I've been making a list of books that I might read about California, in the form of an amazon wish list:
I'm also using this blog: Reading California Fiction: Perusing Stories of the Golden State. This is an amazingly comprehensive list with reviews of older California fiction. The blog's author, Don Napoli -- "once a non-academic historian and now an old retired guy" -- kindly made a list of women authors at my request in his comment section. I'll be adding some of them to my wish list later on today.