I'd spent the week ranting, as I often do, about the lack of book review coverage and general promotion opportunities for writers, when out comes the Anchorage Press Summer Books issue with three thoughtfully written reviews.
About Kantner's Shopping for Porcupine, an essay collection accompanied by photos, reviewer Krestia DeGeorge writes: "The writing here rings with the cadences of the Northwest Arctic. Words are measured out sparingly, but in rich morsels, and there's never a hint in Kantner's prose that he feels a neediness toward his readers."
The title of that review was labeled "Attentiveness," but it could have applied just as easily to the review of Bill Sherwonit's book, Living with Wildness, which is also an essay collection that focuses on quiet authenticity over cliched bravado. In place of grizzly attack tales, you'll find essays about feeding chickadees, coming eye-to-eye with halibut, and "hairy men" (Alaska's version of the sasquatch) -- not your typical Alaska fare.
Last, but not least: Mike Doogan is the former columnist and current legislator who somehow also finds time to write mysteries. His latest, Skeleton Lake: A Nik Kane Alaska Mystery, is set in Anchorage, with scenes set in the 1960s, 1980s and today. (That counts as a history text in this town.) Reviewer Brendan Joel Kelley says the book delivers a complex plot and lots of surprises, delivered in a noir style.