Friday Finds: Let’s Get Cozy

Gift a book or add to your own collection.

Even when not on stay-at-home orders, the holidays can be a wonderful time to curl up by the fire with a good book. Whether you’re looking for the perfect tome for yourself, or a last-minute gift idea, check out these four curated California-centric books … a lovely mix of recipes, education, photography and poetry.


California: Living + Eating: Recipes Inspired by the Golden State (Hardcover)

By Eleanor Maidment

California: Living + Eating is a glorious celebration of Californian food, looking at its history and origins and journeying through the state’s varied landscape, from Sonoma’s rolling vineyards to the deserts of Palm Springs, via the foodie hotspots of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Over 80 recipes capture the heart of the Californian spirit, with chapters covering a bright array of sweet and savory brunch dishes including Whipped Ricotta on Toast with Blackberry Jam and Breakfast Burritos with Cheddar Scramble and Coriander Salsa. Colorful salads and light meals, such as Salmon, Citrus Kale and Black Rice Salad, are ideal for everyday eating, while the likes of Roast Chicken with Grapes, Onions and Sourdough, followed by stunning Cherry and Almond Galette are perfect for weekend entertaining. Recipes are designed to be accessible to all home cooks, with a focus on seasonality and good-quality produce.


The California Surf Project

by Eric Soderquist and Chris Burkard

Quit your job, pack your boards, and surf your way down the California coast…

Sound like a daydream? The California Surf Project is the fully illustrated travel diary of two surfers who took this trip of a lifetime. Chris Burkard, a talented photographer, and Eric Soderquist, a professional surfer, cajoled their Volkswagen bus along Highway 1 from the Oregon border to the Tijuana Sloughs and discovered everything the Golden State’s legendary coastline has to offer. Relive their incredible adventure of surfing perfect waves, sharing campfires with total strangers, and keeping the bus running with duct tape and prayers in more than 200 gorgeous photographs, soulful text, and a professionally produced thirty-minute DVD.


The Forests of California: A California Field Atlas

By Obi Kaufmann

From the author of The California Field Atlas (#1 San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller) comes a major work that not only guides readers through the Golden State’s forested lands, but also presents a profoundly original vision of nature in the twenty-first century. The Forests of California features an abundance of Obi Kaufmann’s signature watercolor maps and trail paintings, weaving them into an expansive and accessible exploration of the biodiversity that defines California in the global imagination. Expanding on the style of the Field Atlas, Kaufmann tells an epic story that spans millions of years, nearly one hundred species of trees, and an astonishing richness of ecosystems. The Forests of California is the first volume in a planned trilogy of field atlases, with The Coasts of California and The Deserts of California to follow, and Kaufmann seeks to create nothing less than a new understanding of the more-than-human world. The lessons in this book extend well beyond California’s borders. If Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees and Richard Powers’s The Overstory opened readers’ eyes to the awesome power of arboreal life, The Forests of California gives readers a unique and unprecedented immersion in that power.


Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass

By Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey follows in the same musician/poet footsteps as Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Jewel and Lou Reed. Lana’s music and lyrics evoke images of a saturated Kodachrome photograph, so it would stand to reason that she’d now add “poet” to her artist’s kit. Even without music, her words work their way around you, pulling you into a world that’s not unlike a David Lynch movie.

The collection features more than thirty poems, many exclusive to the book: Never to Heaven, The Land of 1,000 Fires, Past the Bushes Cypress Thriving, LA Who Am I to Love You?, Tessa DiPietro, Happy, Paradise Is Very Fragile, Bare Feet on Linoleum, and many more. This beautiful hardcover edition showcases Lana’s typewritten manuscript pages alongside her original photography. The result is an extraordinary poetic landscape that reflects the unguarded spirit of its creator.

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