I thought this was very interesting to read, but it is sometimes frustrating to read journals & letters because they are so incomplete. Things tha...moreI thought this was very interesting to read, but it is sometimes frustrating to read journals & letters because they are so incomplete. Things that are a given to the writer aren't necessarily so obvious to me. I recommend reading this with the National Parks Service maps/brochures for the trails open next to you. Most of the entries are about location, being able to follow along on a map is very helpful. (less)
This is a really cute, interesting, and informative fictional diary of a young woman crossing the plains. It is fictional, I mistakenly thought it was...moreThis is a really cute, interesting, and informative fictional diary of a young woman crossing the plains. It is fictional, I mistakenly thought it was real when I bought it at the museum store. It's still entertaining and informative, a great read aimed at preteens and teens. My only negative comment is that I thought it was rather unfair that the author went to great pains for the protaganist to come to a modern, tolerant viewpoint on Native Americans, the handicapped, & obese, while the author still indulges in prejudice against LDS and has the protaganist decide that there is "something wrong" with Mormons. My LDS friends might want to be around to talk that over with their kids while reading this. Despite that I would still recommend it. (less)
I can't recommend this book enough. My only complaint with this book is that I wanted more: more details, and more follow up. I thought the particular...moreI can't recommend this book enough. My only complaint with this book is that I wanted more: more details, and more follow up. I thought the particular moment and place in history that Dana describes is so interesting and he tells it from an interesting and seldom seen perpsective as well. This isn't a romanticized tale of the sea. This is what it was really like for one man at one time. Though it isn't romanticized, Dana writes well and sometimes describes beautiful and stirring scenes and feelings. He also describes a life of hardship and toil that he was only on a long-term visit to, but many men lived their whole lives in. It's powerful food for thought. I loved this book.
I felt a special connection to this story because as a child, I had the opportunity to take a field trip and spend the night on the replica Pilgrim pretending, with my school-group, to be seamen. (less)
These are the real-life letters of a woman homesteader from 1909 to 1913. She is an entertaining story-teller and her life is so compelling. I loved t...moreThese are the real-life letters of a woman homesteader from 1909 to 1913. She is an entertaining story-teller and her life is so compelling. I loved this book, it is powerful fodder for the imagination, and knowing that the stories more or less really happened makes it even better. Elinore's encouraging words that she send in her last letter to any "...woman who wants to homestead and is a little afraid she will starve..." have been recieved by me, a century later, a woman still in need of encouraging words of self-suffiency and self-worth. My only complaint about the letters is that there are not more of them.(less)
4|25|2008: The day I finally finished Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey. Usually I read books very quickl...morewith Edward Abbey.
4|25|2008: The day I finally finished Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness by Edward Abbey. Usually I read books very quickly and all at once. Most books don't take me longer than a few days to finish. I just love stories so much that I don't like to stop once I've started. Desert Solitaire, however, has taken me years to get through. I've started it half a dozen times, and every time I love it, but when I set it down I don't pick it back up again. Then in a month or two, I pick it up again starting over again, of course. I've read the first half of the book several times. Finally I realized I don't have to read the first half over again every time I set it down. So although this time there was a substantial gap between my reading the first part and reading the last, I finally read the entire thing.
I know that taking forever to get through it doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement for the book. However, it is excellent. There is essentially no plot in the book, and so I never felt that compulsive urge to find out how things are going to go. Instead, the book is like sitting down outside your tent at night, with a seasoned outdoorsman, telling anecdotes & talking philosophy. Abbey is an excellent writer, who helped me envision the areas he wrote about. Throughout the book, I felt challenged to think about his philosophy on life, the wilderness, and everything and decide if I agreed or not. I've dog-eared about every third or fourth page, to go back to for quotes & to think about some more.
So, I guess, really I'm still not finshed with Desert Solitaire(less)