In the Bookcase

11/26/2022

Book Review: If Only It Were Yesterday

If Only It were Yesterday (A Season Passed, #1)If Only It Were Yesterday by A.M. Heath
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A delightful Victorian romp! A twist on the Alice in Wonderland story that will keep you guessing. From page one I was immediately sucked down the rabbit hole, snuggling in for a cozy good read. Ever so delightfully, I quickly found out that our heroine Elizabeth is an old soul, lover of books, antiques, and bygone good manners.

If you like any vintage era, ever wished you lived in a time period before your own, or felt nostalgia for somewhere you've never been, this book might be for you! Our main character Liz Cooke gets the opportunity to travel to another era which she has idealized and felt a nostalgic yearning for, and gets to experience it all in person... It should be fun, right?

Especially recommended for Christian readers who want a bit of whimsy in their reading life.

Recommended for: Adults & Teens
Suitable for: Ages 10 & up


---So many quotable selections!---

.... 'Miss Hillman smiled at me as if she knew some great secret. “While that may be true, you cannot change your past. It would be unfair of us to judge you based on where you came from but, rather, on where you're going, because where you're going can still be changed, shaped, and rediscovered. Where you're going says so much more about who you are and the heart that beats within. Sometimes a person's past is just plain hard or out of their control. But your future–the purpose you've set your feet upon–this is all of your own planning.”' ....

View all my reviews


11/24/2022

3 holiday picture books! (2022 new releases)

A Very Thankful Prayer Seek and Find: A Fall Poem of Blessings and GratitudeA Very Thankful Prayer Seek and Find: A Fall Poem of Blessings and Gratitude by Bonnie Rickner Jensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get this for your Thanksgiving celebration!

Need a quick Thanksgiving activity with your kiddos? You can purchase the board book -- or download the ebook today. It's a quick little read, only 6 scenes. The illustrations are just darling! It also keeps the kids occupied by searching for certain objects in each scene. My favorite element though is how it mentions God's love, and that's something we can all be thankful for!



The Christmas Book FloodThe Christmas Book Flood by Emily Kilgore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I so enjoyed learning about the Christmas book flood tradition in Iceland. The people who live there love to read, read, read. So it's no surprise that when gift-giving season comes around, they reach for books to give to each other. A fun story for youngsters!

The narrator is superb for the audiobook. She has such a happy voice, and the story glitters by in a matter of minutes.

Keep this story in mind for a beautiful Christmas Eve read-aloud!



Giving Gal and the Christmas Cookie ExtravaganzaGiving Gal and the Christmas Cookie Extravaganza by Stephanie L. Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The illustrations are so cute, vibrant, and artsy! This book is a lovely gift idea for young little girls. Adorable story! Love the holiday baking and all of the festive-ness.


10/30/2022

A Literary Christmas 2022 begins + Link up your holiday reads!


Dear Readers,

I'd like to invite you to a SPECIAL READING EVENT this holiday season, where together we will celebrate all the excitement of Christmas book-reading during the most wonderful time of the year!

It's our SEVENTH ANNUAL Literary Christmas. And it's happening now.

What's this holiday reading challenge about? ::: Whether you just want to read 1 amazingly-good Christmas book, or 10, you make your own list of titles to read, and finish as many of them as you can.

Where will it take place? ::: In your favorite cozy reading nook. Whether it be while wrapped in fleece blankets in bed... sitting by the fireside drinking hot chocolate...

Polar bear reading Christmas books


Or out on the ice sheets of the Arctic environment, with only starlight from the heavens and a tin lantern to illuminate the tiny text inside your vintage copy of A Christmas Carol.

But probably not the latter option.


This Christmas reading challenge is born of my own delight in filling the entirety of the month of December (and the month of November, in most cases) with holiday-themed books galore. Literally, I keep adding to an ongoing booklist all through the year when I happen across Christmas titles that I may like to try my hand (errrr --- eyes?) at, just so I can read it when the holidays arrive.

Please tell me I'm not alone?

The challenge starts on NOW. Whenever YOU start reading your holiday books, start linking up your reviews and posts with us ALL SEASON LONG! 

Sign-ups are open NOW! Just so whenever you're ready to pick up a festive holiday title, the event link-up is open.

How to participate in A Literary Christmas:

  • Think about some Christmas books to read, or maybe re-read this season. This could include fictional stories (modern or vintage books), or non-fiction (an Advent devotional, or a book on Christmas traditions?)... it's up to you! Your goals can be 1 book, 10 books, or some short stories. AUDIO BOOKS & E-BOOKS ARE WELCOME!

  • Write a blog post or social media post to tell us that you're joining A Literary Christmas reading challenge, and maybe give us a sneak peek of the books you want to read for this challenge. Make sure to link to this blog (or even this individual post) to spread the word among your friends. Grab one of the challenge images to use in your post.

    Use hashtag #ALiteraryChristmas

    A Literary Christmas: Reading Challenge // inthebookcase.blogspot.com


    A Literary Christmas: Reading Challenge // inthebookcase.blogspot.com



  • Link up below! Copy the link to your post online and add it to the linky below. Now you've joined the challenge!

  • Next step: Start reading the books on your list! When you talk about the books on your blog or review them (on Goodreads, your blog, Instagram etc.), be sure to link up your posts below so that we can all check out what everyone is reading. (I know that I hope to find some good book recommendations from you all!)

    Use hashtag #ALiteraryChristmas


    A Literary Christmas officially now and ends on December 31st. (You may begin reading your Christmas books whenever it suits you though.) *wink*

  • Once the book reviews and posts start rolling in (like presents under the Christmas tree), I think we can all gather some fresh holiday titles from each other. In the meantime, if you're looking for what books you should be reading this holiday season, check out some of the Christmas books I've shared about in the past, or visit online lists such as:

    Favorite Christmas Books

    Christian Christmas Books

    Christmas/Holiday Christian Fiction



    I'll be sharing my own personal Christmas reading list in the next day or so.... but in the meantime:

    Link to your sign-up posts & reviews!



    * If the linky isn't showing up for you, try refreshing your page. Or just leave your post links in the comments section, and I can add your post to the linky for you, if needed.


    6/02/2022

    My 2022 LMA Reading Challenge Booklist

    Would you like to enjoy Miss Alcott's writings with me this June?


    Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge
    {Click here for the button code.}


    Sign up HERE, if you haven't yet -- and that's where you find all the details of the challenge too.


    “Human minds are more full of mysteries than any written book and more changeable than the cloud shapes in the air.”

    - Louisa May Alcott


    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.



    // My own bookstack for the challenge... //

    (click through my affiliate links to buy your own copies, if you're interested in these titles too. thanks!)

    It will be just 1 title on my list this year.


    "A reimagining of Little Women set in the spring of 1942, when the United States is suddenly embroiled in the second World War, this story, told from each March sister's point of view, is one of grief, love, and self-discovery."

    Great or Nothing
    (by Joy McCullough, Caroline Tung Richmond, Tess Sharpe, Jessica Spotswood, 2022)






    // Join the challenge... //

    Click HERE to read all the details about the challenge.

    After you come up with your booklist for the challenge, write up a post (on your blog, or your favorite social media, or comment below)... and add your link on the linky tool on the challenge HQ post.

    All throughout June, submit your Louisa May Alcott blog or social media posts on the linky below. ANY and ALL of your posts about Miss Alcott are welcome.

    If you decide to share a favorite quote, a book review, or any other thoughts... link up and take a look at some of the other participants' posts.

    Thank you for joining us!



    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! Get your sign-up posts online NOW, link-up, and dive into those wonderful books you've chosen!


    Tarissa


    5/31/2022

    Louisa May Alcott READING CHALLENGE 2022 Sign-ups!

    Welcome to the 2022 edition of the Louisa May Alcott reading challenge!
    Hosted by the blog In the Bookcase, yours truly.
    It's our 11th year of the challenge!

    Have you ever sampled a good story from the charming Miss Alcott?

    Is it time for you to finally read (or re-read) Little Women & the sequels?

    Would you like to enjoy Miss Alcott's writings with me this June?


    Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge


    // Who she is... //
    Vintage hardbacks by Louisa May Alcott
    Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) is an American authoress who inspires me. During her lifetime in the 19th century, she penned pages upon pages, delighting young girls and womenfolk, both then and now. Aside from being a writer, she briefly spent time nursing on the battlefield, and otherwise throughout her life supporting reform movements such as women's education, women's suffrage, abolitionism, and temperance.

    Alcott wrote over a dozen novels, alongside many short-story collections. Little Women is arguably the title of her most famous work, the story of 4 charming girls --- Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March --- growing up during hardships of the Civil War. Most readers can relate a close kinship to at least one of these blossoming characters --- through their pleasures, adventures, suitors, and life in general.

    I cherish Miss Alcott's writings --- and although I've enjoyed a few books of hers throughout the last few years (of hosting this challenge!)... I still have much to discover about this hardy woman, her life, and her family. So I'm endeavoring this June to pick out a couple of good books written by or about this favorite lady-author of mine, and glean from the shining pages.

    The challenge is now open and lasts through the whole month. You might like to take a moment to peruse (blogger/author) Susan Bailey's articles at Louisa May Alcott Is My Passion, where I have discovered many recommendations on suitable book titles. Also visit (another blogger/author) Trix Wilkins and her amazing articles about Miss Alcott's best-loved novel at Much Ado About Little Women.


    Won't you join me in a good book?


    LMA quote


    // About this challenge... //


    How to take part in the June reading challenge:

  • RIGHT NOW: Compile your list of Louisa May Alcott books that you would like to read, finish reading, or maybe re-read during June. Even books about L.M.A. (and the Alcott family) are welcome---biographies, fictionalized accounts of her life, etc. Your goal could be 1 book, 5 books, or short stories. To supply more options, you may decide to download audio book or e-books.


  • Write a blog post, or social media post explaining all about the books you want to read for this challenge. Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, (etc.) posts are welcome, if that's you're preferred method. Grab the challenge button and include it in your post if possible, so that others can find the challenge too.

    * For those without blogs/social media: Tell us what you're reading in the COMMENTS SECTION below! This challenge is open to EVERYONE, and I hope any Alcott fans out there will find a way to participate.


  • Link up below! Every time you share an update or, say, a book review, add it to our ongoing linky. I'll be stopping by to see your progress! The linky is the main headquarters of this reading challenge, so that the other participants can follow everyone's progress just by taking a look at the list of all the posts.


  • Starting June 1st: Reading the books on your list! The challenge starts now and goes through June 30th. (You may begin reading at any point within this timeline.)


  • Browse through the other participants' blog posts, to see what everyone else is reading, and be sure to leave comments when you can. The only thing better than enjoying a good book, is enjoying it with like-minded friends!


  • Finally, when you have reached your goal, or by the time the challenge is ending:
    Tell us about what you accomplished over the course of the challenge. Include any closing thoughts, or what you think of Louisa May Alcott now that you've read more of her works, etc. I'll be very pleased to hear about what you think at the end of this challenge!




  • Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge
    {Click here for the button code.}


    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.

    Vintage books by American authoress, Louisa May Alcott


    // Calendar of events... //

    May 31st ::: Sign-ups open. Tell everyone your reading plans for the challenge!

    June 1st ::: Start date. Get to reading!

    [all month long] ::: Read, review/talk about a book online if you like, repeat.

    June 30th ::: End date. Final overview and link-up!





    // Join the challenge... //

    After you come up with your booklist for the challenge, write up a post (on your blog, or your favorite social media, or comment below)... and add your link on the linky tool below.

    Submit your Louisa May Alcott blog or social media posts on the linky below. ANY and ALL of your posts about Miss Alcott are welcome.

    If you decide to share a favorite quote, a book review, or any other thoughts... link up and take a look at some of the other participants' posts.

    Thank you for joining us!




    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! Get your sign-up posts online NOW and link-up.


    12/30/2021

    My Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2021

    If you've followed my blog for a while now, you probably know that I just LOVE making a list of my top 10 favorite reads every year. These books were NOT all published this year -- they were published in any year of days gone by. But 2020 is when I personally got to read them. And these 10 books in particular put an extra sparkle in my eye (and made my heart pitter-patter a little faster) as I read them...

    Tarissa's bookshelf: 2021-top-favorite

    Stalking Jack the Ripper
    it was amazing
    What a riveting read! Absolutely fascinating. I love the feel of the Holmes/Watson type of duo we have between Audrey and Thomas. Their relationship is fun to sit back and watch; there are so many fine nuances to pick up on. The mystery ...
    A Name Unknown
    it was amazing
    This book is so adorable, I can't stop myself from just loving every inch of the story! The idea of it thrills me: A double-crossing street thief by the name of Rosemary lands a job in a God-fearing man's library. She has everything at h...
    Death Below Stairs
    really liked it
    Mrs. Kat Holloway, almost 30 and already a widow of an abusive marriage, has found a new placement as cook at a well-to-do house in Mount Street, Mayfair. The kitchen and job requirements are quite to her liking and she believes that she...
    The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Tale
    it was amazing
    Wow! Such a simple, short story... and yet it packs a powerful punch! No wonder it was turned into one of the most beloved films of all time, It's a Wonderful Life. George Bailey is contemplating suicide, when his wish is granted, that ...
    A Christmas Visitor
    it was amazing
    What an intriguing Christmas mystery -- all because alleged forgeries and false documents -- and a little matter of a mysterious death, of course. It all comes together in a rather intriguing way. As every chapter unfolded, I was remind...
    Hope Between the Pages
    it was amazing
    Well, this one's just about perfect. It's sweet. It's about books. What more can a girl ask for? A fairytale romance! So sweet and amazing, but even better, it's a romance built on a mutual love for books! This book is a balm to the so...
    The House at the End of the Moor
    it was amazing
    Our heroine is a woman of 25 years, who lives upon the treacherous and lonely moor, with her wonderful and scruffy dog Malcolm as a faithful companion. ( "I am Malcolm's sheep -- the only one he herds and cossets.... He would not let a s...
    The Great Gatsby: The Only Authorized Edition
    really liked it
    Well, well, well. I can definitely see why The Great Gatsby is such a classic now. It made me feel ALL the emotions. I just wasn't expecting how those last three chapters would tragically twist the story. But there we have it. Now I kn...
    The Second Mrs. Astor
    it was amazing
    My first book by Shana Abe, and I'm positively mesmerized. The way she writes, her choice of wording, often leaves me in wonder. This is the kind of literature that makes me love books all the more. Any history buff, or person who has r...
    A Christmas Guest
    it was amazing
    It is a seasonal delight for me to dip into Anne Perry's Christmas stories each Yuletide season! Each of these holiday stories I read from her always grants me a memorable, iconic plot to remember for years to come. In 'The Christmas Gu...

    goodreads.com





    Previous years of top favorite books:

    2020 // 2019 // 2018 // 2017 // 2016 // 2015 // 2014 // 2013 // 2012 // 2011 // 2010



    So, dear reader, what are your favorite books that you got to read in 2020?

    If you've posted your 2020 favorites list, drop your link in the comments so we can all see it!