Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
By Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times staff writer Summer's here and the time is right for . . . 352 fact-packed pages from the California Coastal Commission. The commission has just come out with a weighty paperback covering San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties, and it will answer all your questions about fat innkeeper worms, the romantic impulses of Richard Henry Dana Jr. and why you can run faster than you swim. The volume, "Beaches and Parks in Southern California"
(University of California Press, $24.95), includes more than 50 color maps and about 300 color photos, not to mention entries on mugworts, newt, threespine sticklebacks and various other plants and animals of the coast, along with details on public access, parks and trails. The editor and principal writer is Steve Scholl. This isn't a book for the lowdown on hotels or restaurants or shopping — there's virtually none of that in here. But this is the volume to toss in the back of your Volkswagen bus with the folding chair, the Mexican blanket, the Frisbee and your lucky old abalone shell. The book continues a series that began with volumes on Northern California in 2005 and the Central Coast in 2007. Here, drawn from the new book and only slightly sensationalized, are 10 nuggets that may be news to you. Pictured: The Newport Beach Pier