In the Bookcase


Summer TBR Wipeout 2018 [Wrap-Up]

I finished 1 more book since my last Summer TBR Wipeout update... so that's 7 off my Summer list... plus, maybe a few more "others" that I read instead of the titles I originally put on my list. You know, it just happens!

There's 3 on my Summer list I'm actually still finishing... that's Moby Dick, The Outsiders, and Stars Above.

Finished [7]

The Vanishings Village School A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons The Keys of the Kingdom Mark of the Thief OutbreakNightmare at the Book Fair

Not Finished... Yet [5]

Moby Dick The Outsiders Stars Above Sense and Sensibility He Shall Thunder in the Sky

What Else I Read (Instead of my Wipeout List) [8]

Swiss Family Robinson Escape and Endurance The Inn at Ocean's Edge Kate's Dilemma Beyond Downton Abbey Second Chance Rinkitink in Oz The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

This was a fun challenge for the summer... already can't wait to play again next year!


Choose Your Own Story Adventure: Journey Through Taelis

Welcome to In the Bookcase.

Today I’m taking part in Sarah Holman’s "Choose Your Own Story" event. We're celebrating the release of her latest book, Escape and Endurance!! (In this event, you get to pick the outcome of the story by making choices.) A lot of different things can happen. What are you waiting for?

----->> Start your adventure by clicking the image below ----->> 

Today's adventure decision...

     Andrew set off in the opposite direction. He felt a little guilty after all he was a knight. And sworn to protect women. However, he knew that he wasn’t the only one who had been wronged by the princess. Just the thought of Gail’s smug airs and unkind ways was enough to keep him moving.

     He soon found the spring weather did much to soothe his conscience. When he finally was finished wondering aimlessly, he decided that would go visit…

His Mentor A Woodcutter

Are you interested in reading about a knight, a tower, a princess, and a servant? Pick up a copy of Escape and Endurance!

Haven’t read the other books in the Tales of Taelis series? Not to worry. Each book can stand alone.

Check out my own 5-star review of Escape and Endurance, just posted earlier this week.

About Sarah:

Sarah Holman is a not-so-typical girl, a homeschool graduate, sister to six awesome siblings, and lives in the great state of Texas. If there’s anything adventuresome about her life, it’s because she serves a God with a destiny greater than anything she could have imagined.

You can find out more about her at her website:

You can join the Adventurers (her newsletter) by going here:

Author Sarah Holman


Book Review: Escape and Endurance

Escape and Endurance by Sarah Holman (5 star review)

Escape and Endurance
Tales of Taelis, #5

written by Sarah Holman

140 pages // published in 2018 // Medieval Christian fiction


Edna believes herself to be a worthless servant.
Sir Andrew knows himself to be the most respected and valuable knight.
One event will cause both to discover where their value truly lies.

When Princess Gail is on her way to visit friends, some men kidnap the princess to demand a ransom. They don’t realize that they’ve made a mistake and who they have is not the pampered princess, but her faithful servant, Edna. Carried far from home, Edna knows that no matter what she does, she won’t survive.

Sir Andrew sets off to rescue the princess, taking no time to assess what has truly happened or to allow his men to help him. What should have been a quick and heroic mission turns into a long journey that is full of dangers, obstacles, and trials. Will he be forced to turn back or will he be able to make it to the tower where the princess is being held?

My Review

5 Star Rating

The cover of the book is just lovely, is it not? It depicts Edna, a princess's maid... and she's putting her life on the line for someone who will never appreciate her. After being captured, and tucked away in an impenetrable tower, how can she let her light shine forth? It is such a hard thing to do, when everything has been stripped away.

“Her life would mean something and serve a purpose even if only she and God knew about it.”

I really did like Edna's character; her personality is so sweet, kind, and above all, she desires to serve others – even at the cost of her life, which she knows is of no worth to King Christopher – but the one thing she doesn't let go of is that she is indeed a child of God, and that is worth everything. What a beautiful heroine, inside and out.

In this story, we also meet Andrew, a knight of the kingdom. He is a man filled with contempt for peasants, and arrogance over others. He wants to do good for his king, but sometimes his own judgement clouds over his good actions. It will take much to humble this knight, but he will come through it a better man – as any of us would when presented with his tortuous circumstances.

Both of these characters are just a fragment of a bigger story that is playing out around them. Through their choices, I found great resolve in each of them. And, oh, what an emotional, moving scene is involved in the climax of the plot.

One of the main lessons that readers will glean from this story: Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

I always enjoy Sarah Holman's 'Tales of Taelis' series. What encouraging spiritual lessons are to be found in these wholesome books.

Add to Goodreads

Buy the book!


Come back to my blog on Friday the 24th for a very special "Choose Your Own Story" Adventure in the land of Taelis!

P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.


Tell Me Something Tuesday: End It Already

Here we go, my first time joining Tell Me Something Tuesday.

Let's talk!

The topic for the week:

At what point do you think a series has gone on too long?

I'll just jump right in! There are some series that just go on forever. And then just when you think you finally read them all (like a hundred books later), then it turns out there's a spin-off series that's connected... so you feel that you must read that series too, just to read the whole story, right?

Here's 3 examples of series I think went on too long... (even though I still adore most of the book in these series).

Oz series
by L. Frank Baum
14 books
1900 - 1920

Ahh... The series that spawned from The Wizard of Oz. I love and cherish that first book. And some of the sequel stories are fun in their own way too, but some have tiresome plots with too much talking, not enough adventure. (But... there's a few sequels in there that are worth their salt.)

Elsie Dinsmore series
by Martha Finley
28 books
1868 - 1905

I think the last interesting book in the series was #15. After that? The characters discussed a LOT of history, landmarks, etc... and there wasn't much plot. I persevered though (over much time) and finished. The first half of the series is quality vintage.

Mandie series
by Lois Gladys Leppard
40 books (+ specials)
1983 - 2004

This is the longest series I'm talking about today... It started out as a fun mystery series when I read them as a girl, but as I grew into my teens and still kept reading through the series, it seemed like the plots just disintegrated... So many elements kept getting repeated over and over in the books. It was a bit frustrating to see this to some really good books.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Let's change up the discussion!

Here's 3 examples of series that are the PERFECT length, each in their own way...

The Lunar Chronicles series
by Marissa Meyer
4 books (+ short stories)
2012 - 2015

Sometimes trilogies are fabulous, but sometimes a quartet works too. This series oh-so needed 4 books to completely identify the reader with each of the main characters and explore each of those fairy tales... and they fit together cohesively because the overall story arc leads up to the big finale in book 4. It seemed perfect.

The Chronicles of Narnia series
by C.S. Lewis
7 books
1950 - 1956

The Chronicles of Narnia is a greatly beloved set of 7 titles. I don't think anyone could really argue that this series went on too long, as each volume serves a different purpose in allowing the reader to see glimpses of Narnia and the related characters. (Can anyone argue with this fact? Certainly not me.)

Amelia Peabody series
by Elizabeth Peters
20 books
1975 - 2017

Okay! NOW we're talking about a longer series done well (in my humble opinion). Each of these books always keeps me intrigued. There are new plot developments all the time in the serires; each of the characters progresses through life and change as they grow a little older (change in a good way). I have to assume that this series has ended at 20, and that it had a thoroughly good run.

My hard rule about when a series should be done... Quality over quantity.

I think that if the quality (the supercool plots and amazing emotions that a series brings you) ever starts degrading.... the printing presses should be stopped. But if every single book (even 20+ titles down the line) are still totally epic? Then whoever you are that's writing those books, please keep going.

Which series have you read that were the perfect length?


Summer TBR Wipeout 2018 [Update #2]

Of the 12 books on my list for the Summer TBR Wipeout... how many have I finished so far?

That's 3 more than the first update on the challenge.

See my recently finished titles below. Each book cover is linked to my review.


The Keys of the Kingdom Mark of the Thief Outbreak

Of this batch, my favorite read is The Keys of the Kingdom; a great (fictional) missionary story. Mark of the Thief impressed me pretty well too, especially with the historical elements it featured about ancient Rome. As for Outbreak, I am thrilled to have made it through the 39 Clues series finale. Feels like success to me!

What books have you enjoyed so far this summer?