For her first book, Engler compiles her articles about Alaskan travel.
After several trips to Alaska, Engler began publishing online tips about Alaskan travel. Now, she’s organized those articles into a book, which closely reflects that online format. The short, bloglike chapters include facts about cruising Alaska and trivia-style lists on history, geography and culture. The brevity makes for a breezy read, but unlike travel guides that are designed to be scanned, Engler’s book reads like a series of advice columns organized into thematic sections on nature, natives and unique attractions. Additional background information on geography and culture can be found in the back of the book. And this is no traveler’s journal, since Engler removes herself from her writing and keeps things factual. Would-be travelers looking for a personal connection or an emotional appeal won’t find that type of encouragement here. For those who already have an Alaskan excursion marked on their calendars, the factual information and recommended destinations will be helpful, even if they can’t be gleaned by quickly flipping through the pages. Engler has great appreciation for Alaska and its wilderness, and she attempts to convey its grandness and majesty through numbers and definitions, although the definitions—i.e., of glacial moraine—are not always scientifically accurate. Regardless of the finer details, Engler’s short, unintimidating book will leave most readers checking to see how many vacation days they have left.
A colorful, informative portrait of Alaska from an experienced and enthusiastic traveler.