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Recommendations? > Little House on the Prairie for Adults

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Heather Hartling Hi all,

I'm in love with books about the westward migration/overland trail/frontier books, however I don't generally like "westerns". If anyone could recommend some good books in this area, I'd greatly appreciate it.



message 2: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) You might enjoy Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende. It's set in the mid 1800's and is about a Chilean woman who follows her husband to California and the gold rush.

I haven't read this one, but it seems to fall into the type of book you are interested in: Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristow

message 3: by Shay (new)

Shay | 141 comments I haven't read them yet, but these are on my list:
West of Here by Jonathan Evison
A Moment in the Sun by John Sayles
Men to Match My Mountains: The Opening of the Far West, 1840-1900 by Irving Stone
These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner
Giants in the Earth: A Saga of the Prairie by Ole Edvart Rølvaag

Even if you don't like westerns, if you haven't read it, you should read Lonesome Dove. It's wonderful.

message 4: by Karendenice (new)

Karendenice | 57 comments Daughter of Fortune is a great book!

message 5: by JC (new)

JC (jmnc) | 537 comments I can second Daughter of fortune. I'll be listening in for other recs too.

message 6: by Shay (new)

message 7: by MissSusie (new)

MissSusie Anything by Willa Cather

message 8: by Cheryl A (new)

Cheryl A | 954 comments Years ago, I read some of Jeanne Williams books No Roof but Heaven, Lady of No Man's Land, The Unplowed Sky. These seem to fall into your request. I also recently read Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson, which while a young adult title, was excellent.

message 9: by Maude (new)

Maude | 834 comments Heather, Following are some excellent books by women who settled the West - they are true and I am not sure you wanted any nonfiction - but these are excellent - and with your interest in this period, I think you would enjoy these quite a bit:
Letters of a Woman Homesteader, by Elinore Pruitt Steward (also Letters on an Elk Hunt by Ms. Pruitt),
My Antonia, by Willa Cather; Land of the Burnt Thigh by Edith Eurdora Kohl, Conversations with Pioneer Women, by Fred Lockley. If you like any of these, I have a lot more I can recommend. BTW, Jubilee Trail is a huge favorite of mine - I think you will like it a lot!

message 10: by Maude (new)

Maude | 834 comments I just finished up looking up some of the others and they look great! I will have to go find them myself.

message 11: by Heather (new)

Heather | 17 comments I really, really, really liked These Is My Words. The first half is absolutely excellent as you get to know the main character and her family and watch her grow up on their journey. The last half is still very good but she's more settled so the narrative lacks the drama and intensity of the first half. The whole thing feels very authentic - probably because the author based the story on her Grandmother's journals.

I can't wait to check out some of Maude's non-fiction recommendations - great list!

message 12: by Shay (new)

Shay | 141 comments Heather, I think that it was Cal Berkley that has a lot of oral history from the wagon trainers digitized. I know there was some kind of formal oral history project. My husband's grandmother was one of the last, if not the last, surviving wagon trainer. I think she lived until 104 or 107 years old. I think Cal's library might also be the repository of a lot of the diaries and such that were donated by families for preservation.

message 13: by Heather Hartling (new)

Heather Hartling Thanks everyone - I'm really excited to try some of these - have my HPB list ready :D

message 14: by Jennifer (last edited Jul 06, 2011 03:35AM) (new)

Jennifer (jhaltenburger) Gwen bristow wrote some good ones-- Calico Palace Calico Palace by Gwen Bristow comes to mind-- if you can find them. Edna Ferber wrote some too-- Ice Palace, So Big, Giant (yes, the one made into the James Dean movie), Cimarron and others.

message 15: by Shay (new)

Shay | 141 comments Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West by Hampton Sides is another book that's been recommended. I still haven't read it yet, either.

And don't forget Jack London and Mark Twain. Roughing It was about Twain's experiences in Nevada.

message 16: by LemonLinda (new)

LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) | 700 comments I also really enjoyed These Is My Words.

message 17: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 591 comments The Believers and Hannah Fowler are two excellent books - one about frontier life in Kentucky, the other about life in a Shaker community on the frontier. Both wonderful.

message 18: by Maude (new)

Maude | 834 comments I'll second Kate on Hannah Fowler, one of my favorites. I believe they are both by Janice Holt Giles.

message 19: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 591 comments Yep - Hannah Fowler is about a pioneer woman with a very interesting life, and The Believers is about her daughter whose husband ends up dragging into the Shaker lifestyle.

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