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What I’m Reading

It’s been awhile since my last quick review of recent reads…oops. Let’s hope I can remember what I read/what they were about/who I liked ’em…

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Biography by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I’ve gotta say first off that I only had to wait a couple weeks on the wait list at our small, local (city) library. I’m currently still about #180 (not kidding!) on our county system.

Anyway, it’s the worth the wait, because this book is fascinating and absolutely gripping. Sounds weird, when it’s an annotated biography of a girl growing up in the late 1800s midwest, but it just is. If I could always learn about history like this, I’m convinced I’d remember 95% more of it than I normally do. I actually haven’t read The Little House series in oh, about 18 years, but remember enough of the series for this to be even more interesting, since there are many aspects in the novel that are based on real events, but fictionalized, either lightly or heavily. This is the real story, and who doesn’t love getting that? The footnotes are right on the page, and are extensive, which normally I find irritating, but these were so useful and helpful in fleshing out the historical context for Laura’s narrative.

Highly recommend for lovers of American history, and The Little House series.

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

This one’s been on my To-Read List for ages. I’m so glad I finally had the chance to read it. It is beautifully written, and Berry does a masterful job taking on the character and voice of a woman, reminiscing about her entire life in her old age. There were many passages that actually reminded me of The Little House on the Prairie, since Hannah was growing up on a farm, and she and her family had to work really hard to make their living on the land. The book explores relationships, loss, the ties of family and place, living and working the land, and growing up in a rapidly changing world.

Highly recommend if you love The Little House series, Willa Cather novels, Kristin Lavransdatter, and American history.

The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer

Just a little fun reading to prep for homeschooling in about 2.5 years…ha! This is a hefty tome, and a great resource. I read most of the beginning chapters which focus on what classical education is, as well the first couple chapters on teaching the early years. This will be a one I’m sure I will buy aw we really start planning in earnest. There are good book-lists, and tons and tons of resources listed as well.

Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Preschool Years by Elizabeth Hainstock

I borrowed this as an e-book and read it in about 45 minutes, so it’s not a heavyweight, and it is slightly dated. But there were some good ideas and step-by-step guides for doing Montessori-esque activities with your preschooler at home. There are also some pages in the back that you can copy and use to make worksheets, activities, etc. It’s a good book if you want to add a little low-key structure to your preschooler’s day without going crazy (many of the activities center around normal, day-to-day household chores and activities).

The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden

I guess I was on a Godden kick this summer. This novel wasn’t nearly as good as all her others I’ve read, and I definitely didn’t fly through it. It’s a coming-of-age story (never my favorite genre) of a young English girl, who is spending the summer in a French seaside hotel. I didn’t really like any of the characters, the ending was extremely dissatisfying, and there were copious passages of untranslated French dialogue that were tough even to figure out via context. Annoying.

I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading, or if you’ve ready any of the books here!

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8 thoughts on “What I’m Reading

  1. I almost spit coffee out of my mouth…. I HAVE BEEN ITCHING TO READ The Pioneer Girl and spent a lot of time on amazon and half.com this week trying to find it for cheaper than $28. I thought I was the only one in the world who cared to read the adult version of LHOP books. We have been watching the series on dvd and the kids love it. It got me inspired to get my hands on the real deal. Glad to hear it was good 🙂

  2. I accidentally borrowed Hannah Coulter as an audio book this year instead of an actual book and I loved it but I really wish I had an actual copy in my hand. There were some great parts I would have liked to have jotted down. Something about pouring herself out into her children as she was nursing them? It was so beautiful but not worth a car crash trying to find a pen and paper 🙂 Part of me also wanted to shake her at the end and ask her why she wasn’t telling her children that they were making such poor life choices–or maybe that’s just the fact that I don’t have any young adults yet and I’m still optimistic about the value of a good mom lecture 🙂

  3. Pingback: What I Read in 2015 |

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