January-March 2020 Reading List

Years ago, someone who is no longer blogging used to host a “Fall Into Reading” and “Spring Reading Fling,” where participants would share what they planned to read for the next few months and then come back and share what they actually did read. I always enjoyed reading those and added to my TBR list exponentially.

Susanne misses those posts, too, and has decided to start up an informal quarterly reading list sign-up. I thought this might be a good way to break up my larger reading plans into smaller goals. You can find more information here and join in here, if you’d like.

My two biggest challenges are the Back to the Classics Challenge and then two others that focus on reading books we already own (Mount TBR) or have had on our reading list a while.

For classics:

  • I’m currently listening to The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle.
  • Next up will be Sanditon, Jane Austen’s last, unfinished novel. Masterpiece Theatre has made a series based on the book, but I want to read the book before watching the program. I’ve put this one on hold at the library.
  • Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  • I might start Larkrise to Candleford by Flora Thompson next. My copy has three volumes in one, so it’s rather large. But I have also been wanting to watch the series based on these stories as well, and want to read the books first.

I’ll be hosting my last Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge Feb. 1-29 and will share on Feb. 1 what I am reading for that challenge. I have one book on hand and am considering another.

From my current stash:

I just finished Panosian: A Story of God’s Gracious Providence by Chris Anderson. Next are:

Nonfiction:

  • Good Tidings of Great Joy: A Collection of Christmas Sermons by Charles Spurgeon (currently reading)
  • Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam (currently reading).
  • The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan about the Biltmore House. I loved what she did with The Girls of Atomic City, so I’m eagerly looking forward to this book.
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Her Life by Susan Hertog

Fiction:

  • Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke, a novel involving a couple of people on the Titanic, one who survived and one who did not, and those who wished the results had been reversed (currently reading).
  • The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix
  • The Shopkeepers by Nancy Moser, a sequel to The Pattern Artist and The Fashion Designer, novels about a young women going into those professions in the early 1900s.
  • Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron, sequel to The Lost Castle, a novel involving three different timelines touching an old castle.
  • The One True Love of Alice Ann by Eva Marie Everson, a novel set in 1940s Georgia about a girl waiting for the one she loves to come home from WWII.

Those should keep me busy for a while! I’m looking forward to all of them.

What’s on your reading horizon?

Reading Plans for 2020

There are some books you don’t get around to reading unless you plan to. Participating in some book challenges has helped be more purposeful in my reading. But I have found I also need flexibility. I don’t want to feel pressured and tied down by a reading list. I want the freedom to pick up books discovered during the year, new releases, etc. But I also want to read more classics and more books from my own shelves or list of recommendations. There are two main reading challenges I participate in every year, and sometimes I try a few others as well. Thankfully the books can overlap several challenges: otherwise I could probably only do one or two.

So this year, I’ll participate in these challenges:

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge begins here February 1-29. This will be my last year to host it. I have one book in mind for it this year, which I’ll share Feb. 1.

Tarissa at In the Bookcase hosts the Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge in June.

Tarissa also hosts the Literary Christmas Reading Challenge November through December.

Karen at Books and Chocolate is hosting the Back to the Classics challenge again this year. Books have to be 50 years old for this challenge and fit into the following categories. We don’t have to determine them all at this point, but I’ll list a few I have in mind.

1. 19th Century Classic: Hard Times by Charles Dickens
2. 20th Century Classic
3. Classic by a Woman Author: Eight Cousins by Louisa My Alcott
4. Classic in Translation (originally written in something other than your native language): Possibly Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. I read it a long time ago but can’t remember much about it.
5. Classic by a Person of Color
6. A Genre Classic
7. Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title: The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens.
8. Classic with a Place in the Title: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire by Howard Pyle
9. Classic with Nature in the Title: Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
10. Classic About a Family (multiple members of the same family as principal characters)
11. Abandoned Classic (one you started but never finished). Possibly Billy Budd by Herman Melville. I was supposed to read that for a college class but never finished.
12: Classic Adaptation (Any classic that’s been adapted as a movie or TV series): I might try Larkrise to Candleford by Flora Thompson. It’s long, but I’ve been wanting to read it and see the series.

Most of these books would fit in many of the categories, so I might change them around as I decide on the rest of the titles.

Karen draws a name from participants at the end of the year to receive a $30 gift card towards books, and the number of categories you finish determines how many entries you get.

mount-tbr-2017Bev at My Reader’s Block hosts the Mount TBR Challenge to encourage us to read the books we already own.. Every 12 books read is another level or “mountain” climbed. We don’t have to list the books yet, but we do have to commit to a level. I am committing to Mt. Vancouver (36 books). I’ve been able to reach that pretty easily the last couple of years. The one main rule here is that the books have to have been owned by us before January 1, 2020.

Bev is also hosting the Virtual TBR Reading Challenge, like the Mount TBR except that the first one requires you to own the books you’re reading. The virtual one can include borrowed books or books on your to-be-read list that you don’t own yet. I haven’t done this one before, but I think I can commit to Mount Rum Doodle, 12 books.

The Backlist Reader Challenge sign-up link

The Backlist Reader Challenge is new to me this year. It encourages reading books on our want-to-read list, whether we already own them or not. The only caveat is they have to have been published before 2018 and be a book you’ve already been considering. Lark will give away a $15 Amazon or Book Depository gift certificate at the end of the year. Since most of the Mount TBR and Virtual Mount TBR books will qualify for this challenge, I’m going to aim for 30.

The Audiobook Challenge is new to me, too. But since I listen to several a year (usually classics), it should be easy. I’m aiming for the Stenographer level (10-15 audiobooks). there will be a couple of giveaways with this challenge, on June 30 and December 15.

Yet another new one to me is the For the Love of Ebooks Challenge, which, as the name implies, involves reading ebooks. A good chunk of my TBR books are in my Kindle app, so I think I could do the Semi-Pro status (10-19).

Finally, I am going to try the Nonfiction Reading Challenge since I read several a year anyway. I’m only going to aim for the Nonfiction Nibbler (6 books), though, since I am not interested in all the categories for the next level.

Thanks to Tarissa and Lisa for introducing me to a few that I hadn’t heard of before.

I would never do all these except that they can overlap, and many involve types of reading I already do. There are still several other interesting challenges out there that I decided against!

Do you participate in any reading challenges or make reading plans for the year?

Back to the Classics Challenge Wrap-up 2019

btcc reading challenge 2019

Karen at Books and Chocolate hosts the Back to the Classics Challenge. She came up with categories and we come up with a classic at least 50 years old to fit each category. She also gives away a prize – a $30 gift card to Amazon.com or The Book Depository. You get one entry for the prize drawing for six categories completed, two entries for nine categories completed, and three entries if you complete all twelve.

The classics I read this year were (titles link back to my reviews):

A.19th Century ClassicThe Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860)(Finished 7/15/19)

B. 20th Century Classic (published between 1900 to 1969): How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (1939) (Finished 3/20/19)

C. Classic by a Woman AuthorA Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)(Finished 2/14/19)

D. Classic in Translation (written originally in a language different from your own): Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss (Finished 11/23/19)

E. Classic Comic Novel. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (1836)(Finished 5/20/19)

F. Classic Tragic Novel. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)(Finished 6/12/19)

G. Very Long Classic (500 or more pages): Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (Finished 9/11/19)

H. Classic Novella (250 or fewer pages): The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott, 150 pages. (1849)(Finished 6/23/19)

I. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean). The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington. (1918)(Finished 9/24/19)

J. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia). Moby Dick by Herman Melville. (Finished 10/28/19)

K. Classic From a Place You’ve Lived. The Gilded Age by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner (Finished 12/16/19)

L. Classic Play. King Lear by William Shakespeare. (Finished 12/28/19)

Karen likes for us to compute how many entries we earned: I read all twelve, so I have three entries.

I enjoy this challenge because it broadens my horizons. I would not have read some of these books if not for this challenge. I have not seen anything yet about this challenge for next year, and I’m sorry that it looks like it won’t continue. But I’ll keep reading classics. Someone has said that a classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say. These books still speak today.

Do you like to read classics? Have you read any of these?

Literary Christmas Reading Challenge Wrap-up 2019

A Literary Christmas: Reading Challenge // inthebookcase.blogspot.comTarissa of In the Bookcase hosts the Literary Christmas Reading Challenge each year in November and December. The basic idea is to read Christmas books!

I didn’t get to all the books I would have liked, but I enjoyed finished these (titles link back to my reviews):

I started Good Tidings of Great Joy: A Collection of Christmas Sermons by Charles Spurgeon but am only about halfway through. I thought I could read a short section at a time, like a devotional book. I could, but I just didn’t get as much from the sermon until I read each one as a whole. Since they’re a bit long, I’m having to wait til Saturdays when I have a bit more time to read them in one sitting.

I always enjoy reading Christmas books in December. It’s even more fun to do so with this challenge. Than you, Tarissa, for hosting it!

Mount TBR Challenge Wrap-up

mount-tbr-2017These are the books I’ve read this year that qualify for Bev’s Mount TBR Challenge. I’m listing them in the order I finished them. The publication dates are in parentheses. The titles link back to my reviews.

  1. Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa. (2016)(Finished 1/13/19)
  2. Among the Fair Magnolias: Four Southern Love Stories by Elizabeth Musser, Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, and Dorothy Love. (2015)(Finished 1/14/19)
  3. Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Susan May Warren (2011)(Finished 1/15/18)
  4. Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy (2018)(Finished 2/1/19)
  5. Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott (2017)(Finished 2/5/19)
  6. Katie’s Dream by Leisha Kelly (2004)(Finished 2/9/19)
  7. Read the Bible for Life: Your Guide to Understanding and Living God’s Word by George H. Guthrie. (2011)(Finished 2/4/19)
  8. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)(Finished 2/14/19)
  9. Journaling for the Soul by Deborah Haddix (2018)(Finished 2/19/19)
  10. I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel (2018)(Finished 2/20/19)
  11. Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis by Patti Callahan (2018)(Finished 3/5/19)
  12. Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey (2017)(Finished 3/8/19)
  13. If I Run by Terri Blackstock. (2016)(Finished 1/27/19)
  14. If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock (2017)(Finished 2/1/19)
  15. If I Live by Terri Blackstock (2018)(Finished 3/9/19)
  16. Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke (2014)(Finished 3/17/19)
  17. Love Is Not a Special Way of Feeling by Charles G. Finney (1963)(Finished 3/25/19)
  18. She Makes It Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen (2011)(Finished 3/24/19)
  19. The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. (2007)(Finished 3/27/19)
  20. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (1939)(Finished 3/31/19)
  21. The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser (2018)(Finished 4/1/19)
  22. I’ll Watch the Moon by Ann Tatlock (2013)(Finished 4/6/19)
  23. Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior (2012)(Finished 4/23/19)
  24. A Room of My Own by Ann Tatlock (2016)(Finished 4/29/19)
  25. Travelers Rest by Ann Tatlock (2012)(Finished 5/4/19)
  26. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (1836)(Finished 5/20/19)
  27. All the Way Home by Ann Tatlock (2011)(Finished 5/28/19)
  28. How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Andrew David Naselli (2017)(Finished 5/31/19)
  29. Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock (2011)(Finished 6/2/19)
  30. The Returning by Ann Tatlock (2009)(Finished 5/28/10)
  31. Close to Home by Deborah Raney (2016)(Finished 6/3/19)
  32. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)(Finished 6/12/19)
  33. Home at Last by Deborah Raney (2018)(Finished 6/14/19)
  34. The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper (2017)(Finished 6/20/19)
  35. Rorey’s Secret by Leisha Kelly (2005)(Finished 7/24/19)
  36. There’s a Reason They Call It GRANDparenting by Michele Howe (2017)(Finished 9/4/19)
  37. A Promise in Pieces by Emily T. Wierenga (2014)(Finished 9/22/19)
  38. A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell (2008)(Finished 9/27/19)
  39. Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight by Sheila Wray Gregoire (2004)(Finished 10/2/19)
  40. Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell (2014)(Finished 10/24/19)
  41. Canteen Dreams by Cara Putnam (2017)(Finished 11/17/19)
  42. On Writing Well by William Zinsser. (1976)(Finished 12/4/19)
  43. The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller (2009)(Finished 12/8/19)
  44. Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock (2018)(Finished 12/12/19)
  45. Christmas Stitches: A Historical Romance Collection: 3 Stories of Women Sewing Hope and Love Through the Holidays by Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, and Stephanie Grace Whitson (2018)(Finished 12/26/19)
  46. Seasons of the Heart: A Year of Devotions from One Generation of Women to Another compiled by Donna Kelderman (2013)(Finished 12/31/19)(Review coming soon)

Bev’s goal markers are in the form of different mountains. I made it up to Mt. Vancouver, which was 36 books. I was just two short of Mt. Ararat’s 48. I enjoyed the climb!

If you’d like to get some of your already-owned books read next year, Bev is hosting this challenge again. Details are here.

TBR Pile Challenge Wrap-up

Some time before the end of the year, probably after Christmas, I’ll post the books I read this year as well as my top ten or so. Meanwhile, I’ll post the wrap-ups to some of the reading challenges I’ve participated in.

tbr2019rbrbutton

It’s amazing, isn’t it, that we accumulate books we really want, but then they sit unread for months or years.

Adam at Roof Beam Reader hosted the TBR Pile Challenge to encourage us to get to those books on our shelves, Kindles, or TBR lists.  The goal was to read twelve books, and we could choose two alternates in case we decided not to finish one of our original picks. I’m happy to report that I was able to complete everything on my list. The titles link back to my reviews, and the date immediately following is the year of publication.

  1. How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Andrew David Naselli (2017)(Finished 5/31/19)
  2. There’s a Reason They Call It GRANDparenting by Michele Howe (2017)(Finished 9/4/19)
  3. The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. (2007)(Finished 3/27/19)
  4. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. (1970)(Finished 8/6/19)
  5. Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior (2012)(Finished 4/23/19)
  6. On Writing Well by William Zinsser. (1976)(Finished 12/4/19)
  7. Katie’s Dream by Leisha Kelly. (2004)(Finished 2/9/19)
  8. If I Run by Terri Blackstock (2016)(Finished 1/26/19)
  9. Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey (2017)(Finished 3/8/19)
  10. Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa (2016)(Finished 1/13/19)
  11. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (1939, finished 3/20/19)
  12. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)(Finished 2/14/19)

My alternates were Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohkle (2014, finished 3/17/19) and Close to Home by Deborah Raney (2016, finished 6/3/19).

I enjoyed all of these to some degree. I’ll probably benefit most from On Writing Well (at least I hope can remember to incorporate its instruction). How to Understand And Apply the New Testament and There’s a Reason They Call It GRANDparenting had lots of great advice. Booked had much food for thought. A Little Princess and The Wednesday Letters were sweet and charming. So was How Green Was My Valley except for a couple of scenes. Annabel Lee was riveting. 84, Charing Cross Road had been on my TBR list for years, so I was glad to finally see what it was all about.  Leisha Kelly’s series was a favorite. Steal Away Home brought a story to light I had been unaware of. Terri Blackstock’s books are always good, and her If I Run series provided great reading time. So did Deborah Raney’s Chicory Lane series. Cathy Gohkle is a new-to-me author but already a favorite.

I’m sad that Adam won’t be continuing this challenge next year. But I enjoyed the fun motivation to actually get to these books.

Literary Christmas Reading Challenge 2019

A Literary Christmas: Reading Challenge // inthebookcase.blogspot.comTarissa of In the Bookcase hosts the Literary Christmas Reading Challenge each year in November and December. The basic idea is to read Christmas books! Since I like to read Christmas books in December anyway, this challenge was a nice fit. The details of the challenge are here.

One of the requirements of the challenge is to write a post expressing our intent to participate and sharing what we’ll be reading.

I have these books on hand and hope to read as many of them as possible:

Book Review: The Inheritance

In 1996, two professors going through Louisa May Alcott’s letters and journals discovered a previously unknown and unpublished manuscript. The Inheritance was Louisa’s first novel, written when she was 17. Neither the professors nor anyone else could find any other information about the novel. There was no record of it having been submitted for publication and rejected. Maybe Louisa just wrote it for fun or for her family. After the novel’s discovery, it was published in 1997.

The heroine of the story is Edith Adelon. She was discovered as a poor orphan in Italy by Lord Hamilton, who took pity on her and brought her home. There she became a companion to Hamilton’s daughter, Amy.

As the story  opens, Edith is a young woman and Amy is a teenager. Edith teaches Amy “music, painting, and Italian, and better lessons still in patience, purity, and truth,” but she’s not exactly a governess. However, she is regarded by Lady Hamilton as “poor and lowborn,” and as such, she is not allowed to mingle with “noble” guests as an equal (p. 17). Lord Hamilton died years before. Amy’s older brother, Arthur, her mother, Lady Hamilton, and her mother’s niece, Lady Ida complete the household. A friend, Lord Percy, comes for an extended visit and the young siblings learn his background: he and his brother had loved the same woman, and once Percy found out, he stepped back for his brother’s happiness. “Careless of the wealth and honor that might be his, he prized far more the purity and worth of noble human hearts, little noting whether they beat in high or low.” He visited the “poor and suffering” and still kept a hope that he “might win a beautiful and noble wife to cheer life’s pilgrimage and bless him with her love” (p. 13).

Ida hopes to attract Percy’s attention for herself, but when she sees him favoring Edith, Ida’s latent jealousy comes to the surface. Between Ida’s verbal jousts, another visitor’s ignoble intentions, and a betrayal of her kindness, Edith has her hands full.

Yet there is a secret to Edith’s background that none of them knows. But will it be revealed or suppressed and forgotten?

The story is only 150 pages and has elements of both a Gothic novel and what were called sentimental novels. It’s a very sweet story, but a little overdone in places. Edith is too good to be true. Descriptions such as this one abound: “With an angel’s calm and almost holy beauty, Edith bore within as holy and pure a heart–gentle, true, and tender” (pp. 12-13). Likewise, Percy’s “calm, pale face and serious eyes are far more beautiful than mere comeliness and grace of form, for the pure, true heart withing shines clearly out and gives a quiet beauty to his face, such as few possess” (p. 5).

But even though Louisa’s writing is understandably not as mature as her later works, and the characters are a little two-dimensional, I thought it was very sweet and a good effort on Louisa’s part for her age then.

Several years ago I saw a film version of The Inheritance which I enjoyed immensely. It must have come out not long after the book was published. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but it kept to the main points of the book. A few exceptions: it has Lord Hamilton as still living for most of the film; shows Lady Hamilton as warm and friendly whereas she is described as cold and haughty in the book; and it has Edith loving and racing horses, which was not at all in the book. I’m looking forward to seeing the film again some time now that I’ve read the story.

Thankfully Tarissa, who hosts the Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge, told me about the Internet Archive, which loans copies of books that have been photocopied page by page. It’s not quite the same as an e-book, but once I figured out how to make the page fit my iPad mini, I read it quite easily. I’m glad to know this service exists! The edition I read included a lengthy introduction by the two professors who discovered this manuscript, Joel Myerson and Daniel Shealy.

I’m counting this book as my Classic Novella (250 or fewer pages) for the Back to the Classics Challenge.

(Sharing with Carole’s Books You Loved and Booknificent)

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge

LMA-reading-challenge

Tarissa at In the Bookcase hosts a Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge every June. The idea is to encourage reading or listening to books by or about Louisa or about her family during June.

I’m planning to read The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper, a fictionalized account of Louisa’s youngest sister, May, on whom Amy was based in the Little Women books.

I just ordered The Little Women Treasury used from Amazon. I am not sure yet if I’ll read it through or just peruse parts of it: I’ll decide when I see it.

I would love to listen to The Inheritance by Louisa – I enjoyed the film version a few years ago. But so far I have not found it available on either audio or Kindle, and I am not sure the library has it (found the title online but the page showed a different book.) If I can’t find this one, I might reread Eight Cousins or Rose in Bloom, as it’s been years since I read either.

Hop on over to Tarissa‘s if you’d like to join in the challenge!

 

Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge Wrap-up for 2019

The end of February closes the Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge for this year. I hope you had fun with it, and I look forward to hearing about what you read!

A week from today I’ll use random.org to draw a name from the comments on this post to win either The Little House Cookbook compiled by Barbara M. Walker, Laura’s Album: A Remembrance Scrapbook of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson, The Little House Coloring Book, or a similarly-priced book related to Laura. A week should give some of us who are still reading time to finish up and post about our reading. You don’t have to have a blog to participate: you can tell us what you read in the comments here. If you have a blog, you can either let us know what you read in the comments or share the links back to any reviews or challenge-related posts from your blog or even from Goodreads if you review books there. Due to shipping costs, I’m afraid I can only ship to those in the US, unless you’d like a Kindle version.

For my part, I read:

Fairies

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Fairy Poems, compiled by Stephen W. Hines, illustrated by Richard Hull. I had forgotten that Laura wrote such poems until Rebekah mentioned them. Laura is usually more matter-of-fact than fanciful, though some of her descriptions are lovely. So I was interested to see how she did with fairy poems. Hines provides a brief introduction, telling how Laura came to write the poems for the San Francisco Bulletin. Then he shares an adaptation of an essay Laura wrote called “Fairies Still Appear to Those With Seeing Eyes.”

There are only five poems in the book, spread out over several pages with a number of illustrations. The poems are very old-fashioned, naturally, as they describe the various activities fairies are involved in. I’m not normally into fairy poems, so I don’t know how they would measure up for young readers today.

Honestly, I didn’t care for the illustrations much. I think I would have preferred lighter colors, maybe a watercolor effect. I liked the detail of the plants and animals, but not the fairies and people.

Have you or your children read this book? What did you think?

LIW song book

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Songbook compiled and edited by Eugenia Garson.

The copy I checked out from the library looks like the one above, but I saw other copies on Amazon with a Garth Williams illustration of Pa with his fiddle on the front.

What I appreciated most about this one was Garson’s research. She looked up every song mentioned in the Little House books, provided a few sentences of background for it (when it could be found), and a quote from the LH book where it was mentioned. Sheet music is provided for all the songs, making me wish I could play the piano enough to pick out the tunes. I was familiar with just a few of them. This would be a nice resource for anyone wanting to learn more about music from this era.

Traveler

I also read On the Way Home and The Road Back by Laura Ingalls Wilder. These two books have been packaged together with West From Home, Laura’s letters to Almanzo while visiting Rose in San Francisco for the World’s Fair, into one volume called A Little House Traveler. Since I had read West From Home a few years ago, I did not read that one at this time. The first is Laura’s record of moving with her husband and daughter by covered wagon from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri; the second is her journal of traveling back to South Dakota to visit her two remaining sisters 40 years later in an un-air-conditioned Buick. I reviewed them here.

I also wrote Why Laura Ingalls Wilder Is Still Worth Reading because some question whether she is any more. No, she and her family were not perfect. But we can still learn from them.

That’s it for me. How about you? Remember, leave a comment on this post about what you read or did for the challenge before Thursday of next week to be eligible for the drawing.

Update: The giveaway is closed. The winner is Rebekah! Congratulations!

(Sharing with Carole’s Books You Loved)