First-edition guide offers astounding detail about neighbor to the north.

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As summer adventures wind down, relax with a good guidebook to inspire you for next summer. This season’s new Moon travel guide, “Alaska,” is 475-pages big to match the vast landscape that is our neighbor to the north. The first-edition guide by Anchorage-based writer Lisa Maloney, published in June, offers astounding detail about a state with so much to see. I appreciated the 25-page special section on Alaska wildlife, one of the state’s primary draws, which helps you know the difference between a musk ox and a wood bison and tells you where and when you’re mostly likely to see a puffin. Another thoughtful addition, in tune with backcountry travel across the 49th state, is a two-page primer on “Traveling in Small Planes” (“Don’t worry, a little bit of bouncing around is perfectly normal …”) Want the lowdown on high country? There’s 15 pages on Denali National Park and Preserve. If you’re interested in a late-night light show, there’s a full page on “Chasing the Northern Lights.”

As with most Moon guides, this one is full of color photos and excellent maps, including a color foldout that packs an impressive amount of helpful information. (Avalon Travel, $21.99)

— Brian J. Cantwell