Editor’s note: Every week, David A. James and Nancy Lord have reviewed books by Alaska authors or about the 49th state. They have not, they’ll be quick to tell you, read every Alaska book published over the last year or so. Consequently, they recoil at the idea of a top 10 list of Alaska books.
What follows instead is a short piece by each author, touching on some of their favorites. It’s neither comprehensive nor definitive. But it may prove useful to readers looking for Alaska books as holiday gifts or for suggestions of worthy books they may have missed. And there’s no doubt that Nancy and David read more Alaska books than most of us.
Excerpt: A close second was “Rhythm of the Wild: A Life Inspired by Denali National Park” by Alaskan author Kim Heacox. It’s the story of how the author found Alaska and thus himself in the state’s best-known park. While Denali serves as base camp and provides the landscape for much of what he writes here, Heacox’s mind wanders widely over politics, environmental crises, personal philosophy and how one can escape the world by diving into the wilderness, only to find that world hot on one’s hiking boots. This book does with Denali what Edward Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire” did with Arches National Park, showing how freedom and wilderness are bound together, and how the loss of one is both caused by and leads to the destruction of the other.
Kim Heacox will be APC’s luncheon speaker for April 2016. Sign up for the luncheon.