In the Bookcase


Book Review: Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost
Book #2 of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series

written by Iain Reading

246 pages, young adult fiction
published in 2013

5 Star Rating

My Review...

19-year-old Kitty Hawk, fan of Amelia Earhart, and fellow aviatrix, is at the starting line for a long journey. With a pilot's license in hand, and with her very own De Havilland Beaver seaplane, she can travel anywhere to satisfy her desire to see the world. What better way to do that than to follow the same trail that Amelia Earhart had mapped out decades before?

Before setting out across the wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, Kitty Hawk takes a rest stop in the lower Florida Keys. Her main plan is to visit Key West and then camp out for a few days at the Dry Tortugas National Park in Fort Jefferson, a coastal fortress. (I think it sounds like the ideal vacation.) Kitty experiences many amazing things in the area like visiting author Ernest Hemingway's house, taking a swim around Fort Jefferson, exploring the Dry Tortugas... and, of course... stumbling across a giant mystery brewing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Before you know it, our heroine is deeply intertwined in a sea of secrets, clues and riddles. She's always ready for action, even after midnight when it is too dark to see a thing. It must be terribly exciting to be like Kitty and have a plane ready at your disposal, for anytime you might need an escape plan, or to, you know, do something crazy like track down criminals.

To me, as a person fascinated with maritime history, this book made for a particularly amazing read; the reader gains so much knowledge about some of the famous shipwrecks in the Florida Keys. Not to give away much of the plot here, but one (yes, one) of the mysteries Kitty gets entangled in has to do with the rich history behind Fort Jefferson and the ships that might once have docked there. Combining American history with sunken treasure and some interesting Hemingway tidbits, Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost is a thrilling mystery novel.

NOTE to the discerning reader & parents: Some minor language is used throughout the book.

I love how detailed that Iain Reading is in writing his stories, as he combines history, fiction and adventure together as one.

One thing I know for sure, I've now been convinced that I need read some of Ernest Hemingway's books -- probably starting with The Old Man and The Sea.

Thanks to the author and Book Publicity Services for the free book.

Kitty Hawk series

P.S. See this review on Goodreads and Amazon.

About the Author:
Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.
Iain is also the author of The Wizards of Waterfire Series. The first book in the series The Guild of the Wizards of Waterfire was published in April 2014. Also check out one of Iain's newest books, The Dragon of the Month Club, published December 2013.
Connect with Iain on Twitter and Goodreads.


Book Review: Eyewitness to Titanic

Eyewitness to Titanic Eyewitness to Titanic
From Building the Great Ship to the Search for Its Watery Grave

written by Terri Dougherty, Sean Price, Sean McCollum

162 pages, non-fiction (ages 10 & up)
published in 2015

5 Star Rating

To start this review off -- I've read a lot of books about the RMS Titanic (as readers of my blog already know) and I have personally learned much about its history. So going into this particular book, I wasn't exactly sure how "Eyewitness to Titanic" could be much different, but I have to say... it is UNIQUE in its own way, and I truly enjoyed it.

Here's the deal: This books offers tidbits of information on everything there is to know about the ill-fated ship, RMS Titanic. How does this differ from other non-fiction Titanic titles on the market? Most other books may center on only one of the topics touched in "Eyewitness". For example, one book may focus only on the history behind the ship, while another book may tell about the passengers' lives, the crew, or Dr. Ballard's discovery of the shipwreck. (I know this, because I've personally read all those individual types of books.) But instead of reading 4+ different books to get the overall facts about Titanic... READ THIS ONE FIRST. It's an excellent starting place, and it makes for light reading material. Or try it out even if you are already familiar with the Titanic, because it might bring out a few impressive points you hadn't heard of yet -- as it did for me!

"Eyewitness to Titanic" is perfect for both children and adults. It covers the most basic information you need to know, and serves it to you in an easy-to-read manner. You won't drown in a sea of words in this book (AKA, plenty of pictures and visual content). After reading it, (if you have an inquisitive mind like my own!) you'll want to graduate into the bigger, in-depth books to find out the details behind your favorite part of the story. Perhaps you'll be more drawn to the building process, the iceberg, the aftermath of the tragedy, or the hunt for the wreck decades later. Regardless, it's all in there, ready for you to explore.

What I love: All 162 pages feature good information and fascinating facts. There are dozens of photos and illustrations to really set the scene and help the reader dive into the Titanic and her history. In addition, there are plenty of charts, lists, short quotes, quick facts and other types of content to keep one interested. Not only will you learn about the history of the ship, the architecture, and building process, you'll also have a chance to meet passengers aboard the ship and come in contact with the personal side of the disaster too.

The boat was so luxurious...

Keep in mind, April is always an excellent month to read a book on the Titanic to commemorate the anniversary, since the tragedy happened on April 14-15. 2015 marks the 103rd anniversary since the fatal disaster.

The bottom-line: This is the perfect starter guide for a person with an interest in learning about The Unsinkable Ship, or as a refresher course for someone who already has been studying the Titanic. Since the book is packed with so many morsels of history, it's worth an occasional perusal after the initial reading too.

Thanks to NetGalley and Capstone Young Readers for the free ebook.

P.S. See this review on Goodreads and Amazon.


Women on 20s

Have you heard about the campaign to have an American woman honored by adding her to the $20 bill?

{Yes, this does mean Mr. Jackson will be booted out.}

The idea sounds intriguing to me -- we've never had a woman on our paper money before! Check out the details at

Women on 20s

15 lady candidates, in all, are on the ballot. Important historical names such as Harriet Tubman, Alice Parker, Clara Barton, Rosa Parks and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are a few of the suggested women that you can vote for.

Want to take part? Meet the candidates and vote!


Book Review: The Pursuit of God

The The Pursuit of God

written by A. W. Tozer

77 pages, Christian non-fiction
originally published in 1948

5 Star Rating

My Review...

The Pursuit of God, a Christian classic, is a deep look into how a spiritually enriched life can blossom if we each, individually, decide to follow God's call.

"We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.... and all the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand." (The Pursuit of God)

Written in 1948 by American preacher A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), it's amazing to see how many points that Tozer brought across of his own time period that parallel, and perhaps have even intensified, in our modern times. One thought that stood out to me, for an example, is that believers not associated with work in ministry have sometimes quit pursuing Christ because they think they are in a happy place in their relationship with Him.

"We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him we need no more seek Him." (The Pursuit of God)

The author covers many topics throughout the ten chapters, such as:
• Complacency in faith
• Carrying the burden of artificiality
• Wrongly dividing the unseen and the physical into two different worlds
• Worries of the church drifting into a secular attitude
• Overall spiritual development

"Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus." (The Pursuit of God)

Many truths are found within the pages of The Pursuit of God. I definitely recommend it for Christian readers, as the book contains many good points to think about, concerning spiritual life. I personally enjoyed The Pursuit of God and A. W. Tozer's writing. I now look forward to reading more of his works one day.

If you're interested in reading this book too, you may find it handy to locate a free e-book version of it available through Project Gutenberg, Librivox, Amazon Kindle, or from many other resources.

Reading to Know - Book Club
Stop by Carrie's blog this month to join!

P.S. See this review on Goodreads and Amazon.


Book Review: Brothers and Betrayal + GIVEAWAY!

Find out more about Brothers and Betrayal!

Brothers and Betrayal Brothers and Betrayal
Book #2 (Tales of Taelis)

written by Sarah Holman

174 pages, young adult fiction
published in 2015

5 Star Rating

My Review...

I so enjoyed Book #1 in the Tales of Taelis series back in February and just couldn't wait to start reading THIS ONE, Book #2, Brothers and Betrayal. This series is AMAZING.

In the distant land of Taelis, there is a man who lives in the woods and shelters those who need protection. His name is the Archer. A hero of the Medieval era. In his camp deep within the forest, there are many willing volunteers who risk their lives for the cause of greater good in the land.

Not too far away, in the castle of Delmore, Princess Brianna tends to what she believes are her country's rights. She sees and attempts to mend the unsound actions that her father chooses to do. To her, it doesn't seem that he takes his role as king seriously, but Brianna's actions often put her dangerous situations.

Still yet, there is Bryon, son of an earl and brother of one now dead. He pursues revenge upon the killer of his brother and safety for the rest of his family. Although he puts together his own plan, God's timing will come to show Bryon what to do.

These three characters each have individual quests converging with each other. What they each seek in life may or may not be what they get, for only the Father truly knows a person's true needs.

"Noble hearts, if they are willing to be led by God, will make the right decision."
— The Archer (Brothers and Betrayal)

Brothers and Betrayal reveals many big truths for the young hearts of Taelis, and escorts the reader through downfalls and triumphs, all to illustrate the glory of God. Sarah Holman has created a completely authentic world where He reigns, adventure ensues, and the reader can't help but ask for yet another tale.

Now, I wonder when Book #3 will be published...

The Tales of Taelis series shines a light in the midst of the available books on the market. Through the sense of an historical setting, the author brings forward a good Christian message. This makes it perfect reading for kids (and families) to enjoy. I consider Sarah Holman's books to be of high quality, especially in regard to the morals upheld and the victorious themes. I think this book would be best enjoyed by pre-teens and young adults, although anyone could certainly appreciate the story.

Book #2 still reads well, even if you haven't read Book #1 -- but if you do read Adventures and Adversities first, you'll see the character connections between the two stories.

Author bio:
Sarah Holman is a not so typical mid-twenties girl: A homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and author of five published books and counting. If there is anything adventuresome about her life, it is because she serves a God with a destiny bigger than anything she could have imagined.

Visit the author online!

Pre-order your copy of Brothers and Betrayal from Amazon.

{Add the title to your Goodreads shelf}

And... ENTER TO WIN the ebook before the big release!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Quote from Brothers and Betrayal

P.S. See this review on Goodreads and (after the release!) on Amazon.