Urban meets rural in this memoir of life on a farm in the slums of Oakland.
No US city has seen a more rapid decline of its African-American population.
The state's budget is in shambles, but candidates are already lining up for the 2010 gubernatorial race. They include San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and former eBay chief Meg Whitman.
Low home prices and an array of incentives have sparked a surge of new buyers.