Living in California, I have visited some ghost towns and have heard a lot about the gold rush in California and in US a lot of times. When I want to learn more about something, I usually pick a book on that topic and read. I have been in search of books that are based on gold rush and finally I found a few which I want to read soon.
Here is the list –
The Call of the Wild by Jack London – Read
This is the only book in this list that I have actually read already. I love this book even though I am not a big fan of dogs. This story takes place in Alaska during the gold rush time and it talks about a dog which was kidnapped from California and was taken to Alaska. Alaska is such a beautiful place and reading about the wilderness and the nature makes you want to just run away from this city life. I first heard about this book when I was reading “Into the wild” book.
Walk on Earth a stranger by Rae Carson – Currently reading
I am currently reading this book and loving it so far. It talks about California gold rush which is something I have been wanting to read about for the longest time now. The story is about a girl who can sense gold in the Earth and because of this magical ability of hers, she faces a lot of trouble in life. She disguises herself as a boy and heads off to California where the gold has been discovered. This book made me look up for more books about gold rush.
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman – Next read
This is the next book on my tbr. I am going to read this one soon as I heard it talks about Arizona gold rush. The story is simple – a girl wants to avenge her father’s death. There are some Apache Indians in the story and it is a western story. I am not a huge fan of western movies but I would still want to read this as it is different and interesting. I have not read a single book based in Arizona and that’s what got me interested in this book.
The sisters brothers by Patrick deWitt
This is another western book and the backdrop for this book is also California gold rush. I haven’t seen “True Grit” but I heard it is very much like that movie. I am not so sure I will like it but still want to read someday just to get a feel of that era.
The age of gold: The California gold rush and the new American Dream by H.W. Brands
This is a non-fiction book that talks about the history of California and the California gold rush. This book will probably give a better insight into the gold rush era.
Calico Palace by Gwen Bristow
This book I heard is about the people who were already living in San Francisco which was a village of 900 people. It talks about the adventures of these people when others came in because of the gold. So it again talks about California gold rush but probably from a different perspective.
Daughter of fortune by Isabel Allende
This is about a woman’s journey from Chile to California during the gold rush time. I am not sure if this book will talk a lot about the gold rush as it sounds like it is centered around this woman and her journey. But considering it is from a South American author, I am interested in this book. I have not read many books from that continent.
Roughing it by Mark Twain
This is more of a memoir or travel stories of Mark Twain when he traveled to American West. But he was there after the gold rush happened so this is more of a glimpse into a post-gold rush California. It will be interesting to read about wild west in those days.
Have you read any book or watched any interesting movie on gold rush? Please do let me know.
Gold was discovered in Northern California in 1848. Miners from far places came to California in 1849 to excavate gold. They were very fortunate. Lot of gold. No taxes. No land right problems. They were known as 49ers. That is why the San Francisco Football team (5 times Super Bowl Champions) is named as San Francisco 49ers.
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Thanks SG. I did not know how the name 49ers came until I started reading about gold rush. Thanks for all the info. It is super interesting to learn about California’s history.
You could get details on where these gold mines were, and try going to some of them to see if a few pieces were accidentally left buried inside. That way, you can recoup your investments in the book by 100x 😛
hehe I wish I could do that. I am sure there is no gold left anywhere 😛
I read Daughter of Fortune quite some time back. Yeah, the focus is on her journey, but there is quite a bit of SF, and if I remember right, some amount of gold rush too. Nice book.
Oh should pick that book then. Sounds like an interesting book.