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OctoberKat

"Booking" Alaska on Windstar

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Jim and I are cruising Alaska this summer aboard Star Legend which will be our second voyage on this line after last summer's outstanding Norway/Iceland trip. Having previously sailed Regent and Silversea we were ecstatic to learn Windstar was flat-out our cup of tea.

 

As a retired research librarian it seemed natural to put together some reading for before and during the cruise. The list below represents books for which I personally can vouch. I've not yet perused this tome (it's on order!) but it looks to be a winner including narrative and photos: "The Alaska Cruise Explorer" by Joe Upton, published in 2018 so very up-to-date. There is also Anne  Vipond's "Alaska by Cruise Ship: The Complete Guide" issued in 2017.

"Coming Into the Country" by James McPhee
Preeminent among non-fiction books about Alaska is John McPhee's outstanding volume recounting cold wilderness, life in the bush and life in the Alaskan urban setting. Brilliant book in the do-not-miss category.

"The Snow Child" by Eowyn Ivey
This Pulitzer finalist is a captivating, eerie novel about a mysterious child who walks out of the snowy forest into the life of a childless couple in the Alaskan wilderness. A beguiling read.

"The Call of the Wild" by Jack London
It can't be Alaska (or, technically, Canada's Yukon) without a dog book and, happily, there are many good ones. Difficult to select a favorite so I'll settle for this one I first read when I was 11 and living in sweltering Panama. The story of Buck the sled dog who masters both the wilderness of nature and the often cruel capriciousness of man (in this case, "man" is not used as the collective term for humanity).  [Ask me for more Alaskan dog titles.]

"Restless in the Grave" by Dana Stabenow " and "The Woman Who Married a Bear" by John Straley
Could not decide between these two, both exceptional exemplars of the mystery genre. Flying a piper cub in Alaska is dangerous in more ways than one in this recent addition to Stabenow's Kate Shugak series. Mighty tasty read. In Straley's Award-winning debut novel a down-on-his-luck private eye takes on a case because he needs the money and plunges into conspiracy, politics and Tlingit mythology. Rip-roaring read.

 

Of course there also is James Michner's gargantuan (some 1,530 pages) novel encapsulating the entirety of Alaskan history; it is unsurprisingly titled "Alaska."

 

 

 

 

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Wow OctoberKat,

Have you considered just putting together a history series for every cruise (or even land trip) you take.  If you do this all the time,  this type of commentary would make for a great blog to enlighten the rest of us.

 

If you are sailing southbound on July 29, can I have lending (lendee) privileges? If you are sailing northbound on the one just before ours, maybe we can work out a stash arrangement with a crew member.  Since we are flying out of San Jose, CA, we could bring them all home to you too.

 

 

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I read "The Great Alone" by Kristin Hannah on my Alaska Cruise last July on the Legend.  Another great look into the spirit of Alaska. When are you cruising the Legend this summer?  We are returning for our second Alaska Legend cruise on the July 6th itinerary out of Seward and would love to meet you and Jim if you are onboard. Thanks for your reading suggestions.

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That's a good list.  If you could somehow find a compilation of the Scrooge McDuck stories that take place in Alaska you might find them surprisingly fun and educational.

 

On a more serious note, John Muir has a book about Alaska, and Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild" was very popular a few years back. 

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Posted (edited)

Del Rio -- I'll see what I can do about establishing a book cache for you. We are on the sailing immediately before yours disembarking in Seward. Details later.

 

Thanks to ridethetide (love the name) and Doh15 for your recommendations.

 

We are on the July 18th sailing out of Vancouver, regretfully will miss you, ridethetide. It would have been a treat.

 

That John Muir book is titled "Travels in Alaska."

 

Herewith more reading I enjoyed:

 
Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditerod by Gary Paulson -- this hilarious, brilliantly written title is on my list of Best Books Ever.
 
The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic by Gay Salisbury and Laney Salisbury
 
Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner, a novel
 
White Fang by Jack London, a novel 
 
The Thousand-Mile War: WWII in Alaska and the Aleutians by Brian Garfield
 
Highliners: A Novel by William McCloskey, about the elite of commercial fishmen.
Edited by OctoberKat
typo

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9 hours ago, OctoberKat said:

Del Rio -- I'll see what I can do about establishing a book cache for you. We are on the sailing immediately before yours disembarking in Seward. Details later.

 

Thanks to ridethetide (love the name) and Doh15 for your recommendations.

 

We are on the July 18th sailing out of Vancouver, regretfully will miss you, ridethetide. It would have been a treat.

 

That John Muir book is titled "Travels in Alaska."

 

Herewith more reading I enjoyed:

 
Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditerod by Gary Paulson -- this hilarious, brilliantly written title is on my list of Best Books Ever.
 
The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic by Gay Salisbury and Laney Salisbury
 
Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner, a novel
 
White Fang by Jack London, a novel 
 
The Thousand-Mile War: WWII in Alaska and the Aleutians by Brian Garfield
 
Highliners: A Novel by William McCloskey, about the elite of commercial fishmen.

I just bought The Snow Child to take on my cruise.  Thanks for the recommendations, OctoberKat.  Happy sailing....

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On 5/7/2019 at 6:54 AM, ridethetide said:

I just bought The Snow Child to take on my cruise.  Thanks for the recommendations, OctoberKat.  Happy sailing....

 

Would love to know what you think of it, if you have the time and inclination to post.

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