordeal by Hunger: The Story of the Donner Party, by George R. Stewart, Houghton Mifflin 1988 (paperback)
    Pathfinder: John Charles Fremont and the Course of American Empire, by Tom Chaffin, University of Oklahoma Press 2002 (paperback)
  • Rivers in the Desert: William Mulholland and the Inventing of Los Angeles, by Margaret Leslie Davis, Olmstead Press 2001 (paperback)
  • Rivers of California: Nature’s Lifelines in the Golden State, by Tim Palmer, Heyday Books 2010 (hardback)
  • Roadside Geology of Northern and Central California
  • Salmon and Steelhead: The Struggle to Restore an Imperiled Resource, edited by Alan Lufkin, University of California Press 1991 (hardback)
  • Saving Nature’s Legacy: Protecting and Restoring Biodiversity, by Reed F. Noss and Allen Y. Cooperrider, Island Press 1994.
  • Stanislaus: The Struggle for a River, by Tim Palmer, University of California Press 1982 (hardback)
  • Storm Over Mono: The Mono Lake Battle and the California Water Future, by John Hart, University of California Press 1997 (paperback)
  • Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources, by Kat Anderson
  • The American: River of El Dorado, by Margaret Sanborn, Holt, Rinehart & Winston 1974 (hardback)
  • The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California, by Mark Arax
  • The Future of Life, by Edward O. Wilson
  • The Klamath Knot: Explorations of Myth and Evolution, by David Rains Wallace, Yolla Bolly Press 1984 (paperback)
  • The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada
  • The River Stops Here: Saving Round Valley, A Pivotal Chapter in California’s Water Wars, by Ted Simon, University of California Press 2001 (paperback)
  • The Sacramento: A Transcendent River, by Bob Madgic, River Bend Books 2013 (paperback)
  • The San Gabriels: The Mountain Country from Soledad Canyon to Lytle Creek, by John W. Robinson. Big Santa Anita Historical Society 2001 (hardback)
  • The Sespe Wild: Southern California’s Last Free River, by Bradley John Monsma, University of Nevada Press 2004 (paperback)
  • The Water Knife, by Paolo Bacigalupi, First Vintage Books 2015 (paperback)
  • The West without Water, by Neil W. Chamberlain
  • The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, by Douglas Brinkley, Harper 2009 (hardback)
  • The Wolverine Way, by Douglas H. Chadwick, Patagonia Books 2010 (paperback)
  • Trouble in the Forest: California’s Redwood Timber Wars, by Richard Widick
  • Water and the California Dream: Choices for the New Millennium, by David Carle, Sierra Club Books 2000 (paperback)
  • Wild and Scenic Rivers: An American Legacy, by Tim Palmer, Oregon State University Press 2017 (hardback)
  • Wild Men: Ishi and Kroeber in the Wilderness of Modern America, by Douglas Cazaux Sackman, Oxford University Press 2011 (paperback)
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