Tag Archive: Alaska



Chasing Down the Dawn: Stories From The RoadChasing Down the Dawn: Stories From The Road by Jewel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the ‘six degree from’ game, I feel fairly close to Jewel and her family. And since my cruise to Alaska in June over a decade ago I have a sacred place in my heart for that “Last Frontier”, and Kilcher family. So with the above in mind, when I saw this book on sale for $.99, I grabbed it.

This is not a fantasy book, this is not an adventure book. It is bits and pieces of someone’s life. To read that kind of thing I have to be in a certain mood. Having just moved north into the country into a slower lifestyle. I found I could probably enjoy a quieter books. I was not wrong. I don’t think I’ve read anything else by Jewel. And she’s not of my generation of music so I barely listen to her. So it was I found myself wandering in somebody else’s life through their writing. Much of it is poetic in nature, a lot of it feels like you’re reading her journal. I felt Jewel was very brave, with a lot of what she shared of her life in this book. Maybe she addressed these things in her other books, but as I said this is my first time reading her writing.

How could someone be judgmental about a person sharing a piece of their life? So I find giving it any kind of stars difficult. For being brave and being open, I give her five stars for this book. But I think the hard thing for me was how often the book went back and forth in time. And since I was listening on text-to-speech, I found it difficult to know, what part of her life she was speaking of. And though the book is now $3.99, I think it is well worth it. If only to teach the rest of us to start writing our journals.

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Denali SkiesDenali Skies by Danielle Rohr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A little over a decade ago, I was lucky enough to take a cruise through the inland waterway of Alaska. If truth be known, I didn’t want to go to that cold place, even in the summer. But I was so glad I did! I found out there are things that you dream of or wish for but have no idea what exciting wonders will be granted to you. Ever since this cruise I have been obsessed with all things Alaska. Anything written, or on TV, or movies, about Alaska, I have to meld myself into it. Especially now that the fibromyalgia prevents me from even leaving the house. So when I saw this book, on the Kindle freebie list I knew I had to get it.

For the most part, I am glad I did. Though I never got as far as Homer or Denali, it was fun to experience that great frontier through Danielle Rohr’s eyes. Okay, this is fiction, but I think one would have to experience it to write so eloquently about it. I loved the parts of the book that she becomes one with the mountain and the whole park.

I loved the characters created in the book. Regardless of how, as a parent, I nearly screamed at this New Adult about being more cautious, I think the book and the characters hold more wisdom than negative life experiences. Yet, it was those repeated mistakes the main character makes that started ruining it for me. I understood that this was a growing experience for the main character. She had to go through what she went through to find her own path.

Though there weren’t as many editing errors as some books I’ve read, I did find there was a need for another set of eyes in some places. It didn’t distract from the story, but it might for others.

My wish as I neared the end was that the MC would find a way to stay. Had I discovered all that she did at her age, I think I would have tried to find a way to stay. Maybe not as a waitress but there must have been other job opportunities to make staying possible. But that’s just me.

Good read!

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Touching the Clouds (Alaskan Skies, #1)Touching the Clouds by Bonnie Leon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After my cruise to Alaska way back in June 2001, I love reading about Alaska. I also love books about women who are pilots of bush planes. I am impressed with their courage and stamina. So when I saw this book about a young female pilot in the early 1930s I had to get it. I expected adventure plus!

As for adventure, that was there. And I did like the main character. She was strong. And in those days a female not tending the home-front was an oddity at best. The author did a fine job showing that part of our history.

Anyone who knows me, has read my reviews, knows I don’t much like romantic books. But if it is part of the story and not the whole arc of the story I can bear with it. My favorite parts of this story were the main character flying, oh, and her dog. But be warned, there is romance. :-/

Another thing I don’t like is reading along enjoying the abilities of human endeavor and have the book suddenly become christian propaganda. Warning, that happens here. But I have to admit that it wasn’t all that annoying. Even atheists tend to foxhole prayers. Yes, there were the occasional scripture. Those were not as convincing as maybe the author thought they might be. Sorry. And in that case it got a little annoying. Instead of dropping the book in favor of others sitting and waiting for me to read, I couldn’t stop reading. I wanted to know what would happen next. I don’t mind that the main character is a Christian and seems quite strong in her beliefs. I mind that the one who doesn’t believe is being worked at to break him down, belief being the goal, even more than the romantic notions. He had good reasons to believe the way he did. So did she. What they had in common was tragedy. No one’s fault, accept we can’t control everything. That alone is a great storyline. But…

Now I have to admit that midway through the book I went back to the GoodReads page and saw that it was tagged as Christian Fiction. Then I didn’t feel so taken in. Had I not seen that I would have given up the story. But knowing it wasn’t just proselytizing — it was stated pure and plain. So I continued and finished the book. It was okay. I’m not going to pursue the next books. Sorry. It’s beginning to look like too much romance.

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The Wild Side of Alaska
The Wild Side of Alaska by Donna Morang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever since my husband and I took a small cruise from Juneau to Glacier Bay back pre 9-11 in June 2001 (TMI?) I have had a love-hate relationship with Alaska. The cruise was marvelous. I loved every minute of it. I just knew could I never live there. I would never be able to handle the cold winters and long winter nights. When we were on the cruise having only a couple hours of night was perfect for me. Kayaking next to icebergs was so exciting!

But this is supposed to be about the book. I highly admire Donna Morang and her spirit of adventure so it was a given that I would love the book. And I did! Even though I am a gluten-free vegan, I understand the fishing and hunting thrill. I, also, appreciate the survival need for these activities. I suppose if I needed to I might push myself to partake. Since the Kilcher Alaskan Show (name slips my mind right now) I feel there are ways for me to survive there diet wise. But this old body would cease to exist in the cold.

Why am I making this about me? Well, the above thoughts would be prominent as I read Ms. Morang’s story. Okay, maybe I would have made it in the sixties. also. I think I am about Donna’s age. In fact, I was a cosmetologist in the late sixties and early seventies. But I was in Southern California at the time.

What an adventure! Bear attacks, nearly drowning in the rapids, raising a baby so far from town. Flying above the Alaskan scenery! It was so fun to live, vicariously, through Donna’s eyes. Such a different kind of life from mine.

There were grammatical errors, but not enough to ruined it for me. I think I wanted more emotion? Deeper connections between Donna and her husband? I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe because she is drawing on journal entries and memories, and who remembers accurately that far back? I barely can remember yesterday. Maybe I needed more of my senses involved?

I did love the pictures. I wanted more of them. The scariest picture was of the baby and the wolf. I felt all the emotions Donna must have felt at that moment.

I give it 5 stars. I will remember this book for a long time, and I may want to re-read it someday just to bring back the Alaska feelings. I already miss it.

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Everyone of us looking in different directions. There was so much beauty! And mountain sheep.

Everyone of us looking in different directions. There was so much beauty! And mountain sheep.

abouttokayakfirsttime

Me getting ready to kayak. I didn’t need all those layers I learned as I huffed and puffed.

blueberg

We cruised by gems of icebergs, some blue, some green. All fascinating!

Iceberg

It was a larger iceberg like this one that we saw a line of puffin lined up. Not sure where the puffin picture is right now.

icefield

Ice flows. Okay, this isn’t the picture of the the soup of ice that our captain had to maneuver, but it almost looked this bad! Scary!

me in alaska

Me in my orange coat with orange nails in front of Mendenhall Glacier. My husband had bought us matching orange coats. At the time they arrived I felt it a little corny, but it was meant to take this kind of cold. Those nails are shown because I was wearing thermal reacting polish that was pink in color when warm. I was surprised that when they were cold they matched my orange coat.

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