A few days ago, I finished re-reading my latest random-book selection, Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie (1935). I read all of the Little House books when I was a kid, and would read the first of the series, Little House in the Big Woods over and over again. That one was always my favorite because it went into such detail about their everyday life: how they smoked meat, how they stored food, how they did laundry, built the house, and traveled in the snow. Little House on the Prairie has that same level of detailed description, and I liked it just as much this time around as I did the last time I read it, which was at least 15 years ago.
Interestingly enough, I could never stand the TV series. As a kid, I'd watch almost everything, but not Little House, not Hogan's Heroes and not MASH. The Little House show was b-o-r-i-n-g, and everything I liked about the books was sacrificed for episodic drama and lame character development. This book has almost no dialogue, and most of the pages are spent in describing the day-to-day life of making a homestead on the Oklahoma prairie, just south of the Kansas border.
The second best thing about these books are the detailed illustrations done by Garth Williams in the 1950s. Williams is the same guy who illustrated Charlotte's Web and the other E. B. White books, which are some of my other childhood favorites. Williams actually traveled the route that Wilder and her family took and his illustrations show the level of research that he undertook to create an accurate description of their life.
When I was a kid, I also liked the Little House books because they were just like grown-up books with chapters, and most of them were relatively thick. As an adult, the fast-reader in me likes to be able to say that I finished a 335 page book in less than two days.