low tech mid-summer reading list

In the low tech library can be found Willa Cather’s My Antonia.  The book is there for our obsession with sod houses, for our struggles between the drudgery and the joy of women’s work and there’s also this passage from pages 20 and 21:

All the years that have passed have not dimmed my memory of that first glorious autumn.  The new country lay open before me: there were no fences in those days, and I could choose my own way over the grass uplands, trusting the pony to get me home again.  Sometimes I followed the sunflower-bordered roads.  Fuchs told me that the sunflowers were introduced into that country by the Mormons; that at the time of the persecution, when they left Missouri and struck out into the wilderness to find a place where they could worship God in their own way, the members of the first exploring party, crossing the plains to Utah, scattered sunflower seed as they went.  The next summer, when the long trains of wagons came through with all the women and children, they had the sunflower trail to follow.  I believe that botanists do not confirm Fuchs’s story, but insist that the sunflower was native to those plains.  Nevertheless, that legend has stuck in my mind, and sunflower-bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom.

The books below with an asterisk are in our library and available for borrowing.

*Home and Work: Housework, Wages, and the Ideology of Labor in the Early Republic. by Jeanne Boydston

The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. by Lewis Hyde

*My Antonia. by Willa Cather

The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Tableby Tracie McMillan

*Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat. by Bee Wilson

What We Made: Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation. by Tom Finkelpearl

*Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. by Edward Abbey

Moby Dick. by Herman Melville

The Feminine Mystique. by Betty Friedan

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. by Nathaniel Philbrick

East of Eden. by John Steinbeck

Great Expectations. by Charles Dickens

This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland. by Gretel Ehrlich

Air and Dreams: An Essay on the Imagination of Movement. by Gaston Bachelard

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