Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #13344
    Esselbach
    Participant

    Would it be beneficial to re-read the book series before starting this course? It’s been a really long time and I’m not even sure I read all the books in the series when I was younger anyway. I want to make sure I get the most out of this course as I can. Thank you.

    Kara

    #13355
    DedraBirzer
    Participant

    That’s a great question. Thanks for asking! The first 2 episodes are background info, then each book gets an episode (the last 2 get 2 episodes) and the course ends with 2 wrap-up episodes. I go through each book pretty thoroughly — lots of spoilers! You can certainly do the course without re-reading the books, and get a lot out of it. But as someone who has read the Little House series many times over, I heartily recommend re-reading. They are a quick read. As I tell my college students, it’s not like you’re reading Aristotle! You can definitely read along with the course, watching the episode that corresponds to each book when you get to it. I’d love to hear what you end up deciding to do and how it goes!

    #13541
    Esselbach
    Participant

    I just wanted to follow-up and let you know that I decided to read each book prior to the corresponding episode. I’m a little ahead on the books (admittedly, I have the audio version for them as I have a toddler and a baby and very little time to read) so I have only watched the first 2 episodes. But I am looking forward to catching up as soon as I have time.

    Kara

    #13616
    DavidKrizo
    Participant

    I am reading the books as I go along. I found The Long Winter to be mentally exhausting. It makes me appreciate living in modern times.

    #13632
    Esselbach
    Participant

    I am on that one now. I’m actually listening to them on audio and my 2 yr old is (sort of) listening with me. Maybe it won’t be as mentally exhausting this way? I’m not sure, but I’ll let you know if it’s a little easier. I just started today. What makes it mentally exhausting for you? I want to think about that while I’m listening to see if it has the same effect on me.

    Kara

    #13674
    DavidKrizo
    Participant

    I did not mean the above as a criticism of the book. It is excellent, as are all. Not to do any spoilers, it was just somewhat different from the others as far as pace. You will understand by the end, though by this time you are probably finished.

    #13680
    Esselbach
    Participant

    Yes, I am finished and I do know what you mean! It sure got the point across though, it was a LONG winter. And listening to it in an area in northern Idaho with record snowfall for February was particularly nerve-wracking. I’d get caught up in the story and watching the snow just keep falling outside and forget that we weren’t having blizzards here and we had plenty to eat and stay warm. We now have had a total 61″ fall, and most of that fell in February!

    -Kara

    #13756
    DedraBirzer
    Participant

    Kara, I apologize for being so tardy in responding to you! I hope the last 2 books of the series (not including The First Four Years) were a good counterweight to the heaviness of The Long Winter! I do believe that part of Wilder’s literary genius is her ability to impart the experience of living through extreme events to her readers. The reader feels the monotony and dullness of that long winter, and even the hunger and cold as well (particularly for you in Idaho!). Similarly, Wilder’s writing makes the reader hear and feel the grasshopper swarms in On the Banks of Plum Creek and hear the pounding of the Osage war drums in Little House in the Prairie.

    I just finished teaching a college honors course on Wilder’s writing, in which we read all of the novels in succession. The students had similar comments to yours about The Long Winter, enhanced I’m sure by the very long and cold winter that we had in Michigan.

    Thanks for your interest in this course!

    Dedra Birzer

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