Lauren Coodley began her career tutoring students for the GED and teaching night school psychology at the local junior college. She attained tenure the same year her son Nils was born; before that, she worked at least two jobs while raising her daughter Caitlin. She invented and taught classes ranging from overcoming math anxiety to children’s literature.
In l996, she received a second M.A. from Sonoma State University, this time in history.
She also received two grants from the California Council for the Humanities and from the Lilly
Library to further her research on Upton Sinclair.
The Land of Orange Groves and Jails: Upton Sinclair's California, which she edited, was published as part of the California Legacy series by Santa Clara University and Heyday Books.
Napa: the Transformation of an American Town (Arcadia Publishing) is based on archival photographs and original interviews. She revised the book in 2007 with Paula Amen Schmitt.
California: a Multicultural History in Documents was published by Prentice-Hall in 2008.
If Not to History: Recovering the Stories of Napa’s Women was published by the Napa County Historical Society in 2009.
Napa Farming History was published by Arcadia Publishing in 20ll, co-written with Paula Amen Judah.
Lauren Coodley has written a full biography of Upton Sinclair to be published in 2013.