Last Best Place

Kittredge, William and Annick Smith, ed. The Last Best Place: a Montana Anthology. Helena: Montana Historical Society Press, 1988.

When this book first arrived I took one look at it and freaked out. How in the world did I manage to order a book that is not only 1161 pages long but also is not renewable? How would I ever get through 1000+ pages in two weeks? It was ridiculous. When I did the math it equalled out to approximately 90 pages a day in order to finish it on time. Ridiculous. Ridiculous because I was still struggling through the 900+ page biography on Winston Churchill. Luckily, Last Best Place was fun to read!
Starting with Native American Indian folklore and diary accounts of expeditions through the virgin geography of Montana Last Best Place opens in the early 1700’s. It ends with a section of contemporary poetry. The folklore was probably the dullest part. I firmly believe stories like these are best communicated orally because of their repetitious nature. First hand accounts of settlers seeking new land were the most interesting.This is not a book to read all at once. Its 1161 pages encourage random readings and not necessarily in chapter order.

Favorite lines: “Curiosity, a love of wild adventure, and perhaps also a hope of profit, for times are hard, and my best coat has a sort of sheepish hang-dog hesitation to encounter fashionable folk…” (p 170).
“The situation of a man gliding over a beautiful river in a boat always has something magical about it…(p 205).

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called, “Montana: In Big Sky Country” (p 156).

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