Here are the books I read last month. Many were audio books because I was working on projects or listening while walking or driving. I have been researching for my own writing, so some of these books reflect that endeavor. Others are ones I read with friends.
- Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder: Five Stars. I have listened to this series of Audible books before, but I’m always picking up nuances I hadn’t noticed. The chapter about the Fourth of July brings out the political viewpoints of Laura’s daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who provided an editorial influence on the series.
- These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder: Five Stars. There are more dark topics mentioned in this book than I would have noticed as a young person. I think it’s an important to understand the pioneer life wasn’t easy and often was unromantic. I appreciate the character dynamics in this book, and anyone who grew up with the television series will notice distinct differences in the courtship of Almanzo and Laura.
- The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder: Five Stars. This book was published posthumously, and there is a distinct change in tone and in development. It is believed that this is Laura’s manuscript without Rose’s editorial influence since both women had passed away by its publication. Roger Lea MacBride, “the adopted grandson” of Rose and her heir, authorized the publication.
- The 16 Personality Types by Dr. A. J. Drenth: Five Stars. I found this book to be an enlightening addition to the other books I’ve read about personality typology. It is a good summary and reference book. Some of the material is repetitive, but this is to be expected when explaining personalities that share a dominant strength.
- The Rent Collector by Camron Wright: Five Stars. I think this is one of the most surprising books I’ve read to-date. It was not at all what I expected. The writing is well-done, authentic, and approachable. The story and characters are unforgettable, and the theme went beyond expectation.
- Changes that Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud: Three Stars. I have read several of Cloud’s (and collaborative books with Townsend). I appreciated the insight I gained in the correct ways to apply boundaries. (I have experienced an incorrect usage of the boundaries concept; it is devastating when something that ought to help relationships destroys them instead.) I didn’t find that the book was relatable to me, and I could see some of the practices falling short of success. But, there are aspects that can be applied well.
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: Five Stars. I returned to this classic for a fourth read as a springboard for a story I’m writing. I found several ways to apply Conrad’s story technique and elements to my own character and story development. I plan to read The Secret Sharer, which I have never read, but is included in my edition.