SoCal in Books

Then and Now San Fernando Valley cover

Like many others, I’ve gained some interesting new habits during the almost-a-year-now of the pandemic. During my March-to-May furlough of last year, I developed an interest in collecting vintage SoCal postcards. As a born-and-bred Angeleno, I’ve always thought that our local history is bigger and broader and richer than most of us realize.

If you find yourself interested in learning more about our history – or you’re just nostalgic for the Southern California of days gone by (hey, who isn’t right now?) – we have a great selection of books here at the Iliad to help you do some armchair exploring.

There are, of course, thousands of books on Los Angeles, but I thought I’d highlight a few books on other parts of Southern California. This is just a small sampling of what we’ve got, so please ask or come in if there’s a particular area you’d like to learn more about.

Click any title below for more information and photos or to order:

Then and Now San Fernando Valley cover

Then & Now: San Fernando Valley, edited by Suzanne Gibbs Taylor, published by Gibbs Smith in 2003. This trade paperback is in very good condition, with just light sunning around the spine. The emphasis here is on “then and now” photographs. Remember the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City? And did they really once have fishing there?

Greetings from the Salton Sea front cover

Greetings from the Salton Sea: Folly and Intervention in the Southern California Landscape, 1905-2005 by Kim Stringfellow, published by the Center for American Places at Columbia College Chicago in 2005. Hardback in near fine jacket, just minor edge wear to the binding. A fascinating history of one of SoCal’s epic failures, with some evocative photos.

Pasadena Sketchbook by Joseph Stoddard, second edition of the trade paperback published in 2008 by the Historical Society of Southern California and Vroman’s Bookstore. In very good condition, with just light soiling and wear to wraps. Stoddard’s lovely watercolors really capture this city, everything from the Rose Bowl to the Arroyo Seco bridge.

Santa Clarita Valley: A Pictorial History Volume II 1926-1976 by Phil Scorza and Frank Wright, published by Sierra Vista Publishing in 2000. Trade paperback in very good condition, with just very slightly bent corners. Great photos and history of the St. Francis Dam Disaster, William S. Hart, and much more.

Santa Monica Bay: Paradise by the Sea by Fred E. Basten. Hardback (without jacket) reissued by Hennessey and Ingalls in 2001. In very good condition, with minor wear to binding. A wonderful coffee table book, covering everything from the area’s earliest days to Pacific Ocean Park to (almost) modern times.

Silver Lake Siege by Michael Jacob Rochlin. Limited second edition hardback in jacket published by Unreinforced Masonry Studio in 2010. Fine in fine jacket, numbered 22/100. Rochlin has written a number of unusual, “impressionistic” books on aspects of Southern California’s history, all illustrated with a freewheeling assortment of photos.

Growing Up in Burbank: Boomer Memories from The Akron to Zodys by Wesley H. Clark & Michael B. McDaniel. First edition trade paperback published by The History Press in 2017. In very good condition, with just slightly bent corners. A delightful book with fun text and photos. Remember the Golden Mall in Burbank? How about when Moona Lisa and Seymour headed up Knott’s Halloween Haunts? It’s all in here.

Pacific Palisades: Where the Mountains Meet the Sea by Betty Lou Young, published by Casa Vieja Press in 2001. Hardback second edition in jacket, both book and jacket in very good condition, with light rubbing and edge wear to DJ, several 1/4-inch tears in edges, and binding corners slightly bumped. Beautiful coffee table book with an emphasis on the rural beauty of this area.

We have many titles in the Images of America series; these range in price from $4.95 to $10.00. If you’re looking for a particular volume, just drop us a line.