15 Great Books Set in Alaska

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Best Books Set in Alaska

Are you looking for the best books set in Alaska?

Alaska is one of the most captivating places in the United States. Set far apart from the continental United States, the far northern reaches and icy terrain of Alaska have inspired readers’ and travelers’ imaginations for many years.

I have always been intrigued by Alaska, ever since I visited the state on a cruise with my family when I was around five years old. Although I was so young, many memories stuck out to me: sailing past icy glaciers, seeing traditional Inuit totem poles on land, and marveling at the fact that the sun was still up at midnight (and that I was allowed to stay up that late!)

While I would love to return to Alaska one day, right now I have done the next best thing by compiling this list of books set in Alaska that will take you there.

This collection of fiction and nonfiction books about Alaska will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to the Land of the Midnight Sun without leaving your living room!

Here are the best books about Alaska to add to your reading list:

1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Set in Alaska in 1974, this historical fiction novel from bestselling author Kristin Hannah follows a desperate family seeking a fresh start in the near-wilderness of Alaska.

2. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Another historical fiction book set in Alaska, The Snow Child takes place in the 1920s. A childless couple with a strained marriage are struggling as homesteaders in brutal Alaska, when the arrival of a strange wild girl from the woods, accompanied by a fed fox, changes their lives.

Other Eowyn Ivery books set in Alaska:

3. Two Old Women by Velma Wallis

Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.

4. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

This page-turner nonfiction book is about the missing person case of Chris McCandless. After graduating from college, he gave away all his money and possession, hitchhiking to Alaska and vanishing into the wilderness, only for his body to be discovered four months later.

5. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon

In this alternative history novel, the small town of Sitka, Alaska has become a sprawling metropolis after it was designated as a safe haven for Jews after the Holocaust. It follows a detective who, although things are falling apart in his personal life, throws himself into solving a murder case in a turbulent time when the United States is trying to take back control of Sitka.

6. Braving It by James Campbell

This poignant and humorous memoir is about a dad and his daughter who spent several trips together in Alaska during her teenage years to assist family. Over the years, their adventures included building a cabin in the rugged Interior, hunting for caribou, backpacking through the unforgiving terrain of the Brooks Range, and kayaking in the Arctic Ocean.

7. Alaska by James A. Michener

In this sweeping historical novel of the northernmost American frontier, the author takes readers on a journey through Alaska’s fierce terrain and history, from the long-forgotten past to the bustling present. It traces the enduring spirit of Alaskan land and Alaskan people.

8. The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

If you are looking for a romance novel set in Alaska, this is a good one to pick up. City girl Calla goes to Alaska to attempt to reconnect with her estranged father, and unwittingly finds herself falling for a rugged Alaskan pilot who makes her question her desire to leave Alaska.

Other K.A. Tucker books set in Alaska:

9. Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers

Josie’s life is in shambles as she’s newly divorced and just lost her dental practice because a patient sues her. In order to get away from it all, she takes her kids on a road trip to Alaska.

10. Drop City by T.C. Boyle

This novel follows Star, a hippie who has moved to a commune in sunny California. However, when the commune decides to relocate to Alaska, trouble and hijinks ensue.

11. Ada Blackjack by Jennifer Niven

This nonfiction book tells the remarkable story of Ada Blackjack, an Inuit woman who survived alone for six months on a desolate island off the coast of Alaska. In 1921, Ada accompanied four young men on a mission to Wrangel Island, but she was the sole survivor. This book pieces together her incredible survival story and ingenuity that kept her alive in the wilderness.

12. 81 Days Below Zero by Brian Murphy

Another incredible Alaskan survival story is 81 Days Below Zero. It’s the true story of a World War II pilot who survived a crash landing in the rugged Yukon wilderness.

13. Tisha by Robert Specht

This is the true story of a young woman who moved to Alaska in 1927 to be a schoolteacher to Inuit children. She also falls in love with a half-Inuit man at a time when this was not socially acceptable. This touching memoirs deals with prejudice, perseverance, and unconditional love.

14. Hold the Dark by William Giraldi

In this dark and chilling novel, children are mysteriously going missing in an Alaskan town on the edge of civilization, where winter is a harsh, ever-present reality.

15. The Smell of Other People’s House by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

This moving and authentic young adult novel is set in Alaska in the 1970s. It follows three very different teenage girls and one boy whose lives become unexpectedly tangled.

Best Books Set in Alaska

These are some of the best books set in Alaska.

Have you read any of these books set in Alaska? Do you have any favorite books set in Alaska that I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

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