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Bay Area Books
As with all things of great beauty, the Bay Area has inspired libraries full of books over the years -- novels, histories, guidebooks, poetry and more. Following is a sampling of some particular favorites.

Fiction and Poetry
History and Culture | Environment | Outdoor Activities | Fiction and Poetry
Ecotopia
Photo of book cover   by Ernest Callenbach

In this utopian novel, a reporter visits Ecotopia, a new country formed when northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded to create an environmentally sustainable state. The first officially authorized American visitor in 20 years, Will Weston documents his trip in a series of notebooks that reveal his experiences of an entirely new way of organizing social relations and living on the earth. --NRDC Staff

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Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers
Photo of book cover   Edited by Tim Hunt

This new selection of works covers the California poet's entire career. Jeffers's long, melodic lines have been compared to Walt Whitman's, but his ability to evoke the beauty of the coast near Big Sur and Carmel is unmatched. --NRDC Staff

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The Valley of the Moon
Photo of book cover   by Jack London

In this novel, published in 1913, Billy and Saxon Roberts leave the labor strife of turn-of-the-century Oakland and travel through central and northern California, looking for land to farm. The book is a paean to the pastoral life London found at his ranch in Glen Ellen, in Sonoma County. His call for ecologically sound methods of farming and for respecting the environment anticipated the environmental movement that grew and developed later in the century. --Dwight Holing

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All the Little Live Things
Photo of book cover   by Wallace Stegner

Set in Northern California, this 1967 novel centers on three memorable characters: a retiree who can only see the vermin and poison ivy on the land where he lives, a dying woman who remains committed to life through her connection to the natural world, and a young hippie. Stegner presents the interactions of these characters with honesty and wit, leading up to an unforgettable and powerful conclusion -- what T.H. Watkins has called "a denouement that can leave a reader on his knees in tears." --DH

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Dwight Holing is a Bay Area writer who specializes in environmental, natural history, and travel topics.