For the history and significance of totem poles specifically created by Ketchikan, Native Americans, Totems and Their Tales: Totem Poles of Ketchikan, Alaska by Lola Romine is a good read and worth finding. Watch Ketchikan, Alaska, grow before your eyes from a fishing camp to a cannery and lumber town in Profiles of Progress: A Photographic Journal of Ketchikan, Alaska by David R. Dillman. 

For the "salmon capital of the world" fans among you, don't arrive in Ketchikan without the Ketchikan Area Sport Fishing Guide by Stephen Hoffman, unless you're happy just buying a can of gourmet salmon at one of Creek Street's many fine shops... Didn't think so.

We're Going to Ketchikan!: An Alaskan Heritage Story is by Alaska-lover, Nona J. Hall Johnson, who has written a number of other titles pertaining to the Last Frontier. Perhaps a book to read before you go to Ketchikan is  1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. Though the book lists many must see destinations, including the Great Wall of China and the Alhambra in Andalusia, Spain, for the little town at the southernmost border of the big, wide state of Alaska to be included in such a mandate, says a lot. It includes accomodations, attractions, and fish.

In Looking For Alaska by the late Peter Jennings, the author seems to have found it. His journey begins in Ketchikan at the bottom of the continent, and goes up from there. A personal, satisfying story of a country-within-a-country.