wSep 22, 2008

Still catching up on what I've read lately...

Random notes as I finish rereading the series. Most of these are from Little Town on the Prairie through the end. Also, there was a lot of spirited discussion in my last post about these books. They were written in the 1930s by a woman born in 1867. So, yeah. There are racist attitudes here, as well as sexist ones. I don't think that pretending that these times in history never happened is the way to move beyond them as a society. There is still a lot of value on these books.

Spoilers, but who hasn't read these?!

Okay, so I love the way Laura writes about Almanzo in Farmer Boy, because it's totally cute how she describes how much he eats, and even every time he gets in trouble, he never actually does anything wrong (except throwing the blacking brush at Eliza Jane), while she's pretty mean toward herself, describing how Laura is often naughty.

But she totally still holds a grudge against Eliza Jane, when she was the school teacher in De Smet. Wasn't Eliza Jane still alive when these books were published? It's just fascinating to me. I know that Laura's daughter Rose went to live with Eliza Jane for a while, too, and that they were pretty good friends. I wonder if there were hard feelings or mean letters after Little Town on the Prairie was published!

ALSO, it's hilarious the first time Almanzo asks to see Laura home from the Church meeting. I love how Ma and Carrie are just like....speechless and petrified.

OMG ALMANZO WILDER IS SO NICE! "What do you take me for? Do you think I'm the kind of fellow that'd leave you out there at Brewster's when you're so homesick, just because there's nothing in it for me?"

Aww, Cap Garland. "God hates a coward."

ALSO, LOL when Almanzo gets jealous because Laura's Uncle Tom was there, not smiling and being like, "Who was that young man you were talking to?" THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER NOW THAT I'M OLD ENOUGH TO APPRECIATE IT.

Seriously, when I was a younger girl, I was always like, "WTF, he has nice horses and then she just marries him?" but reading them now, when I'm older, I can see exactly how she fell in love with him. I don't like admitting that my comprehension of a book changed over time, because I take a lot of pride in the high reading level I had as a child. But here, I'll admit it.

I love Almanzo's amusement and Laura wanting to slit Nellie's throat in the buggy.

WTF, I totally forgot that Laura had a garnet engagement ring. I wonder if this influenced my subconscious, and that's why the garnet is my favorite gemstone?! I WANT HER RING.

What else did I totally forget? That Laura told Almanzo that she didn't want women to vote. FAIL.

It's interesting from a writer's standpoint to read The First Four Years, and realize how much time Laura spent crafting her narrative of the other books. Here, it's very clearly an outline, just telling what happened, with only the bare minimum for embellishments.

So what's next? I'd like to try reading On the Way Home and West From Home again, because I found both really boring when I was younger. Unfortunately, my copies of both are at my parents' house. I did bring back the hardcover collection of a lot of articles she published in Missouri, though, so I'm looking forward to reading them and reporting what they say to you, dear Internet.

Tales of the Slayer, by various Buffy writers

This was awesome! Fans of Buffy should totally read it, and by "it" I refer to the graphic novel (I haven't tried the book formats yet). There are stories from the First Slayer, Medieval Slayer, French Revolution Slayer, Edwardian England Slayer, Navajo Wild West Slayer, Nazi Germany Slayer, Nikki Wood, and Melaka Fray.
Also, I totally guessed correctly that Joss wrote the medieval one, and Jane Espenson wrote the Edwardian one. Yay for a Buffy fix.

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scribbled mystickeeper at 4:31 PM

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