Reading the North

Wild Life: The Miss-Adventures of a Cosmo Bachelor

By Michael Modzelewski (Corvallis Press)

The blurb: Wild Life is a fun, sexy, soulful memoir of Modzelewski's transition from 5 years alone in the Alaskan wilderness to being Cosmopolitan Magazines "Bachelor of the Month."

Excerpt: "On a billboard towering above the street was my picture, the one I'd sent Liz from Alaska for my book jacket, blown up sky high with the caption: FOREVER WILD! MEET COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE'S BACHELOR! Incredulous, I turned to Liz. She chuckled and tugged playfully on the sleeve of my coat. 'You're wearing the same parka as in the picture! I was hoping we'd pass this way ... everything has happened so fast,' Liz said as she snapped her fingers. 'As it does when a book is good. And your picture! I was so impressed I messaged it over to my good friend, Helen Gurley Bown, International Editor for Cosmopolitan, and hellsbells ...' "

Spectacular Alaska

By Charles Wohlforth (Universe, $29.95)

The blurb: Spectacular Alaska is a compilation of 200 photographs detailing the land, animals and people of Alaska.

Excerpt: "From Wonder Lake, the white triangle of Mount McKinley stands like an immense monument. In sheer mass, this highest of all the continent's mountains is probably the largest single object most people who behold it will ever see. It floats up where the clouds belong, usurping a big part of the sky. Each summer morning photographers stop by the lake to catch the classic image of the mountain, this symbol of Alaska that has been recorded so many times. Professionals with special permits set up tripods along the gravel national park road. Tourists climb from buses amid the hush usually reserved for church, cameras at the ready, attempting to preserve the moment. In a few minutes, everyone reboards and the bus grinds on down the road. The light changes and the professionals pack up for their next stop."

-- Compiled by Marlaina Ross, Anchorage Daily News