Thursday, September 03, 2015

Environmental Book Club?

Literary Tourism With A Possible Environmental Connection

Next week I leave on an extended vacation to Michigan and Indiana (by way of Canada and coming back through Ohio and Pennsylvania). This is the third road trip with bicycles that we've taken, and each time I've worked in an author stop. When we did the Maritime Provinces, we visited Green Gables in Cavendish PEI, and I read Anne of Green Gables. Last year while in Ohio, we hit James Thurber's home in Columbus. I reread My Life and Hard Times.

This year we're going to Gene Stratton-Porter's cabin at Wildflower Woods. I've invested in a 99 cent eBook collection of her work, including A Girl of the Limberlost, the title that sounds most familiar to me. That's the one I'm planning to take a shot at reading.

While I'm looking forward to the home visit, I have a feeling of resistance about Limberlost. The book is over a hundred years old, and while I used to read children's books from that era and recall liking things like The Five Little Peppers and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, I was a lot younger then. My tolerance for...mmm...improving literature, which is what I'm afraid Limberlost is, was a lot greater then. I may be beyond improvement now.

Then I realized that Limberlost might have an environmental angle, since Stratton-Porter is sometimes described as a nature writer. That could be interesting, especially given the book's age. That would make it Environmental Book Club material.

Blogging The Limberlost

Not the Limberlost, Just One of Many Swamps I've Visited

I also decided that reading the book might be more interesting, or at least less tedious, if I could respond to it while I'm slogging through it. Hey, that's what blogs are for, right? And I've got one!

So over the next month, I may be back here posting my thoughts on a 116-year-old book about a girl and a swamp.


Charlotte said...

I actually like Girl of the Limberlost quite well. It might not hold up quite as well as Anne of Green Gables, but it's a good read. Some of her other books are strange, though, and one is particular, Her Father's Daughter, is AWFUL, unless you read it to be informed about American prejudice against Japanese people in the early 20th century.

Gail Gauthier said...

In the first chapter I was impressed by how it fits the mold of children's/YA books we see now--new kid in school, feeling outcast, etc.