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02 August 2011

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OMG, FARMER BOY was full of FOOD. The Wilders were successful farmers (though they later moved) and Mother was always cooking massive amounts of good food. They had a much more interesting than the Ingallses (sp?) did with their interminable fried potatoes, salt pork, and whatever else they could find.

Farmer Boy was also my favorite book in the series back then. Almanzo's childhood was so luxurious compared to Laura's. He had so much and she had to pretend a corn cob was her doll and play with a pig's bladder.

Sarah,
Actually, I really enjoyed "Farmer Boy." I always got a charge out of Almanzo, to tell you the truth, being annoyed by his bossy older sister. Time to re-read it, maybe, although then it will make me hungry. I actually once made the fried apples and onions recipe out of that book, and it was very good. I should make that again.

Ruthiella,
Interesting. I don't know that it was my favorite (I think Plum Creek and These Happy Golden Years were my favorites--for whatever reason I used to just love reading about those little name/calling cards they all had made, with the different scripts, so exciting!).
Wendy McClure actually talks at length about the differences between Almanzo's childhood and Laura's, and discusses their daughter Rose Wilder Lane's editing of the Little House books. Evidently they had lots of hardships after their marriage too, and Rose grew up closer to poverty than her dad did (or that's the impression I got). This was a really neat book for some insight into the Ingalls/Wilder clan, actually.

I did not read the books until I was an adult with a daughter, but I became a devoted fan. Bonnie already had the books. We have now gone to the sights, which can be done in one nice tour of the central states. I'd recommend it.

Good to know, Rick. Add it to the list of 463 (at least!) other places I want to go someday. Sigh. But good to know the sights are fun, and glad you enjoyed the books. I'm really wanting to re-read them now but don't own them--I'll have to go check out the whole set from the library!

I loved this book. Now I want to read McClure's weight loss memoir.

Bybee,
I really enjoyed McClure's weight loss memoir. I think she's a really fun writer, while still having some writing skill (unlike someone like, say, Jen Lancaster). Apologies if you like Jen Lancaster; I just think McClure's a cut above, and deserves more publicity. (Although this Wilder book has been well received, which makes me happy.)

Just finished this one. The details from the books got a bit tedious in my opinion, I freely admit that it has been many decades since I read the Wilder books, but I loved them at the time and would have enjoyed this book just as much without quite so many references to minute details from the books. I thought the strength of the book was the description of the historical sites, and of the many fans she has. I had no idea that there were reinactments, that you could buy sun bonnets, and that grown women would dress up in costumes. I also like that McClure admits that her obsession was not really totally Laura based. And I agree Chris sounds like a wonderful and supportive partner. My husband would have needed heavy sedation before some of those excursions.

Mary,
For the most part I never mind copious details about books in other books (I'm a total nerd), so I can't say that bothered me. I think perhaps she was trying to cover the bases if one of her readers hadn't read the Wilder books, but would anyone who hadn't choose her memoir anyway? I don't know.
I too liked the larger story arc about McClure's own family and childhood, but Chris was still my favorite. Like you, I'm pretty sure Mr. CR would be dragged to a covered wagon sleep-out only under extreme duress.

I so want to read this!! I LOVE the Laura books. :-)

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