Monthly Archives: April 2015

Mafia to Mormon by Mario Falcione

Mario Facione was living the high life in Detroit, Michigan, running scams and making tons of money quite illegally. He was skeptical when two missionaries showed up at his door wanting to share the gospel with him, but he was curious, too. He kept those missionaries out way too late getting his questions answered. He joined the church, but soon knew he had to give up the Church or the mob. Of course no one leaves the mob alive, but that was okay. He was willing to die, though the thought made him sad only because it meant he’d never get to go to the temple if his former business associates killed him. And he really, really wanted to get to the temple. Amazingly, they let him leave the mafia. Mafia to Mormon is Mario’s incredible conversion story and amazing testimony. This is a must-read for all Church members. It’s an amazing story of God’s hand in one man’s life both to bring him into the Church and to get him to the temple at the right place at the right time.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 29
Pages Read in 2015: 8114
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Filed under Memoir, Non-Fiction

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey is a collection of six stories in the life of Homer Price, a boy growing up in the town of Centerburg a few decades ago. The Case of the Sensational Scent involves a skunk, aftershave lotion, and robbers. The Case of the Cosmic Comic involves The Super Duper (superhero) and the discovery that maybe he’s not quite what they thought he was. The Doughnuts is about a modern contraption that automatically makes doughnuts and what happens if you put way too much batter (and a diamond bracelet) in it. Mystery Yarn involves Homer’s Uncle Telly and three big balls of string. Nothing New Under the Sun (Hardly) is about a hermit who really did build a better mousetrap. Wheels of Progress involves putting up 100 brand new, identical pre-fab houses and creating a whole suburb in just a few days. The stories are fun and fantastic. It’s a quick read and enjoyable by kids and adults alike.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 28
Pages Read in 2015: 7999
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Children

The House of Whispers by William Le Queux

Gabrielle, blind Henry’s devoted daughter and personal secretary, is implicated when someone steals Henry’s important private papers. She is quite suddenly sent away from her beloved Glencardine. Meanwhile, Henry’s wife and her friend Flockart have information they are holding over Gabrielle’s head which makes her do whatever they want. By the end, Gabrielle doesn’t know whether to tell the truth as she knows it or to commit suicide, a “logical” course of action since she has heard the mysterious whispers in the castle ruins at Glencardine and these whispers always foretell the impending death of the hearer.

I really didn’t like the first 90% of The House of Whispers by William Le Queux. It was often dreadfully boring. The dialogue goes in circles needlessly and repeatedly, making it quite tedious to read. That it was a mystery was repeated regularly because, without those reminders, the reader would likely forget. I found it utterly and completely unbelievable that Sir Henry would listen to a man he very recently had thought of as his enemy and turn on his devoted daughter. It just plain didn’t make sense or seem in character. The last few pages do redeem the book a bit, though the solution to the “mystery” is apparent long before the big reveal (or, rather, two big reveals).

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 26
Pages Read in 2015: 7744
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Classic

Lisa and Lottie by Erich Kastner

Lisa and Lottie by Erich Kastner was the basis for the movie The Parent Trap. Lisa and Lottie are 9-year-old twins separated as babies when their parents got divorced. They did not know they had a twin sister until they meet by chance at summer camp. The girls make a plan to switch places in the hopes that when their parents meet again they will re-fall in love and get re-married.

I first read Lisa and Lottie when I was 8 or 9. I loved it then and I still love it today, almost 30 years later. The story is gentle and sweet and turns out exactly how you want it to. I highly recommend this book to everyone, young and old!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2015: 25
Pages Read in 2015: 7433
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)
Applied to Category for Special Reading Challenge: A book you can finish in one day

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Filed under Children