Monthly Archives: April 2015

Call the Nurse by Mary J. MacLeod

In the 1970s, Mary J. MacLeod and her family decided they wanted to move away from the hustle and bustle of the city and to somewhere quiet. They chose an island in the Scottish Hebrides to be their new home. Ms. MacLeod became the district nurse serving the people and tourists of the island. Call the Nurse tells many stories of their adventures. Every chapter focuses on something different, but they all intertwine together. She had a tendency to ramble and I wish she had written more about the healthcare she provided as the nurse and less about the random (non-medical) comings and goings of the island inhabitants. I also felt a couple stories were never really completed (Biddy’s son Johnny and Jaynie and her baby Janet).

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 36
Pages Read in 2015: 9480
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A book set in a different country

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Filed under Memoir

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery follows about 5 years in the life of Anne Shirley from the point where a mistake is made and she comes to live with brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert (they were expecting an orphan boy instead of a girl) to just before she becomes a school teacher. Anne worms her way into everyone’s hearts and mellows Marilla quite a bit over the years. The story is sweet and heartwarming. The speeches made by the characters were often overly long. The ending was a bit of a surprise and quite unfair as it was coming to a nice, happy ending when bad things suddenly happened to change everything all around.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 35
Pages Read in 2015: 9160
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A book more than 100 years old

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Filed under Classic

Grace Space by Robin Merrill

Darcy is an unemployed 24-year-old teacher living with her parents when she attends a Grace Space “celebration.” She is taken in by the idea of making $40 an hour selling MLM make-up. She signs up, buys the lilac suit, and gets to work attending “family meetings” and trying to make the big bucks. When she meets (and really likes) Luke, the son of her Grace Space “great-grandmother,” she is baffled as to why he hates the company so much and feels torn between him and the potential to make lots of money. If you have ever sold anything through direct sales, attended a home party, or been hounded by your essential oil, fancy nail, weight loss wrap selling friends on Facebook, read this book! Grace Space is a fast and very funny escape for your brain.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 34
Pages Read in 2015: 8953
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A funny book

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Filed under Realistic Fiction

Animal Farm by George Orwell

The animals of Manor Farm decide to take control of their own land and banish the humans. Life will be perfect on their own. After a rebellion, they change the name of the farm to Animal Farm and create seven commandments. Somehow, though, over time, those commandments seem to change just a little bit (must be their faulty memories) and stories of battles change (definitely their faulty memories). Work is increased, rations are cut, and, suddenly, the pigs are in charge.

Orwell did a truly amazing job when he crafted Animal Farm. It is in actuality the story of Russia, from the Russian Revolution on through the Stalin era. It is funny because all the action is done by animals (I am sure it is no accident that the leaders – Orwell was very critical of Stalin – are portrayed by pigs). It is just completely absurd. It is sad because the action really happened – to humans. Especially poignant is how the animals (humans) accepted whatever the leaders told them, even if their own memories contradicted the stories being told. A great, quick read on its own or to go along with a study of the rise of communism for older teens or adults.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 33
Pages Read in 2015: 8839
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A book with non-human characters

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Filed under Dystopian

The Moffats by Eleanor Estes

About a year of life in Cranbury is chronicled through the eyes of 9 to 10 year old Jane Moffat in The Moffats by Eleanor Estes. Each chapter focuses on a different event from having a for sale sign put up on the house where they live to Rufus (her 5 year old brother) ending up in a freight car to dance lessons and recital to moving when the house is finally sold. It’s a sweet book set in a long ago, slower time. I recommend it for all ages!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 32
Pages Read in 2015: 8685
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Children

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy are in for a great adventure when they walk into a wardrobe and out into Narnia. They meet a lion named Aslan among many other woodland creatures. They battle the White Witch and are finally crowned kings and queens of Narnia.

I never read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe growing up. I was never interested in fantasy stories. This one is very enjoyable and a very sweet story. I recommend it for all ages.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 31
Pages Read in 2015: 8463
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A book that became a movie

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Filed under Fantasy

The Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton M. Christensen

I really didn’t want to read The Power of Everyday Missionaries by Clayton M. Christensen because I am just really not into doing missionary work. They asked everyone in our ward to read it a few months ago and I put it off and put it off. I finally read it because the Relief Society is planning to start a book club and this is the first book chosen. After all that resisting, I’m glad I read it. It gives good tips for sharing the Gospel with absolutely no expectation of baptism – just sharing to share, because we love it. The book covers sharing with friends, sharing on-line, and more. Lots of great stories (some that led to baptism, some that didn’t – but all are successes – because just sharing is a success) are included. My only problem with the book is how the author laid it out like an academic paper with the telling what you are going to tell them, telling them, telling them what you told them pattern. I found the intro and sum up both to be rather irritating and felt they most definitely could have been dispensed with. It’s a quick read and I do agree with my ward leaders… it’s a must read for all members!

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 30
Pages Read in 2015: 8274
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Religious