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

As the saying goes, so many books, so little time. Picking out your favorite book would be akin to picking out your favorite child. Each has its own unique character.

We’ve always had a special affinity for older books. Where words took center stage, not glaring, over-edited photos. Their crafty use of language painted vivid pictures in your mind and you merged with the imagery.

Perhaps good historical nonfiction nowadays is as scarce as water in the desert but we think we’ve found a few gold nuggets in an otherwise empty published landscape, along with a few aged treasures, most which have since been re-published.

Reading can only give you a new appreciation of the earlier settlers who chipped their legacy into the bedrock of desert history. Unplug from the media, the internet and YouTube to let your mind replenish and renew.

As amazon affiliates, we’ve embedded links to the books we’re suggesting. Each link will give you a short synopsis of the book and an online book seller, but there are other avenues to find affordable good reads too.

Some other places you may consider looking for books are second-hand bookstores, historical societies, museum gift shops, welcome centers, thrift stores, flea markets, library sales and yard sales. Although most museums are currently closed due to the pandemic, many offer online stores with reasonable prices.

If you don’t see your favorite titles listed here, let us know so we can add them to our bookshelf. Don’t forget to check out our sister articles about what’s on our bookshelf in parts 1-3. We’re sure one or more will lasso your heart. Happy exploring!

Here’s Death Valley by C.B. Glasscock (published 1940)

Loafing Along Death Valley Trails by William Carruthers (pub. 1951)

Gone the Way of the Earth; Indian Slave Trade in the old Southwest by Clifford J. Walker (pub. 1965)

The Mohave River and Its Valley by Erma Pierson (pub. 1970)

Temalpakh, Cahuilla Indian Knowledge and Usage of Plants by Lowell John Bean and Katherine Siva Saubel (pub. 1972)

Camp Rock Spring by Dennis G. Casebier (pub. 1973)

Back Door to California, the Story of the Mojave River Trail by Clifford J. Walker (pub. 1986)

Heart Bar Ranch and Johnson Valley Neighbors by Martha Wood Coutant (pub. 1986)

Tales of the Mojave Road, The Military by Dennis G. Casebier (pub. 2006)

They Saw the Elephant, Women of the California Gold Rush by Jo Ann Levy

Tecopa Mines, Operating during 82 years of the Death Valley Mining Region by Ken Lengner

The California Deserts: An Ecological Rediscovery by Bruce M. Plavlik

Livin’ at the End of Old 95: Lake Havasu Before the Bridge, 2nd Edition by Rick Kingsbury

Wicked Women; Notorious, Mischievous, and Wayward Ladies from the Old West by Chris Enss

The Adobes of Twentynine Palms, Second Edition by Pat Rimmington

Mrs. Earp; the Wives and Lovers of the Earp Brothers by Sherry Monahan

Gold and Silver in the Mojave; Images of the Last Frontier by Nicholas Clapp

Pilgrims in the Desert, Early History of the East Mojave Desert and the Baker, California Area by Le Hayes


Vanishing Big Bear, a Photographic History of Big Bear Lake by Rick Keppler

History of Victor Valley by Edward Leo Lyman

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.

One thought on “What’s on Our Desert Bookshelf? Part IV: 20 MORE Good Reads

  1. Hey guys, really enjoy your site and this was a great series of book lists. I’d love to support you re. clicking on links to check out some of the books, but unless I’m being a real moron (always a distinct possibility !) none of the title text consists of links (I tried in a couple of different browsers); the only links seem to be for the couple of books for which you directly listed the url below the title.

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