It’s that time of year again, the time we’ve all been waiting for: Iditarod season.

What? You don’t follow the annual dogsled race through a thousand miles of brutal Alaskan wilderness commemorating the 1925 transportation of life-saving diphtheria serum from Anchorage to Nome?? Your browser’s spell check doesn’t even recognize “Iditarod” as a word???

You can correct that tragic oversight right now with this photo essay and this Goodreads list of Iditarod books, which includes the two most popular firsthand accounts of running the race, one by children’s lit author Gary Paulsen and the other by Libby Riddles, the first woman to win. (And if that doesn’t scratch your mushing itch, there’s always Jack London’s classics Call of the Wild and White Fang.)

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →