Three Good Reads For a Sleepy Monday Afternoon

Lunch hour is over, if you even got an hour. That walk wasn’t nearly enough. And now … well now it’s either “open-eyed nap time” or “find something good to read on the Internet while you drink another coffee.” We’ll help with the latter choice. And you can always add these things to your Reader thing on your phone, for the bus or BART or subway or Metro or light rail or rowboat home! 

  • You’ll need to buy the very good April issue of Sunset for its long article on fracking in California, so as a reminder to pick up a copy at the newsstand, why not read this delightful article on the majestic oak trees of California? From Oakland to Encinitas, Paso Robles to Thousand Oaks, these trees define much of the California landscape and once covered a third of the state. Find out what’s happening to keep the remaining groves alive and replenish some of the lost ones. [Sunset]
  • Speaking of California trees, here’s a review of Trees in Paradise: A California History. “Spanning the state’s history from the Gold Rush to the present, Farmer analyzes the ways in which people interacted with redwoods, eucalyptuses, orange groves, and palm trees in order to create the California dream. Crucially, Farmer’s history is neither strictly environmental nor strictly cultural.” [Boom: A Journal of California]
  • How did Mark Twain go from a regional humorist in California to a national treasure frequently compared to Abe Lincoln? Magic, of course, but it was also the way he distilled the East’s perception of the West into humorous travelogues that let the settled imagine themselves in the shoes of the settlers. [Lapham’s Quarterly via Longreads]

Photo by Nick Fullerton.