For the second year in a row, Eve and Eivin Kilcher’s “Homestead Kitchen” topped the Homer Bookstore’s annual best seller list. The cookbook and memoir about the couple on the reality TV show “Alaska: The Last Frontier” made the No. 1 slot when it was first published in 2016, breaking the previous all-time best seller record set by Homer writer Tom Kizzia’s “Pilgrim’s Wilderness.” Kizzia’s book about the Pilgrim family also made this year’s list at No. 15.
At No. 2, Homer writer Nancy Lord’s first novel about climate change, “pH,” was the best selling book for works first appearing in 2017.
“That one took off; it didn’t come out until September,” said Homer Bookstore co-owner Sue Post, owner of the longtime Pioneer Avenue independent bookstore with her brother, Lee Post, and friend, Jenny Stroyeck.
Also new on the list and first published in 2017 are Sean Hogan and Michelle Wilson’s “Cosmic Kitchen,” recipes from their Homer restaurant by the same name, at No. 15, and Homer mystery writer Dana Stabenow’s “Less Than Treason,” at No. 17.
Of the 23 books on the list — including six books tying for 15th, 16th and 17th place — 11 are by authors from Homer or Seldovia (Erin McKittrick and Valisa Higman). Four other books are by Alaskans.
Some books on the list are by Outside authors who have visited or will visit Homer. Paul Bannick, author of the No. 11 book, “Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls,” appearted at the 2017 Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival as one of its featured authors. Author Anthony Doerr, who wrote “All the Light We Cannot See,” No. 10 on the list, a novel set in occupied France during World War II, will be this year’s keynote speaker for the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference.
Post said many copies of “Homestead Kitchen” sold by mail order. She credited co-author Eve Kilcher for promoting the book through Facebook Live videos. Sales peak when Kilcher talks about the book.
“She (Eve Kilcher) has done some episodes where she goes out sledding with the children, makes some muffins or something. Usuallly she mentions they have a cookbook and if people want an autographed copy, they can order it through the Homer Bookstore,” Post said.
The Kilchers have been gracious about autographing books. They even did a promotion after Thanksgiving where the first 50 people who ordered copies would get a personalized autograph, Post said. The Homer Bookstore is the only place people can get autographed copies.
“It’s been really nice of them to help out in that sense,” Post said.
Post said she was glad to see so many area writers on the best seller list.
“It’s nice to see how much we support our local authors,” she said.
Reach Michael Armstong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: Armstrong’s wife, Jenny Stroyeck, is a co-owner of the Homer Bookstore.
Homer Bookstore Bestseller List 2017
1. Homestead Kitchen by Eve Kilcher and Eivin Kilcher*
2. pH by Nancy Lord*
3. Kachemak Bay Alaska by the Homer Foundation*
4. Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery
5. Kachemak Bay Communities: Their Histories, Their Mysteries by Janet Klein*
6. Beachcomber’s ABCs by Molly Montgomery*
7. Cool Plants for Cold Climates by Brenda Adams*
8. Octopus in the Outhouse by Stacy Studebaker**
9. 50 Hikes in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula by Taz Tally*
10. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr***
11. Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls by Paul Bannick (keynote speaker shorebird)
12. Astoria: Astor and Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire by Peter Stark
13. Cosmic Kitchen by Sean Hogan and Michelle Wilson*
14. Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow
15. Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia* and On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder
16. Alaskan Laundry by Brendan Jones** Sitka and The Little Alaskan Salmon Cookbook by Ladonna Gunderson**
17. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey** and Less Than a Treason by Dana Stabenow*
18. The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
19. The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm and America at War by A. J. Baime
20. My Coyote Nose and Ptarmigan Toes by Erin McKittrick, Illustrated by Valisa Higman* (Seldovia)
*Lower Kenai Peninsula writers from Homer and Seldovia
** Other Alaska writers
*** Kachemak Bay Writers Conference keynote speaker