Ruth's Picks

Ruth has worked at Fireside Books off and on since the summer of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and is currently the frontlist buyer.  She reads a lot of Alaskan history, epic novels, science and natural history, speculative fiction, and all the picture books.

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Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385541626
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - March 13th, 2018

Ruth says: Castner canoed the entire Mackenzie River in summer of 2016, from Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean.  His strong writing makes short work of a long paddle, and he brings a profitable haul of stories from the territory, alternating his contemporary travelogue with the journeys of Alexander Mackenzie and other fur-trade voyageurs.  Abandon notions of timeless wilderness!  Mackenzie’s grueling foray into the unknown in the cold of the Little Ice Age could have happened in another world, compared to Castner’s sunburned and lightning-plagued trip in our hot century.  Mackenzie thought he failed to find a Northwest Passage to the Pacific, but he was just 200 years too early for ice-free Arctic shipping routes.

 

Reading this will make you eager for the thaw so you can launch a canoe and go somewhere.  I’m not quite as ambitious as Brian Castner, but I might paddle Palmer Slough all the way to the Pacific.


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This Is How It Always Is: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250088567
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - January 23rd, 2018

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On Trails: An Exploration Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781476739236
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - July 4th, 2017

Eowyn recommended this to me, and she's never steered me wrong.  Reading it is like a deep and entertaining after-dinner conversation with your most interesting friend.  The author walked the Appalachian Trail, but this isn’t a hiker’s travelogue – that experience is just a jumping-off point for examinations of how and why we make trails, and how they make us.  It’s the sort of book that deepens the way you read the landscape around you. 


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Thunderfeet: Alaska's Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Critters (PAWS IV) Cover Image
By Shelley Gill, Shannon Cartwright (Illustrator)
$10.99
ISBN: 9780934007191
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little Bigfoot - July 29th, 1997

This has been my favorite book since age 4 and I still stand by that choice.  I used some pictures from it in a presentation on Beringia for a 400-level quaternary biogeography class, and my professor was so excited he wanted his own copy.  Paleontology, plate tectonics, and songs by Hobo Jim!  Every kid needs Thunderfeet.


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The Living: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780060924119
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - November 12th, 2013

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The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780060786502
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics - July 5th, 2005

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Where the Sea Breaks Its Back: The Epic Story - Georg Steller & the Russian Exploration of AK Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780882403946
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alaska Northwest Books - June 1st, 2003

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The Summer Book Cover Image
By Tove Jansson, Kathryn Davis (Introduction by), Thomas Teal (Translated by)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781590172681
Availability: Not currently in the store BUT we can probably order it for you
Published: NYRB Classics - May 20th, 2008

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The Sparrow: A Novel (The Sparrow Series #1) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780449912553
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - September 8th, 1997

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Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802121752
Availability: Not currently in the store BUT we can probably order it for you
Published: Grove Press - October 8th, 2013

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Cloud Atlas: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780375507250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - August 17th, 2004

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The War That Saved My Life Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780147510488
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - May 31st, 2016

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To Russia with Love: An Alaskan's Journey Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781602231405
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Alaska Press - February 15th, 2014