Our recent book arrivals. Clara Miller | Capital City Weekly

Our recent book arrivals. Clara Miller | Capital City Weekly

What’s in the stacks?

At the Capital City Weekly we receive many books about Alaska or from Alaska writers. It’s like Christmas each time a package arrives in our mailbox. Unfortunately we aren’t able to review all the books or interview the writers though we try to as much as we can. Below I’ve compiled books we’ve received in recent months to give you a chance to look at our shelves. Maybe a title will catch your eye.


“What is the Difference Between Similar Looking Alaska Animals” by Denise Saigh.

Alaska fishery biologist Denise Saigh “compares Alaska birds and mammals living within the same range and are difficult to tell apart,” differentiating by size, habitat, breeding, diet, predators and migration.

“Entangled – People and Ecological Change in Alaska’s Kachemak Bay” by Marilyn Sigman from the University of Alaska Press.

“Chronicling her quest for wildness and home in Alaska, naturalist Marilyn Sigmn writes lyrically about the history of natural abundance and human notions of wealth-from seals and shellfish to sea otters to herring, halibut, and salmon-in Alaska’s iconic Kachemak Bay.”

“The Tanana Chiefs – Native Rights and Western Law” by William Schneider from the University of Alaska Press.

“In 1915, Native Athabascan leaders met with government officials in Fairbanks, Alaska to discuss the impact of prospectors and settlers on their subsistence way of life. In this historic meeting, Native leaders sought education and medical assistance from the state, and they wanted to know what to expect from the federal government that might help preserve their way of life and allow them to take advantage of new opportunities.”

“Across the Shaman’s River – John Muir, The Tlingit Stronghold, and the Opening of the North” by Daniel Lee Henry from the University of Alaska Press.

“At a time of great cultural upheaval among the Tlingit Indians of Southeast Alaska, naturalist John Muir acted as an agent of Manifest Destiny, opening the floodgates of the Klondike Gold Rush…

“The first book to trace Muir’s journey from rascism to respect for indigenous people, Across the Shaman’s River shows that as Muir’s attitudes evolved, so did his vision for wilderness preservation-a policy that would ultimately dispossess Alaska Natives from their traditional lands. In addition to extensive use of historic documents, this compelling narrative draws from previously unpublished Muir journals and the author’s interviews with Tlingit elders.”

“The Alaska From Scratch Cookbook” by Maya Wilson from Rodale Books.

Living on the Kenai Peninsula, writer, photographer and cook Maya Wilson shows readers a variety of homemade, Alaska inspired dishes they can make, from soups and seafood to breakfasts and beverages.

“T.J. Richardson – Alaska’s Pioneer Artist, 1884-1914” by M.J. Kirchoff from Alaska Cedar Press.

“One of Alaska’s earliest professional artists, Minneapolis resident T.J. Richardson was a faithful visitor to the North for nearly thirty years between 1884 and 1914. His expressive watercolors and pastels of Alaska’s glaciers and Native villages are represented in museums across the country, including the Smithsonian Institution, the Huntington Library, the Alaska State Museum, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. This richly illustrated biography by Alaska historian M.J. Kirchoff is the result of the discovery of Richardson’s personal photo album and letters, providing to the public for the first time an in-depth look at the life of this accomplished Alaskan artist.”

“Never Cry Halibut: and Other Alaska Hunting and Fishing Tales” by Bjorn Dihle from Alaska Northwest Books.

“Accompanied by photographs, each story reflects the author’s three-decade relationship with the wildest places left in North America as he interacts with brown bears, wolves, wilderness, commercial fishing, and the nearly forgotten act of harvesting food from the wild. From hilarious tales of his nieces outfishing him to reflective ruminations on the human connection to nature, Bjorn captures the liveliness that comes from living so close to the Southeast Alaska wilds.”

“Eyes on the Prize: A Kick-Ass Guide to Setting and Achieving G.R.E.A.T. Goals,” by Carrie Williams from Booth Media Group.

This book is “the definitive manual to becoming a kick-ass goal achiever… Leadership coach Carrie Williams provides the theory and daily practices to help you set and achieve goals that will revolutionize your life.”


“Master of Alaska – The Sage of Alaska’s First Russian Governor, Aleksandr Baranov” by Roger Seiler from True North Publishing.

This historical novel on the life of Aleksandr Baranov tells the tale of the Russian leader who left his family in 1790 to sail to Alaska where he made a name for himself.

“Ivory and Paper – Adventures In and Out of Time” by Ray Hudson from the University of Alaska Press. This young adult fantasy novel takes place in Alaska.

“Thirteen-year-old Booker leads a sheltered life in Vermont-until a spellbinding relic throws him into a world of magic and myths come to life. Anna is an Unangax teenager looking for answers after her long-absent mother reappears in her life. When a mysterious bookmark brings them together on the Aleutian Islands, they’re sent on a dangerous quest to return a magical amulet to Anna’s Unangan ancestors.”

“Angel’s Diamond – Piloting Alaska” by Wayne Pinger from Firefall.

“The way a cowboy depended on his horse, the pilot count son his plane, but it’s a more sublte beast, subject to sabotage, the FAA, and long distances between feeding stations. In this absorbing novel, Josh Browning, his wife Claire, and their ex-police dog Angel carve out a life for themselves in Fairbanks and beyond. The human dangers are far greater however than the whims of the weather. Surviving is essential, but thriving is the goal.”

“Alaska ABC” by Shannon Cartwright from Little Bigfoot

In this children’s book, “meet a moose in mukluks, a reindeer in the rain, an even a snowshoeing salmon! Alaskan wildlife and culture are celebrated in this playful updated edition of Shannon Cartwright’s best-selling alphabet book.”

“Juneau – The Very Large Alaska Dog” by Denise Saigh and illustrated by Demi Straughn

In this children’s book, “a one-time large lonely dog now gets to hike and camp, play with moose and bears, skijors and mushes and most all is a Pet Therapy Dog putting smiles on people’s faces.”

“In the Quiet Season and other stories” by Martha Amore from the University of Alaska Press.

This book “explores the human landscape of Alaska. While the stories take place in modern-day towns, the characters in this collection struggle with ageless issues: broken trust and heartbreak, hope and rebirth.”


“Just Between Us” by David McElroy from the University of Alaska Press.

This volume of poetry is “a celebration of the vivid human connections that occur when traveling through some of the world’s most stirring landscapes. These poems transport us from the Arctic to the tropics, over rural and urban landscapes, and even into the landscape of dreams.”

• Clara Miller is the Capital City Weekly editor. She can be reached at cmiller@capweek.com.

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