If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska

If You Lived Here I d Know Your Name News from Small Town Alaska Tiny Haines Alaska is ninety miles north of Juneau accessible mainly by water or air and only when the weather is good There s no traffic light and no mail delivery people can vanish without a trac

  • Title: If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska
  • Author: Heather Lende
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 309
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Tiny Haines, Alaska, is ninety miles north of Juneau, accessible mainly by water or air and only when the weather is good There s no traffic light and no mail delivery people can vanish without a trace and funerals are a community affair Heather Lende posts both the obituaries and the social column for her local newspaper If anyone knows the going on in this close knitTiny Haines, Alaska, is ninety miles north of Juneau, accessible mainly by water or air and only when the weather is good There s no traffic light and no mail delivery people can vanish without a trace and funerals are a community affair Heather Lende posts both the obituaries and the social column for her local newspaper If anyone knows the going on in this close knit town from births to weddings to funerals she does Whether contemplating the mysterious death of eccentric Speedy Joe, who wore nothing but a red union suit and a hat he never took off, not even for a haircut researching the details of a one legged lady gold miner s adventurous life worrying about her son s first goat hunting expedition observing the awe inspiring Chilkat Bald Eagle Festival or ice skating in the shadow of glacier studded mountains, Lende s warmhearted style brings us inside her small town life We meet her husband, Chip, who owns the local lumber yard their five children and a colorful assortment of quirky friends and neighbors, including aging hippies, salty fishermen, native Tlingit Indians, and volunteer undertakers as well as the moose, eagles, sea lions, and bears with whom they share this wild and perilous land Like Bailey White s tales of Southern life or Garrison Keillor s reports from the Midwest, NPR commentator Heather Lende s take on her offbeat Alaskan hometown celebrates life in a dangerous and breathtakingly beautiful place.

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      Posted by:Heather Lende
      Published :2019-09-03T10:01:55+00:00

    About “Heather Lende

    • Heather Lende

      Heather Lende is an obituary for the Chilkat Valley News in Haines, Alaska She is also a former contributing editor at Woman s Day, a columnist for the Alaska Dispatch News, and author of Find the Good Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small town Obituary Writer 2015 , a memoir of faith, family, and community Take Good care of the Garden and the Dogs 2010 , and NY Times bestseller, If You Lived Here, I d Know Your Name The News From Small town Alaska 2005 A Middlebury College grad with an MFA from the University of Alaska Anchorage, Heather has lived in Haines for over thirty years Her husband owns a lumberyard there and they have five children and five grandchildren Heather is a hospice, library, and radio station volunteer, cycles, swims, hunts, and hikes and likes to walk her dog Pearl, and share meals with family and friends Haines is her favorite place in the world.

    411 thoughts on “If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska

    • Heather Lende married her husband Chip right after college and took the great American road trip to Alaska. Falling in love with America's final frontier, they never left. After spending a year in Juneau, they moved to Haines, a fishing and tourist town, population 2400 give or take.Haines is small town USA in every sense of the word. The only difference is that Haines is in Alaska so it is more isolated than small town Wisconsin, for example. There are no traffic lights in the town, the first i [...]


    • If you've ever wondered what it would be like to live in small-town Alaska, this is the book for you! When we first visited Alaska ten years ago, we were quite bitten with the bug to move there and even went so far as to start scouring the real estate ads for homes for sale in Homer. This was in 2006, and the first thing we noticed were the large number of houses that were listed under foreclosure--a forerunner of the recession to come around the world!Now in the fall of 2016, I chose this book [...]


    • On vacation in Alaska, and visiting the tiny town of Haines, I realized some places are just kinder to their local authors. In fact, maybe they’re just kinder to everyone—Haines is such a small town that everyone surely knows everyone else. And every store that sells anything sells books by local authors, including Heather Lende’s If you lived here, I’d know your name. After seeing that glorious moose gazing out from the cover often enough, I could no longer resist.Heather Lende is an es [...]


    • A bit too mundane but some interesting bits about life in small-town Alaska. The author is the obituary writer in the town, which led to the most interesting bits.(Dang I need to change my Kindle settings - when I finished the book, my Kindle marked it as read in and I never realized I hadn't written a review.)


    • I really enjoyed this book. It was a nice, relaxing read for me. I enjoyed Lende's writing style. It was very soothing and like talking to an old friend I haven't seen in a while catching me up on what's happened since I saw her last. Yes, it is full of death but not in a morbid way and no, it wasn't very exciting because most of the time life isn't. Instead it was down to earth and genuine. Well done Lende. Well done.


    • I just loved this book! It is fun. A Prairie Home Companion for Alaska with all the nuances and eccentricities of character that make reading so enjoyable. Each chapter is a story unto itself, so this lends itself to those readers traveling on business, or those frazzled moms and dads, who need to pick up some reading before bedtime that will make them laugh, smile and relax. I hope the author continues with her writing for those of us on "mainland".


    • I wanted to like this book. As I read it, though, the word that overwhelmed everything else was smug. "We're better than everyone else, because we live far, far away from medical care. We're better than everyone else, because we all take care of each other."Fine, except that the actual stories she tells belie the smug attituder more, please visit my blog - Wine and Proses!



    • I'm surprised at the high star ratings for this book.There's nothing really wrong with it but I found it to be a complete bore. The author writes the obituaries for the local paper so many of her chapters revolve around the death of townsfolk. Where this could be a great opportunity to learn meaningful stories to me the chapters all fall flat and seemed like "Person X lived in a small town, was happy without a lot of money, loved the land" over and over and over.There are some ruminations about [...]


    • Based on what I heard from friends about this book, I was expecting something charming, uplifting, enchanting -- tales from a place I'd rather live. I think a better title for this book would have been If You Died Here, I'd Know Your Name because the stories start to take on the cadence of a speech by Mr. Weir on Freaks and Geeks: "I used to know a guy like that. Want to know what happened to him? HE DIED!"Lots of spaghetti dinners, lots of "God is good", lots of winding tales about coming to pe [...]


    • I used to read the weekly articles Heather wrote for the Anchorage Daily News. I didn't always agree with her politics, but I always enjoyed the hometown-sey feeling of her articles. It appears Heather got the idea for this book from her job of writing obituaries for the local newspaperd each chapter seems to go off from getting ready to write someone's obit. This book is like reading the musings of an old friend. I have friends in Haines (who weren't mentioned by name in the book) and I definit [...]


    • 3.5 starsI have been reading some pretty intense war-oriented historical fiction so I wanted to read something a little more on the lighter side than violence, death and senseless killing. If You Lived Here is light a read but there is good amount of the book that focuses on death. Oh wellLende does a good job in writing about the her life and the lives of people who live in Haines, Alaska. The talk about death? Well, Lende writes obituaries for the local newspaper so she gets to hear about all [...]


    • Thankfully I got this one from the library. It was ok. Some parts were interesting in a voyeuristic sort of way. She tells about small town life and when she lists ways people in the town have died (she writes obits) it is interesting because I don't live in a place where people regularly die in plane crashes or boating accidents. On the other hand, a lot of the book reads like a list or like an old woman with dementia recalling snips of stories from long past. Sometimes that can be engaging and [...]


    • Admittedly I have a deep love and fondness for small towns, so that could have colored my opinion a little of this book. Heather writes well and tells us stories of the people living and dying in the small town of Haines, Alaska. Heather is a columnist and obituary writer and I think it would be a pleasure and an honor if I was ever fortunate enough to have her write my obituary. But the book isn't all about dying, as a matter of fact it's really all about living. She tells us of life in her sma [...]


    • A collection of short narratives and news blips from Haines, Alaska, as written by Heather Lende. Lende wrote obituaries and short articles for the local newspaper, the Chilkat Valley News. Most of the stories in here are about death, not surprisingly, but there are some that are funny, and almost all of them are heartening, showing a community where everyone knows everyone else. The book isn't that long, and can be easily read in an evening or two. I liked this one, finding it most interesting [...]


    • If you enjoyed the 1990's TV show Northern Exposure, you will probably like this book, which is a compillation of short stories about the residents of the tiny town of Haines, Alaska. Resident and writer Heather Lende pens a sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous but always entertaining glimpse into life and death in this secluded wilderness paradise.As with all compillations, some of the stories are better then others, and some feature a little too much bleeding-heart sensibilities for my perso [...]


    • I'm now re-reading this for the 5th time. I love it! I heard the author read an excerpt on NPR and had to get it. I gave it to a friend to read before he went to the same small town and he said it was spot-on. This book is non-fiction and is written by Heather Lende. She moved to a small town in Alaska with her college sweetheart/husband right after graduating. Her descriptions of the relationships, but most especially of the surrounding environment and its affects on the lives of the people in [...]


    • This work of non-fiction, is subtitled: “News from Small-Town Alaska.” Lende is an NPR commentator who lives in Haines, Alaska and also writes the obituaries for the local paper. Each chapter begins with Duly Noted - snippets of news about the residents and happenings in Haines. These serve to set up a sort of theme or connecting idea for the stories that will follow in that chapter. Each chapter spotlights at least one of the residents of Haines who has died and how that person’s life con [...]


    • Her essays make me want to move to Alaska, or at least a really rural town surrounded by natural beauty. She is realistic about it though and depicts the good with the bad (like all the political division). She shares very openly about herself and that made for very honest stories as well. This is an excellent book to read when you need a book you can read, set down, and return to at a random time. Each chapter is its own independent essay and so you don't have to remember the details of one ess [...]


    • The review from the LA Times captures the essence of this book: "Part Annie Dillard, part Anne Lamott . . ." The reader will laugh and cry but will come away with a real sense of life in a small town from a writer who has a sensitive and interesting perspective about her Haines, Alaska, neighbors and their backgrounds. Heather Lende discribes her life as an obituary writer for her local paper and how she comes to know her neighbors and the town she chose to raise her family. The wilderness is ju [...]


    • This was one of the sweetest books I've ever read. I loved Ms. Lende's descriptions of small town Alaska and the people who lived there with her. She works at the newspaper and writes the obituaries. She had such insight into death, people's experiences with the dead and sweet experiences with the dead people's loved ones. The best story in the book came when her own dog she'd had for many years died and her devastation from it. I loved her quoe from Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Dirge without Musi [...]


    • I really enjoyed this book. It's been sitting on my shelf forever (snagged it at a library sale based on my interest in Alaska) and now seemed like a great time to read it as we're planning to head to Alaska this summer.The author touches on a bunch of topics in the various chapters, that read like individual essays. I appreciate her honesty and commitment to her role as the obituary writer for such a small, close knit community. I especially enjoyed her stories about her own family- goat huntin [...]


    • This book is a wonderful collection of short stories about life in small town Alaska. I was worried being a TOTAL softy that a book written by the town obituary writer was going to drown me in tears or leave me feeling exceptionally depressed, but thankfully her stories were much more about the beauty of life than the pain of death. Lende does a masterful job of weaving past and present into her stories of small town life. I don't have any desire to live in an isolated small town in Alaska, but [...]


    • I've decided not to finish this one. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it but it's just not engaging me enough to keep going. While I appreciate her stories, her writing is so flat that they come off as boring. It's missing that spark, some zest, or something. And the things she's writing about are very interesting, her living in a small Alaskan town. I so wanted to be moved and affected by her descriptions and stories. There was definite potential there. But it just felt flat, unfortunately, and [...]


    • Life in HainesThis was an interesting collection of life (and death) in Haines, Alaska. Stories from the local obituary writer breathe life into the town. I especially enjoyed it because of traveling there this summer. I recognized and knew many places. It is as beautiful and enchanting as she says and more. The writing was a little off, so if it wasn't for my connection I probably would have rated 3 stars, but a good book full of stories from another way of life nonetheless.


    • I thoroughly enjoyed this little book! The author is a contributor to NPR's Morning Edition. She writes about life (and death) in Haines, Alaska, a small town a long ways from anywhere. She writes the obits for the town newspaper, but relates with great humor the quirks and antics of the characters who live there. Lende also writes with sensitivity joys and tragedies of living in a close and isolated community.


    • This is a charming collection of articles about a woman who moved from an urban life to a small town in Alaska. It started out really well but got a bit tedious in places. Still a worthwhile read.


    • This was a fun look at a quirky town along the southern coastal inlets of Alaska, between Juneau and Skagway. 5000 foot mountains form a backdrop to beautiful lakes and fjords. The author and her husband moved to Alaska from the East after marrying and put down roots and raised a family. She's been a part-time writer for the local newspaper, mostly social events and obituaries. This keeps her in touch with most of the residents during good times and bad. These short essays revolve around those c [...]


    • I really enjoyed this trip to Haines, Alaska. The author’s vignettes of life experiences that are singular to rural Alaskan living ranged from humorous to poignant, but every one made me feel something. Her newspaper articles meshed with her personal accounts give a very interesting picture of life in an area of the United States that those of us in the Lower 48 rarely remember exists in our country. I particularly enjoyed reading the process of how she writes obituaries, spending many hours w [...]


    • Interesting book about life (and death) in a small Alaskan town. The author writes obituaries for her local paper, so many of the chapters are about local residents' obituaries. If you enjoy life-in-small- town stories, you'll enjoy this one.


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