Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who captured the nation's attention as the No. 2 on the Republican 2008 presidential ticket, shares her life story in "Going Rogue: An American Life."
Read the excerpt below, and then head to the "GMA" Library to find more good reads.
The Last Frontier I don't believe that God put us on earth to be ordinary. —lou holtz
It was the Alaska State Fair, August 2008. With the gray Talkeetna Mountains in the distance and the first light covering of snow about to descend on Pioneer Peak, I breathed in an autumn bouquet that combined everything small-town America with rugged splashes of the Last Frontier. Cotton candy and foot-long hot dogs. Halibut tacos and reindeer sausage. Banjo music playing at the Blue Bonnet Stage, baleen etchings, grass-woven Eskimo baskets, and record-breaking giant vegetables grown under the midnight sun.
Inching through rivers of people with Trig, our four-month-old son, cradled in my arms, I zigzagged from booth to booth, from driftwood art to honeybee keeping to home-brewed salmon-berry wine. Bristol and Willow, our teenage daughters, roamed ahead with friends, heads together, laughing, thumbs tapping cell phones. Piper, seven, my constant sidekick since the moment she was born, bounced along at my hip, pinching off fluffs of cotton candy, her reward for patiently accommodating my stop-and-go progress through the crowd. For the most part, she was comfortable watching the grip-and-grin photos and hearing the friendly chitchat with constituents that I enjoyed as part of my job as governor of the state. Every few moments, I pulled my right arm free from baby duty to shake hands with folks who wanted to say hello.
"Hey, Sarah! You never miss the fair!"
"Oh, my goodness, is that the new little one? Let me say hi to him . . ."
"Price of energy's pretty high, Governor. When are they gonna ramp up drilling?"
A robin's egg sky arced overhead, the brisk kick in the air hinting at winter's approach. Like a family conga line, we wound our way among the vendors and exhibits: from pork chops on a stick to kettle corn, veggie weigh-ins, and livestock competitions. A local dance troupe took to the stage and the music blared, competing with the constant hum of generators and squealing kids on rides. Ahead, on my right, I saw the Alaska Right to Life (RTL) booth, where a poster caught my eye, taking my breath away. It featured the sweetest baby girl swathed in pink, pretend angel wings fastened to her soft shoulders.
"That's you, baby," I whispered to Piper, as I have every year since she smiled for the picture as an infant. She popped another cloud of cotton candy into her mouth and looked nonchalant: Still the pro-life poster child at the State Fair. Ho-hum.
Well, I still thought it was a nice shot, as I did every time I saw it on its advertisements and fund-raiser tickets. It reminded me of the preciousness of life.
It also reminded me of how impatient I am with politics.
A staunch advocate of every child's right to be born, I was pro-life enough for the grassroots RTL folks to adopt Piper as their poster child, but I wasn't politically connected enough for the state GOP machine to allow the organization to endorse me in early campaigns.