January 25, 2010

Monday Book Give Away, #23

This week's book give away is a memoir, Shopping for Porcupine, by Seth Kantner. This is a hardcover and it's autographed by the author. I really loved this book, and hope you will, too.

Kirkus Reviews

Inspiring stories of an upbringing in the frosty wilderness. Employing a pleasant, conversational tone, novelist and outdoor photographer Kantner (Ordinary Wolves, 2004) fondly relates his life in Alaska. His prideful father Howard, an intrepid wanderer, scaled Mount McKinley in the early 1960s. Howard had previously learned the ancient ways of the indigenous I-upiaq people, which he and wife Erna then translated into the upbringing of Seth and his brother Kole. Kantner testifies to the immense challenges of day-to-day survival in a homemade sod igloo, a structure that was regularly buried by sudden snow squalls, in a climate where "frostbite was a way of life." The Kantner family subsisted on animals like porcupine and caribou in its entirety: "pot roast, tongue, tenderloins, lips and leg bones, rendered back and intestine fat." They wore mukluks and wrapped themselves in hides to stay warm as they drank melted snow and welcomed stray visitors to their free-range "bush life." Throughout their youth, Seth and Kole experienced "low stone walls of racism" from nearby Eskimo villagers because of their white skin. As they matured into young men, the brothers hunted, ice-fished and trapped otter together, though the gap between their personal interests eventually pried them apart. Kole went on to study physics; Seth romanced his wife-to-be in their igloo, quit college, then later gravitated to the exacting art of nature photographs, many of which fill this book with breathtaking splendor. Later chapters find the author and spouse Stacey enjoying adventures on the Alaskan tundra, including varied moose dramas and driving daughter China to kindergarten in 30-degree-below-zero weather. Now in hislate 40s, the author advocates for the preservation of the Alaskan tundra, increasingly gentrified by big-fisted politics and "heaped and flippant wealth."A majestic, frozen backdrop beautifully thawed by human life.
If you're interested, leave a comment. I will keep the comments open until Sunday afternoon and then announce the winner on Monday morning when I offer a new book. The winner will chosen by the Random-Number-Generator. No one wanted last week's offering, so they're being donated to Murrieta Friends of the Valley.

Correction: Paula entered on FB, so the books are going out to Florida.


  1. I got this book for Christmas. I loved it!

    Hey Jan, Happy New Year! I think of you everytime I go to the book store.

  2. Thanks for thinking of my Mrs. G.

  3. Oh, that book looks interesting! Count me in!

  4. This does look interesting! Books pitting man against nature are great in this age of "buy everything."


Thank you for commenting! I enjoy replying to all comments that have an email address attached. If you are not on Blogger please include an email address within your comment--then I can say hi back!