As I make my way across the capitals I try to pick up a few books along the way. One of the best ways to learn about a place and get a real feel for it is to read about its history and culture. Below you will find a list of all the books that I've picked up. Most of them are history, but there are also both fiction and non fiction books either about a particular place or written by a local author.
Sacramento Chronicles: A Golden Past by Cheryl Anne Stapp. I picked this book up at the State Capitol. A look at the history of Sacramento from just before the Gold Rush to the middle of the 20th century. I wrote a blog post about my thoughts on Sacramento Chronicles.
Sacramento Renaissance: Art, Music and Activism in California's Capital City by William Burg. I picked this book up at the State Capitol. This book focuses on the various cultural and social movements of the 20th century that helped shape Sacramento into the city that it is today. I highly recommend this book, you can read about my thoughts on Sacramento Renaissance in a blog post that I wrote.
Sacramento's Capitol Park by John E. Allen. This book discusses the early history of the California Capitals as well as the construction and history of the Capitol building that we see today. This book is a part of the "Images of America" series. While mostly photographs there is quite a bit of interesting information throughout the book. I wrote about my thoughts on Sacramento's Capitol Park.
Kamehameha: The Warrior King of Hawaii by Susan Morrison. This short book tells the story of the life and times of Kamehameha. Since his life took place before Hawai'i had a written history, the author takes some creative liberties in the telling of this story. I wrote up some notes on this book.
Concerning the Matter of the King of Craw by Ron Rhody. I got this book at the Frankfort city museum. Rhody tells the story of the notorious John Fallis who was known as the "King of Craw". This unique local historical fiction book mixes real people, real events, and real stories with an artistic reimagining of what it might have been like to live during the roaring twenties in the red light district of the Kentucky state capital. I wrote a brief review about this coming of age story.
The Great Crossing: A Historic Journey to Buffalo Trace Distillery by Richard Taylor. I got this book at the Buffalo Trace distillery giftshop while waiting for the ghost tour to start. Taylor provides a great overview of the history of Bourbon Whiskey in Kentucky and its impact on the rest of the nation. The short book is a must read for whiskey and history fans.
Carson City Nevada
A Short History of Carson City by Richard Moreno. I picked this book up at the Nevada State Museum. It provides an excellent look into the history and development of Carson City. I wrote a blog post with my thoughts on a Short History of Carson City.
American Railroads by John F. Stover. I picked this book up at the Nevada State Railroad Museum. It is a great overview of the history and impact of the railroad on the development of the United States. It covers everything from the first short lines in the northwest to the development of Amtrak in the 1970s. I wrote about my thoughts on this book. Although this book has little to actually do with Carson City or Nevada, if you are interested in railroads I would highly recommend reading this book.
Images of America; Early Carson City by Susan J Ballew and L Trent Dolan. I picked this book up at the Nevada State Museum. Like other books in this series, Early Carson City provided a great mix of history, culture, and a great collection of historic photographs. I wrote a brief review of this book.
Historic Tales from the Texas Republic: A Glimpse of Texas Past by Jeffery Robenalt. This book tells the story of the birth of Texas. This brief book provides a great overview of some of the more important events between Mexico's independence from Spain and the struggle for Texas to become one of the United States. I wrote a blog post with thoughts on this book here.
Salt Lake City Utah
Hidden History of Utah by Eileen Hallet Stone. I got this book at a small book store in Trolley Square, I was bit disappointed that there were not many local history books to choose from and after reading this book I was even more disappointed that the "hidden history" was not hidden nor necessarily historic. I wrote about my thoughts on this book here.
Olympia by David Scherer Water. I bought this book from Browsers Bookstore in Olympia Washington. I knew I was going to be in for a treat when the cashier told me "My landlord wrote this book." This is one of the best books about a city that I have ever read. I wrote some brief thoughts about Olympia, and also wrote about my conversation with the author, David Scherer Water.