A few weeks ago, I told fans of this column about "Los Gatos" — a just-published book in the postcard history series by Arcadia Publishing.
On July 19, you can meet author Stephanie Ross Mathews and her collaborator, Peggy Conaway. They'll be at "Vine to Wine," an exhibition showcasing the history of local vintners. There will be wine tasting and an art show in addition to book signing.
The fun takes place at the Los Gatos History Museum, 75 Church St., Los Gatos. Hours: 1-4 p.m. 408-395-7375.
"Saratoga," another newly released book by Arcadia, is a work that should be of keen interest to people in our neck of the woods.
The book, from a series called "Images of America," is written by April Halberstadt and Katie Alexander. There are scads of intriguing photos — the bulk come from the collection of the Saratoga History Museum — but I think those that piqued my interest most of all were those of some of Saratoga's most best-known residents, Hollywood legends Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland.
Pick up your copy at the Saratoga History Museum, 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga. Hours: 1-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday, 408-867-4311. Cost of the book: $21.95. You may also purchase a packet of 15 postcards that feature Saratoga images for $7.95.
The last of the trio of books I want to tell you about — "Chinese in San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley" — is the result of the efforts of the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project, Lillian Gong-Guy and Gerrye Wong. The work, also put out by Arcadia, costs $19.99.
The book relates the sometimes painful story of how the Chinese helped develop our community. The paperback is crammed with page after page of amazing pictures. Many of them are touching, especially those of children.
I wanted to learn more about this intriguing chapter in our Bay Area history when I witnessed excavations earlier in the spring at the corner of Fifth and Jackson streets in what is now called Japantown.
A fragment or two of broken pottery, and a chunk of glass unearthed for the first time in a century was enough to compel me to find out details. The book revealed all: Years ago, this area had been known as Heinlenville, and was one of six Chinatowns in San Jose.
Scout about for this 128-page opus (printed in 2007) at the History San Jose museum store at 1650 Senter Road, San Jose. The store is open noon-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. 408-287-2290.