What I Read This Week 1.4

  Anne of Ingleside sees Anne with her growing family.  This is the point in the series where the focus begins to shift from Anne to her children.  Little struggles enter the lives of the children and Anne deals with some larger ones.  One of my favorite new characters in this book is Susan.  Susan comes to help out with household duties and thinks that Anne is a little strange but staunchly defends her to anyone else.

As Anne and her family become an established part of the community Anne guides her little flock through school and the type of “scrapes” that she herself would have gone through.  The only part about this book I don’t like is Gilbert.  He’s kind of missing.  I mean, he’s part of the plot but we don’t really get to know him better at all.  His character almost becomes a little flat.

  This book takes the 5 Love Languages and applies them to expressing appreciation at work.  Much of the book read like a “this is why you should believe this and take our survey” essay.  The main thrust of the book is that even if you express appreciation to your co-workers or employees if it isn’t in their appreciation language, it does not encourage them they way you intend to encourage them.

Chapman and White seem to be writing to supervisors mainly although they frequently comment that the book is for everyone.  Some of the ideas are only practical for a larger business, and would not be possible or effective in a small non-profit which is where I work.

  Blue Castle was my favorite book from this week.  I read it on Sunday afternoon and reading it with a cup of tea was just relaxing.  I laughed out loud so much that my roommate demanded that I hand it over as soon as I finished it.  One of the reasons that I loved this book is that it points out the ridiculous in people.  People ARE so ridiculous that you just have to laugh sometimes.

This is the fluffiest book I’ve read by L. M. Montgomery.  I hadn’t heard of it before and I am just so happy that I found it!  The ending is a little bit too storybook perfect to be taken entirely seriously but it was delightful.  Especially if you love to laugh at the ridiculous, find this book for a cheery several hours.

  The Story Girl is the book most geared towards children that I’ve read by L. M. Montgomery.  Sara Stanley, the “story girl” leads the pack of cousins on great flights of imagination.  Solid Bev, sensitive Felix, cheery Cecily, and the ever smug Felicity are joined by hired boy Peter and friend Sarah Ray.  This pack of precocious friends is solidly loyal.  The attitude of superiority towards “adults” cracks me up.

This reads like a collection of shorts stories strung together by the kids and the story girl’s ever present tales.  Cecily’s sweetness, Felicity’s beauty, and the Story Girl’s charm are much discussed and compared.  Overall, it is a sweet book, but not on the list of my favorite Montgomery books.

  The Golden Road sees the King cousins growing up.  They enjoy more antics and stories and get through more humorous trials but there is a much more sombre tone to the book, leading up to the goodbye as they spread out in different directions and say goodbye to their time of living and playing together.  The preaching contest is my favorite little incident in this book.  The boys have a contest for preaching and the girls get to decide which child preacher is the very best.

While I appreciate Sara Stanley and her stories, these two books do not hold the same magic for me as much of Montgomery’s writing.  My mind wandered more and though the stories were entertaining they do not grab my attention or make me want to stay up reading.

  Kilmeny of the Orchard is one of Montgomery’s shorter books.  It centers around the mute but quite beautiful Kilmeny and the new school master.  Kilmeny is hidden away from the outside world and Eric stumbles across her playing her violin in her orchard.  They become friends and the story develops from there.

It was a pleasant light read but one of the most fairy tale like stories I’ve read by Montgomery.  The blend of sorrow and joy is what makes this a story worth reading.  Without that dynamic it would be quite silly even for me.  Kilmeny is an intriguing character and Eric’s pursuit of her allows us to learn much more about who he is.  The only thing that really bothered me about this book was the emphasis on her beauty.  Why would her appearance make Eric’s father go from skeptical about his son’s excitement?

  The Power to Prosper urges readers to embark on a 21 day fast from all but necessary spending.  I definitely appreciated several of the tips but I think this is a bit too extreme.  For instance: Singletary recommends that you stop giving gifts.  I think that moderation is a good thing, but I’m not convinced that ceasing all gift giving is a good idea.

The tone of the book is also a little too sassy for me.  While I appreciate “Big Mama’s” tips Singletary should acknowledge that her grandmother does not carry the same level of authority with the average reader.  I like the idea of the fast but this has not been the most helpful book in finances for me.

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~ by shostagirl on January 27, 2012.

3 Responses to “What I Read This Week 1.4”

  1. Some interesting fiction books to add to my list.

  2. Skipped the Anne explanation…again.

    5 Love Languages sounds honestly not too interesting. You didn’t really say whether you liked it or not. Yes? No? Meh?

    You already know how I feel about Blue Castle. Triple Yuck! LoL! Although, it’s funny, I thought the end was actually pretty nice. Very fairytale perfect of course, but sometimes that’s fun. It’s just that the character was so tainted for me that I couldn’t appreciate the (almost) O’Henryish end.

    I’m now interested in the other three Montgomery titles you listed. Because I am officially a Montgomery fan. I wasn’t up until the beginning of this month though.

    Power to Prosper: WOW…no gifts!?! Maybe if there was a chunk of 21 days where no one you know has a birthday?

  3. Colline- L. M. Montgomery is one of my favorites. I love the Anne series, but have recently been discovering her other works.

    Heather- I don’t really know what I thought of the 5 Languages of Appreciation. I guess it seemed like a lot of it was common sense. I did appreciate the descriptions of the various languages but the rest of the book… “meh”? Power to Prosper- oh, she was advocating either home-made gifts, gifts of time, or none at all ALL THE TIME. Some people’s love language is gift giving/receiving. I think that wisdom and moderation are important but it really is unnecessary to throw that much out the window.

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