by Katherine J. Baylor, Mountain Press Publishing Company, 2010, 128 pages, $16
Ever wondered how the rocks at Joshua Tree were formed? Why so many fossilized saber-toothed cats are found in the La Brea Tar Pits? Or why the waves at Mavericks can be up to 40 feet tall? This book takes you on a tour of California from north to south, touching on a wide range of interesting locations–65 sites of geological interest, distributed evenly throughout the state. For each site there’s a short description of geological history as well as maps and color photos to illustrate the different formations you are likely to see. You may have already been to some of the 11 Bay Area locations featured, but now you can learn about how those sea caves on the San Mateo coast at San Gregorio Beach were formed, or find a rare example of an ancient petrified forest next door to the upscale vineyards and mud baths of Calistoga. This book clearly and simply explains the fascinating natural features of different places in our state.