Out of the Best Books: Classics We Enjoyed for February 2020


Happy Leap Day! It’s almost midnight and I can’t let this day pass without recording the classics we enjoyed this month of February 2020. If you want to know why I love reading classics/”the best books” so much, go here.

First comes a book I just started reading this past week. I discovered the above book by the prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson, many months ago when surfing the Internet. I requested it through my public library’s interlibrary loan system. I never did get the book so I figured that it just wasn’t available in any public library. Imagine my delight when I went to pick up our  books on hold at the library over a week ago and this book was there on shelf, under my husband’s name. He had requested it through ILL and never told me. Somehow the request went through for him. So I’ve been enjoying it! I love the stories in it. I’m not done, but so far I love it. I think God gives me big assignments, but they are so small compared to being asked by God, through President Benson, to establish the Church in all of Eastern Europe starting in 1985, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. That was President Nelson’s charge, and I’m happy to report he fulfilled it.

He tells stories about that in this book. My favorite story is about the young mother, Svetlana, who lived in Russia and was searching for Jesus Christ. This woman left her homeland to go to Finland in search of Jesus. As she was walking through a public park in Finland, she found a book hidden under some fallen autumn leaves. It was the Bible, a testament of Jesus Christ, written in the Russian language. She exclaimed joyfully about her blessed discovery, telling another mother in the park about her providential fortune. This other mother happened to be the wife of the mission president for the Church of that area, Sister Raija Kemppainen. Sister K  asked her if she wanted another book about Jesus Christ, written in the Russian language and Svetlana said yes. So Sister K. gave her a Russian Book of Mormon, and Svetlana eventually got baptized and took the gospel with her back to Russia. I just loovve this story, as I fell in love with the Russian language while studying it for three years in high school. I love the Russian people and hope to go to Russia to minster to them with my husband as missionaries when all the kiddos are out of the nest.


Next, here’s one of my most exciting new books, above. I love it! It fell into my lap while I was in Utah, the night before I presented about gameschooling (using board games to homeschool) at the Winter Homeschool Conference, while looking through my Scribd app. If you haven’t heard of Scribd, I recommend you check it out. It’s a subscription membership for bibliophiles, which includes an app, much like Audible. You pay a flat fee around $10 a month, and then you can download unlimited audiobooks and digital books in text format through the Scribd website or the Scrib app. So amazing! You can sign up for a free 60 day trial through my affiliate link right here. The cost is the same to you if you sign up through my link or not, and I get a free month if you sign up through me. Win-win!

I love the above book because author Ellie Dix tells why board games are so full of wonder and bonding for you and your family, how to deal with the pitfalls of game-playing, such as tears, tantrums, poor sports, and the “meta game,” which is the mysterious, insightful life “game behind the game” as the players interact. So interesting! Read it in Scribd.


The above one is my latest fave picture book. Such a clever story and it promotes the values of stewardship and community interdependence.

I’ve read other books about Mr. Rogers but this is the first one for kids I’ve read. Nice. It shows all the elements that came together in his show early on in the very first two chapters.

This one is one of the best books on friendship! A new Celestial Family Tradition read-aloud for February to go with Valentine’s.

Winter Is the Warmest Season

This is my new favorite picture book for winter. It totally gives me ideas/excuses for slowing down in winter and playing up the coziness.


Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented


Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion


City Dog, Country Frog

Another great one on friendship, thanks to reader Sarah Eastley who recommended it on my sister’s blog. Thanks Sarah! I like the idea that friends can be what seems like unlikely pairs (a frog and a dog) and the “circle of life” reference. So sweet!

It’s a Celestial tradition to read the above book every winter.

String, Straightedge, and Shadow The Story of Geometry

The top and below one are for my two teens’ math and science class for the homeschool co-op. I listen to the one below in Audible. It’s helping me to remember I learned this stuff in college and how it all fits together.



Anne of Avonlea

On audio, on the way to homeschool co-op once a week. We finally finished! I had forgotten all the funny lines. The wedding at the end is so enchanting, and no, it’s not Anne and Gilbert’s. I read all of L.M.’s Anne books as a teen, so it’s a ton of fun to share the stories with my kiddos. I’m determined they shall have as much of Anne as I did!

The Unseen Guest: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 3

The kiddos listened to Anne or this one while doing dishes if I can’t read aloud.

Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years

I’ve been listening to the one above since October and the one below since January, because I only listen on the way home from co-op.

Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II

I revisited the one below to lead a discussion about for the 13-15 year olds I mentor at my homeschool co-op. I need to revise my rating for it in Goodreads down to 4 stars as I’ve never agreed with his explanation of 9/11. It’s not a blow=by-blow play of WW1 but how WW1 fits in with the broader context of  world history.

I got this book below in Audible. I loved the author’s previous two books about motherhood, so I figure I’ll love this third one. I’ve grown up as a mother reading Katrina’s books, having read the first one, Mitten Strings for God, when my oldest was 6. I’m still stuck in Chapter 1  because of all my other great listens of books and podcasts but I know I will finish it. Katrina knows how to tell great personal stories that resonate with mothers.

Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment by Kenison, Katrina (January 8, 2013) Hardcover

The next three I got through Scribd. Did I tell you how amazing it is? Do sign up for it! You will love it if you are crazy about books like I am.

A Wilder Rose

A Wilder Rose is such a clever title for a fictionalized account of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s only daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. A fascinating story of how it might have looked and sounded when she collaborated with her mother to write the Little House books. The narrator does a superb job with different voices, especially Laura’s. I wonder what Laura thinks about it and her everlasting fame.

Marilla of Green Gables: A Novel

This is what Marilla’s life might have looked like as a little girl and then growing up. How did she meet John Blythe, Gilbert’s father, and fall in love? Again, I got it through Scribd.


I choose to read the Book of Mormon by myself and with my family every morning as a ritual because I don’t want to miss a day, it is so full of light. I love the study guide below to guide our family’s discussions around the dinner table.

Image result for come follow me book of mormon








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2 Responses to Out of the Best Books: Classics We Enjoyed for February 2020

  1. Pingback: #abookandagameaday, Mon. 3/2/20 | Tree of Life Mothering

  2. Sarah Eastley says:

    Glad you liked City Dog, Country Frog! And Pink and Say is wonderful and so powerful.
    Thanks for more recommendations!


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