In the Bookcase


Louisa May Alcott READING CHALLENGE 2023 Sign-ups!

Welcome to the 2023 edition of the Louisa May Alcott reading challenge!
Hosted by the blog In the Bookcase, yours truly.
It's our 12th 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?

// 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... //

    June 1st ::: Start date. Tell everyone your reading plans for the challenge! 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.


    Book Review: The Thief of Blackfriars Lane

    The Thief of Blackfriars Lane (Blackfriars Lane #1)The Thief of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Ah, one of my favorite authors (I don't even read the book summary anymore; I just grab it if it's a Michelle Griep novel), and my favorite historical time period and setting. Yes! I knew this book was a winner when I saw that beautifully Victorian cover.

    If you are a fan of PBS Masterpiece, then I will tell you that this book has a vibe similar to Miss Scarlet and the Duke -- except that in this book, our heroine is a a bit of a thief, or at least gets her job done in slightly suspicious ways (and is not a lady detective by profession).

    All in all, I am thoroughly pleased with the wild escapade I got to participate in by turning the pages of The Thief of Blackfriars Lane. Will definitely be picking up the sequel!

    Content warning: For those with squeamish tendencies, there are a few sick scenes.

    View all my reviews


    2023 Book Reading Challenges

    Here's a peek into some of the great reading challenges on the internet that I intend to participate in for 2023!

    The Goal:     

    JANUARY - A book that starts with the word "a" or "the".  (The Thief of Blackfriars Lane)

    FEBRUARY - A book where the cover or spine is in a complementary color from your January book. (Use complementary color generator.)  (A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice)

    MARCH - The title has to start with the next letter in the alphabet from your February book.  (Bridge of Gold)

    APRIL - A book that is in a different genre than your March book.  (Every Little Win)

    MAY - A book that is longer than your last one.  (Beneath His Silence)

    JUNE - The title for your June book will have half as many letters as your May title.  (Storming)

    JULY - This book needs to be set in a different country or world than your June book.  (The Golden One)

    AUGUST - A book that is the same genre as your July book.  (Barking up the Wrong Tree)

    SEPTEMBER - Turn to page 50 in your August book (or 49 or 51 if your page 50 is blank) and your September book has to have one of the words from that page in the title.  (Beautiful Little Fools)

    OCTOBER - The title of your book will start with the first letter of the author’s last name from your September book.  (Currents)

    NOVEMBER - Choose a book from a different time period from your October book.  (The Time of Jacob's Trouble)

    DECEMBER - Has to be within 20 pages of your November book (so if your book had 300 pages your December book will need to be between 280 and 320 pages).  (Escaping Dreamland)

    Note to self: Submit a book on the entry form every month & on Hey Reader. Books don't have to be read in the prompt month. An easy, laid-back challenge. Middle grade books acceptable.

    Giveaway: $100 gift card (end of the year).

    - - - - - - - - - - -


    BOOK H... Challenge: Submit bonus challenge each month. (check)

    January: Title starts with first letter of your name (The Thief of Blackfriars Lane) 

    February: Strangers to lovers (The Fountains of Silence)

    March: Title starts with M (Murder on the River Grey)

    April: Library book (Every Little Win)

    May: Memoir/Bio (From Atheism to Christianity)

    June: Wedding in book (The Loch Ness Papers)

    July: Summer in title (Sinister Summer)

    August: Characters in book travel (When Breaks the Dawn)

    September: A Series Book (Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd)


    The Goal:

    1. The Golden One by Elizabeth Peters
    2. Storming by K.M. Weiland
    3. Escaping Dreamland by Charlie Lovett
    4. The Time of Jacob's Trouble by Donna Vanliere
    5. A Christmas Beginning by Anne Perry 
    6. Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery
    7. The Loch Ness Papers by Paige Shelton
    8. Mine for Keeps by Jean Little
    9. Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley
    10. Box of Butterflies by Roma Downey
    11. When Breaks the Dawn by Janette Oke
    12. Death in Kew Gardens by Jennifer Ashley
    Alternate 1. Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson
    Alternate 2. Louisa and the Crystal Gazer by Anna Maclean
    Note to self: Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. Monthly check-ins on the 15th of each month with surprise mini-challenges.

    Giveaway: $100 of books (end of the year).

    The Goal:  

    1. A book with a protagonist over 40. (The Golden One)
    2. A book considered a classic.  (Kilmeny of the Orchard)
    3. A graphic novel.
    4. A book that has been banned or challenged.
    5. A book set in a place on your bucket list. (Mine For Keeps)
    6. A book published before you were born. (The Red House Mystery)
    7. A book related to a goal you have for 2023. (Mind Games)
    8. A book by an author of color. (Chameleon Aura)
    9. A book with a clever title. (Barking up the Wrong Tree)
    10. A book by a famous author you’ve never read. (Box of Butterflies)
    11. A non-fiction book about a topic you love. (From Atheism to Christianity)
    12. A novella. (Bound By Murder)

    Note to self: When finished, send in final booklist.

    Giveaway: Amazon gift card (end of the year).


    The Goal: Library Addict - 48 books

    Note to self: Link up on review linky as I finish each book.

    Giveaway: Yearly only? Audiobook Challenge (May-June), the Library BINGO (July-Aug.), & an End Of Year Check-In (Dec. 15th)


    The Goal: Read older books that have been piling up in my TBR pile/list [I'll try for 60+ books!].

    Note to self: Books must be published in 2021 or before & already be in my TBR pile/list.
    Link up on review linky as I finish each book.
    Wrap-up linky will be available.

    Giveaway: $15 Amazon gift card (end of the year). Each book review submitted to the link-up will be entered into a drawing.

    The Goal   

    Amateur Sleuth - 5-15 books

    Note to self: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller/Crime genres, 100+ pages.
    Monthly linky. (Linked up in: [])

    Giveaway:  End of the year.

    Personal Challenge: Read as many Netgalley books as possible (coordinate with B.H. challenge).

    2ndly: Read from Goodreads TBR.

    3rdly: Read from Kindle library.

    4thly: After finishing other book challenges, return to finish all B.H. categories

    Completing the last of my 2022 reading challenges!


    The Goal30+ audiobooks "My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted)"

    The Result: I listened to 53 audiobooks in 2022!

    Out of the 90 books I read (total) for the year, that means 58% of my routine reading is done by listening.


    The Backlist Reader Challenge 2020

    The Goal: 60+ books

    The Result: ..... I read 38 books that counted for this challenge! Eeek.


    Revealing (my official) BOOKSHOP!

    Doesn't every booklover grow up wanting to own a cozy bookshop anyways, or was that just me?

    I have some spectacular news to share today, as we get closer to finishing out this year. As some of you may have already been aware, I have opened an online bookshop to have a place to sell off my family's always-revolving literary collection. (We can't keep ALL the books, right?!)

    I would absolutely love it if you could follow my shiny, new Instagram account!  @thistleandtwinebookshop 

    ...AND visit our online Ebay bookshop to browse the available titles! (More content is being added all the time.)

    Can't wait to see where this little bookshop takes me in 2023!

    Won't you please join me for the journey?


    My Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2022

    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 2022 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: 2022-top-favorite

    it was amazing
    Oh, what a delight! Listening to Winnie-the-Pooh was such a treat for me. The stories are as sweet as cupcakes. I don't believe I ever really read this book as a child. But I was beyond ecstatic to read it as an adult. Pooh and his hon...
    Long Lost
    it was amazing
    A fantastic kid's ghost story. Written so well!! This is the kind of story that had me on pins and needles to find out what would happen next. Just how Fiona wanted to pick up the mysterious vintage book she finds in the library to finis...
    The Big Four
    really liked it
    A rather interesting Agatha Christie novel. It's a bit different than her usual mysteries. This plot takes Poirot through months of playing the waiting game, plus he's dealing with supervillains who are behind the majority of all evil sc...
    A Christmas Secret
    really liked it
    As per usual with an Anne Perry holiday book, we find ourselves in a fairly cozy little setting, everything seemingly going according to plan for the Christmas season, when -- BAM! Somebody dies. And it's such an intriguing little dilemm...
    The Gray Chamber
    really liked it
    A fun read. A sweet romance. I loved the historical details about fencing and about the asylum. Very interesting topics to read up on. I did connect well with Edyth's character, since part of society probably though of her as a bit ecce...
    A Song Unheard
    it was amazing
    A lovely sequel to A Name Unknown. It took me a little while to warm up to the characters in A Song Unheard, but once I did, I really did grow to like them. Loved the musical elements found in this story, especially pertaining to the vio...
    The Finder of Forgotten Things
    it was amazing
    What a fulfilling novel! I needed a good story that would take me a little while to crack my way through, and I enjoyed it all. I really fell into the plot and as for the characters... I always wanted to keep learning more about them. Th...
    Flowers on the Moon
    it was amazing
    WOW! I didn't realize that I NEEDED this book of poetry as much as I did. As soon as I listened to the first 20 minutes of the audiobook, I knew I definitely needed more of this kind of mindset in my life. I immediately downloaded 2 more...
    London Curiosities: The Capital's Odd & Obscure, Weird and Wonderful Places
    it was amazing
    What a fascinating and informative read! I learned so much about London. It's amazing stuff you'll find packed in this book! I felt like I personally went on a sight-seeing tour. It was explained well, includes photos -- yes, I felt like...
    Jane Eyre
    it was amazing
    Ah, Thornfield Hall, how I wish I could visit you. Why did I wait so long to read this classic? It's definitely a favorite. My copy is a thick book, but the chapters seem to fly by. I could have read this novel forever. I'm deeply inter...

    Previous years of top favorite books:

    2021 // 2020 // 2019 // 2018 // 2017 // 2016 // 2015 // 2014 // 2013 // 2012 // 2011 // 2010

    So, dear reader, what are your favorite books that you got to read this year?

    If you've posted your 2022 favorites list, drop your link in the comments so we can all see it!