Best Books About Truckee and Lake Tahoe


If you’re as obsessed with Truckee and Lake Tahoe as we are, then you will love these books that are all about the area. From ghost stories to local guides, these books should be staples in your Truckee home. We found all of these books at our local bookstore, Word After Word Books, in downtown Truckee. We encourage you to shop for your Truckee/Tahoe books, and all other reading needs, at this fantastic, local shop. Bonus, they even fill orders online and ship directly to you. To learn more about them, visit their website


Local Guide Books 

Tahoe's Spectacular Wildflower Trails: Wildflower season is dwindling down now, but we will always be excited about a good wildflower guide. Tahoe's Spectacular Wildflower Trails, by Julie Carville, is filled with the best wildflower hikes in the Tahoe basin and National Forest.  We really love this guide because of the tree and wildflower photo guide, which is super helpful to identify plants along the hikes. Includes hikes for all abilities and interests, from day hikers to backpackers. Carville knows her wildflowers: She has written and contributed to several books about flora in the Sierra Nevadas including Lingering in Tahoe's Wild Gardens, Wildflowers of Nevada & Placer Counties, Trees and Shrubs of Nevada & Placer Counties, and California's Wild Gardens and, in 2014, she was recognized by the Bear Yuba Land Trust with the John Skinner Outdoors Recreation Award. Buy now

Moon Tahoe: Full time and part time residents can both benefit from Moon Tahoe by Ann Marie Brown. This guide provides you with all of the can't-miss sights, attractions, and restaurants in and around Tahoe. Brown, a dedicated outdoorswoman, can get you the best advice on outdoor adventures from personal experiences (she spends over 150 days a year camping, biking, hiking, and getting outside) and research. We love picking up this guide and choosing a new Tahoe adventure on days where our routines feel stale. It gives us that little bit of inspiration to keep exploring.  Buy now. 


Coffee Table Books

Burning Man: Art on Fire: While the annual festival Burning Man doesn’t actually take place in Truckee or Tahoe, many of our locals attend or contribute their art to it every year. We love seeing the unique artwork from the festival, which is why we love the photo collection in Burning Man: Art on Fire. This book captures our interests and poses as a great conversation starter when entertaining. In it, you’ll find yourself immersed in a mini experience with 170 photos of the amazing sculptures and art, and interviews with the artists that reveal their inspiration and creation process. Buy now. 

Tahoe: A Visual History: From Ann M. Wolfe, senior curator and deputy director of the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, comes Tahoe: A Visual History. This book is filled with 350 paintings, photographs, buildings, and objects that celebrate Lake Tahoe, Donner Lake, and the surrounding Sierra Nevadas. We love this book because of the mix of lush landscape paintings, photographs, Native American Washoe baskets, historical maps and sketches by the region’s early explorers, and architectural drawings. The work included is from big artists such as Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bernard Maybeck, Marianne North, and Thomas Moran. This book is a must-have for naturalists, historians, and Tahoe lovers alike. Buy now



Tahoe Beneath the Surface: Tahoe Beneath the Surface is an interesting recounting of Tahoe’s history from its birth in the Ice Age to the humans that have left their marks on it. It talks about Washoe Indian legends, Mafia and Rat Pack sightings, and it’s influence on Steinbeck novels. This book won Winner of a 2010 ForeWord Book of the Year Award, which just solidified our love for it. One Amazon reviewer said: “I now think of Tahoe from an entirely new and fascinated perspective because of this author. Once you get into this book of his, you will understand what fascinations about [Tahoe] caught his attention and motivated his decision to share such with us readers in a book. Well done, Scott Lankford.” Buy now.

Haunted Lake Tahoe: Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, Haunted Lake Tahoe is worth the read. It covers local stories like the ghosts of the Donner Party, George Whittell (of Thunderbird Lodge), Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and members of the Rat Pack, prisoners of the old Truckee Jail, and a murdered showgirl in the Tahoe Biltmore. Get ready for a thrilling look back into Tahoe’s history – just don’t read it late at night. Buy now