Reading the North

The Cobra Hold

By Ken Nix; North Books, $19.95

The blurb: The author wrote: "Going back to the time my Uncle Gene taught me self-defense and self confidence, I used the cobra hold in many aspects of my life. My battles were not always in the physical sense but more of a tenacious grip. The dictionary defines 'tenacious' as not readily letting go of an object, position or principle. That also defines me."

Excerpt: Willow had a commercial airport that was large enough to takeoff and land four or five times before you ran out of runway. The runway was covered in ice and snow. Dick and I were flying in his airplane on skis there. Because the airstrip was so long, instead of landing and taxiing all the way, Dick flew along without actually touching down until he got close to the end. He flew quite a ways like that. I wasn't paying too much attention at first. Then I looked up and said, "Damn, Dick, set this thing down." He finally did set it down. It was very icy down there, and the airplane didn't slow down one bit. Off the end of the runway we went. It busted the landing gear off and bent the prop. Here is a runway that is probably 4,000 feet, and Dick ran off the end with a 7-EC Champ!

Sweet Dreams Drift in Your Pillow's Eyes

By Dale R. Wilderness; illustrated by Rochelle Wilderness (Publication Consultants, $9.95; e-book, $4.99)

The blurb: William takes on the great Alaska outdoors in several dreams the night before his big trip. William and his mother will hike Lazy Mountain the next morning. As he goes to sleep, his excitement cannot be contained. William's imagination gets the best of him as his dreams take him all over the state of Alaska.

Excerpt: William has hiking in mind as he falls asleep. This time he finds himself in the forest among the moose. "This isn't Lazy Mountain," William says, and wakes up as fast as he fell asleep.

William runs into Mom's room. "Mommy, I saw a moose. Are we going to see moose on Lazy Mountain?"

"We might," Mom says, then tucks him back into bed and whispers ... "Sweet dreams drift in your pillow's eyes."

Compiled by Kathleen Macknicki, Anchorage Daily News