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The California Field Atlas
by Obi Kaufmann, 2017. Paperback, 608 pages.
#1 San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller
Winner the 2018 NCIBA Book of the Year Award for Regional Interest, this lavishly illustrated atlas takes readers off the beaten path and outside normal conceptions of California, revealing its myriad ecologies, topographies, and histories in exquisite maps and trail paintings. Based on decades of exploring the backcountry of the Golden State, artist-adventurer Obi Kaufmann blends science and art to illuminate the multifaceted array of living, connected systems like no book has done before.
Kaufmann depicts layer after layer of the natural world, delighting in the grand scale and details alike. The effect is staggeringly beautiful: presented alongside California divvied into its fifty-eight counties, for example, we consider California made up of dancing tectonic plates, of watersheds, of wildflower gardens. Maps are enhanced by spirited illustrations of wildlife, keys that explain natural phenomena, and a clear-sighted but reverential text.
Full of character and color, a bit larger than life, The California Field Atlas is the ultimate road trip companion and love letter to a place.