Edit ModuleShow Tags

Book Beat


Published:

 
By Eilene Zimmerman 
 
The Great Outdoors

Seasonal changes are subtle in San Diego, but they still exist, and as spring rolls by we feel the pull again of The Great Outdoors—long weekends hiking, strolls along the beach, maybe even a picnic in the woods. With the help of several recently published books, those leisurely spring and summer days can also be enlightening.

California’s Wild Gardens: A Living Legacy (California Native Plant Society, $29.95) is essentially a field guide to California’s indigenous plants, with 500 lush photographs of the state’s wide variety of flowers, flowering plants and trees. Edited by Phyllis M. Faber, the book is divided into 10 ecological regions, areas where local environmental factors have created an ensemble of rare or endemic plants. Photos are supplemented with essays discussing plant life, overall biological conditions, environmental threats and conservation efforts, written in an informative—yet very readable—style.

Of particular interest to San Diegans is the “South Coast and the Peninsular Ranges” section, which includes—among many points of botanical significance—Point Loma’s chaparral, the Torrey pines of Del Mar and the rare Gander’s butterweed of McGinty Mountain in southwestern San Diego County.

While you’re out enjoying the plant life, you might as well grab a pair of binoculars and check out the birds too. Bring along Birds of San Diego by Chris C. Fisher and Herbert Clarke (Lone Pine Publishing, $9.95) for a colorfully illustrated, easy-to-use guide to 125 common bird species throughout the county.

The book’s best feature is its detailed illustrations, with a full page devoted to each particular species, giving the reader information about the bird’s habitat, character and time of year it can be seen. The natural features of the habitat are described in lively prose that doesn’t bog down in technical jargon. And the authors have thoughtfully included how-to instructions for the novice birdwatcher.

If you tire of the flowers and birds, head south to the caves of Baja California to view some of the ancient cave paintings unearthed by La Jolla historian and writer Harry W. Crosby. His The Cave Paintings of Baja California (Sunbelt Publications, $39.95) documents his discovery of the Great Murals, one of the most significant primitive rock-art finds in the world. Crosby found his first prehistoric painting in 1967, on the underside of a 50-foot boulder. Since then he’s been crisscrossing the mountains of central Baja to find more, and this account of his travels among caves and rock shelters is a compelling read.

Although the prose is sometimes overly descriptive, Crosby uses his knack as a storyteller and his knowledge as a researcher to tell the tale of his discoveries—larger-than-life paintings of ancient men and animals. Even if you only visit these sites from your armchair, large, full-color photographs and illustrations take you along with Crosby, right to the heart of the Sierras.

San Diego Magazine in association with Amazon.com make it easy to order books online. Just click onto the highlighted links for pricing and delivery information.

Also Out from Local Authors 


Canyon Ranch Cooking (HarperCollins Publishers, $40): Jeanne Jones’ syndicated food column, Cook It Light, reaches more than 30 million readers. She also helped develop the original menu for the Canyon Ranch spas. In her latest collection of healthful recipes, the La Jolla author and San Diego Magazine contributing writer incorporates the tricks used by top spa chefs to keep fat-free dishes tasting flavorful.


The Top-Secret Journal of Fiona Claire Jardin (Harcourt Brace, $13): In this, her first novel, Pacific Beach author Robin Cruise has created the diary of 10-year-old Fiona, whose life has been turned upside down by her parents’ divorce. We come to know this young girl through her poignant, funny entries, though at times they seem too mature for a 10--going-on-11-year-old. Still, Cruise has done a good job of communicating Fiona’s troubled story—in the little girl’s own words.

Foul Shot (Borsalino Books, $21.95): Richard O’Connor’s real-life basketball career took him from Duke University to San Diego and eventually landed him consulting jobs with the Dallas Mavericks, Seattle Supersonics and Detroit Pistons. His fictional tale of corruption and foul play in the college ranks is a fast-paced read that rings all too true in today’s world of bottom-line sports programs.


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Trail of the Month: East Shepherd Canyon

This short dirt trail is shaded the whole way, making it a good option for hot summer months

Happy Half Hour Podcast: Episode 5

A new brunch spot lands at Liberty Station, Star Trek-themed beer, culinary intel from Specialty Produce, and more

Have a Beer with Ex-Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele

The San Diego beer veteran is off to new adventures
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2016
    From barbecue to vegan options, there’s a bit of manna for everyone in this year’s list of the city’s best
  2. What's It Like to Be the CEO of the Smartest Company in the World?
    We went to Illumina’s headquarters to find out
  3. The 12 Most Important People in Design Right Now
    See what they’re up to and working on in San Diego
  4. 54 Summer Travel Ideas
    Get out of town!
  5. Making a MasterChef
    MasterChef winner Claudia Sandoval on the life-changing ups and downs
  6. Win 1,000 Cash Back on Your Solar Install and 500 Cash
    Brought to you by Sullivan Solar Power
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

More Than 1,300 Prizes are Ready to be Given Away

What are you waiting for? Buy your raffle ticket now

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Win 1,000 Cash Back on Your Solar Install and 500 Cash

Brought to you by Sullivan Solar Power

Win 2 tickets to Kenny Chesney at Sleep Train Ampitheatre!

Brought to you by Corona Light and Kenny Chesney

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags