Reading the north


By Patricia Watts (She Writes Press, $16.95)

The blurb: "Watchdogs" is a novel set in Fairbanks. When a former newspaper reporter returns to town after two decades, a tragic death causes guilty feelings and she is pursued by a stalker who threatens her life.

Excerpt: "I see them charging toward me with their jumble of signs like brandished swords, hear their threatening murmurs and feel the aggression behind the hardened faces. I think I hear someone screaming, 'Let's get her!' But maybe that is just my adrenaline speaking up. With my head swimming, I lurch toward the double glass doors of the newspaper building. I barely make it inside the box of an entryway, where several of the marchers press in after me, and I'm caught between the outer door and the second set of glass doors that lead to the lobby. The doors are 'pull' not 'push,' so I'm pressed against the glass unable to escape as the protesters' bodies, with the intermingling smells of damp hair and cigarette breath, push into the small space."

Journey Toward Eternal Life Alaska Style

By Erwin N. Hertz Sr. (Inspiring Voices, $15.99)

The blurb: While overlooking the glistening waters of Lynn Canal, the waterway connecting his hometown of Haines to the rest of the state, Erwin Hertz was inspired to share his 50-plus-year adventure of hair, hide, guts and feathers. It is also the story of spirituality, faith and God's miracles.

Excerpt: "This is a painful subject, but I need to talk about it because God provided what I needed. He knows my life story, he knows yours. The remedy for despair is available to all of us -- it is found in God, and in acknowledging his unconditional love for us -- a love that can miraculously replace the heavy, bleak, darkness within our soul with hope and light. I pray by sharing this that it helps other people, just by knowing that at 14 years old, I had such a sense of hopelessness that I held a pistol to my head. I am thankful that over the years I have been able to help other people because I experienced that lonely, desperate feeling -- I almost committed suicide."

Hey Bear Ho Bear

By Stacy Studebaker and illustrated by Kay Underwood (Sense of Place Press, $15)

The blurb: "Hey Bear Ho Bear" is a children's book that takes a look at the lives, unique habits and habitat of brown bears, offering ideas on how humans and bears can better coexist.

Excerpt: "When you're hiking in the woods and in the bushes to one side, you hear a scary noise out there that makes you want to hide. Your heartbeat skips to double and your senses come aware. Is it a fox, a deer, a squirrel, a weasel or a bear? When you're going on an outing in the land of Bear Country, you need to have an attitude to proceed respectfully. For after all, the bears were there before we came along. So when you're hiking through, you need to sing this little song. Hey bear ho bear what are you gonna do? I'm here, you're there, I'm just passing through. Hey bear ho bear it's such a lovely day. This is your land, I understand so I'll be on my way."

Compiled by Kathleen Macknicki, Anchorage Daily News

Compiled by Kathleen Macknicki