| Jul 18, 2010
It's all Thoreau's fault. In the whirring, churning American imagination, that vast and lovely virtual world — fed by books and stories — with territory one can still "light out" for, Thoreau is the guy who showed it was possible to get off...
| Feb 21, 2010
In science fiction, there's dystopia and there's utopia.
There are the dark wizards of apocalypse, terrifying us with visions of humanity's grim comeuppance. And the starry-eyed fantasists, insisting how much better the future will be than the messy,...
| Nov 12, 2008
Like everyone else at the Old Dominion Literary Festival, Southern California poet Douglas Kearney had turned his ringer off. So when a stranger called and left an undecipherable message, Kearney, preparing for his reading, didn't think much of it. As a...
| Dec 13, 2009
The environmental movement may not yet have changed the world, but it has certainly changed the world of children's books. Hardly a science or nature book for kids fails to sound a warning about habitats, species and resources in danger. Where 10 years...
| Dec 3, 2006
In 1510, a Spanish writer named Garci Ordóñez de Montalvo published a fantasist novel called "Las Sergas de Esplandian," about a golden island ruled by a dark-skinned Amazon queen called Califia. This book would end up giving California its name.
| Jan 25, 2009
Mary Austin and
the American West
Susan Goodman and Carl Dawson
University of California Press:
324 pp., $29.95
Few writers of her period overcame more obstacles than Mary Austin. Stuck in a disappointing marriage, Austin (1868-1934) spent the...
| Apr 19, 2009
A Season of Bounty
Ecco: 253 pp., $26.99
Bernd Heinrich is one of our greatest living naturalists in the tradition of Gerald Durrell; he's John Muir (without the wandering), Edward Abbey (without the politics), Jacques...
| Jan 11, 2009
At the just-opened Rex Boutique in Venice, Angela and Dara Rexroad are committed to stocking clothes that are made locally with organic fabrics or sewn abroad under fair trade guidelines. Their social concerns reflect the Rexroads' heritage as great-...
| Dec 13, 2008
In our eco-challenged world of global warming and deforestation, the holiday tree is struggling to survive as a family tradition. What do we do? Buy the artificial tree that's not biodegradable? Support the sustainable -- but not local -- tree farm?...
| Mar 27, 2008
| 1:17 PM
Kings Canyon National Park
Most people who visit Kings Canyon National Park go no farther than a 10-minute drive inside the entrance. They stop at Grant Grove, behold the stand of sequoias led by the 267-foot General Grant Tree and head home.
| Feb 28, 2009
John Muir loved plants. He loved their individual microscopic parts. He loved each one's totality. He understood their essential role in the vast, interconnected web that forms the fabric of our natural universe. Extinguish even the most seemingly minor...