Description of Books



The End of the Sherry
Pleasure Boat Studio
ISBN-10: 1929355998

The End of the Sherry recounts what happens to a young American who finds himself abandoned in southern Spain in 1965 with a dog and a dubious car, stumbles into work as a nightclub pianist, and stays for three improbable years. Berger’s adventures blossom into a portrait of provincial Spain toward the end of the Franco dictatorship — bleakness that breaks into unexpected hilarity even as the author discovers his calling as a person and a writer. His return to Spain after the death of Franco puts it all into perspective.
Cloth: $29.95
Paper: $19.95

Also from your local independent bookseller and Amazon

Oasis of Stone: Visions of Baja California Sur, with photographs by Miguel Ángel de la Cueva and text by Bruce Berger.
Sunbelt Publications/ Planeta Península
ISBN-10: 0916251764  

With its soaring and fissured rock, its clefts of darkness, its burnt ochres and coagulated reds that drought has bared to the sun and wind, Baja California Sur appears the survivor of ancient calamities. Its vegetation is a snarl of tubes and pads, spikes and spines, sometimes disposing itself with the delicacy of a Japanese garden. Its creatures, from the rare peninsular pronghorn to endemic geckos and rattlesnakes, melt like phantoms into its paradoxical terrain. Using old stone age technology, its indigenous population created the most sophisticated primitive murals in the Western Hemisphere.

Most representations of Baja California, Mexico’s legendary peninsula, have focused on its famous coasts and marinescapes. Fusing word and image, in Oasis of Stone photographer Miguel Ángel de la Cueva and writer Bruce Berger have gone inland, to deliver the volcanic landmass: its sweep, its intimate corners, its upheaval between seas that makes this burnt reach a landscape like no other.


Oasis of Stone is a knockout look at Baja California Sur” – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Oasis of Stone has won the 2006 ForeWord Silver Award in the Nature category, and its text won the 2006 Colorado Authors’ League Award for Specialty Writing.


Oasis of Stone, English edition, may be ordered from:
Sunbelt Publications, San Diego Ca. (800) 626-6579

Oasis de Piedra, Spanish edition, can be ordered from Planeta Peninsula A.C.:


The Complete Half-Aspenite
WHO Press, Basalt Colorado
ISBN-10: 1882426223

The Complete Half-Aspenite documents Aspen, Colorado’s explosive half-century as it emerged as a national cultural phenomenon after World War II. Extended essays explore the mystique of Aspen’s discovery by outsiders, its place in the American utopian tradition, and its attempt to retain its spontaneity as success drowns it in wealth. Fleshing out these overviews is a sumblime stew of garage sales, eccentric personalities, orchestra rehearsals, recycling, global contributions to physics, magpies, bears, and the cult of lunch – strands of the Aspen known to its residents and missed by the glitz-mongering media. A doubling in size of the wildly popular 1987 collection, Notes of a Half-Aspenite, The Complete Half-Aspenite captures that period in the town’s life when Aspen generated “the kind of alchemy that resembles inspired cooking, where ingredients subject to pressure collaborate in materializing something new, unexpected, unpredictable from the recipe.”


“Bruce Berger has a large tolerance for the human condition: something which, these days, takes a good deal of courage. This is a delightful, sometimes moving, always elegant book.” –  Jeremy Bernstein

“This collection of meditations and vignettes is sly and wry, witty and wistful, passionate but evenhanded. Bruce Berger’s love of Aspen mixes poignantly with lament – as in the chapter “Messy Vitality,” the best short history of the past fifty years in Aspen that I know. The reader is guaranteed a local’s feel for the town, especially Aspen-as-it-was, and the company of a gentle and urbane storyteller.” – Ted Conover

Winner of the 2006 Colorado Authors’ League Award for Narrative Nonfiction


The Complete Half-Aspenite’ may be ordered from:



The Telling Distance
The University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0-8165-1677-4

Fifty essays on the intersection of nature and culture in a desert setting, distilled from twelve years of writing, and focusing on such subjects as the humor and psychology of camping, desert architecture, mountaintop astronomy, designer deserts, birding, detritis, and Bach in the wilderness. In its original Breitenbush Books edition, The Telling Distance won the 1990 Western States Book Award, and in its subsequent Anchor/Doubleday edition it won the 1991 Colorado Book Award, the first year that prize was given.



There Was A River
The University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0-8165-1493-3

The title novella-length essay describes what may have been the last trip taken through the Colorado River’s Glen Canyon before the floodgatges were closed at Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell began to fill. Other essays explore the canals of Phoenix, the mind of a desert rat who sees through Venusian clouds, a deer that falls from the sky, and lights-out from the International Dark Sky Association. The concluding essay reconciles the death of the author’s mother with the continuance of the surrounding desert.



Almost an Island
The University of Arizona Press
ISBN: 0-8165-1902-1

A chronicle of thirty years of exploration and change in Baja California, recounting natural and human history, the madness of a total eclipse, bedlam in a nunnery, the animals that surround a salt company, a governor who celebrates Earth Day by serving endangered species, and the search for a musical Mata Hari.



Facing the Music
Confluence Press
ISBN: 1-881090-14-0

A collection of poetry centered on life reflected through music-making, culled from three decades of work. These poems originally appeared in Poetry, Barron’s, New Letters, Denver Quarterly and Poetry Northwest.

Aspen Music Festival: The First Fifty Years
ISBN 978-0-9860445-4-0

A history of the Aspen Music Festival, from its beginnings in the 1949 Goethe Bicentennial, through the pioneering years of Arthur Rubinstein, Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland, to the world of such alumni superstars as Itzhak Perlman, Midori and James Levine.

Bruce Berger’s books may be ordered from: