Thursday, August 7, 2008

Answering Questions-- A List of Books...

"Reading is a sage way to bump up against life. Reading may be an escape, but it is not escape from my own life and problems. It is escape from the narrow boundaries of being only me." ~Gladys Hunt in Honey for a Woman's Heart

Over the last couple of months, I've been asked various questions in the comment box. Most of the time, I've answered those questions there, but there are a few that remain unanswered. I'll address the first of those today, and I'll try to get to the others soon.

Dorothy (who may have just dropped in for a one-time visit and will never see this!) asked for a list of books after she read the following in one of my recent posts:

"I love old books where women journaled about the positive aspects of their daily lives... For some reason, the ones I like are usually stories of country life. They are light and innocuous, but full of more simple, unaffected, practical wisdom than their detractors could imagine. I find these books lovely, enjoyable, and inspiring. And they remind me that the hours, the days, the seasons, the years pass quickly, and we should savor them."

Well, Dorothy, if you're out there, here's a small list of some of my books. When I wrote about this sort of book in that earlier post, I was particularly thinking of Glady's Taber's Stillmeadow books (my best friend introduced me to them more than 15 years ago). Taber is no country bumpkin. She spent a good deal of time in the city and taught writing at Columbia.

"...country folk learn fast, for they grow up with the habit of thinking and doing. It is possible to live passively in the city, sitting in the theater or looking at pictures or listening to music, but on the farm a man figures things out on his own, creates his own tools, studies the ways of nature, actively experiences every day." ~Gladys Taber

The greater part of the list consists of these books by Taber:

The Book of Stillmeadow
Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge
Stillmeadow Daybook
Still Cove Journal
The Stillmeadow Road
Stillmeadow Seasons

From my bookshelves, here are a few of that sort of book by other authors. There are country journals, humorous books galore, and lots more, but these are books about peope's lives that I particularly think have some real wisdom to offer (and, of course, there are many, many other good books out there would fit the bill here):

Little House in the Ozarks by Laura Ingalls Wilder (articles and musings on a variety of topics)
First We Have Coffee by Margaret Jensen (not really a journal, but worth reading)
Ranch Under the Rimrock by Dorothy Lawson McCall (wonderful!)
Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart (one of my all-time favorites)