This spring has been one of the chilliest in decades, which might be why my thoughts have been turning toward the Arctic Circle. More likely, though, it’s because of the paperback re-release of Nobody Gets Out Alive, a debut book of fiction from Alaska native Leigh Newman. A collection of dazzling, courageous stories about women struggling to survive not just grizzly bears and charging moose but the raw, exhausting legacy of their marriages and families. Alongside stories set in today’s Last Frontier—rife with suburban sprawl, global warming, and opioid addiction—Newman delves into the remote wilderness of the 1970s and 80s, bringing to life young girls and single moms in search of a wilder, freer, more adventurous America. The final story takes place in a railroad camp in 1915, where an outspoken heiress stages an elaborate theatrical in order to seduce the wife of her husband’s employer. Parsing the connections between the various characters across place and time is only one of the many pleasures to be found here.
—James, Madison Books, Seattle, WA
The weather may have turned a summer-like corner, but a good book is a good book, no matter what the thermostat says. Treat yourself to good books from Madison Books and other independent bookstores.