Alaska Fiction? Recommend a Book, Please

Old Apr 11th, 2008, 06:41 PM
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Alaska Fiction? Recommend a Book, Please

Hi, fellow Fodorites! We're taking a vacation to Alaska in late May. I'd like to gift a friend who is traveling with us with an entertaining fiction set in Alaska. Not sure what she likes (mystery, romance, etc.), but she has read some books set in Seattle and seems excited to see Seattle because of them. Too bad we won't be in Seattle, except for a late night arrival-early morning departure.

Any favorites out there? We'll arrive in Anchorage and go up towards Denali & Healy -- although it is really early for those areas and so she might want to spend some time relaxing with that book. After that, we'll take a one-way cruise from Seward to Vancouver, so those subjects would be a good area as well.

Looking forward to any suggestions, thanks.
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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 06:48 PM
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Yiddish Policeman's Union, by Michael Chabon.

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Old Apr 11th, 2008, 06:49 PM
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Any of Dana Stabenow's mysteries.

Best read - ever - involving an imaginary Alaska, and one of the best books I've read in the past several years, The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon. I'll never think of Sitka the same way again.
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Old Apr 12th, 2008, 01:01 AM
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"Alaska" by James Michener

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Old Apr 12th, 2008, 03:47 AM
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It's not fiction and I haven't read it (as yet), but based on other books by Jonathan Raban I have read and your friend's interest in Seattle, I would think she may enjoy his Passage to Juneau.
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Old Apr 12th, 2008, 04:24 AM
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I echo the recommendation for Dana Stabenow. Also, (not fiction) Into the Wild.
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Old Apr 12th, 2008, 08:07 AM
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Dana Stabenow writes excellent mysteries placed in Alaska.
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Old Apr 12th, 2008, 09:23 AM
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Sitka resident John Straley, 2006 "writer laureate" for the State of Alaska, writes great mysteries.

Some more suggestions, although non-fiction:

Coming into the Country, by John McPhee

Good Time Girls, by Lael Morgan---the true story of the "ladies of the night" who lived and worked in the gold camps during the Klondike gold rush
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Old Apr 12th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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Ya'll are great, thank you so much. Keep the recommendations coming; I may pick up one or two for me as well.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 07:31 AM
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Non fiction but a good book

Klondike: The last great gold rush by Pierre Berton
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 09:21 AM
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I second "Alaska" by James Michener. Reading this made my trip to Alaska last summer that much more interesting.

Also, Into the Wild -- though it's not fiction, it might as well be! The film is amazing as well (although it's not all set in Alaska).
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 10:29 AM
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I started Dana Stabenow's "Prepare for Rage" and gave up. It is not about Alaska, it is about Mid-East terrorism, Katrina, the Carribean, etc.

Having put 20 years in the Coast Guard, I cannot get my head around how she uses titles instead of names: "How are you this morning, Lieutenant Commander?" might be an example (that I made up). We used last names for enlisted personnel, "Captain" for the captain (duh), and "Mr. Smith" etc for the rest of the officers.
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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With Drop City, T. Coraghessan Boyle offers proof that he has become one of America's most prolific, gifted storytellers. Set in the 1970s, Boyle entertains readers with the denizens of "Drop City," a counterculture California commune that welcomes anyone wanting to live off the grid, use drugs, and practice free love. Boyle sublimely captures the sociology of its rebellious members, who doubt the sincerity or beliefs of newcomers, express some insecurity about nonconformity, and chastise outsiders while remaining oblivious to their own hypocrisy. Marco, Pan, Star, and other "cats" and "chicks" live hassle-free until dissention and cries of racism mount amid increasing run-ins with the local government (a young girl is raped, installation of a sewage system is mandated, a mother lets her toddlers drink LSD-laced juice). Seeking refuge, the citizens move north, to Alaska, to reinvent their utopia, but soon learn the natural environment is more unforgiving of a lackadaisical lifestyle.

Drop City is funny, evocative, and well-paced, shifting between the hippies and the Alaskan locals--primarily Sess and his new bride Pamela (a city dweller who arranged stays with several trappers over a few weeks to determine whom she would marry)--until the two cultures collide. Balanced between plot and character, Boyle excels at describing the physical world and his characters' interaction with it, whether portraying the harshness (or sheer beauty) of the Alaskan wilderness, the simple survival routines of its grizzled inhabitants, or the sounds wafting through Drop City: "the goats bleating to be milked or fed, the single sharp ringing note of a dog surprised by its own hunger, the regular slap of the screen door at the back of the house--and underneath it all, like the soundtrack to a movie, the dull hum of rock and roll leaking out the kitchen windows." Truly American in spirit, Drop City is a strong novel of freedom and those in pursuit of lives of liberty. --Michael Ferch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 10:11 PM
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I am another vote for "Alaska".

Another good book is "Mrs. Mike, the Story of Katherine Mary Flannigan" by Benedict & Nancy.

It is not set in Alaska but it is a great book about life in the Yukon Territories. It was a very moving book.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 12:39 AM
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Northern Lights by Nora Roberts, if she is into mystery/detective fiction.
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 06:15 AM
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Hello,

Sue Henry writes enjoyable mysteries featuring a female musher. They are fun to read and Alaska becomes one of the characters.

As for Dana Stabenow, try the earlier ones that are about Alaska.
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Old Mar 16th, 2011, 09:05 PM
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Hi,
I wrote a book called "Alaska's Wanderlust". It is a book of short funny stories about Territory of Alaska living. It will keep you laughing for a while plus make you stop and think what it was like in those days. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I enjoyed writting the book.
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Old Mar 17th, 2011, 01:19 PM
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Another good book is "Wild Moments" Adventures with animals of the north by Michael Engelhard. It is very, very good!
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Old Mar 17th, 2011, 01:29 PM
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Any of the works of Robert Service. http://www.freemasonry.bcy.ca/biogra...sam_mcgee.html
The link is to "The Cremation of Sam McGee" on this St Patricks Day.
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