February's Selection: The Dreamt Land by Mark Arax
The Avid Reader Book Club meets the fourth Monday of each month at 7:30 pm at The Avid Reader Bookstore at 617 Second Street, downtown Davis.
This group of avid readers has been meeting for several years now. Join us for some great reads and lively discussion. We read everything from fiction to non-fiction and are always looking for interesting books on and off the bestseller lists. The Avid Reader bookstore in Davis will be providing the month's book club picks at 20% off for anyone interested whether you are a member or not.
NO FEE TO JOIN
NO LIST TO SIGN UP
Just show up, we're always happy to welcome new members! COME AND CHECK IT OUT!
Organizer: Jennie Woo
Please visit the Book Club page at: https://daviswiki.org/The_Avid_Reader_Book_Club
More about this title:
Mark Arax is from a family of Central Valley farmers, a writer with deep ties to the land who has watched the battles over water intensify even as California lurches from drought to flood and back again. In The Dreamt Land, he travels the state to explore the one-of-a-kind distribution system, built in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, that is straining to keep up with California's relentless growth.
This is a heartfelt, beautifully written book about the land and the people who have worked it--from gold miners to wheat ranchers to small fruit farmers and today's Big Ag. Since the beginning, Californians have redirected rivers, drilled ever-deeper wells and built higher dams, pushing the water supply past its limit.
The Dreamt Land weaves reportage, history and memoir to confront the "Golden State" myth in riveting fashion. No other chronicler of the West has so deeply delved into the empires of agriculture that drink so much of the water. The nation's biggest farmers--the nut king, grape king and citrus queen--tell their story here for the first time.
This is a tale of politics and hubris in the arid West, of imported workers left behind in the sun and the fatigued earth that is made to give more even while it keeps sinking. But when drought turns to flood once again, all is forgotten as the farmers plant more nuts and the developers build more houses.
Arax, the native son, is persistent and tough as he treks from desert to delta, mountain to valley. What he finds is hard earned, awe-inspiring, tragic and revelatory. In the end, his compassion for the land becomes an elegy to the dream that created California and now threatens to undo it.
More about this author:
Mark Arax is an author and journalist whose writings on California and the West have received numerous awards for literary nonfiction. A former staffer at the Los Angeles Times, his work has appeared in The New York Times and the California Sunday Magazine. His books include a memoir of his father's murder, a collection of essays about the West, and the best-selling The King of California, which won a California Book Award, the William Saroyan Prize from Stanford University, and was named a top book of 2004 by the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He lives in Fresno, California.