I Choose “The Wilder Life”

by Katy on December 9, 2011 · 12 comments

You already know about how I am embarrassingly in love with the Multnomah County Library’s Lucky Day program, so it will come as no surprise that my last few days have been brightened by the addition of Wendy McClure’s The Wilder Life: My Adventure in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie. Because that book, (which I had been pining after) magically showed up on the Lucky Day shelf.

I have been in love with the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder since childhood. (The books, not the TV show!)

And when Lucky Day meets funny, yet scholarly memoir about obsessively researching Laura Ingalls Wilder?

Just slap a calico sunbonnet on me, cause I am in pioneer-girl heaven!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.

Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

hmbalison December 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I just loved this book. When I finished it, I promptly sent it off to my LHOTP-loving sister in Portland OR to enjoy. I also highly recommend Laura Ingalls Wilder, A Writer’s Life by Pamela Smith Hill, which is referenced in the book. Hill is based in Portland OR.


Karen December 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm

I also loved the LHOTP books, not the TV show, Katy! Growing up in the ‘6os, I was lucky to have a best friend who had all the Wilder books, and we read them cover to cover, more than once some times.

Even some of the grosser topics (for city kids in the ’60s, that is: butchering etc) were a fascinating way to educate us on the “good old days”, and how hard life was. We were so into Little House books that we had an ongoing playacting game where we would churn our own butter etc. Fond memories!


Shannon Breen December 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Ooooh, I’ve never even heard of that book and I’m a huge Little House books fan. (The show had too much revisionist history for my taste.)


Jen December 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm

I loved the books, and I loved the show too. It got a little weird in some of the later years, but the first shows with little Laura are darling. I didn’t really care that they didn’t follow the books, they were just good TV. The books are the best though, I can’t wait to share them with my three year old daughter when she’s a little older. My seven year old son absolutely refuses to have anything to do with them! 🙂


Katy December 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm

You should hook your son with Farmer Boy!



Mamie December 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm

LOVED the books; have read each of them 10+ times for sure. I just requested “The Wilder Life” from my public library and can’t wait to snuggle into the couch over Chirstmas break and dig into it!!!


Stephanie December 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I loved that book! I want to visit all the home sites!


Kris2 December 10, 2011 at 7:06 am

I did love the tv show, even though it really wasn’t at all close to the books. In fact, I have the first three seasons of both LHOP and the Waltons. Should I hide under my bed in shame? lol 😉

The very first gifts I can remember getting were my Holly Hobby record player and a boxed set of the original LHOP books(not the later books). I still have it with my grandfather’s signature in the “from” section. As a military family, we lived all over the U.S. and overseas and there were a few items that I carried with me on my person whenever we moved. One of those was my boxed LHOP set.

Every winter I pull out the Long Winter and read it. Reminds me not to whine when it gets 30below and snow drifts up to my eyeballs. I have an insulated house and central heat, not a Soddy or a tar paper shack.

I live in the ND badlands so history is new; Sitting Bull surrendered in ND, the fort Custer was stationed at and left for the last time, huge fur trading post, Lewis and Clark spent the longest time of their journey in ND, and Sakakawea(official state spelling of her name and name of one of our state parks; Sakaka = bird and wea= woman 😉 )

I stand on my porch and look outside and the only thing that seems to have changed is the occasional telephone pole and a road. It is sooo easy to picture how the Ingalls life might have been and of course, it is reminder of how difficult the lives of Indians and settlers would have been in a ND winter.


cheeryshirley December 10, 2011 at 11:41 am

Kris2 ~ LOVED your comment! You described it so that I could feel it too…looking out from your porch….the cold, the lonliness, the vastness, the settlers and indians. Every winter, I too, would read the Long Winter, but, very different reading in mild climate than you in ND! I, also, loved the tv show and esp the Waltons! But, I loved the books most of all! I wore out 2 sets! 🙂


amber December 10, 2011 at 11:10 am

My girls (age 6 and 4) and I have been reading Little House in the Big Woods each night before they go to bed. Each night they beg me to read more. We love our Wilder books here.


Robin B. December 12, 2011 at 6:07 am

I didn’t know about this book! I will sign up for it right away. As a child I would re-read each of her books each year. I had a box set. I even wrote to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum as a kid and got their catalog and doll. I was a HUGE fan! My daughter is five and I can’t wait to share the stories with her!

Cary, NC


Lilypad December 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I read “The Wilder Life” earlier this year and loved it. I was obsessed with the series when I was little, so I’ve always wanted to visit the sites. Maybe some day. I did read all of the Little House books with my son (10) starting last fall. This is one of the advantages of homeschooling: no peer group of alpha males to tell him that those books are only for girls! He LOVED them and we were both so sad when we came to the end of the series. The funny thing is, I don’t remember reading “Farmer Boy” when I was a kid back in the 70’s. Maybe someone told me it was only for boys! But I really enjoyed it.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: