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Reading the North

Alaskan Adventure Tales: Tall and True

By Vernon Nowell (Vernon Nowell, $19.95)

The blurb: A collection of stories about the author's life in Alaska, from flying bush planes to trapping and dog mushing to close calls with bears.

Excerpt: "The year was 1967 and my Mother and Dad were flying to Anchorage, AK for a visit. I wanted to take my Father on a moose hunt, one that would not be overly strenuous due his history of heart problems, and a heart-attack in the early 1960s, which slowed him down. At that time, the medical world was 'backwards' as far as the way to treat the patient. After a heart-attack, you were doomed to the life of a 'couch-potato' sitting in front of a television, having someone wait on you hand-and-foot! You were to do 'NO EXERCISE' at all! And this was exactly opposite of what you should do! You needed to get off your fanny and move around, and exercise to re-build your heart and muscles."

To the Arctic

By Florian Schulz (Braided River, $45)

The blurb: A companion to the IMAX film "To the Arctic," this collection of nature photography that chronicles a year cycle in the arctic, plus personal accounts of the photographers expeditions.

Excerpt: "We hurriedly unload several weeks' worth of gear off the bush plane. The pilot bids us a quick good-bye and the plane races off, leaving us in a cloud of dust. My wife, Emil, and I are standing alone in the Utukok uplands in the northwestern corner of Alaska. This is one of the most remote regions in North American -- some 460 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska's northernmost city. We are here in hopes of finally documenting the most impressive wildlife migration left on the North American continent. Every year, 400,000 to 500,000 caribou from the Western Arctic herd migrate from their winter range on the Seward Peninsula, across the Brooks Range, into the National Petroleum Reserve for the spring calving. Totally some two thousand miles, it is the longest migration of any land mammal."

Compiled by Matt Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News