In the Bookcase


Only 3 days until...

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2015

It's just 3 more days until my favorite reading challenge starts this summer. (Of course, yes, I'm biased.) But I simply cannot wait to delve further into Louisa May Alcott's writings.

You're invited to join! Everyone can make their own selection of books to read. Anything written by or about L. M. Alcott is perfect for this challenge.

I hope to see you here on June 1st!


Book Review: Christy

Christy Christy

written by Catherine Marshall

501 pages, adult fiction
originally published in 1967

5 Star Rating

My Review...

Christy is a beautiful book that illustrates quality morals and character-building traits. This book is now considered by most a vintage classic, especially in the Christian community. Due to some of the content, I recommend it for high school students and adults.

In 1912, Christy Huddleston is a courageous 19-year-old, daring to shed her high-society life to become a schoolteacher in a little community set among the Appalachian Mountains. The rugged little village of Cutter Gap is quite different than young Christy's imaginings before leaving her comfy home. Nonetheless, she takes her monthly wages to work as the mission schoolteacher and does the best teaching she can, while she herself is learning on the job. The culture of the mountain folk is quite steeped in Scottish culture and beliefs. Each of the "clans" are set in their ways and don't take too kindly to change. Whether they want it or not, once plucky Christy Huddleston arrives, Cutter Gap won't be quite the same.

Although the reader may not have encountered the things that Christy does, most will still relate to her bold-but-impressionable inner nature. For example, I may not have to command a schoolroom full of 70 children, battle against the moonshiners in town, bear the sights of crude surgery performed in a rustic setting, or swallow the smells of too many people living in a two-room cabin... but as I read this book, I can understand her worries, discomforts, and also the utter joys, as will any reader.

It is a book to be cherished.

The story is inspired by the true experience of the author's mother, Leonora Whitaker, when she was a young and impressionable schoolteacher. Additionally, I was pleased to learn that the author herself, Catherine Marshall, was married to famed minister Peter Marshall – and I'm rather excited to read her biography of him, A Man Called Peter.

NOTE to the discerning reader & parents: There are 2 minor things to mention, although I don't feel that they mar the book on the whole. (1) A young teenage girl is taken advantage of by a man, and her story is told in some detail. (2) Some foul words are used throughout the book. (For these reasons I recommend the book for older teens and adults.)

Christy by Catherine Marshall is certainly a new favorite novel of mine. One day it will be worth a re-read.

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

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


Book Review: Magic Words & Life Lessons

IRELAND (Travels with Gannon and Wyatt) Magic Words & Life Lessons
What to Say and What to Do At Work, At Home, & Everywhere

written by Dr. Patrick Wahl

98 pages, self-help
published in 2015

4 Star Rating

My Review...

Magic Words & Life Lessons is about unlocking the right things to say and when to say them.

Reading the book exhibits a similar feeling as sitting through a conference, with the speaker sharing a list of helpful phrases and unique conversation skills. Most of this comes from the author's own experiences and is passing it on to us as readers. From this book, I learned that sometimes there are always other ways to share your opinion aside from being too forward. Phrasing is key in every conversation. The types of words you choose ultimately define how you are perceived by other people. For someone involved in customer service, this book can come in handy as it prepares you on how to respond to tricky questions and how to make your customers feel special.

I wouldn't go as far as saying you'll "never be tongue-tied again", but you'll definitely pick up on some good tips.

Thanks to the author and publisher for the free review copy.

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


Free AUDIOBOOKS this summer from SYNC

If you enjoy listening to audiobooks, as I do, you might want to check out Audio File's SYNC summer program... for free audiobooks!

Each week through the summer, SYNC releases 2 free audiobooks. You'll have to install the OverDrive program on your device, if you don't have it already. (You'll be able to transfer the files to other devices if needed.)


The FREE selection usually includes YA picks, classic lit and more.

For example, this week's available books include Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and Dodger by Terry Pratchett.

* Please note: I am not personally recommending any of the books provided by SYNC -- but I am excited about this free online resource to keep my ears (and mind) happily content this summer.


Stacking up the 2015 reading goals...

This week I figured that it was high-time for an update on all my book challenges. I wanted to see how I'm stacking up against my goals for the year. Below I've outlined the various reading challenges I've taken on for 2015, with my current status.

Now, for the challenges...

There's still time to for you to join any of these challenges, if you are so inclined. =) There's a particular one that I hope you will join me in...

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2015
Yes, it's true! The annual reading challenge I host is almost upon on us again for 2015. I truly hope you'll join me! Everyone can pick the Alcott book(s) they wish to read during June, and we'll have fun together with the writings of Miss Louisa Alcott.

Summer COYER Sign Ups
I'll be joining the COYER chalenge again for the summer, after completing the winter one earlier in the year. Fun prizes are involved! Plus, it helps me clear through several e-books at once.

This year I signed up to tackle Mt. Ararat (AKA, 48 books) from my TBR piles. [20 out of 48 complete]

I've taken on the The Highlander level (AKA, 5-8 books). [2 out of 8 complete]

I'm also tackling a library challenge, aiming for the Going Pro level of 28+ library books. [9 of 28 complete]

For this challenge, I've been keeping up with all the places I've traveled (via books) this year. Check out my Book Map board on Pinterest to see all the delightful places I've visited in books so far. For a quick list, I've "visited"... Cuba, Jamaica, Ivory Coast, Israel, Austria, Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, and a few of the United States. =)

So that's what I've been reading in 2015.

Hey! ... Will you be joining me in the Louisa May Alcott challenge this summer?