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review 2018-01-16 19:33
Review: Under A Prairie Moon
Under a Prairie Moon - Madeline Baker

3.5 Stars.

 

This was not at all what I expected.  I was in the mood for a historical Indian romance, but I never expected ghosts, curses and time travel!  I just opened up a book with a title that sounded interesting and this is what I got.  The story was surprisingly interesting.  A man is betrayed and killed for a crime he didn't commit so he put a curse on the people who killed him and their land.  And boy did the curse ever stick!  Fast-forward 125 years to a woman who was recently widowed by a descendant of the cursed family, and she has now come into ownership of the very cursed ranch.

 

Somehow, after having haunted the place since his death 125 years prior, he finally meets someone who can see him.  After accepting the fact that she has a ghosting haunting her ranch, the two become friends.  She, Kathy, convinces him, Dalton, to tell her about his life so that she can write it all down.  Between spending time doing that and rebuilding the ranch, they fall in love and inexplicably get sent back to his time to right the wrongs done him and to take care of unfinished business.

 

I enjoyed the story even with all the modern-day mixed into it.  I never thought I would enjoy a time travel historical romance, but this pleasantly surprised me.  It was a sweet tale with a happy ending.

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review 2017-12-19 18:51
Little House on the Prairie
Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams

It took me two tries to get through this one. It was just so much more boring and racist than Little House in the Big Woods. I only "finished" because I skipped the malaria and Native American parts. 

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review 2017-08-23 04:06
Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll
Prairie Tale: A Memoir - Melissa Gilbert

In the beginning of the book, she discusses how she got started and why she wrote this book. She tells how she was adopted and as the book goes along how that affected her life and how she viewed herself. She talks about how she felt playing a role that she couldn't even begin to understand and how she felt in those roles. She talks about how she met and dated and was engaged to the men in her life. At times I felt that she was name dropping and other times you felt like you were working through her issues to become healthy. 

 

It was a very good read and at times it was interesting to see behind the scenes of filming on so many shows. It was interesting to note how she went down the rabbit hole to addiction and what made the trip go faster or how she drug herself out of the rabbit hole. 

 

I read the book by Alison Arngrim and enjoyed it, so I thought it would be interesting to see another side of the "Little House" stories. 

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text 2017-05-25 00:50
My canon: the little house years
Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams
Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams
On the Banks of Plum Creek - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams
By the Shores of Silver Lake - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams
The Long Winter - Laura Ingalls Wilder,Garth Williams

When you are a reader it's possible to mark your life in books. There are those books that are so immutably connected to a prior time and place that opening the book is like time-travel - a way to be your younger self once again.

 

I could list the books that do this for me, although I would always add to the list as the thought occurred to me: A Little Princess, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, A Wrinkle in Time, From the Mixed of Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Anna Karenina, Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, The Anna Papers, Charms for the Easy Life. Sooner or later, I will tell you about all of those books. And many, many more.

 

But today, I'm going to talk about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House books, which I read into tatters. I was a bookish girl, and I still remember the Christmas that I was 7, in the third grade. We were living in a house in Omaha, Nebraska, on Hickory Street. Is there any street name that feels more Americana than a street named after a tree? My husband grew up on Birch Street. I lived on Hickory Street for a short time, and while I lived on Hickory Street, I woke up one Christmas morning, and ran downstairs and found the complete series under the tree for me.

 

The covers were the gingham edged version, I think. Although, I suppose I could be wrong about that because I no longer have my childhood editions. I read them into shreds, and they disappeared somewhere along the way. I own the gingham edged editions because I bought them when my daughter was small, hoping that she would love them as I did. She didn't, but I've unequivocally gotten my money's worth, because I've read them all, more than once. 

 

These might have been the first books that I truly loved. I devoured the first book, laying on my back under the tree on Christmas Day, watching the Christmas lights winking above me. I dragged myself out from under the tree to have Christmas dinner with my family - they wouldn't let me read during dinner, and I still remember racing through dinner, trying to be polite and conversational because all I wanted was to get back to Laura and Pa and their cabin in the Wisconsin woods, where Laura and Mary played in the attic surrounded by pumpkins and squash and the other harvested foods that would keep them fed during the long, dark, snowy winters. I can still see Garth William's illustrations in my mind's eye.

 

I read these books ten times. Twenty times. More times than I can count. I was always partial to the first two, and I never liked On the Banks of Plum Creek, probably because that was the year that they lived in Minnesota, and that horrible Nellie Oleson makes Laura's life so terrible.

 

As an adult, I am most astonished by The Long Winter, which has the most harrowing description of a town on the edge of starvation that I've ever read, although the terrible anxiety and danger is only apparent by reading between the lines. To a child, a long winter sounds like a lark, a delightful time-out-of-mind experience of endless snow days tucked in warm, in front of a fire. Only when I realized how close to death they were did I recognize the incredible courage demonstrated by Ma & Pa and the townspeople who kept themselves, their children, and their neighbors fed through a famine.

 

The television series premiered the same year that those books showed up under my Christmas tree. I don't connect those two things in my mind, although it seems obvious to me now that my parents gave me the books because of the series. For years, I faithfully watched every episode, laughing at Laura's antics, identifying with her enthusiasm, her heedlessness, her lack of interest in girlish things. The series ran until I was a junior in high school, long after I had left Laura behind for Ray-Bans and Tolstoy.

 

When I read the books now, I am that girl, all over again.

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review 2017-04-02 01:38
Prairie Boy
Prairie boy: An artist tells of his growing-up days on the Canadian prairies - Harry J. Baerg

The life on the Canadian prairie a hundred years ago was one of adventure and hard work for a boy growing up, even without school to worry about.  In Prairie Boy by artist -author Harry Baerg writes about events over 9 years of his life on and around his family farm in central Saskatchewan in an engaging autobiography geared towards young adults.

 

Beginning with purchase of his family’s farm outside the town of Waldheim in 1917 when he was 8, Baerg writes about many features of life over the next 9 years until his family left for British Columbia.  As an avid nature writer, Baerg’s descriptions of the wildlife around his farm and his family’s farm animals are very well done as well as chores surrounding the latter.  His descriptive illustrations, in both words and images, of various activities brought to life how farmers a century ago dealt with daily life without the technological developments that would occur over the course of the rest of the century.  Baerg spends time on both his schooling and how modern inventions slowly started coming into town and into their family’s life, making one realize that even the faintest resemblance to our world today was barely visible a century ago.

 

Coming in under 130 pages, Prairie Boy is a very quick read but very informative and entertaining.  Although intended for a young adult audience, Harry Baerg’s autobiography of his time growing up is something adults looking for an relaxing read would find interesting.

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