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Life


Reading the North
New books of interest to Alaskans




(Published: April 20, 2003)




















































adn.com story photo



Click on photo to enlarge
Hey Waitress! The U.S.A. From the Other Side of the Tray

By Alison Owings (University of California Press, $29.95)

The blurb: "The author traveled the country to hear firsthand what waitresses think about their lives, their work and their world. The women speak candidly about how their jobs affect their bodies, their minds and their hearts. They talk of customers and bosses, co-workers and current events, outrages and affections, and sometimes even food. Included in the collection of tales are the memories of Alaskans Linda Bolanos and Susan Donley, waitresses at the Kashim in Wasilla."

Excerpt: "The Kashim, which means 'meeting place' in Aleut, had a reputation as the best place to eat between Fairbanks and Anchorage, said Linda Bolanos. Her mother agreed but then added that was not saying much. The food! "I couldn't believe how poor it was, as far as quality, compared to the states." The service! "Alaska's so much different than the Lower 48. They're laid-back. I don't know if they knew what the word 'service' meant in Wasilla at the time."


Portals in a Northern Sky

By Charles Douglas Hayes (Autodidactic Press, $24.95)

The blurb: "Charles Douglas Hayes is an ex-Marine and a former police officer. He lives in Alaska, where he has worked for more than 20 years in the oil industry. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of 'Flow,' says of the book: 'Reading "Portals" is like looking through a kaleidoscope in which breakneck adventure and science fiction occasionally reconfigure themselves into patterns of ancient wisdom. Don't start unless you have enough time to finish it, because you won't be able to put it down.' "

Excerpt: "The Crime: Dallas, Texas -- Octo ber 31, 1968. Seasons don't ring true in Texas. There should have been a chill in the air, but there wasn't. The night was warm, moist and muggy. June bugs buzzed about the streetlights in a low, guttural groan like distant chain saws in timber country. A squad car pierced the darkness at

50 miles per hour (in a 30-mile-per-hour zone), red lights forcing crimson shadows on the houses, the siren off. It was quitting time on Halloween night. The swing shift was over at 11 p.m., and it was five minutes till. This was an emergency of another kind -- it was called getting off work."


Dark Shaman: A Robert Sable Mystery

By Sean E. Thomas (White Amber Press)

The blurb: "This Alaska author has written four other mystery novels. In this one, children are being kidnapped and slaughtered in the Alaska Bush. State trooper Robert Sable takes over the investigation from Nicholas Kelly, who has vanished without a trace. Sable, along with the FBI, has to deal with an elusive killer who is more cunning than all Sable's previous adversaries.

Excerpt: "A dozen dog-eared manila folders lay scattered across Sergeant Robert Sable's battered oaken desk. He'd inherited the missing children's case just a few days earlier along with his new assignment to the Token detachment. Sable had handled some pretty horrific cases in his 10 years with the Alaska State Troopers, but no other case had repulsed and intrigued him."





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