BIRTHPLACE OF THE WINDS: STORMING ALASKA’S ISLANDS OF FIRE AND ICE
By Jon Bowermaster, National Geographic Adventure Press, $26

In the spirit of The Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air, the author recounts his 25-day kayaking and mountaineering expedition through Alaska’s Aleutian Islands with three friends. The gripping tales of battling gale-force winds and fierce currents aside, the book also provides a captivating history of this remote land.

BUY MORE PAY LESS
By Corey Sandler, Prentice Hall Press, $20

While no-brainer tips like “Pay off your highest-cost loans first” and “Sell your car yourself” fill most of the book’s 500-plus pages, the hidden, cost-cutting nuggets you’ll find on everything from buying a car to shopping for computers — plus the numerous Web bargains — make this a handy little guide.

SAN FRANCISCO SEAFOOD
By Michele Anna Jordan, Ten Speed Press, $19.95

Recipes from Aqua, Lulu, Rose Pistola, and other San Fran faves make up this celebration of the City by the Bay’s specialty food. Interspersed among more than 100 recipes are tips on buying and preparing seafood, as well as a few, er, fish tales.

REAGAN, IN HIS OWN HAND
Edited by Kiron K. Skinner, Annelise Anderson, and Martin Anderson, The Free Press, $30

Ronald Reagan’s political vision — the ideas and convictions that guided his presidency and shaped his legacy — are revealed in this collection of never-before-seen documents. In these writings for radio broadcasts, columns, and speeches delivered long before he won the presidency, Reagan wrestles with the problems of a sluggish economy, welfare reform, and the Cold War.