Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20th: The Snow Child

There is something truly amazing and almost magical about reading a book 
written about where you live.

The first time this happened to me, I was living in west central Arkansas in a very small town in a tightly-knit community. One of our church members was a school librarian, and she loaned me the Shiloh Legacy series by Bodie Thoene...written about the same area where we lived. It was really fun to read and according to my friend, quite accurate in its depiction of Depression-era Arkansas.

I also read North Dakota novels while living in North Dakota. (Although, incidentally, not the series my friend read, Lauraine Snelling's Red River of the North books...those are on my "to read someday" list. I did go to a writing workshop that Lauraine Snelling taught at the East Grand Forks, MN, library, though. It was awesome.)

So when we got to Alaska, I was able to procure a copy of an Alaska book called If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name by Heather Lende, a well-known author in Haines, Alaska. It felt familiar in a way, because we'd lived in small towns. The Alaska book most often recommended is Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, but because I know the end already, it's a freezer book for me. (Freezer book is a well-loved term from the tv show Friends. You can watch the clip here.)

Each year the Anchorage Public Library chooses a book to read together, and two years ago it was the novel The Snow Child by Palmer native Eowyn Ivey. It was amazing.
To read a book about Alaska written by someone who gets it, who describes the light and the snow and the atmosphere so vividly and poetically was a really great experience for me. I recommend this book even now if you want to know what it feels like to live here. Admittedly, the book takes place in the colonization period, so no modern conveniences available like we have now (hello, Happy Lights). But the book evokes so much feeling for me about what it is like here that I still think it's one of the best Alaska books around.

To read more of this #31DaysofBooks series, visit the introduction post.

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