In the Bookcase


My favorite books in 2012

It has been a wonderful year of reading for me. What about you?

The first few months of the year were taken up with Titanic research for the 100th anniversary, afterwhich I drifted into some classic literature lasting throughout the summertime. Then I really started tackling some of the extra books that I had been stocking up on (including the e-books!)... and I had a very satisfying year filled with great stories, wisdom, and learning.

The Grand Total: 60 books

Here are my top 10 favorite reads from 2012 (in no particular order):

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
The biography of Corrie ten Boom's life during World War II is amazing. So much is packed into this profound book! A very inspirational story that everyone should read.
{See my full review.}

A Night to Remember by Walter Lord
Tells about the sinking of the Titanic, as seen and quoted by the surviving passengers. It is interesting to read the different points of view the passengers had, sometimes with their stories contradicting each other.

The Night Lives On by Walter Lord
This book has so many details about the Titanic packed into it, that it's hard to believe one author wrote it all! The entire story of the ship, her passengers, survivors... everything you wish to know on the subject is found in this book.

In His Steps by Charles Sheldon
One of those rare inspirational stories with so many moral lessons in it which you'll remember for a lifetime. Through this fictional story, these words of wisdom shine forth: "What would Jesus do?" This question becomes both a thinking pattern and a lifestyle for all to learn.

Running for My Life by Lopez Lomong
The wonderful, inspirational, true story of an African boy who faced many challenges. If it hadn't been for the deaths occurring around him, the hot, dry land that Sudan is made of, and the deep poverty of his people, he wouldn't have made it to the Olympic Games as a triumphant athlete.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
This is David Copperfield's story---from childhood to adulthood. Barely a chapter passed by that I didn't laugh at a scene, or a particular sentence, or even a certain word, the way Dickens wedged it in there. If you're looking for a work of classic literature that has some humor in it... read David Copperfield!

A Shepherd Looks at the Good Shepherd by Phillip Keller
After reading this book, I understand now, more than ever, exactly what it takes to be a shepherd of sheep. And, in turn, exactly what our Shepherd does for His sheep, and how much He loves us. An excellent read!

The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen
A beautiful story that takes place in England during the 1800's. My favorite parts pertain to the medical side of the story, like the natural medicines with Latin names that Lilly prepares in her father's apothecary. Overall, quite charming!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Miss Alcott's writings always evoke such a timeless charm. I also wanted to include Little Men and Jo's Boys in my top 10 list this year, but felt it would take up to many spots. Nonetheless, each of these books are a favorite of mine!

A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid
The third installment of Kincaid's series about the McCray family. Another beautifully-written Christmas story! I so enjoy taking in the elements that these books offer... dogs, country life, farms, a small town... growing and enduring as a family.

What books did you enjoy this past year?


2013 Reading Challenges

A plethora of 2013 reading challenges are popping up all over the internet. It certainly has grabbed my attention, and I've decided to commit myself to a few. I'm joining up in these challenges not exactly to enlarge the number of books I intend to read this next year, but because I know I'll be reading these books anyways, so why not cement the idea and link up with other people doing it too?

You may happen to be interested in at least one of these challenges, since they're quite simple and you are generally allowed to pick out how many books you intend to be reading for each challenge.

Summer reading challenge hosted at By the way... I'm already planning to host the 2013 version of the Louisa May Alcott reading challenge! At least, I'm throwing out the line for anyone interested. It seemed like a great success this past summer, and I would love to delve into more of Miss Alcott's works, so... why not? Keep in mind this challenge will start in May. {If you want to get an email alert about this, just let me know on the "contact me" page in my sidebar.}

Reading to Know hosts the annual L.M. Montmogery challenge in January... I'd like to join this time! The challenge is only 1 month long. So, my January reads include both The Story Girl and its sequel, The Golden Road. I'm excited about these, since I've never read them before. {Full details here & small excerpt about 2013 here.} On this same blog, you'll find the Reading to Know Book Club, where every month a book is chosen to read together. You should check out the booklist!

After happening across an ebook challenge, I couldn't resist. Almost half the books I have read in 2012 were ebooks, and there's no mistaking that ebooks are a big part of my life now... so I'm participating in this challenge with my goal at 25 ebooks for 2013, or the DVD level (as it is so called in the challenge details).

This challenge intrigued me because I love watching old black & white movies, and every once in a while, when the title sequence is playing and these words flash across the screen: "Based on the book...." --- Then I rush to jot down the title on my list of books to read. Comparing books to their movies is always interesting, that's for sure. For 2013, I'd like to at least make sure to read 3 books for this challenge. According to the details, the challenge level is Movie Fan.

Lastly, I couldn't resist an historical fiction challenge. Quite statistically, about half of the books that I read are hisorical fiction. Thus, I'm joining this challenge at the Ancient History level, in hopes of reaching the 25+ books goal.

Any of this sound like fun to you? What are your reading goals for the new year?


Sharing Our Bookshelves {December 2012}

{Ooops! Almost forgot to post Sharing Our Bookshelves for this month... but seeing as how this is an important month of the year, being the last one, I couldn't just skip it, of course.}

Thus... the end of the year is approaching! What are you reading?

An open book

Do you have any end-of-2012 booklists to share?
A Christmas book review you've written?
Favorite quotes from the book you just finished?

I'd like to find out what's on your 'bookshelf'! Link up your posts below for the rest of the month---or rather, year.

Soon, I'll share my top 10 favorites reads of the year with you.

Sharing Our Bookshelves @ In the Bookcase


Favorite Finds #37 {Giveaway Edition}

There are some great giveaways going on, which I thought some of you might be interested in as well! The first 4 on my list actually end today, so be sure to take a look if you're wanting to put your name "in the hat" for the drawing. The bottom 4 are my own giveaways from my other blog, which end at different times in the coming days. Enjoy!

Win a Complete Embroidery Kit by Clementine Patterns
{Simply Vintagegirl}

The prize? A beautiful "Rejoice in the Lord" embroidery kit! {Ends today}

"Fighting Dragons" Artwork Giveaway
{A Bowl of Moss and Pebbles}

The prize? An 8" x 10" print from The Breezy Tulip Studio. {Ends today}

Friday Giveaway: Double Dickens
{Forgotten Bookmarks}

The prize? Hardback copies of "Barnaby Rudge" and "David Copperfield". {Ends today}

Giveaway "300"
{Rhapsody in Pink}

Several delightful prizes coming from Etsy shops & other great sites. {Ends today}

Win Swarovski Topaz Crystal Earrings
{Pixel Berry Pie Designs}

The prize? Earrings in shades of dark topaz and purple. From: Keener Beaded Jewelry. {Ends Dec. 12}

Win a set of Chalkboard Gift Tags
{Pixel Berry Pie Designs}

The prize? Wooden chalkboard tags, which are especially great to use as Christmas gift tags, tree ornaments and more. From: My Heartfelt Designs. {Ends Dec. 14}

Win a Mushroom Jasper Stone
{Pixel Berry Pie Designs}

The prize? A mushroom jasper stone cabochon. Ready to make into a pendant or other piece of artwork. From: RocknStones. {Ends Dec. 16}

Win Amethyst Bead Earrings
{Pixel Berry Pie Designs}

The prize? A $40 pair of handmad amethyst earrings. Perfect for any outfit! From: CarolesArt. {Ends Dec. 16}


It's progress.

18,680 words written in November 2012.

Not a novel, but more than one-third of the way there.

It's progress.