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"Chris in the Morning" Reading List


From 1990 through 1995, the television viewing public was obsessed with the goings on in Cicely, Alaska. Northern Exposure ruled the television airwaves. And while our airwaves were dominated by this quirky drama, on the show itself the airwaves were ruled by Chris Stevens and his KBHR radio show Chris in the Morning.

Stevens's (played by actor John Corbett) outspoken anti-establishment personality and philosophical poetic manner definitely set the tone for the award-winning show.

Watching and commenting as the world passed outside his broadcast booth window, he kept the town of Cicely up to date on current events and provided them with a healthy dose of culture in the form of on-air readings. The library in Cicely consisted of a few shelves of books in Ruth-Anne's general store, but I have a feeling that Stevens had a personal library that exceeded the town's. Well read and self-educated, Stevens could converse freely on such wide ranging topics as philosophy, religion, physics, history, art, and motorcycle repair. If Stevens was reading it, you knew it had to be good.

Twenty years later, the show still makes for fun television. Can someone please get started on a list of all films mentioned by Ed Chigliak in the show?! As for literary references, there's no need for you to tune into KBHR to find out what books to read. Here is a list of great books that Stevens read on air to the town of Cicely.


A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living by Joseph Campbell





"I felt a funeral, in my brain" by Emily Dickinson





The Friendly Beasts: A Traditional Christmas Carol





Paddle to the Sea by Holling Clancy Holling





The Owl and the Pussy-cat by Edward Lear





The Call of the Wild by Jack London





The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe





Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust





Lincoln, the President by J. G. Randall





Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak





The Tempest by William Shakespeare





War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy





Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman







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Here right now

I loved this show (well really, my mom did, and I used to stay up and watch with her for quality mother/daughter bonding time... but then I re-watched when it came out on DVD) and I love that you put together this list! I'll have to go back and see what book Chris was reading in my favorite episode... I actually stopped the DVD so I could copy down his words as he mused about Joel's generally cranky attitude about being stuck in Alaska, which I keep posted on my office wall: "Whether you're here for 4 more weeks or 4 more years, you're here right now. And when you're somewhere, you ought to really BE there. Because it's not about how long you stay in a place, it's about what you do while you're there. And when you go, is that place any better for your having been there?" But I'm sure there was a book tie-in that I just don't recall! Thanks, Billy!

There's one of those official

There's one of those official Northern Exposure books called "Chris-In-The-Morning: Love, Life, and the Whole Karmic Enchilada" that collects all of his wisdom from the show. I have not read it but would be surprised if the quote you have posted to your wall is not in the book. As far as rules to live by, they don't get any better than that.

About Jenny's Advice

"it is not how long you are there, but what you do while you are there!" That is very important. Most people have homes, but at this time, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and prior to that the glitch (sudden decrease in affordable housing) left 400,000 New Yorkers homeless. I would add this to Jenny's excellent advice, if you are someone who has a home, no matter how humble it may be, treasure it! Those who have a place to live can write, paint, write songs, watch TV, listen to music design clothing, do scientific inventions, learn languages, history, physics and above all pray for themselves and the rest of humanity. The length of time one spends in a place means nothing by comparison to what the person can accomplish while he or she has a home! Thank you, Jenny for your kind advice. I hope that many people read this blog. Best wishes, Blessings to you and yours. Geraldine Nathan

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