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Welcome to my weekly update for September 26, 2021! My husband and I are flying home to Asheville, North Carolina tomorrow after spending three months in Anchorage, Alaska with his job. We’ve had a wonderful time in this beautiful state!
My big bookish news is that I’ve been chosen as a round one panelist in the high school nonfiction category for the Cybils Awards! I’m so excited! This is my first year participating but the other panelists and round two judges have amazing qualifications; I look forward to working with everyone! Nominations begin Friday, October 1.
Also, today kicks off Banned Books Week. I’ll write a separate post about it but I’ve tried to read enough banned books recently to review one every day this week. Right now I’m a little behind but I think I’ll get it done.
In personal news, I checked my number one bucket list item off last weekend–I saw the northern lights! Woohoo! You can see them from Anchorage sometimes, but the farther north you go, the better your chances of seeing them. At least that’s my understanding. So we drove up to Fairbanks for the weekend and spent three nights looking at the sky. We only saw a low mass of snow clouds on the last two nights but we did get lucky on our first try! I did not know that a camera with the correct settings will pick up the lights better than our naked eyes will. So at first there was a lot of, “Is that faint greenish smudge what we’re looking for?” Sure enough, it was. But as the night went on, we were able to see them more and more clearly. We didn’t see the most active display by any means, but seeing them at all was a dream come true! What a way to end our time in Alaska!
We also crossed the Arctic Circle! That wasn’t a bucket list item but we went for it since we were going to be closer than we’ve ever been before. We took a little charter flight up to Coldfoot Camp and then took a van tour back down the Dalton Highway to Fairbanks. Coldfoot is the farthest north truck stop in the world and the Dalton Highway is one of the roads the Ice Road Truckers drive. It’s just gravel at this time of year though.
All images © Jennifer G. at Introverted Reader 2021
- Northern Lights (I was really happy with the pictures my Pixel 3 took on Night Sight mode. My husband’s were better with his Nikon but I think mine are respectable.)
- Northern Lights
- New snow on the mountains as we flew into Coldfoot
- The Arctic Circle sign!
- Fall color on the Matanuska River. Alaska doesn’t have all the shades of red and orange that other autumnal places do, but these yellows and golds against the green spruces sure are beautiful!
I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site.
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, translated by Magda Bogin
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog (Amelia Peabody #7) by Elizabeth Peters, read by Barbara Rosenblat
Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker
Reading Challenge Update:
I’m including this in an effort to hold myself accountable. I’ll try to remember to update at the end of each month. Challenge title links go to my personal progress page and host links go to the relevant sign-up page.
- Books in Translation Reading Challenge (hosted here at Introverted Reader) Progress: 7/4
- Southern Literature Reading Challenge (hosted here at Introverted Reader) Progress: 6/7
- New (To You) Narrator Reading Challenge (hosted here at Introverted Reader) Progress: 20/6
- Uncorked Reading Challenge (hosted at The Uncorked Librarian) Progress: 9/12
- Nonfiction Reader Challenge (hosted at Book’d Out) Progress: 12/12
- Diversity Reading Challenge (hosted at Celebrity Readers) General Progress: 35/25; Monthly Progress: 9/12
- Audiobook Reading Challenge (hosted at Caffeinated Reviewer and That’s What I’m Talking About) Progress: 33/20
- Book Voyage: Read Around the World Challenge (hosted at The Book Girls’ Guide) Progress: 8/12
- Classics Club (hosted at The Classics Club) Progress: 6/50 by April 15, 2026
I’ll choose one more quick picture book or middle grade book for Banned Books Week and then I’ll be ready to start my annual spooky reading for October! Oh, and I’ll obviously be reading high school nonfiction for the Cybils Awards soon.
What did your week look like?