Nonfiction Books About Living Off the Grid in the Alaskan Wilderness

Call of the Wild: My Escape to Alaska (2007)
by Guy Grieve


Grieve is tired of life. He holds a desk job that he hates. He's struggling with a lot of debts. His life is clockwork. He sleeps, he wakes up, he eats, he goes to work, he goes home, he eats, he sleeps, and he repeats the same activities the next day. Desperate for a change, Grieve packs his bags, leaves his young family, and flies into the Alaskan wilderness. The goal is to see if he can live and survive in the Alaskan wilderness. Will this amateur outdoorsman make it out alive in a harsh environment teeming with both emptiness and predators? Honest and very straightforward, Call of the Wild: My Escape to Alaska will have you engaged from start to finish. Grieve's tales would make for a proper warning to ambitious individuals who plan on hitting the Alaskan wilderness without any outdoors experience or survival training.

Into the Wild (1996)
by Jon Krakauer


No book has inspired more people to trek into the Alaskan wilderness than this classic book by Krakauer. It tells the story of Chris McCandless, a young man who turned his back on his family, gave away thousands of dollars in college funds, and then travelled across the United States. In his final trip, he headed into the Alaskan wilderness. Despite being unprepared and grossly inexperienced, McCandless still managed to survive in the wilderness for 113 days. His dead body was found by a hunter in an abandoned bus. Sean Penn adapted the book into a movie in 2007. It starred Emile Hirsch as McCandless. Into the Wild has its fair share of controversies. Craig Medred, an Alaskan journalist described Krakauer's accounts as "something invented". Some parts of the account may be questionable. The book is terrific, nonetheless.

Filipino Author Macario Pineda: Biography, Famous Works, Short Stories

Macario Pineda was a Filipino short story writer, novelist, and columnist. He started out writing short stories in English. "Five Minutes", his first story was published by Graphic. His other English stories were "Cita", "Nila", and "Auntie Writes the Ending". However, he is most well-known for his stories written in Tagalog. In 1937, his story "Walang Maliw ang mga Bituin" was chosen as one of the ten best stories of the year by Mabuhay. In 1943, his story "Suyuan sa Tubigan" won second prize in a literary contest by Liwayway. His short stories has appeared in various magazines and publications including Sinag-tala, Daigdig, Ilang-ilang, Bulaklak, Malaya, Aliwan, tagumpay, Paru-paro, Kislap, and Liwayway.

Pineda was born on April 12, 1912 in Malolos, Bulacan. His parents were Felisa de Guzman and Nicanor Pineda. He finished his secondary education at the Bulacan High School where he excelled in writing and basketball. He has held various jobs including being a telephone lineman, municipal clerk, palay seller, and treasurer in Malolos, Meycauayan, Pandi, and Bigaa.

When he was just twenty years old, Pineda married and settled down in San Juan, Bigaa, Bulacan. He and his wife had seven children. When World War II broke out, Pineda joined the local guerilla movement where he did propaganda work with other Filipino writers such as Clodualdo del Mundo, Brigido Batungbakal, Mabini Rey Centeno, and A.C. Fabian.

Pineda's stories has appeared in anthologies including Ang 25 Pinakambuting Maikling Kathang Pilipino ng 1943 (1944) and Maikling Kuwentong Tagalog, 1886-1948 (1949) which was edited by Teodoro A. Agoncillo.

Pineda has also written a number of full-length novels. These are Halina sa Ating Bukas (1945), Ang Ginto sa Makiling (1947), Mutyang Tagailog (1947-1948), Langit ng Isang Pag- ibig (1948), Magat (1948), and Isang Milyong Piso (1950). He wrote regular columns for the Liwayway and Daigdig magazines.

Pineda died on August 2, 1950 at the young age of 38.

Short Story Collection

In 2016, Anvil published a collection of Pineda's stories translated into English by Soledad S. Reyes. The collection contains twelve of Pineda's most significant stories. The book was titled Macario Pineda's Love in the Rice Fields and Other Short Stories. It featured the following twelve stories:

1. Love in the Rice Fields
2. Dawn Breaking
3. The Measure of a Man
4. My Country is a Filipina
5. A Wedding in the Big House
6. Oh My Jesus...By Thy Crown of Thorns
7. Each Withered Flower
8. Ka Martin's Heaven
9. Mother
10. Why the Angels Are Sad
11. The Nymph of Karuyan
12. The Looting in Longos


Themes of Pineda's Stories

Here is an excerpt from Soledad Reyes's journal article titled "Theme in the Stories of Macario Pineda". This journal article appeared in an issue of Philippine Studies (Vol. 19, No. 3, July 1971).

"The recurrence of several dominant and interrelated themes is discernible in the works of Macario Pineda. Viewed as a total narrative, his fiction embodies a pervasive and unified view of life. There is a compelling rendering of reality which makes the reader perceive signifiance emerging from human experience. Pineda's stories and novels seem to embody major themes touching on the basic forces of human experience: life, love, death and idealism.

The age-old conflict between good and evil, one of the universal themes of literature, is a central theme -in Pineda's stories where inevitably the forces of good equated with life triumph over the powers of evil. From this central theme flow several inrrelated themes. The war that dehumanizes, an evil force, is vanquished by the acts of good men. The abstract conflict between good and evil is concretized as the opposition one finds between city and barrio life. In these stories, the goodness and beauty in the barrio are pitted against the sordidness and illusory kind of hapiness found in the city. Again, the barrio is made to represent the regenerative forces of life.
"

Macario Pineda

Novels Featuring Protagonists Or Main Characters Who Suffer From Alzheimer's Disease

Still Alice by Lisa Genova (2007) - This is considered by some as the gold standard when it comes to fiction writing about Alzheimer's Disease. Lisa Genova self-published this book with minimal fanfare in 2007. It caught on among some readers and critics and it was eventually acquired and republished by Simon and Schuster in 2009. It became a best seller and stayed on the New York Times best seller list for over 40 weeks. More importantly, response from people who actually suffer from Alzheimer's Disease were mostly positive. This wasn't surprising at all because the author knew what she was writing about. After all, she has a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard university. She is a legit neuroscientist.

Still Alice tells the story of Alice Howland, a 50-year-old professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease. The illness takes hold of her swiftly and completely changes her relationship with her husband, children, and peers. The novel was a huge success. It got translated into more than 20 languages. The novel was also adapted into a major motion picture starring Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin. Moore won an Oscar for her performance in the film as Alice. Lisa Genova went on to write a few more novels (Left Neglected, Love Anthony, Every Note Played, Inside the O'Briens) with protagonists suffering from neurological disorders.

The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey (2008) - Written entirely from the viewpoint of Jake, a man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, The Wilderness is a deep exploration of what happens to a person when diagnosed with the illness. Jake's predicament is made worse by the fact that he has gone through a lot prior to the diagnosis. He has lost her wife and his son is behind bars.

How difficult is it for someone like Jake to hold on to his relationships, memories, and personal identity? How much of these will he lose as the illness progresses? As you read through the novel, you will realize that Jake is an unreliable narrator. How much of the things he were saying were true and accurate? The Wilderness won the Betty Trask Prize and was nominated for the Orange Prize and Man Booker Prize.

Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey (2014) - In this psychological mystery, an elderly woman who is quickly descending into dementia embarks on a quest to look for a friend who she believes has disappeared. She is losing her memory and her grip on reality. She knows that her friend is in terrible danger and she's on race against the clock to find and save her before she completely loses her memory. Unfortunately, no one is willing to help her. Nobody believes her. Not the police. Not her caretakers. Not her own daughter. Not even the son of her missing friend. Her desperate search for the truth takes her to long-forgotten areas in her memory that she never thought she'd revisit again.

Elizabeth is Missing has won the Costa Book Award for First Novel and the Betty Trask Award. The book was also adapted into a television film for BBC One. It starred Glenda Jackson as Maud, the main protagonist in the book.

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante (2011) - In this mystery thriller, a retired orthopedic surgeon (Dr. Jennifer White) suffering from dementia is accused of murdering her best friend (Amanda). When the body of the victim was found with four of her fingers surgically removed, Dr. White was immediately painted as the prime suspect. And because of her dementia, Dr. White doesn't really know if she committed the crime or not. As the investigation advances, a chilling question becomes apparent: is Dr. White's disintegrating memory helping her hide the truth or preventing her from revealing it?

What's The First Book Printed in the Philippines?

The first book to be printed in the Philippines is believed to be the Doctrina Christiana. It was published in the capital city of Manila in 1593. The original text was written in Chinese, Spanish and Tagalog (in Alibata writing). The book was printed using wooden blocks in much the same fashion as Chinese books had been produced for centuries. There's a theory among a good number of scholars that the Doctrina Crhistiana my have been engraved and printed by a Chinese craftsman. This theory is not that far off considering that there were sizable populations of Chinese people in the Philippines during the Spanish occupation.

Actually, there were three versions of the Doctrina Christiana that was printed. The Chinese version is believed to have been written by two Dominican friars, Juan Cobo and Miguel de Benavides. The book was written specifically for the Chinese community with the goal of spreading the Gospel among them. The only copy of this book is at the Vatican Library.

The second book was printed in Tagalog and Spanish. It basically used two languages and two alphabets. It's believed that this version was written by a Franciscan friar named Juan de Plasencia. This friar was a missionary who is credited for founding a number of towns/municipalities in and around the Laguna area. The only copy of this book is at the Library of Congress in the United States.

The third book was written by a Dominican priest named Juan Cobo. The text was written in Chinese but in a more literary style. The version was meant to be brought into mainland China through the Chinese traders who periodically visited the Philippines to conduct businesss. Dominican priests were hoping to establish Christian missions in China. The only copy of this book was discovered by a Taiwanese researcher at the National Library of Spain.

Carlos A. Angeles Biography and Literary Works (Poems)

- Carlos A. Angeles was a Filipino poet. He was born on May 25, 1921 in Tacloban City in the province of Leyte. He attained secondary education at Rizal High and graduated in 1938. He attended several universities - Ateneo de Manila, University of the Philippines, and Central Luzon Colleges. When he was studying in UP, he became an active member of the UP Writer's Club. His award-winning poetry collection, A Stun of Jewels, was published to great acclaim in 1963. Another collection, A Bruise of Ahses, was published by the Ateneo University Press in 1993.

- Angeles worked at the Philippine Bureau of International News Service from 1950 to 1958.

- Angeles was a recipient of the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in the Poetry category in 1964. This was the year that poetry was added to the list of categories. Angeles won the award for A Stun of Jewels, a collection of 47 poems. These were poems he wrote and dedicated to his wife Concepcion Reynoso. The collection also won the Republic Cultural Heritage Award for Literature.

Poems:
1. Gabu
2. Dusk
3. Landscape II
4. Badoc
5. Family Reunion
6. The Wonderful Machine
7. From the Rooftop
A Bruise of Ashes: Collected Poems by Carlos A. Angeles.