The Joy of Reading, Part 2

I finished Little House on the Prairie today, and I had LOTS of questions.

So I went online and fell down several rabbit holes.

Question One:

What the heck happened with the Native Americans vs. the Settlers in the Kansas territory anyway?

Wikipedia directed me to this article. I found Wilder’s perspective pretty open-minded for its time and Pa in particular shows a lot of respect and sympathy for the Native Americans involved in the story. But I did edit my telling of the tale (never reading aloud Ma’s horrid statements) and I pointed out that the Native Americans were there first, and what happened to them was unfair in many ways and a great tragedy.

Question Two:

I wondered if Pa fought in the Civil War, which led me to this beautiful blog dedicated to Laura Ingalls Wilder. A lot of thoughtful posts and a description of a visit to the New York location where Farmer Boy takes place enriched my understanding of the books, I think.

Question Three:

That “durned” Bird’s Nest Pudding from Farmer Boy: what WAS it?

After my Mom read the post, she sent me the copy of the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook I grew up with and it does have the Bird’s Nest Pudding in it! Then, a reader linked to an article in Saveur about Little House food and I went there. The name of the author who wrote the article sounded familiar: Isabel Gillies. So I googled her and realized she had written a memoir (Happens Every Day) that I had wanted to read when it came out a few years ago. I found an excerpt and decided I wanted to read the whole thing.

Do you fall down rabbit holes on the internet? Do you think it enhances your reading experience or distracts you from it?

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11 Comments

Filed under What Say You?, writing

11 responses to “The Joy of Reading, Part 2

  1. I have rabbit-hole temptations and I believe they enhance my experience. BUT, I learned the hard way to avoid temptation until the book is over. About a year ago, I was reading “Loving Frank” the historical fiction novel about Frank Lloyd Wright’s lover, and I looked up his wikipedia page to read about some architecture stuff and inadvertently learned the shocking ending of the novel which I was only about 50 pages from getting to. Gah!

  2. Time to read…ahhhh, I should go to bed earlier and do exactly that.

  3. I love being able to get more information!! Thank you for my new obsession by the way! I LOVE the All things Laura blog and will probably spend quite a bit of time reading it.

  4. I love these tangential adventures and I think they only enhance our experiences of books. This of how much more fun and rewarding reading these books is now that you know so much more about it all. And your kids will also see how valuable it is to ask questions and make connections and go looking for answers. Very cool.

  5. Definitely a rabbit hole explorer, and I think it enhances the experience (although it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming!).

    There’s a book in my to-read pile called “The Wilder Life” about one woman’s obsession with all things Little House — sounds like you might enjoy it. ; )

    I also check in on this blog from time to time: http://pioneergirlproject.org/

  6. I think my entire experience of the Internet could be characterized as “down the rabbit hole.”

    I love exploring the questions I have when I read or watch tv. For example, we are watching The Tudors right now, and I’m constantly searching some of the people and situations. It’s so much fun! It definitely enhances my enjoyment and understanding.

    I read this book when I was a middle schooler (and have re-read several times) and highly recommend it as an exploration of Laura’s world and the world of her books: http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Life-Ingalls-Wilder/dp/0380016362/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359682135&sr=1-4&keywords=laura+ingalls+wilder+biography

  7. When I’ve finished reading a book but my mind is still deeply involved in the world of it (or sometimes at the beginning when I feel like I need more context), I do that rabbit-hole thing; I usually start with wikipedia, then the author’s web site (if they have one), then reviews on Goodreads.

    Some time ago (more than a year, possibly) there was a long discussion in the comment section of a post by a little pregnant, focusing on Caroline Ingalls, how different people experienced her as a character in the books, and speculating about her life and how it might all have looked from her POV. The post itself includes a hilarious parody of LIW’s writing style (or is it actually her daughter’s…?) http://www.alittlepregnant.com/alittlepregnant/2011/01/pioneer-day.html

    • I remember that post! Dropseat lovin’: Lol. And “casual racism”: yes. I think that description must have stayed with me as I used that exact turn of phrase to describe Ma. Those were some fantastic comments too. The book about how Laura and Rose wrote those books as a response to the New Deal sounds fascinating.

  8. Rabbit holes? I’ve set out googling home repairs and ended up texting Ian a link to the story of some poor guy’s crazy death in 1542. That’s a made up example–don’t ask for a link! 🙂

    I’m glad you learned the secrets of birds’ nest pudding.

  9. Pingback: Blathering about Books « Family Building With a Twist

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