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O Pioneers!
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
109 posts | 173 read | 1 reading | 57 to read
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review
Oryx
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

Very much enjoyed this depiction of pioneer life.

Daisy would not last long as pioneer (nor would I likely).

Cathythoughts Cosy pic 💕 8mo
TrishB Lovely pic ❤️ 8mo
MicheleinPhilly Yeah, I‘m with Daisy. I‘m too lazy to be a pioneer. 8mo
See All 6 Comments
Leftcoastzen So cute ! 🐶no pioneering over here either! 8mo
SRWCF Great book! 8mo
LeeRHarry Love how you‘re getting though your London books - I have only read one of my middle grades 😊 8mo
75 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Freespirit
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

This I read after reading recommendations by @CarolynM and other Litsy friends. Loved it!! Gentle yet wise..that‘s Alexandra Bergson battling life in the tough landscape of America‘s Midwest early last century.
A quote”people have to snatch at happiness when they can, in this world. It is always easier to lose than to find”
I hope your snatching some happiness today!
#americanliterature #litsypick

CarolynM I'm glad you enjoyed it🙂 There's no other writer quite like Willa Cather. There's a third book in the Prairie trilogy called Song of the Lark. All her books are worth reading. My other favourite of hers is quite different from the Prairie novels 1y
Freespirit I have ordered Song of the Lark, My Antonio and Death Comes for the Bishop @CarolynM 👍🏼such lovely writing ❤️ 1y
See All 8 Comments
CarolynM For some reason I thought you had already read My Antonia. That's probably my absolute favourite. 1y
LeeRHarry I need to read some Willa Cather at some point …let‘s go see if my library has any of her books …😊 1y
Freespirit I hope you enjoy them as much as I have @LeeRHarry 😊 1y
LeeRHarry @Freespirit hope so, just requested o pioneers at the library- looking forward to picking it up when it comes in and i can go get it 😊 1y
Freespirit Good lockdown reading 😊@LeeRHarry 1y
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Nebklvr
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

This story broke my heart. Cather showers compassion and understanding on the isolated and hard-working men and women of the prairie. Her beautiful, eloquent words seem at times to be in opposition to the primitive nature of which she writes.

review
Currey
O Pioneers! | Willa Sibert Cather
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Pickpick

#catherbuddyread Going back and catching up while reading Collected Stories. The collected stories I have read so far are still under Jamesian influence while O Pioneers is free and was wonderful

Graywacke Free and wonderful is a good phrase for this. 2y
21 likes1 comment
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Currey
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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#catherbuddyread Starting in on my catch up with Cather. How to do it without my buddy read partners? I guess I will try to go back and reread their posts.

Lcsmcat Oh, you‘re in for a treat! 2y
batsy I loved this. Enjoy! 2y
Graywacke Enjoy! I adore Alexandra. (Thinking a hashtag for each book might have been helpful now...) 2y
27 likes3 comments
review
Johanna414
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

I remember reading My Antonia in high school and loving it. I always intended to go back and read more of Willa Cather's works but never did... I'm so glad I finally read this one!!

Now to decide on my next Serial Reader title... any suggestions? I tend to stick with books on the shorter side because I lose interest if theres like over 100 installments

Thousand-Lives I also like the shorter ones. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Northanger Abbey, and Parnassus on Wheels are all shorter ones I really enjoyed. 2y
Johanna414 @Thousand-Lives Thank you! I just finished Dorian Gray a few months ago and loved it! It's been years since I read Northanger Abbey and I've never read Parnassus on Wheels... adding them to the list 😊 2y
SamAnne She has been on my list to read for so long! 2y
35 likes3 comments
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Eyelit
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pretty decent #bookreport this week. Not a pan/dislike in the bunch. Some are low picks, sure, but still picks. 😃
Books in the upper half my fave this week, books on the lower on the so-so spectrum of being good.
I was surprised by how much I really liked O Pioneers, btw. Will need to read more Cather methinks.

Lcsmcat Cather is an amazing writer. You have a lot of good books ahead of you. 2y
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review
Allylu
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

Listened to this classic by a woman about a woman on Hoopla. I gave it 5 stars. It was one of those epic family stories I love and the writing was wonderful. I expected it to be like Little House on the Prairie, but it was so much better - an adult‘s view of life. It isn‘t on my #BookSpinBingo, but I can use it for #SuperSeptemberReadathon. It was very good.

Eggs I really liked this too 2y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2y
Andrew65 Sounds good, well done 👏👏👏 2y
19 likes1 stack add3 comments
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a.bookish.byrd
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Jebpix
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

Enjoyed this. Looking forward to rereading My Antonia now. #serial

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rmaclean4
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
Pickpick

Loved this book. It is my second Willa Cather and loved the writing about the land. I was captivated by this story and felt completely immersed in the world. SO happy to continue on with this series. All the stars!

callielafleur I love Willa Cather and somehow I've never read this one, something I should rectify. 3y
annahenke I‘m a big fan of this book. 3y
11 likes1 stack add2 comments
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BiblioLitten
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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✨ O Pioneers by Willa Cather #classicschallenge2020 and Fortunately, the Milk (on audio) by Neil Gaiman

✨The Lotus-Eater by Somerset Maugham

✨Me by Elton John (not long at all🙈)

#weekendreads

review
Thousand-Lives
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

I‘m in awe of Cather‘s beautiful writing 5 ⭐️

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kristankremer
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
Pickpick

I haven't read the Little House series yet (I have seen the show), though this feels like a more grown up version of that life. I wanted it to be longer and dive deeper into the lives of the Bergsen family members with more detail on how they built their homestead. It is the first of a trilogy but I'm not sure yet if the subsequent novels are a continuation. If you're interested, grab a digital copy free on Project Gutenberg! It's an easy read.

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glitterkitty459
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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I've been very busy lately, but managed to get this lovely classic finished 😁
I have some more classics that I own I'm planning to read this fall. Next up is (finally!) Little Women

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SaraFair
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Finished this earlier in the week after so many suggestions for Willa Cather on The Readers podcast. I loved the writing, the twist at the end, and the length of the book in general. Does anyone have thoughts on the rest of the trilogy? It doesn‘t seem to be about the same characters. Suggestions on other Cather novels??

kristankremer I'm a few chapters into the Song of the Lark after reading O Pioneers. I'm not sure yet, but it has been mentioned that the mother of the protagonist brought "one fourth of her father's broad acres in Nebraska" so I wanted to think she is Milly grown up. 3y
SaraFair @kristankremer - ok thanks. So I guess you don‘t have to read them in order, but it gives you an idea of their background if you do. 3y
16 likes2 comments
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Felso
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Started this afternoon.

LeahBergen I am seriously going to be shamed into reading one of the Cathers on my shelves soon. 😬 4y
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Graywacke
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

I‘m enjoying exploring Cather this year and also our #catherbuddyread . O Pioneers looks at the early immigrants who settled the Nebraska prairie and how that world molds them. With Cather the descriptions of the people and place and the atmosphere she captures leaves a lingering impression, here, especially, of the heroine, Alexandra Bergson.

catebutler Even though it was a short novel, it had a punch. The descriptions were beautiful, with a touch of melancholy. She really is a fabulous writer. I‘m so happy we‘ll be reading another later this month! 4y
Graywacke @catebutler Yes, I love how you put that. There is something sad throughout even when the the story isn‘t sad. (edited) 4y
Lcsmcat I‘m eager to reread Lark in close succession. I didn‘t realize the connection before. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat of course, it will be my first time, but I‘m curious how interconnected these really are. I had no idea these were a trilogy until we started talking about it here. 4y
56 likes4 comments
review
Tanisha_A
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

"We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it—for a little while."

I loved everything about this work of - love of land, rich tapestry of landscape, beautiful characterization, intricate relationships, grief, loneliness, and eventually finding solace in the land.

Looking forward to read the other 2 parts in this trilogy.
#catherbuddyread

batsy Beautiful review of a beautiful book 💕 4y
Cathythoughts Such a lovely review & I love this wisdom of this quote 👍🏻♥️ 4y
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rohit-sawant Wonderful review! 4y
readordierachel Lovely review! 4y
RadicalReader Do you prefer ebooks or physical books and why? 4y
Tanisha_A @RadicalReader I prefer physical books, but I really like Kindle too for it's movability. 🙂 4y
RadicalReader @Tanisha_A absolutely amazing all the ebooks you can carry around and the physical ones of the same amount would be like Herculean level task 4y
Tanisha_A @batsy @Cathythoughts @rohit-sawant @readordierachel Thanks friends! I am in love with her writing. ☺️ 4y
Cathythoughts I did read My Antonia ... loved it 4y
Crazeedi I totally enjoyed, will read any other one of hers with you all!! 4y
60 likes11 comments
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Graywacke
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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O Pioneers: The End. (Part IV chapters V-VIII and Part V Alexandra, chapters I-III)

The book begins in town, but quickly makes its way to a vast and overwhelming landscape, and here we end, after some serious drama, talking about the land.

Some discussion questions coming in the comments.

#catherbuddyread

Graywacke Some questions: 1. How did you like it? For those who were re-reading, any thoughts on the second time around? 2. What did you think about Frank, and about how Alexandra treated him? 3. Ivar tells us, “it has fallen! Sin and death for the young ones! God have mercy upon us!” Whose to blame? Emil? Marie? Frank? Chance? Alexandra? (edited) 4y
Graywacke Feel free to add any questions 4y
Graywacke Meant to add this question: The Song of the Lark is the next book in Cather's Prairie Trilogy. Let me know of there is any interest in continuing. We could read it in May, or, as Lcsmcat has The Hunchback of Notre Dame starting, we could wait till after that. 4y
See All 34 Comments
Lcsmcat I spent more time enjoying the prose on this reread, rather than thinking about the plot. 4y
Lcsmcat Obviously, from my indiscret comment last week I blame Emil mostly, and Frank tangentially. 4y
Lcsmcat As for Song of the Lark, I can go either way. I usually read more than one book at a time, and they‘re different enough that I won‘t mix them up. 🤣 So whatever the group wants. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat on her prose: I tried to think about and take in the prose as I read. It‘s, for me, what I‘ll most take away from this. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat on blame: hope we get more comments. For Emil - he was at that age where passion happens and it‘s so intense. Of course, Alexandra went through that too, and just let it ride, focused as she was on figuring out how to manage. I‘ll just nudge in there, circumstance (with some implications) 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat Song of the Lark: OK. It might work best that way, but not sure. Might mean I overcommit my May reading. 🙂 4y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke It‘s easier for me to focus on the writing in a first read now. When I read it the first time my 3 kids were quite young and I was catching snippets of time to read when I could. It wasn‘t conducive to deep reading. 😀 4y
CarolynM 1. Second time around was very much about the writing for me. Appreciating the descriptive passages and the structure of the story. 2. I didn't have much sympathy for Frank. He didn't seem to have any positive characteristics. 3. While I agree that it would have been better if Emil had left his feelings unspoken, I don't think that either he or Marie actually did anything wrong. Frank was jealous without cause over the other boy, he was going👇 4y
CarolynM To snap at some point and do violence to someone. His mental gymnastics about who was to blame were horrible but unfortunately still the way a lot of people think when they do something they know they shouldn't have done and even more unfortunately particularly in cases of domestic violence. Alexandra is his opposite personality-wise so was examining her own behaviour for how she might have contributed to the outcome. 4y
CarolynM I've not read Song of the Lark. I'm easy about timing, especially if it's broken up into little chunks like this one was.🙂 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat any reading with three small kids is impressive. 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM Glad to see the comments on her prose. She had a sense for it that was special. .... Frank, he was always a head case, right. I was surprised how messed up he was at the end when he spoke to Alexandra. 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM On Song if the Lark - I agree, it makes it a lot easier with the small chunks. And I think about it for a longer time. 🙂 4y
Lcsmcat @CarolynM @Graywacke Frank was something else. I know if I were in Alexandria‘s shoes I could not have been so forgiving! And I agree that he would have eventually done violence to someone, and blamed it on Maria. Most of the men were pretty narcissistic. Ivar and John the least so. But then we saw the least of them. 4y
Lcsmcat Even Ivar and Amédée were a bit narcissistic, although granted in less toxic ways. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat Amédée too? Ivar was like prophet. 4y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Amédée‘s self-absorption took the form of “whatever is making me happy right now is what everyone should do” so I‘m not saying he was evil. Just that he didn‘t see how much pain he was causing Emil. And yes, Ivar serves as a prophet, and he‘s Good with a capital G. So I suppose narcissistic is the wrong word for him. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat ok, I can see that with Amédée. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM Alexandra‘s perspective on Frank caught my attention and made me uncomfortable because it is actually a lot different from how someone in her position would view him today. 4y
CarolynM My view is that the social order dictated that a man was in charge of his home and family so any dealing with that home or member of the family affected him. If the dealing was perceived as wrong in any way it was seen as at least an insult and possibly a threat to him, not only by him but also by others. I think this is where Alexandra is coming from. Most of us don't see it like that today, but there are remnants of this kind of thinking👇 (edited) 4y
CarolynM I think we see those remnants in relation to people in positions of power when people make excuses for their behaviour. I'm having trouble putting my thoughts into words tonight. Please excuse me if I'm not making sense. 4y
Tamra @Graywacke I‘m late to the party! 1. I liked it the second time around, instead of loving it like I did the first. The writing of course is superb, so it‘s probably circumstantial for me - very busy. 2. Frank is the man he was when Marie married him, but she was young and people change and can grow apart. She was bored with her life. Seems like a relatively common issue, though what a scandal then!Alexandra understood Frank better than himself. 4y
Tamra 3. Legal culpability, obviously Frank. Moral blame is a complicated creature. We all like to think we can control our circumstances and behavior. So often we fail. Marie & Emil knew better - particularly Marie who was wiser and knew Frank‘s character. 4y
Graywacke @Tamra Interesting about the second time around, and your circumstance. I‘m a moody reader, so makes sense to me. Yes, it seems Frank didn‘t change. He just seemed more appealing to M when he was younger... 4y
Graywacke @Tamra - knowing better - as is life-and-death knowing better...as in don‘t piss off the angry guy whose ready to beat someone up knowing better. 😳 Good point. Maybe M lacked a little self-preservation. 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM I was wondering about the social order while reading too. I agree, that was the perspective then (and through most of recorded history). I‘m not quite sure how Cather felt. First I thought she did not like it with Carl, but then Alexandra‘s reaction to Frank implies maybe Cather did respect that sense. She, Alexandra, clearly didn‘t blame Frank. (I did! You don‘t just pull a gun and start shooting because you‘re upset...) 4y
CarolynM I don't think we can necessarily say Cather's viewpoint was the same as Alexandra's. Alexandra, after all, had led a relatively sheltered life in a conservative environment. Perhaps even in her time more sophisticated readers would have been critical of Alexandra's response to Frank. 4y
CarolynM @Tamra I think I know what you mean, and I agree that we can all take some responsibility for our own safety, but it is a very fraught area. Can moral responsibility for acts of violence ever be shared by the victim? 4y
Tamra @CarolynM that is an excellent question to ponder! I am not attempting to justify Frank‘s action at all or suggest M deserved it. I think we can put ourselves and others in perilous situations that if we were thinking more rationally in a heated moment may choose differently. Therein lies the danger of being all too human. 😑 4y
Tamra @Graywacke moody reader is definitely me too! 4y
CarolynM @Tamra Something we should all try to keep in mind🙂 4y
37 likes1 stack add34 comments
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Tamra
O Pioneers! | Willa Sibert Cather
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Pickpick

I finished up fellow buddy readers. 😁 My horrible condition text displayed. #catherbuddyread

And I am happy to report I finished the last requirements for a grad class today so I‘m free to read whatever the hell I want and don‘t have to get anything specific from it! 🎉

BlameJennyJane I just posted about my recent read with my bed as background too. You and I have the same awesome quilt! So cool! 4y
Tamra @BlameJennyJane it‘s so bright and cheery! I needed a change for spring/summer. 🌞 4y
BlameJennyJane @Tamra I agree- very cheery! I looked for a long time online before I spotted it online and had to have it. 😊 4y
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Crazeedi Yay that you made it through your class!! Enjoy whatever you want to read!!!❣ 4y
Lcsmcat Congrats on finishing your class! I finished too. What‘d you think? 4y
Tamra @Lcsmcat I liked it, but I didn‘t LOVE it the second time around. Her writing is really wonderful though, simple but with great depth. How about you? 4y
catebutler Yay for finishing course work! Excited to hear everyone‘s final thoughts on this. 4y
Lcsmcat I loved her prose, and I got more out of it this time around. I think I was reading more deeply. 4y
kspenmoll Congrats on finishing up your grad class!!!! Enjoy your reading! 4y
Cathythoughts Great pic 👍🏻♥️and congratulations 🍾 must be a wonderful feeling ✨ 4y
Graywacke Congrats on finishing your class. Interesting comments about this Cather. I finished yesterday and will post a couple questions on Sunday. 4y
Tamra @kspenmoll I will! 😁 4y
Tamra @Cathythoughts it is, now if I could just get work done too! 😜 4y
Tamra @Graywacke I will look for them. 👍🏾 4y
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Graywacke
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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O Pioneers! #catherbuddyread April 15-21

- Part III Winter Memories, chapters I-II
- Part IV The Mulberry Tree, chapters I-IV

Isolation and the impossible love of Emil and Marie.

Tamra Love plains pics! 4y
Cathythoughts Stunning picture 4y
Lcsmcat So much tragedy! And so much of it could have been avoided if Emil hadn‘t forced Marie to admit to her feelings. I felt like his selfishness in that regard put him on the same level as Frank. He didn‘t care how much pain he caused Marie as long as HIS need to be loved was met. Not that she would have been happy with Frank, but she would have been happier than she was after admitting it, and she might have been alive. 4y
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Graywacke @Tamra @Cathythoughts I enjoyed looking for a good winter on plains picture. (Of course, for Litsy I need to square them off) 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat You might want to add a spoiler tag to that comment, since it happens after our section... but yeah, Emil can‘t lay off. He‘s over obsessed. And after the two dolt brothers were so offensive, Alexandra put all her hopes into Emil. In RL maybe that works out. But in literature that selfless single goal full commitment has an iffy track record. I feel bad for her. (edited) 4y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Oops! I thought we were reading all of Part IV. Can I blame it on Holy Week brain? 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat 🤣 Happy Easter to those who celebrate! (And Passover). 4y
CarolynM I loved Part III - it really gave me a sense of what the winters must have been like. Not do much the weather, but what the weather meant for the people. I agree with @Lcsmcat about Emil's selfishness, but I think it was also a product of being Alexandra's brother. I wonder whether he really understood how different she was from most other women? 4y
CarolynM Oh, and I love the picture too. It is perfect for this part of the book. 4y
Crazeedi Agree with all the comments!!! I finished the book, it was so good! Cant believe I never read her! 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM she takes us a lot of places with her prose. I felt the winter too. Emil is a bit of a mess... 4y
Graywacke @Crazeedi This is my second from Cather. (Haven‘t finished yet). She is something. The New Yorker article @Lcsmcat linked to last week noted that in analyzing Cather (well, in a specific way) her prose gets overlooked. She was an elegant writer who could capture so much in a few words. (edited) 4y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke @Crazeedi @CarolynM I agree. She is so good at portraying place and character while staying out of the reader‘s way. Her plots are interesting, but even if they weren‘t I‘d read her for her use of language. 4y
Tanisha_A Ugh! I feel so bad, haven't had much time to read. What with work to eat! :/ 4y
59 likes14 comments
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Blustery day when I made it to the Wall of Books at Kansas City Central Library. My Jane Austen scarf kept slapping me in the face. Since Pride and Prejudice wasn't one of the books I went with Willa Cather for my Shelfie. 📚🌬🤓
#whenindoubtgotothelibrary
#opioneers #willacather #prairiewriters
#literarytravels #bookwall #shelfie

Zelma Great photo! I so want to visit that library. 4y
Crinoline_Laphroaig @Zelma Didn't get to go in. It was after hours. We were on our way to see Pride and Prejudice at KC Repertory. Still plan to go visit and spend some time. Next time I'm up that way. 4y
vivastory I used to live in an apartment directly across from that library. They were called Library Lofts 4y
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merelybookish Love that library! One of many things I miss about living in KC! 4y
Crinoline_Laphroaig @vivastory How Cool! ❤❤❤❤❤ 4y
Crinoline_Laphroaig @merelybookish my bestest book friend Becky lives in Olathe. I LOVE going to KC. 4y
70 likes6 comments
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Crazeedi
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

4⭐ this story is one of love for the land, the independence of a woman who loves the land; a story of love found and love lost. I knew before I was done how the story goes, it's an archetype of the human condition. Well worth reading
#catherbuddyread
@Graywacke

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Crazeedi
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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What a fantastic book I am reading! The fluidity and beauty of Cathers descriptions are awesome. I'm ashamed I've never read any of her novels!
@Graywacke #catherbuddyread

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Graywacke
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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O Pioneers! - Part 2 Neighboring Fields

16 years on. I kept wondering where Cather was going with this, but it seems we can always trust her. This section all ties together, from grim reaper Emil at the graveyard to an emotional place at the close - even if we might not pick up on it all along the way.

(Image is from various of our posts)
#catherbuddyread

Graywacke The end of this section put me in a state and sent me to a lot of re-reading. Lots of stuff going on around the text, subtleties in the text. (edited) 4y
Graywacke (Side note: a quote from Lonesome Dove - from Clara in Nebraska. “It discouraged her to look out the window at the empty plains and reflect that even if she had the eloquence to write, and the time, she had nothing to write about.” McMurtry winking at Cather?) 4y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke 😆 I love that quote! 4y
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CarolynM Yes! Definitely a Cather reference. I love picking up little nuggets like that. Interesting, though, that Cather found plenty to write about. There are so many threads you could unpick in the section we've just read. Such a lot conveyed about the people and the society they lived in. 4y
Lcsmcat So many sad things in this section. Emil and Alexandra both are so sad at the end. 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM yes, lots of thread to woven in. How about the heat between Emil and Marie? Just picking cherries... 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat I didn‘t catch that sadness until the end!! It was like - look, success. Then it all came together at once near the end for me. So, yeah, that‘s how I closed part 2 - lots of sadness. 4y
Graywacke Any thoughts on feminism? Carl‘s masculinity problem? 4y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I wish I could say Carl‘s attitude distressed me, but it‘s so much what I‘ve experienced all my life that I can‘t waste time being angry. It just makes me sad. He would risk the happiness of the woman he claims to love because of his misplaced pride. 😞 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat yeah, it is sad. Creating problems. 4y
CarolynM I don't see Carl's problem as masculinity so much as misplaced independence. I think both sexes suffer from that. Frank, Lou and Oscar, now, they've got serious masculinity problems. @Lcsmcat 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM Not macho male, but the masculinity in male role playing. Flip the sexes and it would be quite different. A female Carl going nowhere in the city would happily marry and settle down with a male successful farmer Alexandra. His pride is based on being the male provider - and not a comfortable partner to a female provider. He can‘t fathom the indignity... 4y
CarolynM I don't think that's necessarily true. I know a lot of women who can't stand the thought of being provided for. If we're viewing it in the context of the times then we can't really call it a masculinity problem, it's much more of a social problem - how everyone else judges. 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM Sorry, not trying to argue. A social problem is a good description and underlies my question. Carl and Alexandra are within their times and social conventions. Cather isn‘t. (She was always independent. She also left Nebraska for NY city - surely a place with different cultural norms.) Any thoughts on what she‘s doing with these social conventions here, from her perspective? From ours? 4y
CarolynM Not an argument - a robust discussion🙂 I'm not as familiar with Cather's personal story as I probably should be, but I think she never married. An unmarried woman supporting herself was a lot more acceptable than a woman supporting her husband and less unusual (although I can think of a couple of examples - E Nesbit comes to mind - and it put the family outside polite society.) 4y
Lcsmcat I think Carl‘s problem with being supported was about others‘ perceptions. He even says he‘s neither weak enough or strong enough to do it, indicating that a strong man wouldn‘t care about the conventions. Don‘t even get me started on Frank, Lou, and Oscar! @CarolynM @Graywacke 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM @Lcsmcat Yes, she never married. (I don‘t know much about her life either, other than what Wikipedia tells me). Maybe Cather had had a real-life parallel story to Alexandra and Carl. ?? 4y
Lcsmcat No one can know for sure, of course, but there is a general feeling that Cather was a lesbian. See https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/whats-in-cathers-letters And she said in an interview that is in the back of my volume that her characters were based on the “foreigners” she grew up with. Antonìa, in particular, was a young woman who was kind to Cather as a girl. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat Wikipedia was dismissive, which means nothing. Seems she never wanted to be seen that way. 4y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I‘m sure she didn‘t want to be seen that way, and I don‘t know if there‘s any evidence of her acting on her feelings, but the article‘s quotes from her letters are intriguing. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat i‘ll read it eventually. Very curious. Thanks for the link! 4y
Tanisha_A Eh! I am still catching up with this part! Work got in the way 😶 4y
Graywacke @Tanisha_A sorry about a crazy work stuff. But I hope you enjoy catching up. 4y
Graywacke Just a reminder, this week (April 15-21) is Part III Winter Memories, chapters I-II, and Part IV The Mulberry Tree, chapters I-IV (if you can stop there...) 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat very interesting New Yorker article (and shorter than I anticipated ☺️). 4y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I should have clarified that! 4y
45 likes27 comments
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CarolynM
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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What fabulous descriptions! I can see these people!
#catherbuddyread

catebutler I agree! She is so good at descriptions! 👏🏼 4y
Lcsmcat My mother had a set of dried apple dolls, whose faces were made from dried apples. That‘s what I thought of when I read her description of Ivar‘s withered cheeks. 4y
Graywacke These are great. She has a way a capturing visuals, atmosphere, personality... 4y
readordierachel Wow. Fabulous indeed! 4y
62 likes4 comments
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hwestfall
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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I love Willa Cather. The house is finally tidy so I am relaxing with her book and a cup of tea.

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Graywacke
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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When I first read this I thought it meant Marie was happy...

#catherbuddyread

Lcsmcat She would have to have a “happy nature” not to have become bitter living with Frank! 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat !! True that. 4y
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Lcsmcat
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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“There was trouble enough in the world, he reflected, as he threw himself upon his bed, without people who were forty years old imagining they wanted to get married.” 😂
#catherbuddyread

Tamra Is 40 supposed to be old? 🤪🥴😂😜 4y
Lcsmcat @Tamra At least to Emil! 4y
vivastory 😂😂 4y
CarolynM Shocking!😂 4y
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Tamra
O Pioneers! | Willa Sibert Cather
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Indeed it is an enigma! True then and today. I love the western plains, all along that black hills line running north/south. It‘s the first breath of the true west when traveling in from the east. #catherbuddyread

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Lcsmcat
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Man, this woman can write! #catherbuddyread

Graywacke “as fiercely as if they never happened before” - love that ! 4y
Tamra 💙 4y
Tanisha_A Yes! She is 👌🏽! 4y
batsy Yes 😍 4y
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Graywacke
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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O Pioneers! - Part 1 The Wild Land

“But the great fact was the land itself, which seemed to overwhelm the little beginnings of human society that struggled in its somber wastes.“

Cather‘s writing, the hard people who are careful how they express themselves leaving us a little in the dark, and the indifferent land, the great fact framing, threatening everything. And Alexandra. Welcome to empty plains of Nebraska.

#catherbuddyread

Graywacke Among the things I‘m thinking about: 1. The effortless writing. Is it that? 2. The pioneers of the title - the ones who arrived in the newly empty land, that‘s one generation previous. We‘re on generation tow...no? 3. The great fact of the land 4. The hard people and their thick outer shells. Their formality 5. Alexandra and her methods. Keeping a lot to herself. 6. The mythology of these plains and settlers 7. ??? And so on 4y
Lcsmcat In between church services, so this is quick and I‘ll have more to say later. But 1. I don‘t believe it WAS effortless, just that she makes it SEEM effortless. The seams don‘t show, to use a sewing metaphor. Which makes the prose glide for the reader. 4y
Lcsmcat 2. We are on generation two, but in some ways they might be the real pioneers, if, like Alexandra, they‘re learning to farm differently than east coast farming ways. Back to choir - I‘ll check in later. 4y
See All 24 Comments
Tanisha_A I believe by effortless meaning she had it thought out brilliantly and that shows. There is a neat sequence in which the narrative flows. 4y
Lcsmcat @Tanisha_A Exactly! She was very talented! 4y
Tanisha_A Pioneers, yes absolutely the ones who arrived at the newly empty land, but i'd like to believe this generation as pioneers too for retaining it/ keeping the word of the pioneer(s) (here A's & siblings' father) before. Considering the natural conditions, poverty that lays upon them, it's increasingly difficult to strive. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @Tanisha_A (typing while in line for ice cream at a baseball game) wondering about my own feelings on the this aspect of her writing, but yes, it flows and seems to breeze by. I was thinking about her style and choices while reading, how she chose to present characters...wondering why she started with the kitten, for example, on what has been anything but a “cute” text - although there is a lot of innocence. 4y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke I did not remember about the kitten from the first time I read it. Do you suppose it‘s there to illustrate 1. how hard life is on the prairie; and 2. the closeness of Alexandra and Carl? 4y
Lcsmcat Going back to your original comments, 3 and 6, the land is a major character in the novel, along with the weather that goes with it. Cather‘s love of place really shines through. 4y
CarolynM @Lcsmcat @Tanisha_A I'm sure a lot of effort went into her writing but it reads SO easily. As you said, it glides and flows. As a reader I feel as though I am being gently pulled along. The land is absolutely a character in the novel. Alexandra's relationship with it is central. I think the kitten is at least partly illustrating how young Alexandra, Carl and Emil are. 4y
Lcsmcat @CarolynM Good point! 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM @Lcsmcat yeah, good point. The kitty actually tells us a lot about these three characters. The connection of Carl and Alexandra, some of Carl‘s resourcefulness, Alexandra‘s calmness and how she solves problems...and a lot more. Hmm. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @Tanisha_A - so, I‘m reading Lonesome Dove while reading this, and although I‘m not in Nebraska yet there, I‘m seeing these empty plains from just the other side. Few to no natives, and also no real settlers (or fences). The land is empty. And then I switch here and the Dad bought this empty land with nothing on it (that one character lives in a cave!) And he and his wife did all the initial figuring it out... 4y
Graywacke Alexandra comes in, and begins to play real estate. She couldn‘t have done that 20 years earlier, probably not ten years earlier. It was a new opportunity. (Am I right there? Not actually sure) It just struck me, the world is changing and she is adapting quickly. That‘s why I mentioned the pioneer bit. 4y
Graywacke Also - I really like Alexandra. I like how she learns, and thinks and is so careful how she acts, how she balances and manages personalities. She always has a purpose behind what she‘s doing. And when things come up, she processes it, thinks it through before she acts. Anyway, really like her and look forward to following along what she does (and how she might handle whatever goes wrong) 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat @CarolynM @Tanisha_A - the land drew me, personally, more than anything else. It left me thinking of Kansas, where I was a geology grad student, and I just loved what she captured and how she did that. 4y
Graywacke And (I‘m going one post too far now) going back to the kitten, I like how she set up the landscape by starting in town. When we get out of town, the unfriendly landscape overwhelms it and everything thing we know of this book at that point (as does fate, a bit, with the dad). (edited) 4y
CarolynM @Graywacke I think the first couple of chapters are genius - immediately relatable for place and character - and then as you say overwhelms it all with the harsh empty land and the harsh reality of human frailty 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM well put. !! 4y
Tanisha_A @Graywacke I love that you mentioned the kitten section - love how she builds up Emil's character filled with love, innocence! 4y
Tanisha_A @Graywacke @CarolynM @Lcsmcat That's a great point about using kitten to illustrate/ connect the 3 characters. I especially loved the part where the narrator mentions this while Emil is sitting by himself in despair - "He was a little country boy, and this village was to him a very strange and perplexing place, where people wore fine clothes and had hard hearts." Emil feels secure only when he is with A, siblings etc. 4y
Tanisha_A @graywacke To your point about Alex playing real estate, yes. Also, what amazes me is how @CarolynM said the harsh reality of human frailty makes one take a grown up role so quickly. Alex herself is too young, but now she has to do all of this, make these big decisions if to survive! 4y
Tanisha_A @Lcsmcat Love what you said, "Cather's love of place really shines through." 4y
Graywacke @Tanisha_A I love that quote - from Emil to hard hearts. And, yeah, they really do need to grow up quickly. Alexandra is trying. 4y
49 likes24 comments
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CarolynM
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Finished Part I. Her writing seems so effortless - it's such a joy to read. I'm remembering why I loved this book so much the first time I read it. #catherbuddyread

catebutler I'm always so impressed with her writing and skill as an author too! Looking forward to discussing the first part later today. 4y
Tanisha_A This was my first time reading Cather, and I am awed. Like you said, her writing just flows and it really was difficult for me to stop reading beyond. I also love the detailed characterization, be it land, or people. Absolutely gorgeous writing! 4y
Lcsmcat Describing her writing as seeming effortless is perfect. She draws the reader in and makes us love the high plains as much as she does. 4y
See All 9 Comments
Crazeedi I'm a little behind as I was away visiting daughter! Will be catching up today! 4y
Tamra 💜 I went on a Cather kick years ago because she‘s so great. I recall each of her books being rather different - it would be interesting to reread all to see if that‘s still my impression. 4y
Graywacke Her writing is beautiful and reaches across some time. Effortless means it‘s working, right? 4y
Graywacke @Tamra I‘m tempted to read this trilogy and then some more this year. Curious how that would go. 4y
staci.reads This one's been on my tbr for years. I love My Antonia and have read many of her short stories. This post reminded me how much I want to read another of her novels 🙂 4y
CarolynM @staci.reads Why not join our buddy read? We've just done part 1 which is quite short. See @Graywacke 's post for details of timing 4y
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Tanisha_A
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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"Alexandra drew her shawl closer about her & stood leaning against the frame of the mill, looking at the stars which glittered so keenly through the frosty autumn air. She always loved to watch them, to think of their vastness & distance, & of their ordered march. It fortified her to reflect upon the great operations of nature, & when she thought of the law that lay behind them, she felt a sense of personal security."

Love love love this book!

Tanisha_A #catherbuddyread @Graywacke Looking forward to our discussion! 4y
Tanisha_A @batsy I feel like highlighting the whole book. Loving her writing so much! 4y
Lcsmcat Her prose is amazing! 4y
batsy I am happy to hear you're loving it! Agree with @Lcsmcat her prose is stunning. (And I *love* the image you chose for this quote.) 4y
Graywacke @batsy @lcsmat Great image for this book. I find Alexandra‘s thought process a little concealed. What she‘s thinking is only partially revealed in what she says and does. Great quote. 4y
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Lcsmcat
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Is it horrible that I‘ve finished the first section already? It was too good to stop! #catherbuddyread @Graywacke @catebutler @CarolynM @Tanisha_A @saresmoore @Tamra @jmofo

catebutler So happy to hear this! 4y
Tamra I‘m still waiting on my copy to arrive in the mail - I couldn‘t bring myself to dig thru still unpacked boxes! 4y
Lcsmcat @Tamra Oh no! Could you get one from the library to get started? Or it‘s available from Project Gutenberg as a free download. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=O+Pioneers+ (edited) 4y
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Graywacke @Tamra i don‘t think you‘ll have any trouble catching up. But hope your copy hurries along. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat i had trouble stopping yesterday. (I thought it would take me longer, but I think my edition is stretched out - I think its 70 pages is more like 40 in other editions. So, I might re-read a bit for Sunday - going over some of those lines again might be really nice. ) I‘m still thinking about it today. (edited) 4y
Tamra @Lcsmcat I hate due dates and do so much screen reading for the rest of life I wanted a print copy. Picky picky I know! I‘ll just have the pleasure of catching up. 👍🏾😁 4y
Tamra @Graywacke 👍🏾 This a method to slow me down! 4y
Tanisha_A Yes, I am having trouble stopping too! 4y
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Tanisha_A
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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"Of all the bewildering things about a new country, the absence of human landmarks is one of the most depressing and disheartening."

I am in love with her writing. The descriptions of landscape; introduction to characters, outlining their features and characteristics is done seamlessly. The prose structure is just smooth, you'll fly through.
#catherbuddyread
@Graywacke

batsy Her writing 👌🏽❤️ 4y
BookNAround I haven‘t read this one but remember being completely impressed by the writing in My Antonia. 4y
Graywacke Great quote. I love these perspectives on the relationship of land and people. 4y
62 likes3 comments
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Crazeedi
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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#catherbuddyread
@Graywacke
I've got the book so I'm joining in!

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saresmoore
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Lucy and I are sitting outside of the dance studio in the sunshine while her sister does some hip-hop. Good thing Lucy brought three books because class just started and she‘s already finished one. 😅

I‘m starting O Pioneers! for the #catherbuddyread.

TrishB Great pic 👍🏻 4y
Suet624 Research is starting to be published that states my great-aunt, Edith Lewis, who lived with Cather for 40years and was an editor at McClure‘s Magazine, had a significant role in editing her work. 4y
LeahBergen Awww! Look at her scrunchie! 😍 4y
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saresmoore @Suet624 That is SO COOL. 4y
saresmoore @LeahBergen Isn‘t it cute? She bought a few at a local craft fair and wears them daily. 💁‍♀️ 4y
Graywacke I miss the Ivy and Bean days 4y
Lcsmcat @Suet624 That‘s a fun thing to have in your history! 4y
Suet624 @Lcsmcat it is. 😁 4y
saresmoore @Graywacke They are gone too soon! This one is about three years past Ivy + Bean, but is going in for a bit of nostalgia. 😆 4y
batsy Reading goals 🙌🏽 4y
UwannaPublishme So cute! 💕 4y
97 likes2 stack adds11 comments
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Graywacke
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Getting started : #catherbuddyread

Crazeedi I have the book and I'm ready to read!!! 4y
Graywacke The road led southwest, toward the streak of pale, watery light that glimmered in the leaden sky. ... The little town behind them had vanished as if it had never been, had fallen behind the swell of the prairie, and the stern frozen country received them into its bosom. ... 4y
Graywacke But the great fact was the land itself, which seemed to overwhelm the little beginnings of human society that struggled in its somber wastes. ... he felt men were too weak to make any mark here, that the land wanted to be let alone, to preserve its own fierce strength, its peculiar, savage kind of beauty, its uninterrupted mournfulness. 4y
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Graywacke Joe Bergen : “He was only forty-six, and had, of course, counted upon more time.” —- it happens to be my 46th birthday... 4y
Tanisha_A Love the opening paragraph, the setting of the street/ town. And this thought of the Swede boy, oh "He was a little country boy, and this village was to him a very strange and perplexing place, where people wore fine clothes and had hard hearts." 4y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Happy Birthday! I‘m sure you‘ll have more years than poor Joe! 4y
Graywacke @Tanisha_A that fine clothes and hard hearts comment - draws up an image. 4y
Graywacke @Lcsmcat well, that‘s encouraging 🤣 I‘m free of farm debt too! Just worried about coming tuition 4y
Graywacke Frithjof Saga?? 4y
Tanisha_A Happy happy birthday! 🥳🎂🎉 4y
Graywacke @Tanisha_A ☺️ thanks! 4y
Graywacke I‘ve already read this week‘s section. Not ready to stop 😕 It‘s only Monday 4y
Crazeedi @Graywacke happy birthday!🎁🎉🎂 4y
Graywacke @Crazeedi thanks!! 4y
catebutler Starting this evening! Happy Birthday! 🥳 4y
Graywacke @catebutler Have a great evening reading! And thanks! 🙂 4y
50 likes16 comments
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Lcsmcat
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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A little Willa before work. I‘m enjoying rereading this classic. #catherbuddyread @Graywacke

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Tanisha_A
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Got my copy, @Graywacke. This would be my first Willa Cather, i am excited. Thank you for organizing this. ☺️
#catherbuddyread

Crazeedi I'm going to get mine the end of the week! @Graywacke 4y
Graywacke 👍 My copy was calling to me as I scanned through it yesterday. (Have plenty else to read for now though... 😳) 4y
Lcsmcat I‘ve got mine: 4y
See All 7 Comments
Tanisha_A @Graywacke Seriously, so much to read meanwhile. I couldn't help myself and read the first line. 😉 4y
readinginthedark I love Willa Cather! 4y
Tanisha_A @readinginthedark Oh this is my first read of her, and I am so in love with her. ❤️ 4y
63 likes7 comments
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Graywacke
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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A plan! Of sorts. 😁 This is a bit tricky because there are five unequal parts to O Pioneers!, instead of four equal buddy-read friendly parts. So the plan above has a long week 2 (112 pages in my edition) with three shorter weeks, and has me posting something each Sunday for the part. Let me know your thoughts.

#catherbuddyread

jmofo 👏 4y
Tamra 👍🏾 4y
catebutler This looks great! 4y
See All 10 Comments
Lcsmcat Perfect! 4y
Tanisha_A Okeydokey! 😀 4y
CarolynM 👍 4y
saresmoore Sounds good to me! 4y
Graywacke @catebutler @crazeedi @Lcsmcat @Tanisha_A @Tamra @CarolynM @jmofo @saresmoore Well, I miss-tagged crazeedi (sorry, now fixed) but everyone else has ok this! Assuming crazeedi is good, we‘ll get to those the endless plains next week. 4y
Lcsmcat @Graywacke Can‘t wait! 4y
Crazeedi Just saw this I'm ok with it! 4y
47 likes10 comments
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Graywacke
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Just checking in (after mostly being off Litsy for a week, while on vacation). The book waits impatiently for an April buddy read. Let me know if April 1 is a good start date (happens to be my birthday 😊🤫)

@catebutler @Lcsmcat @Crazeedi @Tanisha_A @Tamra

#catherbuddyread

Graywacke @CarolynM @jmofo @batsy @Liz_M - just tagging you this one time as an invite to join the buddy read of this book in April. 4y
saresmoore I would love to join in this buddy read! 4y
Graywacke @saresmoore 👍 👍 4y
See All 26 Comments
Lcsmcat April 1st works for me! 4y
zsuzsanna_reads Enjoy! I really liked this book. Come to think of it, I like everything by Willa Cather. 4y
Tamra I‘m up for it! Please send me reminder. 🤪 4y
Crazeedi Yes I will join in! 4y
CarolynM Lovely idea. I'll have to see if I can find my copy🙂 4y
catebutler Can‘t wait to start this one next month. The 1st works for me! 4y
jmofo Hey thanks! I‘m gonna give it a spin! Thanks for inviting me! 4y
Graywacke @saresmoore glad you‘re joining us! 4y
Graywacke @zsuzsanna_reads this will be my second Cather. Read tagged book. There was some talk...🙂... of reading the whole trilogy. Will see how that pans out. 4y
Graywacke @Tamra will do! 👍 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM @jmofo happy you guys are joining! 4y
batsy Thank you. Just read it last year so I won't be joining, but I hope you all enjoy! It's a lovely book. 4y
Graywacke @batsy thanks. Let me know if you would like me to keep you tagged so you can follow along. 4y
Graywacke @catebutler @crazeedi @Lcsmcat @Tanisha_A @Liz_M @Tamra @CarolynM @jmofo @saresmoore So you all know, I‘m kind if a dork at this. This post was just to remind everyone when there‘s still time to find a copy and make sure the energy was still there. It clearly is! I‘ll post again closer to April 1. I‘m thinking of posting a reading plan - breaking the book into 4 weekly sections somehow, for those (like me) who might want to follow that plan... 4y
Graywacke ...Not that I‘m stuck to a reading plan, but it seems like something that works really well here. Anyway, looking forward to starting ... and hope you all had a happy St Pat‘s Day. 4y
CarolynM 👍 4y
Tamra @Graywacke I am largely a monogamous reader in print, so I may plow thru quickly, but I still love a buddy read because it‘s a prompt and then it‘s fresh on my mind. 👍🏾😁 4y
catebutler Dan, I think that‘s a great idea! We can discuss the section of reading at the end of each week too, if everyone is up for that. 4y
batsy No worries, I'll peek at discussions by looking at the hashtag and all of your posts 😁 4y
Tanisha_A Yes sir! Done! 😀 4y
saresmoore Reading plan sounds great! Thanks for letting me join in! 4y
Graywacke @zsuzsanna_reads brain dead... I recently read the tagged book - except this time I‘m actually tagging it. 😐🙂 4y
Graywacke @CarolynM @catebutler @Tanisha_A 👍 🙂 @Tamra sounds good @batsy makes sense @saresmoore absolutely, you‘re welcome 🙂 4y
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review
Adventures-of-a-French-Reader
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

I've read this book a little while ago, and I was totally awed by Willa Cather's writing. I really enjoyed the story of Alexandra Bergson, a pioneer, who is dedicated to make her father's land prosperous. We follow her from childhood to late adulthood, we get to know her, to understand her. I'm very glad I discovered this author. I'll definitely read other works by her.

Anna40 Looking forward to reading it! Thanks again 😘 4y
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review
Creadnorthey
O Pioneers! | Willa Cather
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Pickpick

Beautifully clear and profound at times while doing a fantastic job invoking a sense of the land which gives and takes. Cather skips what other writers might dwell on giving as much space to the reading of her plot as her epic setting implies it must have.

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Creadnorthey
O Pioneers! | Willa Sibert Cather
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Ok I‘m reading three books at the moment- this being one of them. The other two are Deaths End - hard-core Sci-Fi, and a brilliant graphic novel, Future Arab. It hit me today what they all have in common... any Litten brave enough to guess? Comment below!

Quirkybookworm Creepy! 4y
Creadnorthey Yeah doesn‘t really reflect the spirit of Willa Cather but I‘m not at the end of the book yet... waiting for the great prairie demon to appear... 4y
2 likes2 comments
review
ahef1963
O Pioneers! | Willa Sibert Cather
Pickpick

What a great book! I've long lamented my lack of knowledge about classic literature by women, but when I sit down to read, it's usually crime fiction that I grab. Yesterday the cats woke me at 4 am, again, I couldn't get back to sleep, and was in the right headspace for a shortish novel. O Pioneers surprised me with its fully-developed characters, its passion for wild, untamed prairie, and its engrossing story of love, loss, passion, and tragedy.