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If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska

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If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska Cover

ISBN13: 9781565125247
ISBN10: 156512524x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Tiny Haines, Alaska, is ninety miles north of Juneau, accessible mainly by water or air — and only when the weather is good. There's no traffic light and no mail delivery; people can vanish without a trace, and funerals are community affairs. Heather Lende posts both the obituaries and the social column for the local newspaper. If anyone knows the goings-on in this close-knit town — from births to weddings to funerals — she does.

Whether contemplating the mysterious death of eccentric Speedy Joe, who never took off his hat — not even for a haircut; researching the details of a one-legged lady gold miner's adventurous life; observing the Chilkat Bald Eagle Festival; or ice skating in the shadow of glacier-studded mountains, Lende's warm, folksy style brings us inside her busy life.

We meet her husband, Chip, who owns the local lumber yard, their five children, and a colorful assortment of friends and neighbors, including aging hippies, salty fisherman, native Tlingit Indians, and volunteer undertakers, as well as the moose, eagles, sea lions, and bears with whom they share this wild and perilous land.

Review:

"Lende chronicles the various lives and deaths of the people of Haines, Alaska, an almost inaccessible hamlet 90 miles north of Juneau. In writing her social and obituary columns for Haines's Chilkat Valley News — some of which are included here — she blends reportage and humor. Lende has lived in Haines all her adult life and is well-known in town. She deftly illuminates local color: the sewer plant manager who rides a motorcycle and sports a ZZ Top beard, the high school principal who moonlights as a Roy Orbison impersonator, and the one-legged female gold miner. Lende covers death in her community in all its forms — accidental, intentional and inevitable — and notes, 'writing about the dead helps me celebrate the living.' While comic, the book also has some sensitive, insightful anecdotes. For example, Lende, a contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, portrays the building of a coffin for a beloved mother by her youngest daughter; the sinking of a family boat with a tender farewell for a fearless fisherman; the mourning of a quirky, civic-minded 'aging hippie'; and the goodbye to a Texas woman who hosted an annual Mississippi blues party. Lende's picture of an Alaskan small town is colorful and captivating. Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name tells readers several stories, some Lende's own. She writes of the five children she raises in Haines...of her race down the hazardous mountain road to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, before her son's appendix burst. Others chronicle the town and its people." Seattle Times

Review:

"The author has a real gift for eulogy; she knows that every life contains something to admire, honor or illuminate...Lende's quiet vice resonates long after the book is finished." Booklist

Review:

"Lende paints a picture of life in a unique setting and writes thoughtfully about her life, family, faith, neighbors and small town conflict... [An] absorbing homage." Library Journal

Review:

"Written with ease and empathy, this is both about maintaining a home in Alaska and about being at home in the world...Homespun warmth in a cold climate" Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"This is something tender and brave — using death as introduction to lives and loves and fabric of community in a northern town. Heather Lende provides powerful witness." Seth Kantner, author of Ordinary Wolves

Review:

" Heather Lende is deeply attuned to the simple, the quirky, and the quietly profound elements that compose a life well- lived, and she writes of them with grace and good humor. When, now and again, your reading is interrupted by tears, they will be the sweet sort." Michael Perry author of Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time

Review:

"These are true tales of ordinary people who do extraordinary things with (and to) one another in one of the most beautiful backwaters on Earth." Tom Bodett, author of The End of the Road stories and Norman Tuttle on the Last Frontier

Review:

"Heather Lende is the perfect frontier guide — clear-eyed and big- hearted, tackling family and community and life and death with humor and hope." Stewart O'Nan, author of Faithful

Review:

"Heather's rendering of a place and its people is so honest, so intimate and so perfect....It's what, I think, we all want from life." Craig Popelars, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

Synopsis:

Haines, Alaska--accessible by water or air--has no traffic light and no mail delivery, and funerals are community affairs. Lende posts the obituaries and the social column for the local newspaper, and if anyone knows the goings-on in this close-knit town, she does.

About the Author

Heather Lende writes for Haine's Chilkat Valley News and is a frequent contributor to the Christian Science Monitor and NPR's Morning Edition. Her column for the Anchorage Daily News was awarded the 2002 Suzan Nightingale McKay Best Columnist Award by the Alaska Press Club.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

reading4years, July 2, 2009 (view all comments by reading4years)
Heather Lende lives in Haines, Alaska, a small town of 2,500 at the north end of Alaska’s Inside Passage. A short film available on the town’s web site confirms the beauty Lende describes . . . a historic old town on the water, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Lende writes the social column (“Duly Noted”) as well as the obituaries for the local newspaper. The book portrays myriad aspects of the life of this town. In describing the hunting and fishing, and traveling in and out by small plane and ferry, Lende does not shy from the associated danger and seemingly all-too-frequent deaths. She also provides a window on the day-to-day activities of school, church, local theater, parades, local politics, and changes as the town has become a popular tourist stop for cruise ship travelers and others. As the book progresses, it moves from the merely descriptive (albeit excellent and often amusing) to touching the reader’s heart.
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Debbie Frizzell, November 24, 2007 (view all comments by Debbie Frizzell)
Ever been to Haines, Alaska? If not, you'll want to book the first plane/ferry available to visit the place that Heather Lende writes about: the wilderness, her family, and the wonderful cast of people that make up the small village. The book is about more than Haines, Alaska, however. It's about family and friendships, quirky people, the love of a good dog, and how life in a small remote town can be both a challenge and an absolute pleasure.
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(20 of 34 readers found this comment helpful)
MMLittle, January 7, 2007 (view all comments by MMLittle)
I bought this book thinking it would be NORTHERN EXPOSURE in book form. While it has the same humor, charm and intelligence of that show, it also is a touching, spiritual look at life by someone who has learned to be grateful for each day we have and embraces living in an environment that doesn't offer the "necessary comforts" that we in the lower 48 take for granted.
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(11 of 24 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781565125247
Author:
Lende, Heather
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Subject:
United States - West - Pacific (General)
Subject:
Regional Subjects - West
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
TRAVEL / United States/West/Pacific (AK, CA, HI, NV, OR, WA)
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
TRAVEL / United States / West / Pacific (AK, CA, HI, OR, WA)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20060631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
296
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Biography » Women
Featured Titles » Biography
History and Social Science » Americana » Alaska
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Travel » North America » United States » Western States
Travel » Travel Writing » General

If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.98 In Stock
Product details 296 pages Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - English 9781565125247 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Lende chronicles the various lives and deaths of the people of Haines, Alaska, an almost inaccessible hamlet 90 miles north of Juneau. In writing her social and obituary columns for Haines's Chilkat Valley News — some of which are included here — she blends reportage and humor. Lende has lived in Haines all her adult life and is well-known in town. She deftly illuminates local color: the sewer plant manager who rides a motorcycle and sports a ZZ Top beard, the high school principal who moonlights as a Roy Orbison impersonator, and the one-legged female gold miner. Lende covers death in her community in all its forms — accidental, intentional and inevitable — and notes, 'writing about the dead helps me celebrate the living.' While comic, the book also has some sensitive, insightful anecdotes. For example, Lende, a contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, portrays the building of a coffin for a beloved mother by her youngest daughter; the sinking of a family boat with a tender farewell for a fearless fisherman; the mourning of a quirky, civic-minded 'aging hippie'; and the goodbye to a Texas woman who hosted an annual Mississippi blues party. Lende's picture of an Alaskan small town is colorful and captivating. Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name tells readers several stories, some Lende's own. She writes of the five children she raises in Haines...of her race down the hazardous mountain road to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, before her son's appendix burst. Others chronicle the town and its people."
"Review" by , "The author has a real gift for eulogy; she knows that every life contains something to admire, honor or illuminate...Lende's quiet vice resonates long after the book is finished."
"Review" by , "Lende paints a picture of life in a unique setting and writes thoughtfully about her life, family, faith, neighbors and small town conflict... [An] absorbing homage."
"Review" by , "Written with ease and empathy, this is both about maintaining a home in Alaska and about being at home in the world...Homespun warmth in a cold climate"
"Review" by , "This is something tender and brave — using death as introduction to lives and loves and fabric of community in a northern town. Heather Lende provides powerful witness."
"Review" by , " Heather Lende is deeply attuned to the simple, the quirky, and the quietly profound elements that compose a life well- lived, and she writes of them with grace and good humor. When, now and again, your reading is interrupted by tears, they will be the sweet sort."
"Review" by , "These are true tales of ordinary people who do extraordinary things with (and to) one another in one of the most beautiful backwaters on Earth."
"Review" by , "Heather Lende is the perfect frontier guide — clear-eyed and big- hearted, tackling family and community and life and death with humor and hope."
"Review" by , "Heather's rendering of a place and its people is so honest, so intimate and so perfect....It's what, I think, we all want from life."
"Synopsis" by , Haines, Alaska--accessible by water or air--has no traffic light and no mail delivery, and funerals are community affairs. Lende posts the obituaries and the social column for the local newspaper, and if anyone knows the goings-on in this close-knit town, she does.
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