In the Bookcase

7.28.2015

2 Book Reviews: The Silver Chair & The Horse and His Boy

I read 2 books this July for Carrie's Narnia reading challenge in July. Check out my reviews for both books below. I'd love to hear about your thoughts too!


The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

The Silver Chair

written by C.S. Lewis

243 pages // published in 1953 // children's fiction




My Review...

5 Star Rating

The Silver Chair is a wonderful book from the Chronicles on Narnia series. After me having not read a Narnia book in so long, this was like coming home again, having a re-introduction, a breath of magical Narnian air.

Eustace and his school buddy Jill stumble into Narnia, and are given a request from Aslan to complete a mission: to rescue Prince Rillian, son of King Caspian.

All in all, a good plot with a challenge set forth for the characters to complete. A general good vs. evil storyline. And Aslan reigns over all.

Loved it.

>> Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.





The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

The Horse and His Boy

written by C.S. Lewis

254 pages // published in 1954 // children's fiction




My Review...

5 Star Rating

Another fantastic Narnia novel.

This one is different, I found, because the main character does not enter Narnia from another world. Instead, the characters (while not in Narnia) actually start out in a nearby country. It was a fascinating view of Aslan's country to see it from the eyes of a neighbor, not as a person from our Earth.

Shasta, a young boy adopted by the local Calormenes, is soon accompanied by Aravis, a Calormene girl. Including a pair of Talking Horses, the four journey towards Narnia together, each escaping their life's hardships. A few countries away, Narnia is in its Golden Age, with the beloved Pevensie siblings reigning; from a distance, it looks like the right place to be.

I found Shasta and Aravis to be convincing characters, people I could expect to meet anywhere. They might commit mistakes, but learn from it. They push on towards a common goal, and keep treading the dangerous path even when it hurts. I am equally fascinated by the new facets of Aslan that I saw emerge from the story. He is merciful, but also willing to show a person when they've gone to far in their actions. (How true of Him!)

"Do not dare not to dare." (The Horse and His Boy)

>> Like and vote for this review on Goodreads and Amazon.


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






7.20.2015

Book Review: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir by R.A. Dick (5 star review)

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

written by R.A. Dick

192 pages // published in 1945 // adult fiction // literary classic




My Review...

5 Star Rating


"The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" is a classic piece of literature -- perhaps not as well known as it should be.

Yes, it's about a ghost.

Yes, this ghost haunts a house.

Not in a spooky way, though, but in a delightful way
-- or once you get to know him, it's not really a spooky idea at all.

Captain Gregg was a nautical man at heart and lived by the sea. Gull Cottage was his home on land, and he doesn't like it when people try to stay in "his" house. That is, until widowed Mrs. Muir wheedles her way in the door and truly doesn't mind co-occupying the place with a ghost. Her only request is that he doesn't scare her children.

I was led to this book after watching the talented Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney play the title characters on screen. The movie is so perfectly charming, after all, and no one could have fit the role of Captain Gregg better than Mr. Harrison (in my humble opinion). Getting to enjoy this piece of literature was a breeze. I have to say, I probably would have never picked up this book about a ghost unless I had seen the movie first to understand it better.

Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney

Cons: The only thing I can label as a con is that the Captain sometimes, shall we say, has a sailor's mouth -- just a little bit.

This is a great book -- you should certainly read it -- but you cannot afford to miss out on seeing the movie either!

"God bless my soul, if you set your ship on a certain course you stick to it; you'd never get anywhere if you navigated backwards half the time." (Captain Gregg's wisdom)





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


7.15.2015

Cover Reveal! The Sound of Silver by Rachelle Rea

The newly-published author Rachelle Rea will be releasing her second novel later in the year (I simply cannot wait!)... but today I get to offer you a sneak peek of the book. It's time for the cover reveal, my friends... and isn't it just beautiful?

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Cover reveal for The Sound of Silver

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The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One is fighting for faith, the other for honor...

After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.

Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth's searching hearts ever sing the same song?


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Rachelle Rea, debut author Author Bio // Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she’s lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. As a freelance editor, she enjoys mentoring fellow authors in the craft. A homeschool graduate and retired gymnast, she wrote the Sound of Diamonds the summer after her sophomore year of college.

Visit her website and blog at Inspiring Daring.


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The Sound of Silver will be released October 2015.

What can you do until then?

READ BOOK #1 in the STEADFAST LOVE SERIES:
>> The Sound of Diamonds <<
/ / / / /
ADD BOOK #2 to your Goodreads shelf
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Find Rachelle Rea online!

RachelleRea.com // Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest // Goodreads // Amazon






7.10.2015

Book Review: Rebecca

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (5 star review)

Rebecca

written by Daphne du Maurier

416 pages // published in 1938 // adult fiction // literary classic




My Review...

5 Star Rating


Rebecca de Winter.

Manderley.

Mrs. Danvers.


These names will live in literary infamy.

So easily was I sucked into the deep and mesmerizing world of Rebecca's, the one she left behind before her death. The one that continues revolving without her -- yet always with her.

The story, in fact, is not about Rebecca at all -- yet it is consumed with the enigma of her. The story, in fact, is about a lady's maid residing in Monto Carlo, who is swept off her feet by one Maxim de Winter, swiftly becoming his second wife. And at that point, the new (and now rich) Mrs. de Winter's problems ensue. As she begins to settle into her husband's beautiful English estate, the one called Manderley, she soon realizes that she does not truly retain her husband's attention, manage the household staff, or even receive due favor from the house pets. They all still cling to Rebecca and her remarkable ways.

All along, the absence of Rebecca haunts the new Mrs. de Winter. Clues to the previous Mrs. de Winter's life exist all around Manderley -- such as in Maxim's thoughts and in the devious housekeeper's actions. It seems that the young bride cannot escape the mortality of the woman who preceded her place. Rebecca casts shadows upon each of the new Mrs. Maxim de Winter's steps.

My thoughts? In short, Rebecca is fascinating. It kept me held in place, waiting with baited breath to see how this story could possibly turn out -- especially in a satisfactory way. Does it end well? How can it?

I think one day I shall have to re-read this vintage classic. Not just to relish again in the labyrinth of plot manipulation, but... to see in a decade or so how I feel about the story in general and the characters. Will it still feel cold, yet classy? Seeing the coming twists, will I internally mourn when the final cause of death is revealed? Mrs. Danvers, I wonder, will she still seem so sinister after I have had more life experience? And the new Mrs. de Winter -- will I still see so much of me in her that it brings me pain to see her suffer so?

The title of Rebecca is the epitome of fine elegance and fatal intrigue. Considered a gothic novel due to the morbid turn of events, it was published in 1938 and won the National Book Award for favorite novel of that same year.

I listened to this title as an audiobook -- Anna Massey's (Hachette Audio) verbal nuances and character tones are spot on. If you like audiobooks, this is a great one to listen to. (But if you prefer reading in book form, please go right ahead.)

It's an amazing read -- one to send you reeling for many a day.




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


7.06.2015

Upcoming book release! // Life is Beautiful



Life is Beautiful by Sarah M. Johnson

Life is Beautiful: How a Lost Girl Became a True, Confident Child of God, by Sarah M. Johnson, takes you on a full journey of trauma, loss, and finally resilience. While on a mission’s trip in Guatemala, a small Cessna Caravan’s engine blows while carrying fourteen passengers. Unfortunately, the Cessna crashes in a remote village, leaving eleven of the fourteen passengers dead. One passenger, Sarah, shares her story in Life is Beautiful, about the deaths of her father and brother; her mother’s extreme physical and emotional injuries, and Sarah’s self-discovery to accept this new life.

Life is Beautiful, however, is more than a story about an airplane crash. Life is Beautiful shares the personal struggles of Sarah’s father’s drug use, his recovery, and redemption to be a better person. He gives back by doing missions work in Africa, takes in Sarah’s aunt dying of uterine cancer, and eventually leads their family to the mountains of Guatemala. Sarah also discusses her struggles with alcohol use and depression; where she eventually hits rock bottom. It is not until she starts seeking God through prayer, books, and therapy, where she starts to turn her life around.

Life is Beautiful is not only a unique story, but it shows the strength of God’s Will. When all hope is lost, she never gives up on God. This story is a true testimony of God’s love for His people, and when one seeks a spiritual journey and connection with God; He gives back in love, forgiveness, and happiness.

Life is Beautiful will be released on August 25, 2015. It is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


About the Author:

Sarah M. Johnson is currently a graduate student seeking her Marriage and Family Therapy degree. She will graduate in 2015. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. After graduating, she plans to open up a private practice office and guide those who are seeking their own self-discoveries of love and happiness.

Sarah believes that adversity is a gateway for change, and that through the difficult times of sorrow, loss, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma, disease, or other mental illness, we can use this adversity to self-explore and change for the better. We must not run away from the adversity, but face it, heal, and use this particular adversity as a learning lesson.

We all have the capacity to be happy and love ourselves; but we must utilize all necessary support systems, medical professionals, mental health professionals, Religious affiliations, (and many more that I am not mentioning) to help us find the Power Within. The Power Within helps us to accept our adversity and create necessary change for a life of love and happiness.

To learn more, go to http://lifeisbeautifulbook.com/

Connect with Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.




Chapter 1 – The Crash

I remember all of the emotions, the trees whipping by, everything happening so fast, dad yelling, Here we go, and mom screaming, Stop it. I remember my brother Zachary looking back at me, his eyes bright with fear as I prayed God please...


I remember the sense of something coming; you know it’s coming and wonder: will I live?

I remember the violence of the plane plowing into the ground as we attempted an emergency landing in a roughhewn field...Boom, boom, boom...and then nothing but an unnerving silence.

I don’t know if I blacked out or merely paused with my eyes closed in the stillness of those first few moments. Awareness comes slowly. Then in a rushed breath of shock and revelation, Thank God I’m alive.

My eyes open to an eerily lit silence where sunlight and shadow intermingle, making it difficult to see into the new geography of the plane’s interior. My head and body buzz. My mind trips on the dissonance of dangling upside down, held a few inches from the ceiling of the plane’s cabin by my seatbelt.

Taking stock of my body, I notice that I peed my pants and there is a small cut on my left arm. Looking up, I see that one foot is missing its shoe. My eyes squint into bright sunlight that passes through a relatively large doorway next to me that was torn open.

The only noise to break the silence is the erratic popping of electricity; the final groans of a dying airplane.

I move my arms first and then my legs, which causes small shards of glass to fall from where they’re lodged in my clothes and upturned seat. I tilt my head back toward the ceiling beneath me and it is covered in broken glass.

My hair dangles down away from my face, but the position of my body and the way sunlight cuts through the cabin makes it difficult to see much of the plane. In those few seconds I realize that I am okay and begin to think that maybe we are all okay; that the crash wasn’t so bad....