Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Dog Sled Races in Alaska

I recently read three books—back to back—that were all about sled dog races in Alaska. I recommend all three books, especially if you love dogs.

I lived in Alaska for a year back in the late ‘70s, and I could really identify with the stories about Alaska, its beauty, the unique culture, the weather, etc.

Click “more” for more information about these books.

The first book is called Race Across Alaska. It was written in the mid-1980s by Libby Riddles—the first woman to ever win the famous Iditarod race. Whoops, I just told you the ending!

Well actually, the ending is printed right on the cover. The fact that she wins is well known. But, throughout the book you will wonder just how she wins, just what does she do? This book is about the race and Libby’s experiences during the race. It is also about the dogs.

The book is still in print. The copy I read was loaned to me by my friend Ed Milewski, a fishing buddy from up at Sand Creek Park. It was a signed copy he got when he lived in Alaska for a while.

It is a quick read, and you will be hooked!

The second book is titled Running North by Ann Mariah Cook. This book is about the Alaskan Quest—perhaps the hardest most challenging sled dog race in the world. The race is about as long as the Iditarod, but tougher.

It is Ann’s husband, George, who runs the race. But, the book is written from the perspective of Ann. It is about the wife and family who do not run the race, but work to prepare for it, and suffer through it. This book is about the race, the family, relationships, the Alaskan culture, and, of course, the dogs.

The third book is Winterdance by Gary Paulsen. It is about Gary’s racing the Iditarod. The book is written in a very crisp, engaging style. Sometimes, he writes like Peter Mayle, and you will laugh till you hurt. Then, you’ll cry. This book is not so much about the race as about sled dog racing. It is about the passion of racers, their infatuation with the sport, and, of course, about the dogs.

First place, or last—these books are about winners. Adventurers. Bravery. Stupidity. Relationships. Life. And, dogs. I laughed and I cried while reading each book.

I highly recommend you read them all.

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Posted under: Books I've Enjoyed • by Rick on 08/20/2003 at 09:30 PM
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