In the High Peaks

Friday, January 5, 2018

January--A Stellar Month for Immersion in All Sorts of Books

After finishing Winter Solstice, Elin Hilderbrand's  fourth and final novel in the Quinn Family of Nantucket Island saga, I immediately leapt to read a novel that is way out of what has been my comfort zone for the past two months or more. I selected a very new thriller The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, just released. I need something to jolt me out of my "light romance cocoon," which I've been luxuriating in. It's definitely time. Although a light romance or two will continue to have their place in my Reading Diet!

I've also started reading Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Ingalls Wilder, another new title, by Caroline Fraser, an American historian. As a person with a lifelong serious interest in history,  I must say that I am so in awe of this book and what Fraser has done.

At long last, a superb, exhaustively researched, scholarly (yet how very readable!) treatment of the life and writings of Ingalls Wilder. From what I have discovered from perusing the book,  this work goes to great lengths to manage the myths and add the extraordinary, previously unrealized facts of Wilder's life. Yes, there is lots of new info here for Wilder fans.  Although The Little House series of books will always be glorious American  literature, Wilder's real-life story is the genuine, gritty, uncompromising article. Yes, this volume is a hefty 491 pages, but each page fascinates. I cannot recommend it highly enough. **No wonder The New York Times selected it as one of its Ten Best Books of 2017.

I have a history project ongoing at the moment. This one combines history and climatology in the 17th century. You have probably heard all about the "Little Ice Age," which impacted the northern hemisphere severely, from approximately 1350 to 1825. Actually, those dates are very broad for the phenomenon. The crux of the period of global cooling occurred in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The books I've been reading have kept my mind percolating fiercely. I'm most interested in how the Little Ice Age affected the settlement, culture, and society of New England in the 17th century.


  1. Will look out for the LI-W biography as it sounds wonderful. Very interested in your Little Ice Age history project too. Hope you write more about it.

    1. Hi Cath,
      I've already learned some remarkable things about the Little Ice Age. I know I have a worthwhile project going when I am continually *surprised* by the things I learn.