Reader's Steve Sorensen publishes new book, A Branch of the Sky

And how he came to write San Diego feature stories

The new book

The new book

Editor: Steve Sorensen, who wrote for the Reader from 1976 off and on through 1997, has come out with a new book, A Branch of the Sky: Fifty Years of Adventure, Tragedy, and Restoration in the Sierra Nevada.

Sorensen's previous books include:

  • Heap of Bones: A Baja Surfer's Chronicle
  • Morning Glass: the Adventures of Legendary Waterman Mike Doyle
  • Day Hiking Sequoia: Fifty day hikes for Sequoia National Park
  • Day Hiking Kings Canyon.

We asked Sorensen to explain how he happened to write for the Reader and which were his favorite stories he wrote for the Reader.

Young Sorensen

Young Sorensen


In 1975 I was on my way back from a surfing trip to Mexico, when I stopped in Encinitas to visit a friend and ended up sleeping on his couch for two weeks. During that time, I saw a copy of the San Diego Reader and, inspired by its irreverent style, decided to try writing my very first feature story about what it felt like to be unemployed. I submitted the story to the Reader, then forgot about it. On the day before I had to leave town, I happened to walk by a newsstand on the Coast Highway and saw that the latest edition of the Reader was out. I picked up a copy and, to my astonishment, saw that the story on the cover was mine. I quickly got on the phone with the Reader’s young editor, Paul Krueger, who offered to pay me $300 for the story and asked if I could write more like it.

Sorensen at Woods Lake, 1979. From A Branch of the Sky.

Sorensen at Woods Lake, 1979. From A Branch of the Sky.

My favorite Reader stories that I wrote, in no particular order, are:

Editor: See all Sorensen stories.

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