Customer Reviews for

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

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    More than memoir, more than essays... just more

    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 essayist for National Public Radio. She also knows how to clean and smoke fish, how to live off the land, and how to comfort families left behind after tragedy. Besides writing the local paper's events column-Duly Noted-she writes obituaries, and in writing them gets to see beneath the surface of many local lives.

    Apparently Haines might be the model for Northern Exposure-a TV series I loved long ago and would love to watch again. Moose really might walk down the street, as might bears. Snow and storms might cut communications, locking down boats and helicopters alike. Children might be born without the aid of a hospital, and might survive. Meanwhile insurance (and almost everything else) costs a fortune. Life is simpler and more easily lost in this place. But simplicity takes away the veneer that hides complexity, and Heather Lende's quiet essays reveal a wealth of traditions, beliefs, relationships, religions and political persuasions, all bound together in community by the land.

    Sometimes, reading this, I wished I could live in Haines. Sometimes I knew I'd never cope. But most of all I'm glad to have had the chance to do more than just walk the street and gaze into shop windows. I'm glad so many stores carried this book; and I'm glad my husband bought it for me so I could carry it home to enjoy Heather Lende's captivating essays and wondrously different life.



    Disclosure: My husband said it was time I read something just for me, but I thought I'd still write a review anyway.

    21 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2006

    A great summer read!

    This is a perfect summer read! I found it introspective without being too sappy. It's not a gripping page turner, yet it's a perfect light read for vacation. Each chapter is an essay, roughly organized under one main idea. She often has an experience that prompts thinking in other areas, and the essays have a pleasant meandering construction that eventually ties things back to the main idea. The book is about her family, life, and thoughts in this small Alaskan town. I also am a Mom who lives in a very cold, rural area and I felt that if she lived in my neighborhood we'd be friends. She espouses traditional values of home and family, yet through the eyes of a liberal. Very refreshing!

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    My book club chose this book for our April book choice. After thorougly enjoying the book I contacted the author. She responded and did a conference call for our book club. She was such a nice, genuine person. It made me want to read the book again.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Great book!

    This is an entertaining and heartwarming book that gives you a taste of living in a small town in Alaska. I love the author's style of writing! I've shared the book with several of my friends and all have enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Living in Alaska as a child when our folks did not own a car and we walked or hitch hiked because everyone in Juneau knew everyone.We would hike over to the ski slope. Our Mother was the first woman on Mendenhall Glacier

    A small wonderful town our Aunt owned The Record Store.Everything the Author writes has been so fun to read and our own raft trip on the Tat was fantastic leaving from Haines.
    Thank you for the great story

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    Excellent Read!

    I loved this book! I bought it because I have been reading Heather's stories in Woman's Day Magazine. It is great to read about Alaska and the things going on in her town. I love her writing style.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    Terrific read

    Heather Lende and her husband came out to Alaska on their honeymoon and stayed. She writes events and obituaries fir the small weedly newspaper. There are a couple of items from her events column interspersed with living in such a remote place. She talks of her friends and neighbors and the good times and tragedies and everything in between and why they choose to live in Haines Alaska. Moving, inspiring, all the cliches. A don't miss read.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    Want to learn more about Alaska? This book will be an eyeopener for you.

    This books cover and title caught my eye. We had spent a summer in Alaska camping in many wilderness and some not so wild campgrounds throughout the state. We found it to be fascinating, and I wanted to read more about our 49th state. The book is very well written, and the farther you get into it, the more interesting it gets. While I expected stories of snow, and wildlife, I was unprepared to read that the author's family had gone to an exhibition of Dale Chihuly's glass art. I was surprised to read about the many medical hardships the population of Haines faces. It was startling to realize that summer jobs for your daughters may find them not at Starbucks but on board small fishing boats with a 20 year old captain facing wild seas and dangerous storms.If you want an interesting read, one you'll find hard to put down, read If You LIved Here, I'd Know Your Name.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2006

    Well worth the read!

    Ms. Lende is a wonderful writer, and I enjoyed this book. There are stories of people she's known, slices of life in a small, close-knit community where every one knows just about everyone else. These are people who help one another and live their lives the way they want to, without stepping on other people to get what they want. I have a feeling that this is what life is supposed to be like. I hope Ms. Lende writes another book someday.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2013

    I loved this book. Even thought there is a huge emphasis on deat

    I loved this book. Even thought there is a huge emphasis on death, the author treated the subject with such thoughtfulness and spirituality it was not at all morbid.

    I learned so much about Alaska, the Native culture and people in general from this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Charming small town memoir

    Don't be surprised if you want to travel to Haines, Alaska after you have read this. The author makes life there sound very appealing. Her description of friends and neighbors make them sound like people you would want to know too. Kindness, generousity and survival skills abound in the citizens of this community.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2012

    I loved this book!

    I loved this book!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    A wonderful book about small town Alaska

    The writer's chapters each cover many subjects which are of great interest to many people, especially those in small towns. Each chapter
    also has 3 to 4 articles she has written for the newspaper in Haines,
    Alaska. Anyone who has ever lived in a small town will find these
    humorous, somewhat mundane comings and goings of the people in the
    community. A great affirmation of small town America!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    True life, good & bad in a small town

    Small town living & surviving takes a special type of person. This is a wonderful story that left no douvt in my mind that the author really lives this life. Wonderful story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2012

    Great Read

    I really enjoyed reading how people in a small community live and work together.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    If you lived here.....

    I absolutely loved this book! It took me back to my younger days in a small town - somehow they are the same! I sent it to friends who also expressed great satisfaction with it....

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    Compelling stories.

    Ms. Lende tells compelling stories both about the people and the land she loves. There is sadness and loss but also companionship, acceptance, support, lots of work and fun. She makes the enormous work of living in Haines seem well worth the effort. She also provides a great deal of evidence to support the adjective of "quirky" so often applied to Alaskans. She is a very good writer and I enjoyed this book immensely.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    You will enjoy getting to know these people and reading about their interesting lives.

    A place so full of life and love and fascinating people. This book is written so well that you feel like you are right there and part of all that is happening. It almost makes you wish you lived there and that Heather Lende really did know your name and know all about you as well.

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  • Posted September 3, 2013

    Good

    Almost a collection of short stories. Interesting and a quick read. Subject was interesting and informative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Wonderful

    Fantastic view inside of a small Alaskan town..I hated for it to end!

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