Rose in Bloom Review and LMA Challenge Wrap-Up

Rose in Bloom in Louisa May Alcott’s sequel to Eight Cousins. In the first book, Rose was orphaned as a young girl and sent to live with her uncle Alec. She was also surrounded by several other great aunts, aunts, uncles, and seven boy cousins.

In this book, Rose and a few of her cousins are in their early twenties and about to embark on adulthood. They wrestle with possibly occupations, projects, and potential love interests. Evidently it was considered acceptable to marry first cousins in that era, because there’s a lot of speculation about whether Rose will marry one of hers.

Rose is set to come into a large inheritance, and her uncle has tried to train her well to be responsible and philanthropic rather that frivolous, self-important, and wasteful. She faces some temptations in these areas and wants to try the lifestyle of her friends for a while. This seems to involve a lot of parties and dancing at friends’ houses until the wee hours of the morning. She learns that some people are only interested in her because of her wealth. She has to decide between the “fast” life and a sedate but more useful one.

One of her cousins, Charlie, also known as Prince, has been indulged all his life and is in danger of going the wrong direction, especially in regard to one particular bad habit. Rose tries to help him overcome his wayward tendencies.

Louisa says in her preface that “there is no moral to this story. Rose is not designed for a model girl, and the Sequel was simply written in fulfillment of a promise, hoping to afford some amusement, and perhaps here and there a helpful hint, to other roses getting ready to bloom.”

When I was growing up, I warmed to stories like this that encouraged being good, or becoming better. Modern readers might feel it goes a little overboard. But I still find it a sweet story, and I think others would if they gave it a chance.

I was surprised that young people this age were still considered boys and girls at the time of this writing, and not read to marry or launch out on their own yet.

Much is said about Rose being a strong-minded girl. Evidently this was pushing the envelope even in Alcott’s day. A few sentences from the last paragraph of this exchange were included in the newest Little Women movie:

Rose’s voice was heard saying very earnestly, “Now, you have all told your plans for the future, why don’t you ask us ours?”

“Because we know that there is only one thing for a pretty girl to do: break a dozen or so hearts before she finds one to suit, then marry and settle,” answered Charlie, as if no other reply was possible.

“That may be the case with many, but not with us, for Phebe and I believe that it is as much a right and a duty for women to do something with their lives as for men, and we are not going to be satisfied with such frivolous parts as you give us,” cried Rose with kindling eyes. “I mean what I say, and you cannot laugh me down. Would you be contented to be told to enjoy yourself for a little while, then marry and do nothing more till you die?” she added, turning to Archie.

“Of course not; that is only a part of a man’s life,” he answered decidedly.

“A very precious and lovely part, but not all,” continued Rose. “Neither should it be for a woman, for we’ve got minds and souls as well as hearts; ambition and talents as well as beauty and accomplishments; and we want to live and learn as well as love and be loved. I’m sick of being told that is all a woman is fit for! I won’t have anything to do with love till I prove that I am something besides a housekeeper and baby-tender!”

That’s not quite as anti-domestic as it sounds, because Rose values both housekeeping and baby-tending. But she wants to accomplish something else before that stage of her life.

I enjoyed this exchange about novels with Rose and her friend, Kitty:

“I’m sure I’ve read a great deal more than some girls do. I suppose novels don’t count, though, and are of no use, for, goodness knows, the people and things they describe aren’t a bit like the real ones.”

“Some novels are very useful and do as much good as sermons, I’ve heard Uncle say, because they not only describe truly, but teach so pleasantly that people like to learn in that way,” said Rose, who knew the sort of books Kitty had read and did not wonder that she felt rather astray when she tried to guide herself by their teaching.

In Eight Cousins there was also much discussion of books one aunt felt were harmful to the younger cousins. I wondered how these compared to the “blood and thunder” books Louisa enjoyed writing.

I also smiled at a section where Rose and cousin Mac discuss the benefits of reading Thoreau and Emerson, knowing that both men were friends of Louisa’s family.

Although the Alcotts were ahead of their time in many ways, Louisa still seemed to hold to the idea that different classes ought not to marry: either that, or she was illustrating problems with that idea by her characters. Phebe started out as a maid from the orphan house in the last book, but was so sweet and industrious and bright that Rose and her uncle sought to give her a good education. Now grown up, everyone loves Phebe—until one of the cousins falls in love with her. Since she’s an orphan of unknown origin, her family tree could contain anybody, and what would it do to the good Campbell name if it should be joined with someone that could be unsavory? That seemed to be the thinking of the aunts, but Rose and Alec and a couple of others had no problem with Phebe becoming part of the family. But Louisa had Phebe prove herself worthy in other ways.

Overall, this was a sweet story of the choices and trials of growing into maturity.

Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge

I’m going to wrap up my reading for Tarissa’s Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge here instead of in a separate post. I read:

I also watched the newest movie version of Little Women that was in theaters last year.

I always love spending time with Louisa and appreciate Tarissa’s challenge every June.

(Sharing with Books You Loved, Booknificent Thursday)

The Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge

Louisa May Alcott Reading ChallengeTarissa at In the Bookcase hosts the Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge in June. You can read all the particulars here. She’s also offering a nice little prize here.

Louisa is one of my favorite authors, so I am happy to be joining in again. I plan to read:

  • The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick, a modern story about four girls who read through Little Women with their moms.
  • Eight Cousins by Louisa
  • Rose in Bloom, the sequel to Eight Cousins, if there’s time.

I’ve read Little Women multiple times, Little Men and Jo’s Boy’s just a few, but some of Louisa’s other books only once. So I wanted to reread a couple of those this time.

If you’ve wanted to read, or reread, something by or about Louisa, now is the perfect time!

Quarterly Reading Update

My long-time blog friend, Susanne, is hosting a quarterly get-together to set and discuss reading goals. Her second-quarter post is here.

As I mentioned in my first quarter reading list, most of my reading choices come from the Back to the Classics Challenge and two reading challenges encouraging us to read what we already own. I supplement those with other books depending on the season or my interests. Sometimes I want to get in on a new book as soon as it is released.

The classics I finished this quarter are:

The first two were on my first-quarter list. Doctor Thorne was not, but it did count for the classics challenge. Larkrise to Candleford by Flora Thompson was also on my list: I am listening to the first book in that series now. So I’m pretty much on point with classics.

Books from my TBR stash or list that I finished:

Fiction:

Nonfiction:

The starred items were on my first-quarter goal list. I had not planned on Wiersbe’s two books, though I’ve had them for a long time. I didn’t complete two on the original list, but with these two instead, I feel good about meeting my goals. I’ve finished one other that I have mixed emotions about and haven’t decided whether to review.

Another I read that I had not originally planned on was Old Town in the Green Groves by Cynthia Rylant, about the “lost years” of the Little House books, borrowed from the library.

Although I enjoyed all of these, probably Doctor Thorne and The Last Castle were my favorites.

For next quarter:

Classics: I’ll finish Lark Rise by Flora Thompson, but I’ll hold off on the rest of the trilogy until after I do a little more work on the Back to the Classics Challenge. I’d also like to read more of Trollope’s Barsetshire series, but will wait for the same reason. I’m undecided about which category to tackle next. Tarissa at In the Bookcase hosts the Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge in June, so I plan to read Eight Cousins and possibly Rose in Bloom for that.

From my TBR piles:

I think I’ll hold off on the Anne Lindbergh book from last quarter’s list. I want to read it. But it’s a hefty one, and I’m just not quite in the mood for it now. But I’ll look forward to:

Fiction:

  • The One True Love of Alice Ann by Eva Marie Everson (moved from last quarter’s list)
  • Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron (currently reading)
  • A Portrait of Marguerite by Kate Lloyd (currently reading)
  • The Space Between Words by Michelle Phoenix
  • The Dwelling Place by Elizabeth Musser

Nonfiction:

  • The Women of Easter: Encounter the Savior with Mary of Bethany, Mary of Nazareth, and Mary Magdalene by Liz Curtis Higgs (currently reading)
  • Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises by Dr. Michelle Bengston (currently reading)
  • Be Rich (Ephesians) Gaining the Things That Money Can’t Buy by Warren Wiersbe

That’s not enough for three months, but I have stacks of TBR books on my shelves and in my Kindle app to choose from.

What are you reading next?

 

 

January-March 2020 Reading List

Years ago, someone who is no longer blogging used to host a “Fall Into Reading” and “Spring Reading Fling,” where participants would share what they planned to read for the next few months and then come back and share what they actually did read. I always enjoyed reading those and added to my TBR list exponentially.

Susanne misses those posts, too, and has decided to start up an informal quarterly reading list sign-up. I thought this might be a good way to break up my larger reading plans into smaller goals. You can find more information here and join in here, if you’d like.

Planning for the month or the quarter just involves looking through the unread books on my shelves, in my Kindle app, and in my audiobook library and deciding which I want to read next. It helps condense the reading decision time by doing it this way rather than every time I finish one book and look for another.

My two biggest challenges are the Back to the Classics Challenge and then two others that focus on reading books we already own (Mount TBR) or have had on our reading list a while.

For classics:

  • I’m currently listening to The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle.
  • Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  • I might start Larkrise to Candleford by Flora Thompson next. My copy has three volumes in one, so it’s rather large. But I have also been wanting to watch the series based on these stories as well, and want to read the books first.

I’ll be hosting my last Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge Feb. 1-29 and will share on Feb. 1 what I am reading for that challenge. I have one book on hand and am considering another.

From my current stash:

I just finished Panosian: A Story of God’s Gracious Providence by Chris Anderson. Next are:

Nonfiction:

  • Good Tidings of Great Joy: A Collection of Christmas Sermons by Charles Spurgeon (currently reading)
  • Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vanderkam (currently reading).
  • The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan about the Biltmore House. I loved what she did with The Girls of Atomic City, so I’m eagerly looking forward to this book.
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Her Life by Susan Hertog

Fiction:

  • Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke, a novel involving a couple of people on the Titanic, one who survived and one who did not, and those who wished the results had been reversed (currently reading).
  • The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix
  • The Shopkeepers by Nancy Moser, a sequel to The Pattern Artist and The Fashion Designer, novels about a young women going into those professions in the early 1900s.
  • Castle on the Rise by Kristy Cambron, sequel to The Lost Castle, a novel involving three different timelines touching an old castle.
  • The One True Love of Alice Ann by Eva Marie Everson, a novel set in 1940s Georgia about a girl waiting for the one she loves to come home from WWII.

Those should keep me busy for a while! I’m looking forward to all of them. I probably won’t finish them all this quarter, but whatever I don’t finish will just go on next quarter’s list.

What’s on your reading horizon?

(Sharing with Susanne, Global Blogging, Senior Salon, Hearth and Soul, Happy Now, InstaEncouragement)

Reading Plans for 2020

There are some books you don’t get around to reading unless you plan to. Participating in some book challenges has helped be more purposeful in my reading. But I have found I also need flexibility. I don’t want to feel pressured and tied down by a reading list. I want the freedom to pick up books discovered during the year, new releases, etc. But I also want to read more classics and more books from my own shelves or list of recommendations. There are two main reading challenges I participate in every year, and sometimes I try a few others as well. Thankfully the books can overlap several challenges: otherwise I could probably only do one or two.

So this year, I’ll participate in these challenges:

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge begins here February 1-29. This will be my last year to host it. I have one book in mind for it this year, which I’ll share Feb. 1.

Tarissa at In the Bookcase hosts the Louisa May Alcott Reading Challenge in June.

Tarissa also hosts the Literary Christmas Reading Challenge November through December.

Karen at Books and Chocolate is hosting the Back to the Classics challenge again this year. Books have to be 50 years old for this challenge and fit into the following categories. We don’t have to determine them all at this point, but I’ll list a few I have in mind.

1. 19th Century Classic: Hard Times by Charles Dickens
2. 20th Century Classic
3. Classic by a Woman Author: Eight Cousins by Louisa My Alcott
4. Classic in Translation (originally written in something other than your native language): Possibly Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. I read it a long time ago but can’t remember much about it.
5. Classic by a Person of Color
6. A Genre Classic
7. Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title: The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens.
8. Classic with a Place in the Title: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire by Howard Pyle
9. Classic with Nature in the Title: Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
10. Classic About a Family (multiple members of the same family as principal characters)
11. Abandoned Classic (one you started but never finished). Possibly Billy Budd by Herman Melville. I was supposed to read that for a college class but never finished.
12: Classic Adaptation (Any classic that’s been adapted as a movie or TV series): I might try Larkrise to Candleford by Flora Thompson. It’s long, but I’ve been wanting to read it and see the series.

Most of these books would fit in many of the categories, so I might change them around as I decide on the rest of the titles.

Karen draws a name from participants at the end of the year to receive a $30 gift card towards books, and the number of categories you finish determines how many entries you get.

mount-tbr-2017Bev at My Reader’s Block hosts the Mount TBR Challenge to encourage us to read the books we already own.. Every 12 books read is another level or “mountain” climbed. We don’t have to list the books yet, but we do have to commit to a level. I am committing to Mt. Vancouver (36 books). I’ve been able to reach that pretty easily the last couple of years. The one main rule here is that the books have to have been owned by us before January 1, 2020.

Bev is also hosting the Virtual TBR Reading Challenge, like the Mount TBR except that the first one requires you to own the books you’re reading. The virtual one can include borrowed books or books on your to-be-read list that you don’t own yet. I haven’t done this one before, but I think I can commit to Mount Rum Doodle, 12 books.

The Backlist Reader Challenge sign-up link

The Backlist Reader Challenge is new to me this year. It encourages reading books on our want-to-read list, whether we already own them or not. The only caveat is they have to have been published before 2018 and be a book you’ve already been considering. Lark will give away a $15 Amazon or Book Depository gift certificate at the end of the year. Since most of the Mount TBR and Virtual Mount TBR books will qualify for this challenge, I’m going to aim for 30.

The Audiobook Challenge is new to me, too. But since I listen to several a year (usually classics), it should be easy. I’m aiming for the Stenographer level (10-15 audiobooks). there will be a couple of giveaways with this challenge, on June 30 and December 15.

Yet another new one to me is the For the Love of Ebooks Challenge, which, as the name implies, involves reading ebooks. A good chunk of my TBR books are in my Kindle app, so I think I could do the Semi-Pro status (10-19).

Finally, I am going to try the Nonfiction Reading Challenge since I read several a year anyway. I’m only going to aim for the Nonfiction Nibbler (6 books), though, since I am not interested in all the categories for the next level.

Thanks to Tarissa and Lisa for introducing me to a few that I hadn’t heard of before.

I would never do all these except that they can overlap, and many involve types of reading I already do. There are still several other interesting challenges out there that I decided against!

Do you participate in any reading challenges or make reading plans for the year?

Back to the Classics Challenge Wrap-up 2019

btcc reading challenge 2019

Karen at Books and Chocolate hosts the Back to the Classics Challenge. She came up with categories and we come up with a classic at least 50 years old to fit each category. She also gives away a prize – a $30 gift card to Amazon.com or The Book Depository. You get one entry for the prize drawing for six categories completed, two entries for nine categories completed, and three entries if you complete all twelve.

The classics I read this year were (titles link back to my reviews):

A.19th Century ClassicThe Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860)(Finished 7/15/19)

B. 20th Century Classic (published between 1900 to 1969): How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (1939) (Finished 3/20/19)

C. Classic by a Woman AuthorA Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)(Finished 2/14/19)

D. Classic in Translation (written originally in a language different from your own): Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss (Finished 11/23/19)

E. Classic Comic Novel. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (1836)(Finished 5/20/19)

F. Classic Tragic Novel. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)(Finished 6/12/19)

G. Very Long Classic (500 or more pages): Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (Finished 9/11/19)

H. Classic Novella (250 or fewer pages): The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott, 150 pages. (1849)(Finished 6/23/19)

I. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean). The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington. (1918)(Finished 9/24/19)

J. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia). Moby Dick by Herman Melville. (Finished 10/28/19)

K. Classic From a Place You’ve Lived. The Gilded Age by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner (Finished 12/16/19)

L. Classic Play. King Lear by William Shakespeare. (Finished 12/28/19)

Karen likes for us to compute how many entries we earned: I read all twelve, so I have three entries.

I enjoy this challenge because it broadens my horizons. I would not have read some of these books if not for this challenge. I have not seen anything yet about this challenge for next year, and I’m sorry that it looks like it won’t continue. But I’ll keep reading classics. Someone has said that a classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say. These books still speak today.

Do you like to read classics? Have you read any of these?

Literary Christmas Reading Challenge Wrap-up 2019

A Literary Christmas: Reading Challenge // inthebookcase.blogspot.comTarissa of In the Bookcase hosts the Literary Christmas Reading Challenge each year in November and December. The basic idea is to read Christmas books!

I didn’t get to all the books I would have liked, but I enjoyed finished these (titles link back to my reviews):

I started Good Tidings of Great Joy: A Collection of Christmas Sermons by Charles Spurgeon but am only about halfway through. I thought I could read a short section at a time, like a devotional book. I could, but I just didn’t get as much from the sermon until I read each one as a whole. Since they’re a bit long, I’m having to wait til Saturdays when I have a bit more time to read them in one sitting.

I always enjoy reading Christmas books in December. It’s even more fun to do so with this challenge. Than you, Tarissa, for hosting it!

Mount TBR Challenge Wrap-up

mount-tbr-2017These are the books I’ve read this year that qualify for Bev’s Mount TBR Challenge. I’m listing them in the order I finished them. The publication dates are in parentheses. The titles link back to my reviews.

  1. Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa. (2016)(Finished 1/13/19)
  2. Among the Fair Magnolias: Four Southern Love Stories by Elizabeth Musser, Tamera Alexander, Shelley Gray, and Dorothy Love. (2015)(Finished 1/14/19)
  3. Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Susan May Warren (2011)(Finished 1/15/18)
  4. Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy (2018)(Finished 2/1/19)
  5. Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott (2017)(Finished 2/5/19)
  6. Katie’s Dream by Leisha Kelly (2004)(Finished 2/9/19)
  7. Read the Bible for Life: Your Guide to Understanding and Living God’s Word by George H. Guthrie. (2011)(Finished 2/4/19)
  8. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)(Finished 2/14/19)
  9. Journaling for the Soul by Deborah Haddix (2018)(Finished 2/19/19)
  10. I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel (2018)(Finished 2/20/19)
  11. Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis by Patti Callahan (2018)(Finished 3/5/19)
  12. Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey (2017)(Finished 3/8/19)
  13. If I Run by Terri Blackstock. (2016)(Finished 1/27/19)
  14. If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock (2017)(Finished 2/1/19)
  15. If I Live by Terri Blackstock (2018)(Finished 3/9/19)
  16. Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke (2014)(Finished 3/17/19)
  17. Love Is Not a Special Way of Feeling by Charles G. Finney (1963)(Finished 3/25/19)
  18. She Makes It Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen (2011)(Finished 3/24/19)
  19. The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. (2007)(Finished 3/27/19)
  20. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (1939)(Finished 3/31/19)
  21. The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser (2018)(Finished 4/1/19)
  22. I’ll Watch the Moon by Ann Tatlock (2013)(Finished 4/6/19)
  23. Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior (2012)(Finished 4/23/19)
  24. A Room of My Own by Ann Tatlock (2016)(Finished 4/29/19)
  25. Travelers Rest by Ann Tatlock (2012)(Finished 5/4/19)
  26. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (1836)(Finished 5/20/19)
  27. All the Way Home by Ann Tatlock (2011)(Finished 5/28/19)
  28. How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Andrew David Naselli (2017)(Finished 5/31/19)
  29. Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock (2011)(Finished 6/2/19)
  30. The Returning by Ann Tatlock (2009)(Finished 5/28/10)
  31. Close to Home by Deborah Raney (2016)(Finished 6/3/19)
  32. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)(Finished 6/12/19)
  33. Home at Last by Deborah Raney (2018)(Finished 6/14/19)
  34. The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper (2017)(Finished 6/20/19)
  35. Rorey’s Secret by Leisha Kelly (2005)(Finished 7/24/19)
  36. There’s a Reason They Call It GRANDparenting by Michele Howe (2017)(Finished 9/4/19)
  37. A Promise in Pieces by Emily T. Wierenga (2014)(Finished 9/22/19)
  38. A Constant Heart by Siri Mitchell (2008)(Finished 9/27/19)
  39. Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight by Sheila Wray Gregoire (2004)(Finished 10/2/19)
  40. Like a Flower in Bloom by Siri Mitchell (2014)(Finished 10/24/19)
  41. Canteen Dreams by Cara Putnam (2017)(Finished 11/17/19)
  42. On Writing Well by William Zinsser. (1976)(Finished 12/4/19)
  43. The Carousel Painter by Judith Miller (2009)(Finished 12/8/19)
  44. Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock (2018)(Finished 12/12/19)
  45. Christmas Stitches: A Historical Romance Collection: 3 Stories of Women Sewing Hope and Love Through the Holidays by Judith Miller, Nancy Moser, and Stephanie Grace Whitson (2018)(Finished 12/26/19)
  46. Seasons of the Heart: A Year of Devotions from One Generation of Women to Another compiled by Donna Kelderman (2013)(Finished 12/31/19)(Review coming soon)

Bev’s goal markers are in the form of different mountains. I made it up to Mt. Vancouver, which was 36 books. I was just two short of Mt. Ararat’s 48. I enjoyed the climb!

If you’d like to get some of your already-owned books read next year, Bev is hosting this challenge again. Details are here.

TBR Pile Challenge Wrap-up

Some time before the end of the year, probably after Christmas, I’ll post the books I read this year as well as my top ten or so. Meanwhile, I’ll post the wrap-ups to some of the reading challenges I’ve participated in.

tbr2019rbrbutton

It’s amazing, isn’t it, that we accumulate books we really want, but then they sit unread for months or years.

Adam at Roof Beam Reader hosted the TBR Pile Challenge to encourage us to get to those books on our shelves, Kindles, or TBR lists.  The goal was to read twelve books, and we could choose two alternates in case we decided not to finish one of our original picks. I’m happy to report that I was able to complete everything on my list. The titles link back to my reviews, and the date immediately following is the year of publication.

  1. How to Understand and Apply the New Testament by Andrew David Naselli (2017)(Finished 5/31/19)
  2. There’s a Reason They Call It GRANDparenting by Michele Howe (2017)(Finished 9/4/19)
  3. The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. (2007)(Finished 3/27/19)
  4. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff. (1970)(Finished 8/6/19)
  5. Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior (2012)(Finished 4/23/19)
  6. On Writing Well by William Zinsser. (1976)(Finished 12/4/19)
  7. Katie’s Dream by Leisha Kelly. (2004)(Finished 2/9/19)
  8. If I Run by Terri Blackstock (2016)(Finished 1/26/19)
  9. Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey (2017)(Finished 3/8/19)
  10. Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa (2016)(Finished 1/13/19)
  11. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (1939, finished 3/20/19)
  12. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)(Finished 2/14/19)

My alternates were Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohkle (2014, finished 3/17/19) and Close to Home by Deborah Raney (2016, finished 6/3/19).

I enjoyed all of these to some degree. I’ll probably benefit most from On Writing Well (at least I hope can remember to incorporate its instruction). How to Understand And Apply the New Testament and There’s a Reason They Call It GRANDparenting had lots of great advice. Booked had much food for thought. A Little Princess and The Wednesday Letters were sweet and charming. So was How Green Was My Valley except for a couple of scenes. Annabel Lee was riveting. 84, Charing Cross Road had been on my TBR list for years, so I was glad to finally see what it was all about.  Leisha Kelly’s series was a favorite. Steal Away Home brought a story to light I had been unaware of. Terri Blackstock’s books are always good, and her If I Run series provided great reading time. So did Deborah Raney’s Chicory Lane series. Cathy Gohkle is a new-to-me author but already a favorite.

I’m sad that Adam won’t be continuing this challenge next year. But I enjoyed the fun motivation to actually get to these books.

Literary Christmas Reading Challenge 2019

A Literary Christmas: Reading Challenge // inthebookcase.blogspot.comTarissa of In the Bookcase hosts the Literary Christmas Reading Challenge each year in November and December. The basic idea is to read Christmas books! Since I like to read Christmas books in December anyway, this challenge was a nice fit. The details of the challenge are here.

One of the requirements of the challenge is to write a post expressing our intent to participate and sharing what we’ll be reading.

I have these books on hand and hope to read as many of them as possible: