The new book Hometown Santa Barbara is no conventional guidebook, but rather an insider’s guide that should appeal to locals as much as tourists. It provides an in-depth look into the distinctive culture of Santa Barbara, as well as Carpinteria, Goleta, Isla Vista, Montecito, Santa Ynez Valley, and Summerland. The book is a compilation written by well-known Santa Barbarans-Nancy Ransohoff, Cheryl Crabtree, Starshine Roshell, Leslie Dinaberg, and Zak Klobucher-who, according to the press release, enjoyed “interviewing their local heroes, uncovering new favorite places and working together to produce a book that will make locals proud and inspire visitors to go beyond the obvious.”

The numerous topics are organized into 19 chapters, from Santa Barbara’s history to literature, architecture to entertainment, beaches to cuisine. The chapter on horticulture not only refers to our well-known public gardens, but reveals “serene secret spots.” The art section explains why Santa Barbara has attracted artists for the past hundred years, and points out our many galleries, outdoor art, and various art events.

Concluding each section is an interview with an accomplished Santa Barbaran. For example, when artist Hank Pitcher (who also contributed the book cover art) was asked why Santa Barbara is “so particularly paintable,” Pitcher explained, “The beaches run east-west, which make the sunlight and shadows run parallel to the shore.” La Super-Rica Taqueria owner Isidoro Gonzalez shares in his interview how Julia Child came to his taco stand and asked him to be on Good Morning America. He said, “She came frequently during the last four years of her life-she insisted on waiting in line.”

This is a guide that any resident would want to have on the bookshelf, and that any tourist could use to discover the hidden secrets of Santa Barbara.


A book signing with authors Nancy Ransohoff, Cheryl Crabtree, Starshine Roshell, Leslie Dinaberg, and Zak Klobucher takes place Thursday, November 20, 7 p.m. at Chaucer’s Books, 3321 State St., 682-6767, You can purchase the book at or


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