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Author: Jill

Book Review | Little Town on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

If I had to sum up Little Town on the Prairie in one word it would be bittersweet. The Ingalls family has more money, but they also want a lot more. Mary is off at college, but Carrie is weak after The Long Winter. Even Christmas has lost its usual magic. Laura is a full-on teenager now, and it’s fun to see her making her way in the world. She gets a job mending shirts in town, attends dances and parties, and starts to interact with boys. At school Laura’s old nemesis Nellie Olson comes back. Nellie’s father seems...

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Top 10 | What You Need to be Reading This Spring

I love spring. Even after a year like this when we had almost no winter in DC, I look forward to those blissfully warm days before the humidity of summer comes back. On those days I love to work outside all day, then grab a beer and watch some baseball. And I read, of course. I read outside in the sun, and when the pollen counts get too high I read inside with a box of tissues. Here are my top ten books for spring reading! Books that make you want to dig in the dirt 1. PLENTY: EATING LOCALLY ON...

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Book Review | The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Back during the Great Recession of 2008 I had a newborn baby and a lot of anxiety. As is my way I panicked a little, and then looked for a book to read. One book that came up over and over again was The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I decided to give it a go, and my journey with the Ingalls family began. I was looking forward to getting to this book in my re-read of the Little House series! My first time through I loved this book. Ma could do so much with so little! They...

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Bookish Musings | Happy Birthday, Judy Blume!

In third grade I had a friend who was an advanced reader. I remember very clearly the day when she told a few of us that we were going to start a club called the PTSs. It stood for the Pre-Teen Sensations, and she taught us a chant that went, “We must, we must, we must increase our busts.” I had no idea what any of this meant, but it seemed fun and daring so I joined. It wasn’t until a few months later that my friend admitted that she had lifted the idea from a Judy Blume book....

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Book Review | By The Shores of Silver Lake, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I had been cruising along in my quest to re-read the Little House books in order until I got to By The Shores of Silver Lake. I remember this book as the most depressing, frustrating one in the series. Finally I forced myself, and you know, this is one of those books that improve when you actually know what happens in the previous books. Silver Lake features the Ingalls family of course, but the main character here is change. The girls are older, there are railroads being built, men working on them, and wild cousins cooking meals. We really...

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Book Review | On The Banks of Plum Creek, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

After the election my reading tastes changed. I know I’m not alone. I saw many tweets from my bookish friends talking about what they would read after the election, and the power of reading. They posted lists of books to read, and ways they would use reading to fight darkness, hatred, and oppression. I think a lot of us felt hopeless, and were doing what we could with the tools we had. For many of us, our best tools, the ones we know how to use the best, are books. I abandoned the dozen or so cozy mysteries I...

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