Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The book project list

Hoo, boy, have I been busy. Today, the first of several book projects that I've been working on went to the printer. This is for my day job at the university: Like a Tree to the Soil: a history of farming in Alaska's Tanana Valley, 1903 to 1940.

Then there's the two Jamie Smith books. Obviously, I've missed the Christmas date. (Drat.) Jamie and I got together yesterday to check over the files and layout and to talk about funding and marketing. He made the sensible point that doing the books separately may result in publicity fatigue, on the part of both the author and the public. So I'm going to try to do them together, which means more fundraising to get them out the door. But so far I've raised at least $1450, not including my contribution, which makes one book almost completely paid for.

And there's Neil Davis' new book, Mired in the Health Care Morass, which is a practical how-to in dealing with paying medical bills (or not), a bit of investigative reporting, and a handy solution to our current outrageous health care system mess. This one should be out in late January.

But, hey, there's more! I'm going to be publishing an autobiography/oral history of Holger "Jorgy" Jorgenson, Native Alaskan and legendary Bush pilot (that "legendary" is per Noel Wien's son Merrill--so that's an adjective with a heck of a lot of punch). This book is due out in mid-April, in time for the Alaska Airmen's Association aviation trade show and conference. Jean Lester is the editor.

Also, I have a book by geologist A. Vishnevsky of letters he wrote to his parents while he was out in the field in Siberia during the 1950s--letters that carefully omit any mention of the gulags, in the vicinity of which he was working. (It wouldn't have been healthy to mention them.) That context is added by other geologists, among them David Stone, who went to this same area during the 1970s (I think I've got that right). So this is a geology book, a history book, and has a touch of politics thrown in. This manuscript is still incomplete, but it's got great potential.

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