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Literary culture in Wasilla, Alaska

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Lately, the stories connecting Wasilla and books have mostly been pretty grim, as rumors swirled earlier this month that vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin had inquired about banning books there during her tenure as mayor.

But today, online book retailer AbeBooks.com tried to lighten the mood with a tongue-in-cheek press release praising Wasilla (pop. 10,000) as a "publishing powerhouse."

"Well, perhaps not a powerhouse," they quickly qualify. But, at least, they insist, " 'Wasilla Lit' covers many parts of the book spectrum."

The AbeBooks.com Top 10 books from Wasilla, Alaska, list is actually an intriguing one. I'm going to skip the top four as they are all hunting books and the animal lover in me recoils from giving them ink, but here are the next six, certainly intriguing in terms of variety and local color:

–"The Old Lady of Wasilla Lake: A Story of the Red-Necked Grebes" by Jack Randall

– "New Eyes on Old Alaska" by Edward Godnig

–"Tundra in Full Color" by Chad Carpenter

– "Beyond the American Dream: Lifelong Learning and the Search for Meaning in a Postmodern World" by Charles D. Hayes

– "We're Going to Alaska" by Domonic Carney

– "Alaska Dog Mushing Guide" by Ron Wendt

According to AbesBooks, there were also many more hunting books from Wasilla but they decided to limit the number they would list. They also note the success of Palin bio "Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down" by Kaylene Johnson, but finish by concluding that, when it comes to literature from Wasilla, "Sarah" is "just the tip of the tundra."

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