Good books that take place in and around my stomping grounds tend to be dear to my heart; so when I saw that Alaska Public Media released a Top Ten list of the best Alaska Books on their website today, I was quick to give it a peek.
Among the titles were Eowyn Ivey’s “The Snow Child” which I read this winter and just loved. Dick Proennecke’s “One Man Wilderness” an inspiring story of solitude was included, it spins a glimpse into the shear power of one man and his skills. That book gave me a taste for solitary wanderlust I revisit often. Velma Willis’ “Two Old Women” is a classic on the list that all could appreciate and on that note I also really enjoyed Ms. Willis’ book “Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun”.
Their entire list is worth perusing but some not included that I felt worth sharing are “Growing Up Stubborn on Gold Creek” by Melody Erickson, a great story of homesteading up on Gold Creek north of Talkeetna. “If You Lived Here I’d Know You Name” by Heather Lende about life in small town Haines, AK. For the kids, basically ANYTHING illustrated by Shannon Cartwright and written by Shelley Gill is pure joy. Bea’s current favorite is “Sitka Rose“, a very tall tale about a very feisty Alaskan gal.
My most recent Alaska read, though be warned it smacks a bit like Into the Wild, is a tale of protest and a rare beauty “The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed” by John Vaillant based in Southeast Alaska. There is great NPR review here.
Of course, I’d hate to skimp on Bristol Bay reads… Tim Toll’s “Sailing for Salmon” produced by the Nature Conservancy has gorgeous photos and is available fully in print on the web…including this lovely photo…
“Canneries, Cabins and Caches of Bristol Bay, Alaska” is also marvelously chock full of photos. Written by John B. Branson and published through Alaska Geographic.
“How to Be a Jerk In Bristol Bay” never fails to appeal… and “Red Summer” by Bill Carter is a bit cocky and at times jaded but overall is a pretty darn entertaining read about set net fishing out of Egegik. In fact the New York Times did a review on it titled “Dangerous Catch”.
If you are a birding enthusiast a local Dillingham-er Ethel Joanne Nelson wrote a wonderful “Guide to Birds of Southwest Alaska“…
Lastly should you be in a blog reading mood set net princess, the AK Sweet Barbarian wrote an excellent piece on the history of set netting off Ekuk Beach!
What are some of your favorite locally based books worth curling up with?