Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Wilder Life

The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the PrairieThe Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The librarian said to me with a smile, "I rarely comment on the books that people check out, but I've read this one and I think you'll really like it." And I did. I especially enjoyed the mother-daughter relationships that McClure explored. Her willingness to share her weirdo-obsession with finding "Laura World" as an adult, rather than a young reader of the books, was hilariously funny as well as poignant. That memory thing, it'll get you every time.

"Maybe the Little House books have always been a way to unremember--a word that I kept coming back to...I know technically it means to forget but somehow, in my mind the definition changed. To me unremembering is knowing that something once happened or existed by remembering the things around it or by putting something else in its place." (page 324)

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Rise and Fall of Alexandria

The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern MindThe Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind by Justin Pollard

After reading Cleopatra: A Life, I've become fascinated with Alexandria. As a girl I was much taken with ancient Egypt, so much so that I begged my mom to sew an Egyptian costume for my Barbie doll.

The fact that she did that for me should grant her automatic status in the Dedicated and Longsuffering Mom's Club, which is sort of like the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen but much harder to get into. If my daughter asked me for a similar effort I'd probably come up with an excuse, rather than allow her to see me flail around with the sewing machine and attempt to control my language while doing so.

After the Egyptian Pharoahs were replaced by Ptolemy Greeks, I lost interest in the history, but now forty years later I'm taking up the thread again.

"Once you stop learning, you start dying." --Albert Einstein

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Growing Up and Old

“It's the kind of story we learn over and over again about everything in the world: your life starts out as a wild open frontier that you explore until the forces of time or history or civilization or nature intervene, and then suddenly it's all gone, it all weathers and falls down and gets built over; everyone dies or moves away or becomes a grainy photograph, and yes, at some point you just get fat and fall off a streetcar. Progress--it dumps you on your aging and gigantic ass!”

― Wendy McClure, The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie

Saturday, August 4, 2012


CranfordCranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You'd think that a book about a small village populated mainly by elderly gossips wouldn't be much fun, but Cranford is delightful. Maybe I'm getting old myself, because I thought that the "adventures" of the genteel ladies of Elizabeth Gaskell's little world were quite entertaining and several of the characters, especially Miss Matty, really tickled me.

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