Whether it be poetry, adventure, nonfiction or cookbooks, local writers cover a variety of genres. The gift of books and reading can be appreciated by children and adults alike. If a book is on your Christmas list, there are several titles written by residents of the central peninsula to add to your shopping list.
Bill Howell of Sterling has written several books about the history of brewing in Alaska. His book “Alaska Beer: Liquid Gold in the Land of the Midnight Sun,” explores the historic and present Alaska beer scene. You can find his books at River City Books in Soldotna, Kenai River Brewing Company and at the Kenai Peninsula College Bookstore.
Willow-Haven Walaszek grew up on the Kenai Peninsula and is studying to be a dental hygienist in Utah. While she’s home for the holidays, Walaszek is promoting her children’s book “I like your Smile,” which introduces children to their first dentist experience.
“It’s warming them up to the idea and all the things they will be experiencing their first trip to the dentist,” Walaszek said.
She said the book can be used as a resource for medical professionals and parents to get kids excited about their teeth and hygiene. Walaszek will be reading her book during a special story time at the Kenai Library at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 19.
Mirian Saldivar published her first book, “Pictures of Women and Ladies,” this October. Inspired by the evolving stick figures that designate female and male bathroom signs, Saldivar began to photograph the unique signs small businesses would use to designate their bathrooms. Saldivar said the signs were found across Alaska, from Talkeetna to her hometown in Kodiak. She said the majority were found in her new home of the central peninsula.
“I started noticing small businesses were create fun and creative signs,” Saldivar said. “While developing the book I grew a passion for mom and pop stores.”
She said she hopes the book provides good vibes to her readers.
“It’s lighthearted and I want it to put a smile on the readers face,” Saldivar said.
Find “Pictures of Women and Ladies” at Everything Bagels and Veronica’s.
“Alaska From Scratch,” is Kenai resident Maya Wilson’s first cookbook. The book features several recipes using Alaska seafood. The food columnist and author will soon be opening up Addie Camp Train Car Eatery and Wine Bar at the end of the month as the head chef. Find her book at River City Books in Soldotna.
Find even more locally written books by exploring local bookstores.
A secondhand bookstore.
907-252-9215, 44619 Sterling Highway Ste. 2
River City Books
River City Books carries a wide variety of Alaska books, many of which are written by authors from the peninsula. Owner Peggy Mullen said there are about 15 or so local authors represented in her bookshop.
“Creative people need to have a place to sell their work and we’re happy to do that,” Mullen said. “We keep a shelf of local authors, some of which sell better than others, but they need to have exposure somewhere and we’re happy to be that place.”
907-206-7722, 43977 Sterling Highway #A
Allison Darsey, a clerk at Already Read, said the shop is having a 50 percent off sale on coffee table books, which goes on until Christmas.
“We have an amazing genre of books,” Darsey said. “We have any genre you can imagine.”
Darsey said the shop has a large Alaska section. The used bookstore does have a new book section as well, but Darsey said it’s limited to local authors only. The shop has a credit policy where people can bring in books they’ve read and trade them in for store credit.
Owner Ben Jackinsky said the shop is like a treasure trove.
“You don’t know what you want until you find it,” Jackinsky said.
907-335-2665, 506 Attla Way
The Reading Corner
The Reading Corner is a used bookstore that features genres of all kinds. The shop also includes a gift shop area and a coffee bar.