New Year’s, Bigfoot, and Lucy Maud Montgomery

I guess I've always had a thing for sleuthing. When I was nine, my best friend and I formed a Mystery Club. We were convinced that Bigfoot prowled around our neighborhood at night. With notebooks in hand, we inspected the fields and tree rows near our houses and wrote down anything that looked suspicious. Once, we … Continue reading New Year’s, Bigfoot, and Lucy Maud Montgomery

“A Quiet Christmas”

Louisa May Alcott captures the feelings of Christmas like no other writer other than perhaps Dickens himself (and I think their styles are extremely compatible). Her gift for pathos, making her reader smile and laugh and cry, making us feel again as children feel, reminding us to think of others during the holidays, may have come from personal … Continue reading “A Quiet Christmas”

Christmas Illustrations in Literature

Illustrator Frances Brundage wishes us a Merry Christmas in 1910: If you could caption this postcard, what would you call it? Louisa May Alcott was no longer alive when Brundage began to illustrate re-printings of Alcott's beloved novels (the above drawing is not connected). I'm not sure the sweet-faced cherubs drawn by this idealistic, albeit … Continue reading Christmas Illustrations in Literature

Birds, Naturalists, and Writers

While working outside the other evening, I heard the unmistakable sound of a Bob White. Bob-Bob-White he called over and over. The sound transported me to my childhood in Iowa, where I would answer the bird-call and exult in his calling back to me again and again. Americans have had an obsession with birds since Audubon … Continue reading Birds, Naturalists, and Writers

Popular Baby Names in Classic Literature

According to the most recent data from the Social Security Administration, new parents are choosing names once prominent from the 18th through the early 20th centuries. Here are some well-known female characters and writers from literature and their name rankings from the current decade (2010-2019 so far): Emma (ranked #2) -This name is popular in … Continue reading Popular Baby Names in Classic Literature

Laura, Catherine, Louisa, and Me

Recently, a poll on Twitter asked which book first inspired in you a love for reading. I thought immediately of Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This and other childhood books were my friends, their words my teachers, and their settings my travels. Even today, I see the connections between these books and my … Continue reading Laura, Catherine, Louisa, and Me