Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down by Kaylene JohnsonWasilla, deep in the heart of Alaska, is now America’s most famous small town after its former mayor Sarah Palin was plucked from political obscurity to be John McCain’s running mate. This community of less than 10,000 hardy souls hardly looks like a hotbed of literature but wait…..don’t judge a one-horse town by its former mayor.

Forget about that Sarah Palin book banning controversy, this tiny town is a publishing powerhouse….well, perhaps not a powerhouse but it certainly leads the way in books about hunting. Aside from putting animals in the telescopic sights, ‘Wasilla Lit’ covers many parts of the book spectrum – there are publishers, a major cartoonist, and an optometrist who writes about his adventures. There’s even an author from Wasilla writing about the post-modern meaning of modern life.

Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down by Kaylene Johnson is just the tip of tundra when it comes to literature from Wasilla – enjoy our top 10 books from Sarah Palin’s adopted hometown. (Please note we limited the hunting books to just four but there were a lot more.)

Sheep Hunting in Alaska by Tony RussSheep Hunting in Alaska

Tony Russ

Yes – they hunt sheep in Alaska. Written and published by Wasilla native Tony Russ, this classic from 1994 tells hunters about “getting into ‘sheep shape,’ advice on the newest footwear, clothing, gear and food for the weight-conscious hunter. The latest adaptations of sheep to increased hunting pressure and the newest strategies for achieving hunting success are discussed.” The latest adaptations of sheep!

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Sheep Stalking in Alaska by Tony RussSheep Stalking in Alaska: A Step-by-Step Guide

Tony Russ

Following up on the success of Sheep Hunting in Alaska, Tony Russ published Sheep Stalking in Alaska in 2005. “Whether you are a long-range sharpshooter, a shorter-range firearms hunter, a bow hunter, or a photographer, this guide is for you. The techniques of fooling their eyes, ears, and noses are covered in detail.”

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Bear Hunting in Alaska by Tony RussBear Hunting in Alaska: The Brown & Grizzly Bear Hunter's Guide

Tony Russ

Tony Russ shoots bears too. "This is the long-awaited, how-to guide for hunters pursuing the largest bears on earth…. Tony Russ gives away all the secrets of when & where to hunt, stalking bears, judging bears, shooting bears, and trophy care. Along with the basics of hunter preparation, gear selection, camping in bear country, bow hunting bears, and bear safety, this is the definitive work on hunting the big bears of Alaska."

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Hunting the Hunters by Rick KinmonHunting The Hunters: An Alaskan’s Pursuit of North America’s Most Valuable Predators

Rick Kinmon

This one is about hunting wolves. Tony Russ didn’t write this book but his company published it. “Rick Kinmon takes you on incredible, high-speed chases over some of Alaska's roughest terrain after the ultimate predator - Alaska wolves.”

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

Jack Randall

More wildlife but the Red-Necked Grebes on Wasilla Lake should steer clear of Tony Russ and his buddies. You can find these grebes throughout the lakes of Alaska and they can be apparently very vocal during breeding season. One strange fact about these birds – they eat their own feathers and no-one knows why.

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New Eyes on Old Alaska by Edward GodnigNew Eyes on Old Alaska

Edward Godnig

Dr. Edward C. Godnig – Wasilla’s multi-talented writing optometrist. Edward came to Alaska in 2003 and founded The Eye Guys in Wasilla. He also travels to remote villages to care for the vision needs of isolated inhabitants. This book recounts his adventures in the Alaskan bush. Who knew staring into people’s eyes in a cold climate could be so interesting?

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Tundra in Full Color by Chad CarpenterTundra in Full Color

Chad Carpenter

Acclaimed cartoonist Chad Carpenter was raised in Wasilla and launched his Tundra comic strip in the Anchorage Daily News in 1991. The strip riffs on wildlife, nature and outdoor life, and draws upon Carpenter’s experiences of growing up in huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ country. More than 200 newspapers carry Carpenter’s strip.

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Beyond the American Dream by Charles D. HayesBeyond the American Dream: Lifelong Learning and the Search for Meaning in a Postmodern

Charles D. Hayes

Charles D Hayes is clearly one of Wasilla’s thinkers. According to his website, Charles “is a lifelong learning advocate, a self-taught philosopher, and an author and publisher. At age 17, he dropped out of high school to join the US Marines. After four years of duty he became a police officer in Dallas, Texas, and later he moved to Alaska, where he has worked for more than 20 years in the oil industry.”

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We're Going to Alaska by Domonic CarneyWe're Going to Alaska

Domonic Carney

This sounds like the road-trip from hell. “The story of the two years of preparation and 38 days of travel required to move a family of 7 children, two screech owls, three dogs, two uncles, and two cousins from Northeastern Ohio to Wasilla, Alaska.” That’s a 4,000-mile drive!

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Alaska Dog Mushing Guide by Ron WendtAlaska Dog Mushing Guide

Ron Wendt

Ron Wendt established Goldstream Publishing in Wasilla but sadly died last year. Goldstream published many books on Alaska, including Wendt’s guide to a true Alaskan pastime. “The book covers dog mushing history, sled dog breeding and raising of top dog breeds attributed to Alaska’s resourceful natives. Some of the mushing history includes mail carriers and freighters from the Gold Rush era.”

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