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Alaska

Alaska

A unique corner of the United States, Alaska's compelling wilderness keeps travelers "Coming into the Country," as John McPhee's book of that title describes. From memoirs about life on the frontier to wildlife guides, we've got the books to take you through the Inside Passage, up the face of Denali and deep into the heart of wild Alaska.

Follow the links below to see recommended reading for each destination.

The Longitude Blog – Alaska
The Places Where Life Begins
ARC360
Kindly contributed by Michael Engelhard, author of the forthcoming Ice Bear, The Cultural History of an Icon. The product of meticulous research, his cultural narrative examines over 8,000 years of polar bear history. Engelhard probes the narratives of the Inuit, hunters and settlers as well as modern science to show the many forms the powerful, elusive animal has taken. In his book American Wild Engelhard documents his travels between the two areas of the world he identifies as his "soul-scapes," canyon country of the American Southwest and Alaska's great wilds.
Twin Lakes, Alaska
coverKindly contributed by author and photographer Carl Johnson. In his new book Where Water is Gold, Johnson brings to light the struggle between developers and ecologists in southwest Alaska's Bristol Bay. A key habitat for millions of seabirds, salmon, otters, seals, walruses and endangered whale species, Bristol Bay also contains fine particles of precious metals (gold, copper and molybdenum) that industrialists wish to extract.
  When hiking 2,500 feet up the side of a mountain, the view often consists of just the details in the tundra below, from the vibrant pink blooms of moss campion to the bristly, crunchy details of caribou lichen.
Sixty Degrees North
Shetland IslandsThe Shetland Islands are a Scottish archipelago located to the northwest of Great Britain. Visitors to Shetland are told that the island lies upon the 60th parallel, as though this means something. And to many locals, it does. For them, the 60th parallel signifies that the archipelago is more than just isolated islands—it is connected to the larger world in a meaningful way. When Shetland native Malachy Tallack was 16, his father died. “It was the kind of quiet, ordinary day on which nothing extraordinary ought to happen. But it did,” he writes. Shortly after the funeral, he found himself staring out the window of his house in Lerwick, Shetland, imagining the 60th parallel unfolding before him into the distance.