Friday, April 1, 2011

What I Read: March {Pioneer Edition}

Across the Universe, by Beth Revis

I really enjoyed this one. It seems that lately I've been into futuristic YA fiction (I can't believe I'm admitting this, since I usually avoid "popular" teen series, but I was planning on getting the Hunger Games series at the library the other day. They were all checked out). As I was reading this one, I kept subconsciously comparing it to Matched. (There were some moments with a definite ick factor because of the way the society had become.) The whole story drew me in with its creepiness and mysterious characters and secrets.

A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle

I like memoirs (this is the second "living in France" memoir I've read this year), but there comes a point when I have to trudge through to finish them. Fiction is just my thing, I guess. :) Anyway, this memoir was interesting and humorous, with its insights into the French people.

Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I know I mentioned this before, but I am so excited about this book that releases this month. I really want to read it, but I want to read the Little House series first (I'm on Farmer Boy right now). I've been buying them at the Goodwill for about $1.50 each.

Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

This is the only Little House book that I definitely know I read as a child. But I was smitten with it! My old copy came from Goodwill, too, and I read it so much the cover fell off. I'm not sure why I never read the whole series. I know our school library had them! I do remember one thing about the series, though. For those public school kids, do you remember those Scholastic Book Club order forms that your teachers used to send home? The ones with pages full of cheap, lovely books? :) I loved those things! Still do, actually. I get them from the college day care even now and order picture books. :) But I remember once a girl who was a year older than me ordered the whole Little House boxed set. I remember her bringing the set home on the bus. And I remember being crazy jealous of that box of so many gorgeous, shiny books. :) Anyway, I'm really loving reading the series right now. Laura Ingalls Wilder's writing style amazes me. She can go from writing a very practical descriptive page about how Pa built a door to a beautiful description of something in nature, like this, for example:

The last color was fading from the enormous sky and all the level land was shadowy. The warmth of the fire was pleasant because the night wind was cool. Phoebe-birds called sadly from the woods down by the creek. For a little while a mockingbird sang, then the stars came out and the birds were still. Softly, Pa's fiddle sang in the starlight. Sometimes he sang a little and sometimes the fiddle sang alone. Sweet and thin and far away, the fiddle went on singing: "None knew thee but to love thee, Thou dear one of my heart..." The large, bright stars hung down from the sky. Lower and lower they came, quivering with music. Laura gasped, and Ma came quickly. "What is it, Laura?" she asked, and Laura whispered, "The stars were singing." - chapter 4, Little House on the Prairie

The song ended. No one moved or spoke. Laura and Mary were quiet, Pa and Ma sat motionless. Only the wind stirred and the grasses sighed. Then Pa lifted the fiddle to his shoulder and softly touched the bow to the strings. A few notes fell like clear drops of water into the stillness. A pause, and Pa began to play the nightingale's song. The nightingale answered him. The nightingale began to sing again. It was singing with Pa's fiddle. When the strings were silent, the nightingale went on singing. When it paused, the fiddle called to it and it sang again. The bird and the fiddle were talking to each other in the cool night under the moon. - chapter 5, Little House on the Prairie

Doesn't it give you chills? And make you want to sleep under the stars or listen to a birdsong or learn how to play the fiddle or something? :)

Austenland, by Shannon Hale

This is my fourth reread of the year, out of the 20 that I hope to accomplish. I read this book several years ago, at the time that my Austen obsession was just starting to become an obsession. :) I remembered the basic plot and a certain gardener, but honestly, I couldn't remember how it ended. So, in a way, it was like reading it for the first time again. I was satisfied with the end. :) This is a cute story for Austen fans, with little inappropriate content. Now I really want to reread Shannon Hale's YA stories, which I love more than her novels for adults.

So that's it for this month. I also finished rereading Preparing to be a Help Meet, by Debi Pearl. I wrote more about that one here, so I didn't want to write a lot about it again.

Until next time,


  1. I am so jealous you had time to re-read Austenland! :)

  2. Funny, I happened apon your blog and I have been reading science fiction/fantasy YA since my oldest was born (5 years or so). I just finished Across the Universe as well. Interesting. Loved Hunger Games- best that I read last year. I was thinking about reading my kids THe Little House series. Funny when someone has similar reading interests, especially since I was feeling that mine were getting so odd lately. I do teach high school so the kids recommend books to me that I read.

  3. Thank you for those wonderful passages from the Little House books. It's been many years since I read them and though I loved them (reread them many times as a girl) I'd forgotten how lyrical they could be at times.


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