I just read _ The Land is Bright _ by Archie Binn. Written in the 40's about a wagon train on the Oregon Trail. He was a Seattle writer. I think OSU recently reprinted most of his work.
Don Berry was an Oregon author with a trilogy of loosely connected historical fiction set in NW Oregon's 1850s.
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl _ by Timothy Egan is a well written study of the the causes and effects of the Dust Bowl. This book really gets you into the lives of a small town in the heart of the dust bowl. One reason he wrote the book was he realized that the last survivors of the period were dying and there was little record beyond archived material.
Weirdly, Carol is reading the diary of Alexander Ross and I'm reading the biography of Robert Stuart; fur trade and explorer contemporaries in the 1810s in Astoria Fort Vancouver area.
I used to spend hours in Smith Bros. used books (lived in Florence for a year or so), Now it is Powells, or online at Abebooks and Alibris.
I just finished reading See you in a Hundred Years. A book about a writer that lives like a family in the 19th century. I really liked the book. I get some books from a used bookstore nearby. Some from Amazon. And most from the Library I work at.
I just picked up a copy of "Dark Age Ahead" by Jane Jacobs. I got it at my local library and here's the Google version http://books.google.com/books?id=oiV...dq=jane+jacobs
"n this indispensable book, urban visionary Jane Jacobs--renowned author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities and The Economy of Cities--convincingly argues that as agrarianism gives way to a technology-based future, we stand on the brink of a new dark age, a period of cultural collapse. Jacobs pinpoints five pillars of our culture that are in serious decay: community and family; higher education; the effective practice of science; taxation, and government; and the self-regulation of the learned professions. The corrosion of these pillars, Jacobs argues, is linked to societal ills such as environmental crisis, racism, and the growing gulf between rich and poor. But this is a hopeful book as well as a warning. Drawing on her vast frame of reference–from fifteenth-century Chinese shipbuilding to Ireland’s cultural rebirth–Jacobs suggests how the cycles of decay can be arrested and our way of life renewed. Invigorating and accessible, Dark Age Ahead is not only the crowning achievement of Jane Jacobs’ career, but one of the most important works of our time."