Reading the North (11/18/12)

Alaska Dutchman

By Sean E. Thomas (Whiskey Creek Press)

The blurb: In the latest of the author's series of Robert Sable mystery novels, a prospector's body is found near Fairbanks. While investigating the case, Alaska State Trooper Sergeant Sable uncovers rumors that the prospector had found the Dutchman, a mine of myth and legend, and a location someone might have killed to find.


Excerpt: "Sue's cell phone buzzed and stopped. It buzzed again.

'Don't anshwer it.' Robert Sable rolled over in bed and looked at his wife. 'Remember we're finally on our honeymoon. It took me months to arrange this trip after we were pulled off our first one.'

The door of their motel room shook with a series of thuds. 'Open up, pard.' Sable recognized the voice of his partner of four years, Aaron McCabe.

'Damn, Owen found us again.' Sable swung his legs over the edge of the bed. He ran his hands through his white hair and wiped the sleep from his eyes. Tossing on his clothes, he headed for the door."



I Would Tuck You In

By Sarah Asper-Smith and illustrated by Mitchell Watley (Sasquatch Books, $16.99)

The blurb: This illustrated children's book introduces readers to the animals of the northern wilderness, showing how they care for their young and sharing facts and tidbits about each.


Excerpt: "If you were an octopus, I would grow eight arms to hold you.

If you were a brown bear, I would snuggle next to you all winter long.

If you were a little brown bat, I would find you on the darkest of nights.

If you were a rufous hummingbird, my heart would beat 1,000 times per minute for you.

If you were a porcupine, I would still want to hold you close."



The DeWire Guide to Lighthouses of Alaska, Hawai'i and the U.S. Pacific Territories

By Elinor DeWire (Paradise Cay Publications)

The blurb: This guide offers glimpses of little-known sentinels in distant places, complemented by travel information and archival and contemporary images.


Excerpt: "Some 50 miles north of Juneau in Lynn Canal is Eldred Rock, an ominous pinnacle and an obstacle for ships. After the Klondike Gold Rush ramped up in 1898 several wrecks occurred here, including the Clara Nevada carrying wealthy miners to Seattle to turn their gold into dollars. It's believed the ship struck the rocks, caught fire, and sank before help could arrive.

This and other wrecks near Eldred Rock convinced the Lighthouse Board to make plans for a light station. Despite an appropriation of money and a steadfast construction crew, the lighthouse was not completed until the summer of 1906. Bad weather was the culprit. Winter storms brought hurricane-force winds, sideways rain, or frozen precipitation that left everything slick or snow-covered. On calm days the fog was so thick the men could not see their hands in front of them."


Compiled by Matt Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News