Wednesday, April 27, 2011

HUMPDAY GIVEAWAY: The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

A few weeks ago when I received the galley of this book, I discovered that there are a lot of people with much stronger feelings about the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder than me.  As lovely a book as The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House of the Prairie by Wendy McClure appears to be, I'm convinced that there's someone out there who will enjoy it a whole lot more than I will.  (Please note: I am giving away a trade paperback galley, not a finished hardback.)

In their starred review of this book, PW wrote:
Obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House books about an 1880s pioneer family, children's book editor and memoirist McClure (I'm Not the New Me) attempts to recapture her childhood vision of "Laura World." Her wacky quest includes hand-grinding wheat for bread, buying an authentic churn, and traveling to sites where the Ingalls family attempted to wrest a living from the prairie. Discovering that butter she churned herself was "just butter," McClure admits she "felt like a genius and a complete idiot at the same time." Viewing a one-room dugout the Ingallses occupied that was "smaller than a freight elevator" prompted McClure to admit that "the actual past and the Little House world had different properties." McClure finally tells her boyfriend, "I'm home," after recognizing that her travels stemmed from her reaction to the recent death of her mother. Readers don't need to be Wilder fans to enjoy this funny and thoughtful guide to a romanticized version of the American expansion west.
Other than that, the giveaway rules are the same as always:
  • The giveaway is open to anyone with a U.S. mailing address ('cause I'm footing the postage).
  • To enter, all you need to do is post a comment below by Wednesday, May 4, 2011.  
  • At my discretion, if there are less than five respondents, I can cancel or extend the giveaway.
  • Generally, giveaways start on a Wednesday, and end one week later.
  • Winner will be chosen by me with the help of a random number generator, and will be announced in the comments section of this thread. 
  • Please check back to see if you've won.  If you have left a way to contact you, I will do so.
  • The winner has one week to response to me at with a mailing address, or I will choose a new winner.
  • If a second winner fails to respond, the book automatically goes to the lovely members of my face to face book club.
  • Finally, if all all possible, please comment below only if you're entering the giveaway.
  • Previous giveaway winners are welcome to enter.
Good luck!


  1. OK, I'll bite on this one, even though I'm pretty sure 1 won't come up on the random number generator! I love a memoir, loved the LIW books as a child and rediscovered them with my daughter, and I've been fighting this strange back to basics urge since my Dad died. so I'd be the perfect winner for this giveaway. (Especially since my last LT ER memoir was a huge disappointment!)
    Thanks for the chance and happy reading!

  2. I'm in, but not for me. One of the Thursday stitching group is married to an Ingalls, yes, a descendent of Miss Laura's family (that or she kept her maiden name so it's her own family but I don't think so). I'd give it to her if I won. Is that okay? I'm rather ambivalent about the Little House thing myself. I remember reading them as a child, but I don't remember them at all.

  3. I'm recently obsessed with the way that children's books about history shape our historical memory. I always preferred Caddie Woodlawn to the Little House boks, myself, but am really excited to revisit them via Wendy McClure's book.

  4. I loved the Little House books and would love to read this book and blog about it on my children's book blog. Sounds interesting!

  5. I'm in baby!

    Sarah Leigh - You should re-read. I found the one I re-read (thus far, i have the whole series here) to be a LOT about chores! Like making head cheese and stuff. Good times.

  6. Nicole: As I read Susan's post I thought of you right off the bat!

    Susan, I will not join in this one, as I have a stack of things on my pile at the moment and would rather the galley go to someone who can get it read and reviewed in a timely fashion. Or, you could put me in the drawing and send it to Nicole if I win, as I would love to hear her opinion of it!

  7. I loved Little House on the Prairie and read all of the books. This looks great. Thank you for the opportunity to read it.

  8. I read, reread, kept and carried the entire Little House collection into adulthood. But until this book came out, I didn't realize how many others out there were also as enthralled by and influenced by Laura as I was.

    Thanks for the opportunity to read this new book! Lori Haight -

  9. Is it too late to enter the contest? I would love to win this. The Little House books (I've read all of them) taught me so many important lessons. The one that most sticks with me is the lesson Laura learns when she begs her dad for 10 cents, I think it was, to buy some little "business card" which all the girls her age were trading. Her father gave her the money and then she felt so guilty for wasting money on such a frivolous thing. I think that scene is why I spend money cautiously (I will only buy something non-essential if I can't stop thinking about it for a week or so). Which is why I would love a free book!!

  10. Anonymous poster #9, you did get in just under the wire, but I'm afraid you didn't win. Nor, I'm afraid, did you, Mel--though the random number generator did pick #1 for the last giveaway. It's, you know, random.

    Anyway, we DO have a winner, lucky commenter #4, 26LetterImagination!

    I don't have an email address for you, so if you'd dash me off a note with a mailing address to, I'll get that package right off to you. And seeing as how you're a Southern girl, I may throw a bonus book into the package.

    I love the enthusiasm that so many of you had for this book, and wish I had more copies to give away. I'll be starting a new Humpday Giveaway today, so I hope you'll try your chances again.

    Congrats, 26LetterImagination!