In the Bookcase

6.30.2016

The final chapter of the 2016 LMA reading challenge

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016


Readers and fellow challenge-participants,

The time has come to close down the 2016 Louisa May Alcott reading challenge. We're done!

So, how did you fare in the challenge? Did you read all that you wanted of Miss Alcott for the summer?

Personally, I feel like I got to know Louisa just a smidge more, and yes, I finished all 3 books I challenged myself to. If you want to read my book reviews from this month, be sure to check out Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by the Message by Susan Bailey, An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott, and March by Geraldine Brooks (I posted my review of it on Goodreads yesterday -- just under the wire!).

Here's a BIG THANK YOU to EVERYONE who participated in the reading challenge and the art print giveaway! I appreciate you all for making this a fun and spectacular reading month. By the way, if you haven't finished your posts or reviews about the LMA books you got to read this month, that's okay — the link-up widget will still be open a few more days for any last words on the subject that you might have.

And in closing, I'll give you all some words of wisdom, from a literary friend of Louisa's...

"Read the best books first or you may not have a chance to read them at all."
- Henry David Thoreau


See you next June! *SPOILER* Or, perhaps November/December...

How do you feel about a Christmas book challenge, readers?



Signing off from the 2016 LMA challenge,








6.27.2016

A few of my favorite [Alcott] things!

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016


Readers and fellow challenge-participants,

The Louisa May Alcott reading challenge (the 2016 edition, that is) will be closing soon. We have until Thursday to meet the challenge deadline and get those Alcott books finished!

For some inspiration, check out these phenomenal items I've found on Etsy (*yes, that last item is indeed my own creation), all of which feature our mutually favorite authoress...


'Louisa May Alcott & those 4 Little Women' by PixelBerryPieDesigns

For lovers of Little Women and the rest of Miss Alcott's beautiful writings.


Little Women Black and White...
$10

9" x 9" Coffee Quo...
$22

Little Women Novel Book Scar...
$28

Little Women Set of 4 - You ...
$25

Little Women Quote Bookmark
$1.5

Pattern: Little Women Cross ...
$14.95

Little Women Stationery (8),...
$20

Little Women Quote Kids Shir...
$16

LITTLE WOMEN Magnet Gift Set
$18

LITTLE WOMEN Cloth DOLL Vint...
$3.99

Little Women Book Paper Flow...
$29

Little Women by Louisa May A...
$38

Little Women Book Cover Shel...
$149

Little Women Book Lovers Pen...
$10

Book phone / flip Wallet cas...
$29

Love is a great beautifier /...
$12
Powered By Handmadeology


Oh, and! Did you know you can get an easy REBATE back with ALL your Etsy purchases, no matter what you buy? Just sign up under my referral links >> at either Ebates or MyPoints, and you're on your way to getting rebates on most of your online purchases (hey, free money anyone?).




6.25.2016

Book Review: An Old-Fashioned Girl

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016


An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott (5 star review)


An Old-Fashioned Girl
written by Louisa May Alcott

352 pages // published in 1870 // vintage children's fiction


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Polly Milton, a 14-year-old country girl, visits her cousin Fanny Shaw and her wealthy family in the city for the first time. Poor Polly is overwhelmed by the splendor at the Shaws' and their urbanized, fashionable lifestyles, expensive clothes and other habits she has never been exposed to, and, for the most part, dislikes. Fanny's friends reject her because of her different behavior and simple clothing, and Fan herself can't help considering her unusual sometimes. However, Polly's warmth, support and kindness eventually win the hearts of all the family members, and her old-fashioned ways teach them a lesson.



My Review...

5 Star Rating

Another book by Louisa May Alcott, which showcase strong morals for young girls, similar to and closely rivaling even Little Women (in my humble opinion) for quality. What an impact a quaint book like this can bring.

It's an emotional one, for sure; Polly Milton endures a lot throughout the story, and the reader endures it to right alongside her. In my heart, I truly felt for our young heroine at many climactic points. I guess I must be a little old-fashioned myself, and would like to think that there are many resemblances between me and the sweet, kind (and a little shy) Polly. She's a simple and generous girl, one who looks out for others and always strives to do the best she can.

Oh, and I absolutely adore how Louisa May Alcott prettily tied up all the loose strings in the final pages. If Little Women hadn't already made me fall in love with this talented authoress's writings, An Old-Fashioned Girl would have easily done the trick too. As it happened though, I now love Miss Alcott even more and continue to cherish her books.

If you have enjoyed Little Women, I strongly urge you to read this one too. The stories are not similar in plot, but An Old-Fashioned Girl carries the same heart and emotion (maybe even more so) than its more popular counterpart. Especially recommended for budding little women who are eager to read.


An Old-Fashioned Girl is available on Amazon in paperback format, on Project Gutenberg in ebook format (free!), and on LibriVox in audiobook format (free!).







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

*Any Amazon.com purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!




6.20.2016

Check-up point in LMA challenge + 3 winners revealed!

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016


Dear readers,

Today is a...

Challenge Check-up Point!


Let's gather together and discuss how we're doing in the Louisa May Alcott reading challenge! 10 days left, people! Just 10 days left to read the beautiful writings of Miss Alcott before our annual June challenge comes to a close, yet again.

Okay, so... where am I in reading my books for the challenge?

I originally selected 3 books to challenge myself this month. As you may know already, I finished Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by the Message last week and shared my full review on it. Next up, I'm just about to finish An Old-Fashioned Girl, the only book I'm reading actually written by Miss Alcott. (Tune in later in the week for my review on it.) And for my third selection, I'm listening (as an audiobook) to March by Geraldine Brooks, but still have quite a ways to go with it... so I've got to work on it to squeeze this in by the end of the month.

Since this is our check-up point, let me know in the comments below, or on your own blog, about the progress you've made in the challenge.


On to some EVEN MORE EXCITING NEWS today! We have 3 WINNERS to announce for the big giveaway. Remember these Louisa May Alcott art prints?

Louisa May Alcott 8x10 artwork

Louisa May Alcott 8x10 artwork


Here we go -- The official winners' list!

Check for your name below...

CONGRATULATIONS TO

Pamela B.

Christy M.

Darla C.


Winners, please watch for email notifications coming to your inbox later today.

If YOU didn't win, but really want one of these art prints, they're available from my Etsy shop or design website. I personally print and ship my own artwork. You may want to check out some of my other designs too!


*Also, just in case you're wondering about the correct answer to the trivia question entry on the giveaway...

Q: What is the name of the Alcott family home in Concord, MA?

A: Orchard House




Check-up point link-up and comments are below. What have you read so far for the challenge?



6.17.2016

Book Review (& News): Louisa May Alcott -- Illuminated by the Message

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016


Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by the Message by Susan Bailey (5 star review)


Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by the Message
written by Susan Bailey

121 pages // published in 2015 // Christian devotional


BOOK DESCRIPTION

The Literary Portals to Prayer series is the first truly new resource for personal prayer in years. Designed to be a prayer-starter in the "Lectio Divina" tradition, the portal has a passage from the Bible side-by-side with a selection from an author whose work has stood the test of time. Each turn of the page ties together literature and scripture with an insightful theme.

As a result of her unusual upbringing, Louisa May Alcott learned to see God not in the pulpit or the congregation but in nature and everyday life as an accessible and loving Father and Friend. It was that innate part of her being which poured forth from her pen. In Little Women Alcott writes, Many wise and true sermons are preached us every day by unconscious ministers in street, school, office, or home....



My Review...

5 Star Rating

I love it when someone comes along, takes the writings of one of my favorite authors of old, and freshens things up and gives new life to words penned long ago. This is the case for the Literary Portals to Prayer series, but namely this book about Louisa May Alcott.

Susan Bailey (author and blogger at Louisa May Alcott Is My Passion) knows and understand Louisa well, and was able to pick beautiful snippets from Miss Alcott's writings and pair them with meaningful verses along the same topics.

I personally enjoyed this little book greatly, reading a few pages each day for some spiritual encouragement. Plus, it helped to whet my literary appetite when I got into reading snippets from some of Miss Alcott's writings that I've never read yet. It makes me want to read more from Louisa May Alcott!

Religious notes: The scriptures used are taken from The Message: Catholic/Ecumenical Edition. Not being Catholic myself, I didn't really find any differences in what I believe and what was laid down as Biblical truth in this book. I recommend it for any Christian who is interested. The Message is so easy to understand, because it feels like it has (and it was) written in modern times, and so brings things out in verses differently than how I remember in other versions of the Bible.


"...and led by her mother's hand, she had drawn nearer to the Friend who always welcomes every child with a love stronger than that of any father, tenderer than that of any mother."
(Little Women)


But you, O God, are both tender and kind,
not easily angered, immense in love,
and you never, never quit.
So look me in the eye and show kindness,
give your servant the strength to go on,
save your dear, dear child!

(Psalm 86:15-16)


Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by the Message is available on Amazon in paperback format.




Don't miss Susan Bailey's first Louisa May Alcott Is My Passion PODCAST. It's about 25 minutes long. I enjoyed it! (especially after receiving a shout-out in it! Thanks, Susan! So if you can listen in to the podcast, I'd recommend it. Can't wait for the next one in July!




Readers, don't forget to enter my giveaway! It ends this Sunday night.






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

*Any Amazon.com purchase made through the links in this post support this humble blogger with a small commission. Thank you!




6.13.2016

Sharing some tidbits on one of my favorite authors, Miss Alcott

"'Stay' is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary."
- Louisa May Alcott



Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016


I have a fun little post planned for today. First I wish to share some recipes I found online from a blog called 36 Eggs. What happens to be so interesting about these recipes is blogger Miko has recreated literary recipes -- from Little Women! I thought it was fun to read her recipes and see what she was able to accomplish with these literary-inspired dishes.


Jo’s Lobster Salad - Little Women recipe
Jo’s Lobster Salad



Hannah’s Bread - Little Women recipe
Hannah’s Bread



Jo’s Boiled Asparagus & Potatoes - Little Women recipe
Jo’s Boiled Asparagus & Potatoes




Next up on today's list? >> I leave you with this article found at Writing Gooder, entitled.... The Six: Six Things You Didn’t Know About Louisa May Alcott. There's some really good stuff to be found on this page, which Alcott fans will adore.


Enjoy!!! ... Oh, and I hope you're reading those Alcott books for the reading challenge. I'm nearing the end of one of my selections for the challenge -- and will be sharing shortly about it!



What book(s) are you reading for the LMA challenge this June?

* Remember, it can be any book or story penned by the hand of Miss Alcott, or written about her.


Not sure what to read for the challenge? Check out my [List of published titles by Louisa May Alcott] for some literary inspiration this June.




6.11.2016

Would you like to meet Joy?

Joy is a little girl that I'd like to introduce my blog readers to.

Please donate towards Joy's medical funds

She was diagnosed with Juvenile Polyarticular Arthritis earlier this year, and she's only 2 years old. Imagine suffering from the affects of arthritis at such a young age; but she doesn't know anything different in life. Little Miss Joy also experiences everything else a toddler should, and her whole life is not about medical issues. She's learning to walk, talk and sing. And, from what I've gathered, is seemingly a huge Frozen fan. (Well, what little girl isn't?)

Joy has just started immune suppressant therapy as the next step in her medical treatment. At the same time, this family is awaiting their CPS case to close, which I believe will happen in August; please pray that the case will go well in favor of the Gravel family.

The full story behind Joy is a lot more complicated than what I can put into my own words, but if you're interested in hearing more about it, check out the GoFundMe page where Emmaline Gravel has bravely shared the whole story, and you may also be interested in Emmaline's blog updates too.


Please donate towards Joy's medical funds

Joy's family needs 2 things right now, and you are welcome to help with both.

Prayers are definitely something that this girl and her family needs in their life. It's a simple thing and can help in good and even unexpected ways.

Secondly, this family needs assistance with Joy's medical bills. A donation page is up via GoFundMe, so that you can make your own secure donation online (see link below).

Also, you can share online about Joy's story. It doesn't cost a thing to you, but it certainly helps get the word out to a wider audience. Easy buttons to share on Facebook or Twitter are available on the GoFundMe page. Go on -- share!






6.06.2016

You can #WIN my Louisa May Alcott-themed giveaway! (Open INT)

"Love is a great beautifier."
- Louisa May Alcott



Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016


Dearest readers, I thank you for joining me for the 2016 Louisa May Alcott reading challenge (Check out the details if you haven't yet!)

In honor of the esteemed author we're celebrating this June, I'm offering 3 winners (yes, yes, & yes!) a lovely art print featuring a quote by Louisa May Alcott (found in Little Women). Wouldn't you like this artwork hanging on your wall?

Louisa May Alcott 8x10 artwork


This 8x10 art design comes from my own Etsy shop, Pixel Berry Pie Designs (and my newly re-designed website!). Check out some of my other wall art posters (and printable versions) if you like. :)

U.S. winners will get their prize shipped in the mail. International winners will receive the printable download. EVERYONE is welcome to sign up in the giveaway... {3 special readers will win the prize!}

*Plus! Each winner can choose whether they prefer the white or chalkboard version of the quote artwork. To each her own.

Please note the frame or other props are not included with art print prize.


Louisa May Alcott 8x10 artwork


The giveaway is open to everyone, whether you're participating in the reading challenge or not. (You can get 5 extra entries in the giveaway if you are taking part in the Alcott challenge!) Invite your literary-minded friends!

Everyone who answers the bonus trivia question (correctly!) in the Rafflecopter also gets 5 extra entries. If you're unsure of the answer, look it up online -- don't worry, it's NOT cheating. =)

I'm simply delighted to be spending my summer sifting through the writings of Louisa May Alcott. And I can't wait to see which books you're going to read for the challenge as well!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

What book(s) are you reading for the LMA challenge this June?

* Remember, it can be any book or story penned by the hand of Miss Alcott, or written about her.


Not sure what to read for the challenge? Check out my [List of published titles by Louisa May Alcott] for some literary inspiration this June.




6.03.2016

Here's what I'm reading for the LMA challenge

"He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions."
- Louisa May Alcott



Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge ... JUNE 2016


Dearest readers, I thank you for joining me for the 2016 Louisa May Alcott reading challenge (Check out the details if you haven't yet!)

For today's post, I'm sharing about the L.M.A. books I'll be tackling this month for the challenge. I've decided upon 3 books -- one written by our beloved Miss Alcott, the second written as a fictionalized story about her family, and the third is a devotional based on Alcott's writings.


An Old-Fashioned Girl (1869)
written by Louisa May Alcott

Reading 'An Old-Fashioned Girl' this June for the LMA reading challenge!



March (2006)
written by Geraldine Brooks

Reading 'March' this June for the LMA reading challenge!



Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by the Message (2015)
written by Susan Bailey

Reading 'Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by the Message' this June for the LMA reading challenge!



A QUICK NOTE before closing... check back on Monday for a L.M. Alcott-themed GIVEAWAY that you won't want to miss! -- In fact, ALL Mondays in the month of June will have some exciting things going on (hint-hint!).

I'm thrilled to be reading these books this summer. And I can't wait to see which books you're going to read for the challenge as well!

So, my question to you, dear reader, is this...

What book(s) are you reading for the LMA challenge this June?

* Remember, it can be any book or story penned by the hand of Miss Alcott, or written about her.


Not sure what to read for the challenge? Check out my [List of published titles by Louisa May Alcott] for some literary inspiration this June.