Sunday, March 09, 2008

Heather's Reading List

Many People have asked me what books i have been reading or would recommend, so i'm going to start listing some that i found interesting. At a later date i'll add some descriptions to the list. Hope this is helpful.

1.Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner
(no, it's not about wolves) – Written about a family that lived much like mine in the Bush of Northern Alaska. Seth’s main character grows up white and in the Alaskan Bush living off of the land due to his parent’s choices and ideals. This story is partially autobiographical.
2. Books by Nick Jans i.e. Tracks of the Unseen, The Last Light Breaking and Grizzly Maze – Nick writes beautiful books and essays and also is a wonderful photographer and person. He has also lived out in Northern and South East Alaska teaching in the villages, writing and photographing.
3. Four Seasons North by Billie Wright – Billie and Sam Wright moved to Northern Alaska after seeing my parents film. Billie’s book is about their first year in the Bush. Sam’s is more philosophical.
4. Koviashuvik by Sam Wright
5. Shadows on the Koyukuk, an Alaskan Native's Life Along the River - Sydney Huntington as told by Jim Rearden. An amazing story of a Koyukukon man who has spanned the generations between a time when the natives of the area lived mostly off the land hunting and trapping, and the current time when most people are leaving the villages to find work
6. The Long Exile, A tale of Inuit Betrayal and Survival in the High Arctic by Melanie McGrath. The Inuit people are both in Canada and Alaska. This is the tale of the forced relocation of the Inuit people to a desolate part of Canada, where most of them died of starvation etc. The forced relocation was took place so that Canada could claim that land as Canadian soil.
7. Books by Velma Wallis i.e. Bird Girl and the Boy that Followed the Sun, Two Old Women and Raising Ourselves: A Gwich'in Coming of Age Story from the Yukon River. Velma Wallis is Athabascan and her first two books are rewrites of traditional Athabascan legends. Her third book is a heart wrenching story of how the influence of white people, and thus the destructive repercussions of alcohol, affected her home village.
8. Sadie Brower Neakok: An Inupiaq Woman by Margaret B. Blackman. This book is a fascinating book about the first Magistrate in Barrow. Sadie’s life story straddles two worlds. Her mother was Inupiaq and her father was the northern most trader. Sadie grew up learning the traditional ways of her people as well as the dominant white people’s ways. As a teenager she was shipped off to SF to go to school and it is amazing to hear her stories of her first experience with car rides, electricity etc. Her return to her village as a social worker and magistrate is a window into a world that most of us would never have a chance to see.
9. One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey by Sam Keith and Richard Proenneke. Richard went out into the wilderness and built a log cabin at age 50 and then he stayed till he was 80. His book is short, sweet and simple and will send you off day dreaming about living your days out in a log cabin within minutes.
10. Alaska Wilderness: Exploring the Central Brooks Range by Robert Marshal. A Classic. Robert Marshall was the founder of what is now known as the ‘conservation movement’. He was (both in memory and in person) a major factor in securing park lands in Northern Alaska.
11. Vanishing World – the endangered arctic (photography book) by Mirelle De La Lez and Fredrik Granath. An incredible photography book of the coastal arctic, the best I’ve seen.


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