Tails of the Gypsy Musher: Alaska and Beyond

Coming Soon--Tails of the Gypsy Musher: Alaska and Beyond
by Hugh H. Neff

Praise for "Tails of the Gypsy Musher

Hugh inspires all who encounter his impish grin and love of his precious "dawgs". His focus on promoting literacy and the importance of learning has ignited a fire in many children across the country as well as their teachers. His is a spirit of curiosity, respect for indigenous Alaskans, and interest in sharing how he has learned from every experience. An enthusiasm for life, and understanding that success can be simply finishing whatever is started, makes Hugh Neff a musher and sportsman to be admired and emulated. His humility, care for others including his team members, and ability to enjoy life are clearly shown in his book.”

 --Barb Angaiak, former President of the National Education Association of Alaska

"Hugh Neff is an Alaskan dog musher in love with the beauty of the land in the state he lives in and the way he can commune with nature by dog mushing in the wild spaces. He is a veteran long-distance racer who is the 2012 champion of the Yukon Quest and a past Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race rookie-of-the-year.
    In his new book, "Tails of the Gypsy Musher" Neff has adopted the unusual convention of telling what is essentially his own partial biography (he's got plenty more stories where these came from) through the voices of some of his favorite dogs. It was a fun tactic to adopt and some of the best humor in the book comes from his dog's wry conversational expressions--as imagined by Hugh.
    The explanation for the title is that Neff has been based in several places in Alaska while mushing. Also the use of the word tails rather than tales is a reminder that the dogs are speaking. The photos are also first-rate and will make readers want to run out and get an Alaskan husky of their own.
    A regular on the long-distance mushing scene in Alaska and Canada since 2000, Neff is a transplant from the Chicago area and proves once again (past champions have followed the same path) that one doesn't have to be born on The Last Frontier to be successful in the mushing sport. What it takes above all, is the open-mindedness to learn, the determination to push oneself through challenges and rugged conditions and keep on plugging away.

    At various times Neff touches on what pass from both adventures and misadventures. While on the trail he comes across wolves, moose, porcupines, sets his sleeping bag on fire while camping, and freezes a foot most severely. Long distance mushers and their fans are captivated by the romance of the big races, but there is always a need to be reminded how risky the experiences can be.
    What shows through in Neff's thoughts and prose (even if his dogs are voicing it for him), is both his passion for mushing and his deep love for Alaska and its wild country."

                                            --Lew Freedman is the former sports editor of the Anchorage Daily News and the author of numerous books about the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest.

This one's for the dreamers. Hugh Neff's "Tails of the Gypsy Musher" chronicles Neff's unlikely journey from the big city of Chicago to the remote outposts of Alaska. The story pulls you along as easily as Neff's sled dogs do from competition to competition, from adventure to adventure. Told in a style ranging from light-hearted whimsy to wide-eyed wonder, Neff takes you into his world of beauty and love, where dogs are family and the environment is holy and sacred. It's a road worth traveling. All along the way, the spirit of Neff and his sled dogs shines through, illuminating the way for future dreamers. Geronimo, indeed.” 

--K.C. Johnson, Chicago-based sportswriter