NWNL Spotlight
Bibliography for California Drought Spotlight Expedition # 3


These resources were used in preparation for the 2015 NWNL California Drought Expedition #3. NWNL does not consider this a comprehensive list, and thus welcomes any further recommendations.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Books, 1939. A classic fictional telling of the Dustbowl Refugees following Rte. 66/"The Mother Road” to California by crossing the Colorado River at Needles CA and passing through the Mojave Desert.

Carle, David. Introduction to Water in California. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004. The NWNL copy of this very helpful book has been thoroughly tabbed and underlined!

Palmer, Tim. Field Guide to California Rivers. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2012. The following three of the 7 chapters of this book have been useful for NWNL Expeditions documenting the impact of a 4-year drought: “Sacramento Basin,” “San Joaquin Basin” and “Deserts.”

Duncan, Glen and the California Route 66 Preservation Foundation. Images of America: Route 66 in California. Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2005. This paperback series provides intriguing bits of history with old photographs of Route 66 in its heyday.

Egan, Timothy. Lasso the Wind: Away to the New West. New York: Vintage Books, 1998. This Western environmental author seems to appear on all NWNL book lists focusing on watersheds west of the Mississippi. This is another captivating tale of the heavy human footprint on the 11 states west oaf the 100th Meridian. For this expedition Egan’s chapter on Lake Havasu City helped explain the dam-based evolution of this unlikely Colorado River urban oasis, now home to London Bridge.

Sharp, Robert P. and Allen F. Glazner. Geology Underfoot in Southern California. Missoula MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1993. For those who kick themselves for not having taken Geology while in college, this is helpful for understanding the dynamics of SoCal’s natural landmarks such as the Pisgah and Amboy volcanoes along Route 66, Bartow’s syncline, tilted beds and canyon faults, and the San Andreas Fault following the San Bernardino Mountains and crossing Cajon Creek.

Childs, Craig. The Secret Knowledge of Water: Discovering the Essence of the American Desert. New York: Back Bay Books, 2000. This book allows an armchair approach to the oft forbidding and inhospitable CA desert environments and illustrates its reasoning that “there are two easy ways to die in the desert: thirst and drowning.”

Hinckley, Jim. The Route 66 Encyclopedia. Minneapolis MN: Voyageur Press & MBI Publishing, 2012. Every site and architectural monument on this highway from Chicago IL, through Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, en route to Santa Monica CA is listed alphabetically with a few descriptive paragraphs, and often old photographs.

Reisner, Marc. Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water. New York: Penguin Books, 1986. Made into a PBS documentary, this classic discusses Westerners’ persistent quest for water, water rights, and profit in the arid West – whether the players be governmental agencies, entrepreneurs, farmers, or engineers. It belongs on the shelf next to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and any subsequent responses that are as well researched as this.

Almendral, Dylan M. Images of America: Victorville. Charleston SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2013. Another in this paperback series provides intriguing bits of history with old photographs of the Victorville crossroads of Rte 66 and the Mojave River.

Eyewitness Travel Guides. California. New York: DK Publishing, 1999. This boon to planning California expeditions has been on the NWNL shelf for many years.

Davies, Vivian and Darni Kuna. California’s Route 66: Landmarks, History, Mileage and Maps. La Verne CA: The California Historic Route 66 Association, 1994. This small, spiral-bound pamphlet is an easy-to-pack reference and was a great help with an early photographic foray along Route 66 in 1995.