All the books mentioned on Coffee Table yesterday.


If you were trying to remember just what book we were talking about on the air yesterday morning, here’s a list. If I forgot any or wrote down the wrong author or title, or if you’d like to recommend a good read for a Christmas present (or just recommend a good read), weigh in in the comments section below.

And if you want to listen to the show, Aaron has posted it on KBBI’s website. Go here.

Terry – Jack 1939 by Francine Matthews, the Billy Boyle series by James R. Benn, Chris Mackowski’s Civil War books, Tim O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods, and I didn’t get which book but one of Jim Collins’. Terry? In the comments, please. Terry also read Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly, at (ahem) my recommendation, and really liked it. (My review here.)

Aaron – Aaron gave a big thumb’s up for local author Tom Kizzia’s Pilgrim’s Wilderness, as did many of our callers.

Pilgrim's Wilderness by Tom Kizzia

Jenny of the Homer Bookstore called in with this interesting factoid: It was a record year for Homer authors, as ten of us had new books out this year. Besides me and Tom, she recommends

Eva Salitas’ Into Great Silence
Erin Hollowell’s Pause, Traveler
Brenda Adams’ A Moose in my Garden (On my to-read shelf for breakup!)
Jim Rearden’s Tales of Old Alaska
Bumppo’s Everlasting and the Great River
Marianne Schlegelmilch’s Slugs Forever (Jenny loooooves this one, a kid’s book for grownups, and it comes with a CD)
Nina Faust’s The Alpaca Relaxation Guide (a great gift book, Jenny sez)
Michael McBride’s The Last Wilderness (also recommended by many callers)

(I bet Jenny can get you signed copies of all these books, and mine, and Tom’s, for that something extra for a great Christmas gift. Info below. Not that I’m pushing or anything.)

Michael McBride's The Last Wilderness

David – Kaylene Johnson’s Canyons and Ice: The Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffth

Shannon – Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose
Alfred Lansing’s Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (my review here)
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (Shannon says to read it before you see the movie, and I heartily concur)
Miranda Weiss’ Tide, Feathers, Snow
Shannon also liked Michael McBride’s The Last Wilderness and Tom Kizzia’s Pilgrim’s Wilderness, and anything by Nancy Lord (Yet another local author. There must be something in the water.)

Howard – Howard just read Tom Paine’s Common Sense and says it’s still relevant today. I mentioned Christopher Hitchens’ Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man as a companion piece.

Kim – A big huge thumb’s up for the Tolkien trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, and with me, Aaron and Shannon agrees that if you liked the films, you will love the books. There is so much more of that world on the page than there is on screen. She also liked Erin McKittrick’s Small Feet Big Land: Adventure, Home, and Family on the Edge of Alaska.

Erin McKittrick's Small Feet Big Land

Caroline – Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West and Accelerated by Bronwen Hruska.

Andy from the Old Inlet Bookshop actually made it all the way through James Joyce’s Ulysses. Let us all pause a moment in respectful silence. He also liked Alisdair Gray’s Lanark, Tom Kizzia’s Pilgrim’s Wilderness, and is now embarking on David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. (I feel like an amateur reader next to this guy.)

Jerry – Another vote for Tom Kizzia’s Pilgrim’s Wilderness, and anything by Jim Lehrer.

Tom – The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Bluttner, and Tom says if I liked Gavin Menzies 1421: The Year China Discovered America (I did), I will love Menzies’ The Lost Empire of Atlantis: History’s Greatest Mystery Revealed.

Michael – Chasing Alaska by Chris Bernard, and he really liked If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth.

Jeff – Mei Mei Evan’s Oil and Water

And, (almost forgot) Dana – Appetite for America by Stephen Fried
China Airborne by James Fallows
The Black Count by Tom Reiss
James R. Benn’s Billy Boyle series (Terry’s loving them, too)
James S.A. Corey’s slam-bang action-adventure sf series, Leviathan Wakes, Caliban’s War and Abbadon’s Gate (recommended by Patrick at Mysterious Galaxy)

All of these books available from the Homer Bookstore
toll free in Alaska 1-888-635-BOOK
or email them (I always do) at

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Homer Bookstore

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Dana View All →

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10 Comments Leave a comment

  1. By the way, over the years I’ve also read most of Jim Lehrer’s stuff, and would highly recommend his One Eye’s Mac series.

  2. Well, now it’s almost a month after the show, had been my first time to hear of it or listen, really appreciated& enjoyed it ! So I’m a little behind-the-curve on the whole sharing bit….
    My 4 recommendations (which kept building as I was listening):
    1) From Sea to Land – My Interdimensional Journey to MyHeart, with the Dolphins by my Side, by Linda Shay c 2012. They have a school, from Sedona, and maybe if enough interest I’d like to have them come to Homer, belugas being great healers & spirits.
    2)FourthUncle in the Mountain – the Remarkable Legacy of a Buddhist Itinerant Doctor in Vietnam, by Quang Van Nguyen & Marjorie Pivar c 2004
    Starting to read this, it felt to me klike something from hundreds of years ago, & also like a rarity as a book. Actually, it takes place within the 20th century, and a Homer Book Club (which I hadn’t even heard about), I learned later had already read it ! For me it was the only book in which my healing field (Chinese Med.) & spiritual path met.
    3)gorgeous comprehensive book on Boreal plants/herbs, their uses & characteristics, and how-to’s plus lovely colourful pics, in new book section at library. delightful & definitive. by Beth Grey [sp?] – who’s had Boreal herbal shoppe in Whitehorse for decades.
    4)Lindianne Sarno’s Greensleeves – An Historical Novel of the First Irish Diaspora, c 2006. Had seen this on Artists’ Registry site (from HCOA), and my interest was piqued immediately from the description, despite no particular prior interest in the subject. She might still have some at her lovely studio, which I’m glad she has (near Steve Cornish’ Music Shoppe).

    Thanks everyone for contributions & Dana for the list here, makes all the difference.

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