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APL's Book Club Resources

Book Club Resources is a compiled list of book club web sites, publisher links, and reference books for a starting and maintaining a successful book club discussion group.

Book Club Bag Kits – updated December 2013

Anchorage Reads 2015

The Book - The Raven's Gift

John Morgan and his wife can barely contain their excitement upon arriving as the new teachers in a Yup'ik Eskimo village on the windswept Alaskan tundra. But their move proves disastrous when a deadly epidemic strikes and the isolated community descends into total chaos. When outside aid fails to arrive, John's only hope lies in escaping the snow-covered tundra and the hunger of the other survivors—he must make the thousand-mile trek across the Alaskan wilderness for help. He encounters a blind Eskimo girl and an elderly woman who need his protection, and he needs their knowledge of the terrain to survive. The harsh journey pushes him beyond his limits as he discovers a new sense of hope and the possibility of loving again.  

The Author - Don Rearden

Don Rearden is the author of the award winning novel, The Raven's Gift. Published by Penguin US (Pintail), Penguin Canada, Text Publishing Australia, and Fleuve Noir, France.

Don Rearden grew up on the tundra of Southwestern Alaska. His experiences with the Yup'ik culture shaped both his writing and to a larger extent his worldview. While he is a produced screenwriter and published poet, his heart often draws his writing back to characters and stories that originate on the tundra. In his fiction he hopes to shed light on the struggles of everyday life in rural Alaska, a place outsiders often view as a mystical and mysterious land.

Rearden lives in the mountain community of Bear Valley, Alaska, and teaches English at the University of Alaska Anchorage where he shows young writers how to develop their creative voices. Much of his writing and thought is influenced from learning experiences in the Alaskan wilderness, as well as from the teachings and writings of his mentor and friend, Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael and The Story of B.

Pulitzer Prize finalist, Eowyn Ivey called The Raven's Gift, "fantastic, one of the best books about Alaska I have ever read. It calls to mind Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King, but at the same time it is all its own. It is a survival story and an edge-of-the-seat thriller."

Read the first chapter online at


The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Project led the way to revitalize the role of literature in communities across the nation. Anchorage Reads is an Anchorage Public Library program to promote reading, literacy and community-building by encouraging people of different ages and backgrounds to engage in a shared reading experience and talk about one book.

We greatly appreciate the generosity and commitment of our past and present sponsors and local community partners. Anchorage Reads 2015 runs mid-February through mid-March. Anyone can participate. Pick up the current book at your local library or bookstore and get reading! Check for upcoming announcements at:

  • 2014 - The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone
  • 2013 - The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey 
  • 2012 - The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • 2011 - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • 2010 - Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  • 2009 - The Trap by John Smelcer
  • 2008 - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • 2007 - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury