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Updating the California Reading List

U.S.Updating the California Reading List

I’m always on the lookout for my next great book, and I’m guessing you might be, too.

Today we’re updating our California Reading List, a guide to nonfiction books and novels that are especially good at illuminating life in the Golden State.

New to the list are Amy Tan’s San Francisco classic, “The Joy Luck Club,” and John Steinbeck’s early novel “Tortilla Flat,” a portrait of life in Monterey after World War I. Another popular suggestion readers sent in was “Men to Match My Mountains” by Irving Stone, a gripping history of westward expansion and the settling of California that was published in 1956.

You can peruse the full list here. The latest additions are shown in bold.

Keep emailing me your suggestions at CAtoday@nytimes.com, and include your full name and the city where you live.

Here are thoughts readers shared about the latest entries, lightly edited:

“Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California” by Frances Dinkelspiel (2008)

“A fascinating and engaging book illuminating the life and influence of Isaias Hellman on the growth and changes in California from the 1850s to current times. Finance, business, health care, discrimination and the incredible power of money and financial acumen. As a Jew who grew up in Los Angeles and has lived in the Bay Area for over 40 years, the book taught me so much about the history of the regions I have lived in. My book club selection years ago, it received a positive vote from my entire book club, which rarely happens, especially for a nonfiction title.” — Farrell May Podgorsek, San Jose

“The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty that Transformed a State and Shaped a Nation” by Miriam Pawel (2018)


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