Time to Read!

With so many of us stuck at home, it’s a great time for reading. I have been reading books I’ve been saving for a special time or meaning to get to. That’s led to an eclectic mix of fiction and nonfiction for a variety of age groups. Here are some recent reads that I recommend:

The Whale and the Cupcake by Julia O’Malley—nonfiction about Alaskans and their relationship with food, with cool recipes. Learn more at

Murder is Bad Manners (US title) or Murder Most Unladylike (UK title) by Robin Stevens—the first of a young YA series of cozy mysteries set in England in the 1930s: Learn more at

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman —a #ownvoices young adult novel: Veda wins a Bharatanatyam dance competition. Her dreams are cut short when she becomes a below-knee amputee. The event sends her on a path including dance, romance, empathy, and a richer life.

It’s also a good time for a shout out to some of my favorite Alaskan writers. Check these out:

Debby Dahl Edwardson’s My Name is Not Easy is a young adult historical novel about Alaskan kids sent to a faraway boarding school. It’s a moving, tragic, yet hopeful story that you’ll never forget.‘my-name-is-not-easy’/

Nancy Lord writes nonfiction and fiction that clearly show the good and bad parts of Alaskan life. Her pH: A Novel makes climate change personal, and kept me turning the pages with its quirky characters and humor.

One of my favorite historical novels is Kris Farmen’s Turn Again. Amazing writing–one of the best books I’ve read. Great story about clashing cultures, true love, and old magic.

Erin Coughlin Hollowell is often known as the director of the Kachemak Bay writing retreat Storyknife, but she is also an acclaimed poet. In Pause, Traveler, she speaks as a fellow human being, but more eloquently than most of us can manage. Beautiful and accessible poetry!

I loved Cynthia Ritchie’s novel Dolls Behaving Badly. I haven’t had a chance to get her new memoir Malnourished yet, but I hear it is brilliant. From Forward Reviews: “Elegant prose and intimate details elevate Cinthia Ritchie’s mental health memoir Malnourished to a requiem for her sister.”

Any books you’d like to recommend?

I love to share my passion for Alaska and its history in my writing for young adults and their grown ups.

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