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The California Field Atlas

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  18 reviews
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 liv ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published September 1st 2017 by Heyday
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Average rating 4.42  · 
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 ·  142 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Not a book one reads in a single setting. Despite the small size, it's more of a coffee table book, to flip through until something catches one's eye. Probably a fun traveling companion, although I haven't left the county in four months, so what do I know? ...more
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m going to read this cover to cover and then start again (I’ll do some hikes in between)! This is the book I’ve been waiting for - combines a love of nature, science and art! For the visual learners and map lover out there you will be overjoyed and awed. If only all of life could have an illustrated field manual!! Thank you sir for sharing this genius and beauty with the world.
Cliff Hoffman
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely love this book. It’s beautiful, insightful, and re-inspires my curiosity about the natural beauty all around me.
Tyler Snortum-phelps
I'm not quite sure what I think. I'm glad I bought it, because the art is lovely and the maps are beautiful. But will I really use it? It's a coffee table book that isn't quite filled with art that carries me away, and a field guide that doesn't give me enough information to connect me more deeply with my world. Hybrids are interesting, and brave to undertake, but in this case, somewhat of a failure at both ends. ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Obi Kaufmann has created a beautifully presented guide to the flora, fauna and environmental features of California. In addition to the well-researched data, the book is enhanced by numerous watercolors of birds, plants, etc. The design of the maps takes a bit of getting used to, but the information is nonetheless interesting.

I've learned some facts about California that I hadn't realized previously, and the book motivates me to get out and explore more of this large and diverse state.

I read m
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, nonfiction
If you just want information about the geography and natural aspects of California then you will certainly find that here. But what I think you’ll find more compelling is the love for the splendor of the state that the author shows through his beautiful watercolors and thoughtful maps. I’ve recently moved to the state and can’t wait to follow in the author’s footsteps. That’s what this book will encourage you to do—get out and enjoy that beauty!
Katie Bailey
Apr 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this gorgeous book to garner more practical knowledge about the California wilderness, but I came away with so much more. In this field guide, Obi Kaufmann writes about his home state with such knowledge, and deep love that it was an absolute joy to read. As well as being an illuminating volume on California climates, counties, and natural resources, in addition to the scholarly content, his artist's soul shines in the descriptions of this breathtaking state. In addition to his excel ...more
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature, reference
If you love California, natural history and art this book is for you. It’s definitely a take your time and enjoy each section, the art, the bits of information sort of book. I slowly read my way through it and enjoyed it so much. The water color art is truly wonderful and inspired me to get out my paints and to make some sketches.
What prevented the 5 star - the first section with painted maps were organized poorly, the addition of a painting would have put the info you were looking at side by s
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not the kind of book that you read all the way through, in my opinion. Nonetheless, it is an enjoyable and very visually pleasing book. If you enjoy California and it's nature I couldn't recommend this enough. ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is gorgeous, going to continue prowling through it for wonderful places to visit!
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Finally finished this. It’s a non-traditional atlas, but will be very helpful in planning future trips to visits to the abundant natural attractions in this diverse state.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Beautiful, and strange.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book to make you fall in love with wild California, for the first time or all over again.
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is all I have ever wanted and more!!!!
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: california, nature, travel
Eccentric and beautiful, to be savored slowly. Intrigued by the author's mind and talent. ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is more of a reference book, very hard to digest all the information. The paintings are good, and lots of info. There are other books that maybe more helpful for most people.
Feb 07, 2020 marked it as to-read
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2/7/20—Get this someday because it’s such a cool passion project. The art is gorgeous, and the book is also put together well and lovely.
Dec 21, 2017 added it
Shelves: reference
Such a feast for the eyes and food for thought! A book that is slowly digested.
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