Books to read before visiting Alaska
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Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
This is the well known true story of Chris McCandless who hiked into the Alaskan wilderness and sadly died in an abandoned bus used by hunters as a shelter.
As it is possibly the most famous Alaskan book, I would be remiss if I did not include it in this list, however as an Alaskan, I despise this book. Actually, it’s a great book, and well written, but the number of people who have attempted to follow McCandless’ path to the bus and failed is upsetting. I am happy that in June of 2020 the bus McCandless passed away in was finally removed from the wilderness. The bus is currently on display in Fairbanks in the lab where it has been moved for preservation work.
Read this book, but if you’re thinking about hiking in the Alaskan wilderness, please consider the safety tips I have suggested in the post linked below. If you would like to turn this book into a literary trip, I would suggest, rather than launching into the Alaskan wilderness, and while waiting for the bus preservation and final display to be completed, you instead visit the bus replica (used in the film) outside the 49th State Brewing Company in Healy, Alaska.
The Flying North by Jean Potter
This book is so funny! It is not at all what I expected a history of small plane flight in Alaska and its pilots to be like. Potter focuses on the histories of 10 different pilots, one per chapter. The pilots the author interviewed had such character and on occasion the things that would happen to them while flying across Alaska were so ridiculous that you couldn’t make up a better fictional story if you tried.
Purchase The Flying North by Jean Potter via Amazon
Fighter in Velvet Gloves: Alaska Civil Rights Hero Elizabeth Peratrovich by Annie Boochever and Roy Peratrovich Jr.
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
Get up to two books free!
Too busy to get through these books in print? Try listening to them via Audible! Sign up for Audible Premium Plus and you get up to two books free! I not only use Audible to multi-task at home, but when traveling I love listening to books while I walk around the location/s the story takes place.