What’s on Our Desert Bookshelf? Part II: 20 Good Reads

Let’s face it. Most of us would rather be exploring somewhere in the desert in the middle of nowhere. As often happens, one discovery leads to others then suddenly, you must know more. Here’s when good books comes in handy.

We’ve pulled a few favorites out of our crowded bookshelf to share. Whenever possible, we’ve added links so you can add them to your own desert book collection. Although we are amazon affiliates, there are other places you can stumble upon good books, such as used book stores, historical societies, museum gift shops, welcoming centers, thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales.

If shopping online, compare book dealers to fetch the best deal. On popular subjects, there may be more than one book written by different authors. To us, new books are good but used books are often easier on the wallet although the titles you are searching for will be limited if you need it right away. If you’re a minimalist, look for books on Kindle.

Reading books about the desert is one of the best ways of tapping into that solitude the desert offers when time, weather or circumstance prevents you from getting out there yourself and to better prepare for the next time you can. If you don’t see one of your favorite titles here, just drop us a line and let us know so we can dig it out of our collection or order it for ourselves.

It Looked Like Eden: Reminences of a Telegraph Operator Afton Depot, Mojave Desert 1942-43 by Robert C. Lowe


The Wonders of the Colorado Desert by George Wharton James (published 1906)

Campfires on Desert and Lava by William Temple Hornaday (published 1908)

The Happy Bottom Riding Club by Lauren Kessler

Trails and Tales of the Cajon Pass: The Man Who Built Camp Cajon by Sandy & John Hockaday

Upper Mojave Desert: A Living Legacy by Mary Ann O’Conley (pub. 1969)

Daggett, Life in a Frontier Town by Dix Van Dyke (pub. 1997)

Cabot Abram Yerxa: On the Desert Since 1913, published by Cabot’s Museum Foundation (pub. 2011)

A Peculiar Piece of Desert: The Story of California’s Morongo Basin by Lulu Rasmussen O’Neal (pub. 1957)

Ghost Town School Marm by Tom Core (pub. 1993)

Pioneer of the Mojave; the Life and Times of Aaron G. Lane by Richard & Kathryn L. Thompson (pub. 1995)

Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey (pub. 1968)

Marshal South & the Ghost Mountain Chronicles, an Experiment in Primitive Living by Sunbelt Publications (pub. 2005)

Louie, Take a Look at This; My Time with Huell Howser by Luis Fuerte

Hard Road West; Alone on the California Trail by Gwen Moffat

A Girl’s Guide to Missiles: Growing up in America’s Secret Desert by Karen Piper

Desert Soliloquy: A Perfectly Sane Misanthrope Hides in the Desert by David Rice

Chasing the Demon: A Secret History of the Quest for the Sound Barrier, and the Band of American Aces Who Conquered It by Dan Hampton

Mojave Stories: Growing up in the Middle of the California Desert in the 1950s — A Memoir, by Cheryl Nafzgar

Policing the Old Mojave Desert by L.A. “Buzz” Banks

Thank you for using our amazon links. Each time you click on one our website makes a few cents. It’s a free way for you to help us out even if you don’t make a purchase. And who doesn’t enjoy shopping? Even if you purchase other items using our original link, we still receive a small credit. We hope you enjoy reading our selections as much as we did.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.