A wide-ranging biography of the fascinating and ultimately self-defeating life of Nikolai Rezanov, "Glorious Misadventures" presents the context in which Alaska was settled and the reasons the region ultimately failed to give Russia a greater presence as a world power.

David A. James
The Arctic and Antarctic photographs are stunning and slowly reveal a world both timeless and rapidly changing. Most -- but not all -- depict the waters around Svalbard to the north and Antarctica to the south. For those who will never visit these regions, they reveal an area of the world humanity has scantly touched yet is actively reshaping from afar.David A. James

The small independent bookstore Fireside Books is quiet on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, just before closing. Best-selling author James Patterson gave Fireside Books in Palmer $7,500 this week -- no strings attached. Owner David Cheezem says he will use the money to promote Alaska authors. 

Bob Hallinen
Carine McCandless’s motivations appear worthy. She and her parents withheld information from Krakauer -- or at least swore him to secrecy -- about the extent of violence and dysfunction in the wealthy and outwardly successful McCandless householdNancy Lord
Vacations are perfect for genre fiction: murder mysteries, action thrillers, horror tinglers, sci-fi and such. They work best when the authors ask as little of readers' minds as possible.David A. James
In this week's reading the north: Exploring the extremes of Alaska's geology, and a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves -- with an Alaska twist.Kathleen Macknicki
This book is not just a fascinating story of one man. It has some of the best descriptions of Alaska's Iditarod Trail yet to see print.David A. James
Reading the North features "The Spaces Between: Stories From the Kenai Mountains to the Kenai Fjords" by Doug Capra and "The Aleut Internments of World War II" by Russell W. Estlack.Kathleen Macknicki
Libraries and fires. They don’t usually go together. But on this occasion, the pairing was intentional. In the kickoff to Homer’s Big Read, the book being celebrated was Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.”Nancy Lord
When it comes to Alaska aviation histories, exciting isn't always best, and longtime Bush pilot Jack Jefford proved it with his memoir "Winging It!" The book is a straightforward history full of dry wit and an emphasis on safety over bravado, and something of an overlooked classic.Colleen Mondor