Thursday, July 1, 2010

Confessions of a Praire Bitch by Alison Arngrim


Like many others my age, I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie in syndication reruns during the summer when I was younger. Nellie Oleson was the character you loved to hate, but you just loved the episodes when she was in it. This is the biography of the actress, Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie. It started out of course with her life before anything to do with the show. It was so neat to read about her parents and what characters they were. It was sad to read about the sexual abuse she endured from her older brother.


Then we get into the time on the show. I had heard that Michael Landon wasn't quite the "perfect" guy he played on the show of course, not that he was a horrible guy or anything according to Arngrim. To hear he was really kind of a short man, and that he was a practical joker, was just so interesting. I enjoyed reading about the friendship between Arngrim and Melissa Gilbert who I just recently saw perform as Ma in the Broadway show Little House on the Prairie at Starlight theater here in Kansas City. I was intrigued to read that Melissa Sue Anderson wasn't quite as friendly and nice as her goody goody character of Laura's older sister Mary on the show. In fact, if she has a biography, I'd be interested in reading it to hear her side of the story.


I do remember when the man who played Percival, Nellie's husband on the show, passed away from AIDS. I remember how active Arngrim had become in AIDS work at that time. But that's not all. When she talks about how there was actually a law that gave incest a break, I was shocked! Amazing to me that anyone ever thought that was okay. The organization was called Protect, and it started basically with one man fighting one state's law from his car with his cell phone. Arngrim became the face and spokesperson for continuing this work in the state of California. And she got this horrible thing overturned. If you're interested in helping this group out, you can go to http://www.protect.org/.


Arngrim has a humorous voice in her biography and it was a quick read that I wanted to pick it up and read during commercials so I got through it quickly once I had some time to read. It is also my current book recommendation at Barnes and Noble, we just need to get a few more ordered in. I was excited to hear last night that my last book rec, Gone by Michael Grant had been a huge seller. Not sure if that's because of me or not, although I do know one friend I teach with had purchased it because of me, it's still cool to hear.


Now not sure what to read next. I want to check out the Passage by Justin Cronin, but I feel like I should go ahead and read my classic, Les Miserables. But then, not sure if my brain is ready for it. Maybe I'll pick up another fun read till I go into the store again to check out The Passage.

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