In the Bookcase

1.30.2017

Free tickets to Six Flags -- for reading books!

Six Flags Read To Succeed Program Registration OPEN!

article by Princess Rebekah

"If you have a student in elementary school, check out the Six Flags Read to Succeed Program! This great program offers one free ticket to Six Flags PER STUDENT for reading during the school year. Homeschoolers are also able to participate. Registration is now open for the 2016-2017 school year. Head over here to get your account started. Final date to register and log students is March 1, 2017!....

"Since we just started the spring semester, now is a great time to get your account started and reading logs filled out!"

— Continue reading at consumerqueen.com


Six Flags Read To Succeed Program Registration OPEN!


1.27.2017

Book Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (5 star review)


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Oz series, #1

written by L. Frank Baum

154 pages // published in 1900 // children's fantasy


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Follow the yellow brick road!

Dorothy thinks she's lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. But the Wicked Witch of the West has her own plans for the new arrival - will Dorothy ever see Kansas again?



My Review...

5 Star Rating

This beautiful little gem should be on every child's bookshelf! A classic fairy tale that America can claim as its own.

There's quite a bit more to the story that we know from the 1939 film. If you'll come along for the ride, there's A LOT MORE ADVENTURE to be had in the Land of Oz! I was happy to see that I recognized many of the scenes from the movie, and it brought a touch of great familiarity to the story as I continued to read. The Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion are as friendly and delightful as could possibly be imagined. But there are many other fun characters to meet, and new, exciting places to see -- strange and wild of every type! I certainly enjoyed meeting the field mice, the Winkies, and others... plus, visiting the dainty China country, was a rather interesting experience too.

NOTE: There's a wee bit of violence that may not be suitable for all youngsters. (It includes chopping off the heads of wolves, which could be a bit disturbing!)

Anyways, if you can get a vintage copy with the original illustrations, the pictures happen to add much more charm to the overall story. Toto looks as adorable as ever! -- as do all of our other favorite friends in Oz.

I believe there are 14 books in the whole Oz series, and I intend to continue down the yellow brick road and read all of those sequels too.

The bottom line? A delightful fantasy tale.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is available on Amazon in paperback, and e-book format.




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


1.21.2017

How many books can YOU read in a year?

I use most of these book-reading tips myself. ALWAYS BE READING, my friends!



How To Read 100 Books A Year (infographic)

article by Darius Foroux

"The point is: Reading gives you knowledge. And knowledge gives you a better life."

— Continue reading at dariusforoux.com


How To Read 100 Books A Year


1.19.2017

Book Review: Jane of Lantern Hill

Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery (5 star review)


Jane of Lantern Hill

written by L.M. Montgomery

274 pages // published in 1937 // literary children's fiction


BOOK DESCRIPTION

For as long as she could remember, Jane Stuart and her mother lived with her grandmother in a dreary mansion in Toronto. Jane always believed her father was dead until she accidentally learned he was alive and well and living on Prince Edward Island. When Jane spends the summer at his cottage on Lantern Hill, doing all the wonderful things Grandmother deems unladylike, she dares to dream that there could be such a house back in Toronto...a house where she, Mother, and Father could live together without Grandmother directing their lives -- a house that could be called home.



My Review...

5 Star Rating

This novel is like reading a dream come true.

I feel like I could gush for a month on the superior qualities of this novel. I feel like L.M. Montgomery really outdid herself! Of course, I've always liked Anne of Green Gables, but it's been so many years since I've read Anne, that I can hardly believe if it was ever half so fun to read as Jane of Lantern Hill. Certainly, the author's most famous book has to rank close, right? (Herein I digress. That is a discussion for another time when I re-read Anne.)

For me, this book represents more of an emotion than it does a plot. (Of course, this is based on my personal feelings and how touched I was in reading it. This is also not to say that there is no arcing plot -- as can happen say, particularly in Victorian literature -- but not so in this case.) Regardless, this book will forever represent JOY and PLEASURE and GLITTERY HAPPINESS in my mind.

The heroine. So, let's talk about Miss Jane herself. She's a caring little creature, filled with hope. Since she lives in a heavily guarded "gilded cage" with her mother and wealthy grandmother, she has no need to do menial work (even though sometimes she desires to), but would never be allowed to such. What is so striking is that when given the chance, she takes to cooking and cleaning and other such chores so easily -- so enviously easy. This added so much to the dream-like aura of the plot. She'd dreamt about and studied the tasks she wanted to do for so long that she effortlessly was able to to fall right into the work, lickety split! Wouldn't that be amazing if we all could perform such miracles? What a capable girl she is -- surely a role model for the girls of the 1930s/1940s (honestly, what did those girls think when they first read Jane?).

The other characters. I have many new favorite characters by meeting them in this novel. I think I fell in love with every single character in the entirety of the book (not because I believe they would all make agreeable friends, but because no matter their personality, they contribute something important to the overall story). But 2 stand out above the rest, and it's a good vs. evil battle between the duo. There's Victoria Kennedy, the all-important, overbearing matriarch of the family. Her acidic tongue caught even me off guard sometimes; her carefully crafted insults certainly riled me, but often set me off in laughing fits. I shan't soon forget her. Turning to the other corner, we see Andrew Stuart entering -- Jane's estranged father. The man she didn't even know existed. I could write much of him too, but I'll keep some mystery shrouding 'round him. But what would you think if this is how your dad talked to you?

"Sorry I couldn't get in last night but my jovial, disreputable old car died right on the road. I managed to restore it to life this morning . . . at least long enough to hop into town like a toad . . ."

The chapters. While reading Jane, I felt like never before had I experienced the thrill of chapters in a book. No, seriously. Don't you ever wonder why books (that is the plain, ordinary, everyday kind) even have chapters? Just because of tradition -- "that's how books are written". But in this book, it was literally like being able to experience a "chapter" of Jane's life with her. Each chapter encapsulates an individual event or thought of hers. By reading 5 chapters in one sitting, I so then felt that I had experienced 5 brand new things with young, enchanting Jane Stuart.

One thing is for certain -- more people need to read Jane of Lantern Hill. If you enjoyed Anne of Green Gables at all, then you, like myself, will certainly revel in this novel -- which history and fellow bookworms don't speak of often enough.

In short? Utter bliss. This story has tickled my literary fancy and strummed my heartstrings in a terrible fashion.

Now, if only I can locate the 1990 film adaptation, and upon viewing it, not be disappointed.

Jane of Lantern Hill is available on Project Gutenburg AU in e-book format, and on Amazon in paperback, and e-book format.




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


L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge


1.15.2017

Young Writers Guidebook [FREE DOWNLOAD]

This article and accompanying free download is a excellent encouragement to teen writers! Share this wonderful resource with your story-spinning friends and family.



Can Teens Get Published? Absolutely.

article by Jaquelle Crowe

"I’m a teenager, and I got published.

And I’m not the only one – not by a long shot....

....But it takes hard work, it takes consistent guidance, and it takes knowledge. Especially knowledge.

Which is why we went to the experts (young people who have actually been published!) and asked their advice. We asked them, 'What would you say to an aspiring young writer?'"

— Continue reading at therebelution.com


Young Writers Guidebook


1.13.2017

Book Review: The Destiny of One

The Destiny of One by Sarah Holman (5 star review)


The Destiny of One // The Destiny Trilogy, #1

written by Sarah Holman

206 pages // published in 2011 // young adult Christian sci-fi


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Destiny – it's a word that plagues Maria Morris. What does God want her to do with her life? Should she go to college or does God have other plans for her? When her parents go missing during a business trip, Maria embarks on a quest that will change her life forever. Trying to fight against an overbearing Milky Way Government, Maria travels to earth in search of a lost prince and some crown jewels. Her faith is tested, however, when a new law is passed. Will Maria be able to find her parents and the crown jewels before it's too late? Is she strong enough to stand up for her faith even if it means never seeing her family again? Most of all, will Maria discover her true Destiny?



My Review...

4 Star Rating

I have enjoyed many of Sarah Holman's books for a few years now, but FINALLY I have decided to read her very first book, The Destiny of One. So glad to have this one under my belt now! And I might add that I greatly enjoyed reading it.

19-year-old Maria Morris lives on Mars with her parents and siblings in a futuristic Space Age. A new law is being passed: all Christians will be marked to separate them from the rest of the galaxy's population. Maria is a girl who's just trying to figure out what to do with her life... just like so many teenagers and young adults! I like how this book focuses on an issue that many deal with, and have to seek God's wisdom in. Maria is really a great role model in this sense.


"....I just feel like I should be doing something, that God has something for me that I'm missing. How do I find out what God wants me to do?"
- The Destiny of One


The story is a wonderful testament to the Christian faith. There's fun adventure, and it allows for quality morals to shine through the plot. Christian and homeschool families will love this sci-fi series.

Last thought: I hope to see plenty more of Quint in book #2!

The Destiny of One is available on Amazon in e-book format.




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


1.11.2017

Book Review: Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories: 1896-1901

Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories: 1896-1901 by L.M. Montgomery (5 star review)


Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories: 1896-1901

written by L.M. Montgomery

188 pages // collected in 2007 // literary fiction


BOOK DESCRIPTION

Lucy Maud Montgomery, (always called "Maud" by family and friends) and publicly known as L. M. Montgomery, (1874-1942) was a Canadian author, best known for a series of novels beginning with Anne of Green Gables (1908). In 1893, following the completion of her grade school education in Cavendish, she attended Prince of Wales College in Charlottetown. Completing a two year program in one year, she obtained her teaching certificate. In 1895 and 1896 she studied literature at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After working as a teacher in various island schools, in 1898 Montgomery moved back to Cavendish. For a short time in 1901 and 1902 she worked in Halifax for the newspapers Chronicle and Echo. She returned to live with and care for her grandmother in 1902. Montgomery was inspired to write her first books during this time on Prince Edward Island. Her works include: The Story Girl (1911), Chronicles of Avonlea (1912), The Golden Road (1913), Anne of the Island (1915), Anne's House of Dreams (1917), Rainbow Valley (1919), Further Chronicles of Avonlea (1920) and Rilla of Ingleside (1921).



My Review...

5 Star Rating

One day I told myself that since I consider Lucy Maud Montgomery one of my favorite authors of all time, I should have a sit-down with her and read ALL of her short works. And so I began with this collection.

In short, it's wonderful. There's a lot of treasurable gems in here. Some of them sad, some filled with happiness. One or two went down the Victorian gothic route, and I was (still pleasantly) surprised to experience such from Montgomery. It seems I don't know her as well as I thought.

There's a couple of fabulous little Christmas stories in here. In both I became acquainted with the term "[her] face was a study"... in which the mentioned character is struck in awe (I had a good laugh over that phrase and it's a now a favorite of mine!)

Some of my other favorites in this volume include "Detected by the Camera", "In Spite of Myself", "Miss Calista's Peppermint Bottle", and "The Waking of Helen".

I'm excited for the next collection!

Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories: 1896-1901 is available on Project Gutenburg in e-book format, and on Amazon in paperback, e-book, and audiobook format (and others).




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


L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge


1.08.2017

Lucy Maud Montgomery reading challenge 2017

My January always has a little more happiness in it because I can spend it with a kindred spirit of old. The L.M. Montgomery challenge is here again!

Please, go read all about it on Carrie's blog.

L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge

So, here's my little list of titles I'm reading for the challenge, both of them I've never read, but have been greatly anticipating. (To be truthful though, I've already started reading both of them, so that anticipation is already concluded, and the joyous reunion has begun!)

There's a few of Montgomery's novels that I have yet to read. One such being: Jane of Lantern Hill. And for my second title, I've decided it's high time that I read every single one of Montgomery's short stories. So, with my deepest regards to Project Gutenberg, I'm starting from the chronological beginning this January and read this collection: Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901. (Next year, I plan to graduate into the next collection.)




1.06.2017

Orphans of the West -- Cover Reveal! // BLOG TOUR

 About the Series

Genre: Christian Western Coming of Age

Logline: Through God’s leading, four orphans grow up to be important members of their communities.

The Orphans of the West series is a continuation of the stories of 4 orphans that were introduced in either a Hymns of the West novel or novella and goes through each orphans life.

Savior, Like a Shepherd is about Titus Hine who was introduced in Blessed Assurance (Hymns of the West Novellas #6) and how he must take care of his sister and brother as winter approaches, all while not being allowed to work anywhere.

All the Way is about Henry Salisbury, the only orphan in the series not directly introduced in a previous book, but it has other characters you will recognize from the books about the Brookings family.

He Hideth My Soul is also attached to the Brookings family and Otis Miller as Otis finds out that his grandfather left him a large inheritance and he can finally follow his dream.

He Leadeth Me takes up Gage Wilhelm’s story. Gage was introduced in I Love Thee (Hymns of the West Novellas #1) and tells how he is given the deed to his farm and told to go back to his farm. Gage gladly accepts only to have someone show up claiming his long-dead father owed another man a large sum of money and now there’s 10 years of interest added on.


About the Author

Faith Blum is a 20-something author of multiple books in various genres. She loves to write, read, play piano, knit, crochet, sew, watch movies, and play games with her family. She lives in Wisconsin with her family on a small family farm where they raise goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and have 2 dogs and a varying number of cats.

Faith’s goal in her writing is to encourage Christians in their walk with Christ. If you enjoyed this book, go to her website to sign up for her NewReleases Newsletter so you can get an email when her next book in the series comes out. You will also find links to her other Social Media sites on her website. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her.

Reveal Time!

Now comes the fun part, the cover reveal! First, here is the cover I am revealing to you:




He Hideth My Soul

Logline: An aspiring doctor finds out he is the willed heir of his rich grandfather, but when he finishes his schooling and goes to his silver mine, he must make tough decisions that could mean life or death for those working in his mine.

To gain access to the secret web page so you can see the other three covers, go here to find options for Facebook post, tweet, Instagram, and email wording. Each option shares the pre-order link to the first book in the Orphans of the West series, Savior, Like a Shepherd. In each post is a word in ALL CAPS. That word is the case sensitive password to gain access to the covers.



Participating Blogs

Melanie D. Snitker, Author – Savior, Like a Shepherd
Sarah Allerding – Savior, Like a Shepherd
Queen of Random – All the Way
Rachel Rossano's Words – All the Way
Thilly Little Nothings – He Hideth My Soul
In the Bookcase – He Hideth My Soul
George’s Shorts – He Leadeth Me
Wildflower Acres – He Leadeth Me



1.03.2017

A look back at my 2016 TBR challenge

I participated in the 2016 Mount TBR challenge... and it was FANTASTIC! Well, I had started the year aiming for the Mt. Kilimanjaro level [60 books] and... (whoa!) I ended up passing El Toro [75 books] without even blinking an eye, and finished the year at exactly 99 books that I finished from my TBR pile(s)! I honestly had no clue I had read so many for this challenge until the final week of December, as I was calculating my book totals for the year. :)

Turns out, I finished 125 total books in the year, and the majority (99, count 'em!) were from my own TBR pile(s). Woohoo!

If you'd like to take a peek at my absolute favorite books this year, click here to see my top 10 reads! [This list is not limited to the TBR challenge.]


To go along with the Mount TBR challenge, there is a bonus Words to the Wise exercise that I wanted to participate in. Maybe it will give you a little laugh while browsing through these witty phrases and some of the titles I read this past year...

A stitch in time...[is] Scarlet
Don't count your chickens...On the Way Home
A penny saved is....Smuggler's Treasure
All good things must come...[to] The Hippopotamus Pool
When in Rome...March
All that glitters is not...Red Rain
A picture is worth...[a] Jackpot
When the going gets tough, the tough get...The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog
Two wrongs don't make...The Last Battle
The pen is mightier than....The Stars for a Light
The squeaky wheel gets...Radialloy
Hope for the best, but prepare for...The Devil in the White City
Birds of a feather flock...Until the Dawn