Wednesday, July 11, 2018

"Island of the Mad" by Laurie R. King

You know I've been a fan of Laurie R. King's Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series for many years now.  I've written a lot of posts about them.  They're my favorite non-canonical Holmes stories, and I love some of them dearly.

Just not this one.

Actually, I liked much of the story.  It was fascinating, mysterious, and held some nice twists.  Russell's university friend Veronica's aunt has been in and out of mental institutions for the last decade or so, and then she suddenly disappears, so Veronica asks Russell to look for her aunt.  Russell and Holmes follow her trail to Venice, which has just come under the rule of Mussolini and the fascists, and all the historical details were awesome.  They end up rubbing elbows with people like Cole Porter, so that was fun.

But running all through the story is a vein of homosexuality, which is not surprising given that King's modern-day mystery series stars a gay policewoman and she's dealt with the topic in other books too.  And Cole Porter actually was gay, so it all tied together.  What bothered me was Russell and Holmes' very modern reactions to finding out various people involved in the case were, as the parlance of the day put it, lavender.  They were practically ho-hum, and while many people in the 21st century would react that way, it felt pretty weird for the time and place the book was set.  Yes, Russell and Holmes have always been unconventional characters, but this began to feel like the foisting of an author's agenda into her characters' behavior and words that I just didn't appreciate or enjoy.  It was like if Holmes and Russell had suddenly started talking about reducing emissions and saving the ozone layer and needing to find sustainable fuel -- it just didn't seem to fit.

So anyway, if you like the series, you'll still have fun hanging out with Holmes and Russell here.  But this won't be a favorite of mine.  A couple years ago, I made a list of how I rank the books in this series, from favorite to least-favorite, and I feel like revising the list to include the newer books, so here's how I rank them now:

1. The Beekeeper's Apprentice (book 1)
2. The Game (book 7)
3. The Murder of Mary Russell (book 14)
4. O Jerusalem (book 5)
5. Garment of Shadows (book 12)
6. Pirate King (book 11)
7. Locked Rooms (book 8)
8. Dreaming Spies (book 13)
9. Justice Hall (book 6)
10. The God of the Hive (book 10)
11. The Language of Bees (book 9)
12. The Moor (book 4)
13. Island of the Mad (book 15)
14. A Monstrous Regiment of Women (book 2)
15. A Letter of Mary (book 3)

Particularly Good Bits:

"I have never found 'luck' a dependable companion," Holmes noted calmly, and tucked into his soup (p. 237).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: a hard PG-13 or soft R for a lot of veiled discussions of sexual proclivities, the behavior of mentally disturbed people, bad language, and some perilous situations.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: This Year's Best, So Far

The year is a little more than half over, and I've already read so many amazing books!  Which is good, because this week's TTT prompt from That Artsy Reader Girl is "The best books I've read in 2018 (so far)."  Here are my ten, with titles linked to my reviews.  

And for something different and fun, I've included a favorite line or passage from each of them so you can have a little taste of what they're like!

A Flame in the Dark by Sarah Baughman (PG-13)  ""This is where we see, without exception, the heart of the Christian faith: love.  God's love for His people, and His people's love for one another, and for the world.  We are to bear one another's burdens, to stir one another up to love and good works.  That is to say, we are to admonish, encourage, help, and be patient, in love" (p. 159).

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George (PG-13)  "Obviously friendly was too high a word for what they’d been, but she’d enjoyed, well, not him exactly but the challenge of him. The pleasing clang of their minds butting together" (p. 194).

The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery (PG) "John Foster says," quoted Valancy, "'If you can sit in silence with a person for half an hour and yet be entirely comfortable, you and that person can be friends.  If you cannot, friends you'll never be and you need not waste time in trying'" (p. 123).

Guns of the Timberlands by Louis L'Amour (PG) "It was midafternoon and the sun lay like a curse upon the town" (p. 66).

Loving Isaac by Heather Kaufman (PG-13) "Kara's was a prettily packaged life, the kind with ribbons and a bow that catches your eye.  Hana's was a banged and dented UPS box left on the wrong doorstep" (p. 21).

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (PG) "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid" (p. 102).

Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks (PG-13)  "I believe the events of the past impact all that happens in the present" (p. 155).

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis (PG-13)  "She had that way of looking at him that made him feel like he'd built the world for her and given it to her as a gift just that morning" (p. 237).

Girl in Disguise by Greer MacAllister (PG-13)  “I’d already applied to every possible position appropriate for a lady. Only the inappropriate ones remained.”

Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery (G) "It is the essence of adventure to see the break of a new day, Jane" (p. 125).

All photos are from my Instagram account except the ones that I read and reviewed before I became a bookstagrammer, which have just book covers.

Did you do a TTT list this week?  Share a link in the comments so I can see!  Have you read any of these books?  Let's discuss them!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Mailbox Monday: I Won Books!

Back in June, I entered a giveaway hosted by Waterbrook & Multnomah Fiction on their Facebook page.  A giveaway for seven of their Christian fiction titles.  AND I WON!!!  I got an email informing me that I won about a week ago, and my books came in the mail today.  Looky:

Can you believe I've never read any of these authors?  Not even Kim Vogel Sawyer, though people keep recommending her books to me.  Well, hers is the first one of these I'll try!

I enter book giveaways all the time and just... never win them.  So that makes me especially excited about this :-)  Plus, do you see how many of these have a western setting?  I'm going to have some fun reading coming up!

And because it's Monday and I haven't done this linkup for a while, I'm linking this post up with Mailbox Monday!  Did you get any books in your mailbox lately?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

"Death at Thorburn Hall" by Julianna Deering

Even though I've been reading them all out of order, I am thoroughly enjoying this series.  Drew Farthering is a likable, believable gentleman.  I really enjoy spending time with him, his wife Madeline, his best friend Nick Dennison, and Madeline's friend Carrie.  They're sweet, fun, kind people, and I like them.

In this sixth book of the series, the four of them are invited to Thorburn Hall, home of Drew's cousin, Lady Louisa Rainsby, and her family.  They're all going to enjoy watching a local golf tournament, along with a few more house guests.  But then, as you might have guessed by the book's title, someone dies.  The police make a hasty arrest, but Drew and Nick are convinced the killer is still free.

This is a bit different from the other Drew Farthering books I've read in that it involves a wider world than just England and the United States.  There's a bit of political intrigue and spying involved here -- this takes place between the world wars, and Germany has come under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.  Various people's thoughts and beliefs about Hitler's ideas get tangled up in the mystery, and I'm pretty sure that future books will continue exploring the gradual slide toward World War II.

Oh, and the recurring theme of cats continues, with a new kitten arriving on the scene partway through the adventure.

As always, there are elements of the characters' Christian faith woven throughout the story, though I found them a bit sparser here than in Rules of Murder or Dressed for Death.

(From my Bookstagramming adventures.)

Particularly Good Bits:

"At some point we have to trust God with our lives, don't we?  Otherwise we spend our days huddled in a corner afraid to take a step outside.  But what a weaste that is when there's so much we're meant to do with the time He's given us" (p. 324).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: a soft PG-13 for violence, dangerous situations, innuendo about a married woman being unfaithful, cigarette smoking, and some mild kissing. No bad language.

This is my 11th book read and reviewed for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

"Imperfect Justice" by Cara Putman

One of my favorite things about this book was how perfectly it nailed what the ruthless life of Washington D.C. is like.  I live outside the Beltway, but I know plenty of people who live in the glittering, grungy world that attorney Emilie Wesley inhabits.  It's a place where everyone is trying to make an impression, to win some competition or other, to edge just a little bit ahead in their own personal race.  

Emile Wesley works for a no-profit that helps abused women escape dangerous and harmful marriages.  She's confident, talented, and determined.  But when one of her clients winds up dead, accused of shooting both her daughters before turning the gun on herself, Emilie's whole world crumbles.  She's convinced her client could never have done such a horrible thing, not when she was on the verge of escaping a manipulative, abusive husband.  

But the only person who believes the same thing is the dead woman's brother, Reid Billings.  He's a hotshot investor whose instincts and drive have pushed him to the top tiers of the D.C. financial world.  Now Reid and Emilie must team up to prove his dead sister's innocence and stop her abusive husband from retaining custody of their surviving daughter.  But an uncle's rights in a custody case are minimal compared to a biological father's, and their chances of winning are slim at best.

I really enjoy legal thrillers, though I don't read a ton of them.  I will definitely seeking out more books by Cara Putman because I thoroughly dug this.  Especially because it included a lot of discussions of how a Christian behaves in situations like this, whether they can forgive those who intentionally harm them, and what happens when they do.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG-13 for discussions of physical and emotional abuse, scary situations, and violence.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for me to read while judging the INSPY awards. In no way did I agree to review this book in exchange. These are my honest opinions.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

"A Flame in the Dark" by Sarah Baughman

This is one of the best books I've read so far this year.  Actually, it's one of the best books I've EVER read.  It's filled with such rich character development and meaty discussions of how God's words apply to our lives.  I talk a lot about how important characters are to me when it comes to enjoying a book or coming to love it -- these characters were so real and wonderful, I actually worried about what was happening to them whenever I wasn't actively reading the book.  That's some powerful writing, folks.

I also loved how Martin Luther was portrayed: kind, humorous, compassionate, stubborn, hasty, and wholly dedicated to understanding the Word of God and illuminating it for others.  Not a saint, but not a satyr either (do yourself a favor and don't read Luther and Katherina by Jody Hedlund. EVER).  He's shown to be an intelligent, determined, Christ-focused man, both human and humane.  

The main character, Heinrich Ritter, is studying law at the University of Wittenberg.  When he can, he attends Dr. Luther's theology lectures.  Heinrich boards with a middle-class family, the Diefenbachs, who live just outside town.  He's romantically interested in their oldest daughter, Marlein, but hesitates to make his interest known to her because she spends all her time caring for her family.  Her father is a busy candlemaker, kind but often distracted.  Her mother suffers from crippling depression centered around mutliple miscarriages, among other things, and rarely leaves her room.  That leaves Marlein to run the household and cares for the children.  

Into this hectic world bursts Brigita, Heinrich's younger sister who's running from her past and carrying a secret.  Through caring for his sister and trying to ease Marlein's load, Heinrich comes to undersand that God's plans are not always our plans, and that sometimes the best way to help someone is just to ask, "What can I do?" instead of trying to solve their problems for them.  He seeks guidance from Dr. Luther several times, trying to understand what his role is as a brother, a possible suitor, and a friend, and I think the thing I loved best about this book (aside from the characters) was how it looked at vocations and burdens from so many angles.

Plus, it's beautifully written, paying wonderful attention to historical details.  I don't know what Baughman intends to write next, but I do know I already want to read whatever it is.

Particularly Good Bits:

"This is where we see, without exception, the heart of the Christian faith: love.  God's love for His people, and His people's love for one another, and for the world.  We are to bear one another's burdens, to stir one another up to love and good works.  That is to say, we are to admonish, encourage, help, and be patient, in love.  Because He has loved us with so great a love, poured His mercy and grace on us in the life, works, suffering, death, and resurrection of His Son, the Christ, we are to love one another.  We are to carry his love to the world.  The broken world, the world lost in its own pleasure, its own slothfulness, its own weakness and despair.  Because He loved us with an everlasting love" (p. 159-160).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG-13 for oblique references to sexual activity, a non-descriptive discussion of rape, unwed pregnancy, childbirth, depression, and accusations of witchcraft.  No bad language or sexual situations, only a little mild violence, but I wouldn't let my young children read it.  Fine for teens on up.

Friday, June 29, 2018

"Portrait of Vengeance" by Carrie Stuart Parks

What a thrill ride this book was!

Seriously, it grabbed hold of me within the first couple of pages and I inhaled it in just over a day. 

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey takes on a gruesome murder case that closely resembles memories from her past that she's been running from for decades.  But this fresh crime occurred in a Nez Perce community, and Marcey is seen as an interloper sticking her nose in where it's not needed.

One of the few people who welcomes her help is  Seth Kus, chief of the Nez Perce Tribal Police.  Handsome, skilled, and respected, he and Gwen Marcey find themselves attracted to each other in the midst of a swirling, ever-worsening investigation.  Kus also has family history that will also impact the case in ways neither he nor Gwen Marcey can imagine. 

In the end, Marcey has to figure out what really happened to her and her family when she was a child, dredging up horrific memories and trying to analyze them with the methods she uses to help others process crime scenes.  Once she does, she has the key to the identity of this murderer.  

This is one of the best modern forensic novels I've read in years.  I enjoyed When Death Draws Near last year, but this was waaaaaay better.  Marcey's Christian faith is tested in many ways during this story, especially the need to forgive others as Christ forgave us.  A lot of Christian fiction kind of shoe-horns faith into the story, but here it's an integral part of who this character is and how she behaves.  I was highly impressed.

In fact, my fellow judges and I selected it as the winner for the 2018 INSPY Awards for Best Mystery/Thriller!

If This Was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  a hard PG-13 for descriptions of horrible crimes including murder, children in danger, and discussions of child abuse.  No bad language or sexual content.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for me to read while judging the INSPY awards. In no way did I agree to review this book in exchange. These are my honest opinions.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Smoke" by Stanley Wheeler

This was an amusing and entertaining mystery.  It's kind of a send-up of hardboiled detective fiction like the stuff written by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.  Set in the late 1940s, its main character is a WWII vet.  He's also a bookstore owner, which is always a fun profession for a book character.  

For reasons I've forgotten, a woman who wanders into his store one day mistakes him for a slightly famous detective who died recently.  She's beautiful, so he pretends to be that detective, rather like Bob Hope's character in My Favorite Brunette (1947).  Her husband has been murdered, and the bookstore owner is so entranced by her eyes that he can't remember her real name or any reasons why he shouldn't try to solve the mystery.  Reasons like the fact that he doesn't have a detective license, has never solved a mystery, and doesn't carry a gun.  But he does like to carry random books around with him -- he gleans helpful advice from them, which I found quite funny. 

The story spins on a little longer than it needs to, and after a while, the stream of snappy retorts and cute metaphors gets a little tired.  But the ending is satisfying and leaves open the possibility for a sequel or a series.

Particularly Good Bits:

I've never cared for kisses on the cheek.  That's the sort of thing you expect from a parent, a sister, or an aunt with bad teeth.  It's about as satisfying as pouring whiskey into your sock.

The road had more curves than a pinup girl.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG-13 for a lot of kissing and embracing.  An extra-marital affair is a plot point.  There's some shooting and punching, and quite a bit of tobacco and alcohol use.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Did You See This?

My friend Eva of Coffee, Classics, and Craziness is hosting a read-along of The Outsiders next month!  Click here for full details.

I haven't 100% decided if I'm going to read it with her, but I'll definitely be joining the discussions.  If you've never read this book, or if you've read it over and over like me, you don't want to miss this!  

And if you want to know more of my thoughts about this book, my review is here.  (Spoiler alert:  I ADORE IT.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie

I read this once before, as a teen -- it's probably the first Agatha Christie mystery I encountered.  I'm not a huge fan of hers, but this particular story charms me for some reason.  I really enjoyed the 2017 movie version (review here), but it'd been probably twenty years since I last read this and I couldn't remember enough of it to tell just how much the movie changed.  I did remember the solution to the case, though.  

The story, just in case you're somehow unaware of it even though it's one of the most famous murder mysteries of the 20th century, is about a man getting stabbed to death on a train.  Detective Hercule Poirot just happens to be on that train too, and he sets about trying to figure out which one of his twelve fellow passengers is the murderer.  

The solution is outrageous and stretches my credulity... and yet, I totally dig it.  It might not be the most logical mystery ever, but somehow, it feels very right.  I'm not at all sure how Christie pulled that off.  I read the whole thing in a little over a day because it races along at such a jolly pace, and is so bright and fun -- a perfect summer read!

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG for murder and discussions of kidnapping.  I would let my 10-year-old read it if he wanted to.

This is my 18th book read and reviewed for my second go-round with the Classics Club and my 10th for the Mount TBR Challenge 2018.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

"Guns of the Timberlands" by Louis L'Amour

Man, oh man, is this a well-crafted story.  I am in awe.  This book is almost depressingly good.

I say that because I'm working on revisions of my latest western, Dancing and Doughnuts, and I'm feeling very critical about my own storytelling efforts right now.  And when I read something so tautly plotted, with superb characterizations and action scenes I can never dream of matching... I sometimes get depressed.  Not always.  Sometimes, I get inspired.  And, actually, this book did help me think through some stuff about antagonists that was really helpful for my current writing projects.  So that's good.

But mostly I read this as fast as I possibly could, muttering, "It's just not fair!  It's not fair!  Whyyyyyyyy is he such a good writer?  Noooooooo!" and other similarly whiny things.

This is kind of dumb review.  Sorry.  The truth is, this book blew my tiny little mind, and I'm still reassembling the pieces.

So there's this rancher named Clay Bell who is basically... imagine if Wolverine was not a mutant, but just a really great guy who is helpful and hard-working and nice.  Keeps to himself most of the time, minds his own business, but still helps others when they need helping.  But also goes a little berserk if you get him too angry.  Slicing and dicing, just not with the aid of adamantium claws, if that makes sense.  And then imagine there's a bad guy who wants to cut down all the trees on Clay Bell's land because he's got this contract to deliver rail ties to the railroad, and Bell's trees are perfect and really ideally situated, and does it actually matter that Clay Bell literally owns that land and those trees and has a perfect right to say, "Nope, can't cut down my trees, bub" if he wants?  

Well, yeah, obviously it matters.  The bad guy doesn't think so, but hahahaha, joke's on him, cuz he's basically just picked a fight with a declawed Wolverine AND all his not-quite-superpowered cowboy friends, and this is not going to end well for you, Bad Guy!  Mwahaha.  Good will triumph.  After a lot of shooting and punching and some stuff getting burned up.

Also, there's a girl.  She's almost engaged to marry the bad guy, but duh, she's simply powerless to resist falling in love with Clay Bell.  Who probably looks exactly like Hugh Jackman.  Or a young Alan Ladd.  Love is inevitable.

Also, there's this kinda old dude who sorta runs the town, and he was not evil.  When was the last time I encountered a guy who runs a town who is NOT evil?  I don't even know.  It was great.

This is still kind of a dumb review.  Just read the book.  It's awesome.  I might just go read it over again.  And then watch the Alan Ladd movie based on the book, because I haven't seen it yet, but I own it already, so I should just watch it, shouldn't I.

(From my Bookstagrammer adventures)

Particularly Good Bits:

He glanced over at Coffin, fine lines of remembered laughter showing at the corners of his eyes (p. 2).

A large -- rather forceful gentleman?"  Clay's expression was almost too innocent.  "With a mustache and an opinion?" (p. 14).

These men who stayed had not been wealthy men, but they had been steadfast men, confident men, strong with an inner strength that knows not defeat.  Such men had built this town, had kept it alive, and would make it grow (p. 18).

She had never been a girl who depended upon others for pleasure, excitement, or entertainment (p. 43).

It was midafternoon and the sun lay like a curse upon the town (p. 66).

Jud Devitt was a man with an eye for a well upholstered blonde (p. 135).

Randy Ashton was a girl who looked as if born to a dance hall, but she was a girl whose heart only beat in tune to cotton print and kitchens (p. 137).

Too long had these people lived by the gun.  These men and women had crossed the plains, they had fought Indians and outlaws, and they had built homes where it took strength to build and courage to fight -- and the willingness to fight was still a social virtue of the highest order.  The town was not yet tame (p. 165).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG for western violence, a big of vague innuendo, and possibly a few cuss words, though I don't recall any at the moment.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

"Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me" by Lorilee Craker

I got this book from my mom for my birthday a couple months ago.  My mom and I sort of discovered the Anne books together when I was like six or seven years old.  Maybe eight.  Anyway, a friend of hers told he we would love them, and that friend was right.  Mom read the books aloud to us, we watched the Sullivan movies over and over and over, and they generally informed my childhood about as much as the Laura Ingalls Wilder books did.  Anne Shirley and Laura Ingalls were my kindred spirits.

Anyway, as soon as I learned of the existence of this book, I knew I needed to read it.  I put it on my birthday wish list and was not at all surprised when my mom decided to give it to me.  I should probably loan it to her sometime, because I think she'd enjoy it too.

Lorilee Craker was adopted as an infant.  After having two sons, she and her husband adopted a daughter.  In this book, she entwines her own childhood, her adoption of her daughter, and Anne's fictional life in a sweet, lyrical way.  She meditates beautifully on how all of us, adopted or not, often feel "bereft, left behind, and left" just like an orphan, and how our Heavenly Father fills that hollowness within us with his love.

Oh, and you know how I said both Anne Shirley and Laura Ingalls were my fictional kindred spirits (or maybe spirit animals) when I was a girl?  Lorilee Craker was inspired to write this by Wendy McClure's book The Wilder Life. Isn't that an intriguing coincidence?

(From my Instagram.  Yes, that is my hair.)

Particularly Good Bits:

Experiencing true friendship after a poverty of loneliness is like suddenly having access to the treasure chest in Villa Villekulla (p. 41).

What I didn't know then was that even after you've found the one, a good and steady love, only a Father's love, on the Bread of Life, can really make you full.  Only a Father's love can make you belong (p. 59).

I want to teach my daughter how to act when someone trips her wires and that it's okay to be angry but not to sin.  I want to teach her the difference as I continue to understand it (p. 125).

In my experience, secrets hold you hostage, while the truth, though painful and scary, leads to peace (p. 184).

Through Anne, Maud speaks volumes about the desire we all have to belong and to matter to the people we love.  Coutless readers, including me and my girl, have come to understand friendship, abiding love, and the power of redemption in a more significant fashion (p. 220).

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  PG because both the author and her adopted daughter were conceived out of wedlock, which might cause some kids/preteens angst or make them ask questions they're not ready for the answers to.  NO inappropriate scenes, bad language, or other truly objectionable content.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Revealing the "Dancing and Doughnuts" Cover

Without further ado, here it is!!!!!

Do you love it?  I love it.  It's from the same artist who did the cover for Cloaked and my short story "No Match for a Good Story" and I think it continues the look of my series so perfectly.

What's this book about?  Well, someone's been spiking the apple cider at a Kansas dance hall owned by a family with twelve daughters.  No one in the small town has been able to find the culprit.  A hungry Civil War veteran drifts into town and decides he's going to solve this mystery for them and earn the reward the family is offering.  It's my version of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," which is probably my favorite fairy tale.

I'll be releasing this in August, and I'll be calling for ARC readers a month or so before the release, so stay tuned for that if you like reading free books before the rest of the world gets their hands on them!  Meanwhile, Dancing and Doughnuts already has a Goodreads page, so click here to access that and add it to your to-read list!

Meanwhile, feel free to visit me elsewhere online to interact with me in other places and ways!  I've got an author website where you can sign up for my newsletter, a Goodreads author page, a Facebook page, an Instagram account, and an Amazon author page

Tell me what you think of the cover!  Doesn't it blend well with the previous two?

Sunday, May 27, 2018

My Kids' Take on the Greatest Showman Book Tag

My three kids, Sam (10), Jellybean (8), and Mad Dog (6), also love The Greatest Showman.  And they love books.  When they saw my tag post, they decided they wanted to fill it out too!  So here are their answers to the prompts :-)  (My husband Cowboy got in on the fun once in a while too.)

(They helped me choose all these gifs too.)

~’The Greatest Show’: Name a book that’s as entertaining as a circus

(Sam) The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
(Jellybean)  The Ghastly Battle by Winter Morgan
(Mad Dog)  Flora the Dress-Up Fairy by Daisy Meadows

~’A Million Dreams’: Name a book that’s set in a fantastical world

(Sam) Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede
(Jellybean)  Lost in the End by Winter Morgan
(Mad Dog)  Holly the Christmas Fairy by Daisy Meadows

~’Come Alive’: Name a book that makes you outrageously happy

(Sam) Big Truck, Little Truck by Jan Carr
(Jellybean)  Domino by Ellen Miles
(Mad Dog)  Trixie the Halloween Fairy by Daisy Meadows
(Cowboy) Lawrence by Janet Morgan Stoeke

~’The Other Side’: Name a book that changed your mind about something

(Sam) The abridged Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by A. Conan Doyle
(Jellybean) Otis by Ellen Miles
(Mad Dog) I refuse to answer on grounds that it may incriminate me.

~’Never Enough’: Name a book that you’ve re-read more than once

(Sam) Song of the Ean by Emily Nordberg
(Jellybean) The Littlest Snowman by Charles Tazewell
(Mad Dog) The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan & Jan Berenstain

~’This Is Me’: Name a book with a character that reminds you of yourself

(Sam) Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede
(Jellybean) The abridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
(Mad Dog) The Berenstain Bears: And Baby Makes Five by Stan & Jan Berenstain
(Cowboy) The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

~’Rewrite the Stars’: Name a book with a forbidden romance

(Sam) The Far West by Patricia C. Wrede
(Jellybean) Mia the Bridesmaid Fairy by Daisy Meadows
(Mad Dog) Flora the Dress-Up Fairy by Daisy Meadows

~’Tightrope’: Name a book with an adventurous main character

(Sam) Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
(Jellybean) Lost in the End by Winter Morgan
(Mad Dog) Robin Hood

~’From Now On’: Name a book with a wonderful family (related or otherwise)

(Sam) Return to Gone-Away by Elizabeth Enright
(Jellybean) Duchess by Ellen Miles
(Mad Dog) The Berenstain Bears' Easter Parade by Mike Berenstain

Friday, May 25, 2018

"The Greatest Showman" Book Tag

Eva over at Coffee, Classics, and Craziness tagged me with this tag that I believe she also created!  She knows how much I love The Greatest Showman (2017), so she knew I'd love doing this tag :-)  Thanks, Eva!

Rules are:
  • answer the questions
  • tag whoever you want 
  • using her graphic is optional, but recommended

~’The Greatest Show’: Name a book that’s as entertaining as a circus

Dragons at Crumbling Castle and Other Stories by Terry Pratchett is EXTREMELY fun.  There's a wonderful audiobook version too.  I heartily recommend both to people of all ages.  The audiobook is actually funnier than reading the book yourself because the reader, Julian Rhind-Tutt, has the most wonderful variety of accents and a dry, ultra-British way of delivering the lines.  

~’A Million Dreams’: Name a book that’s set in a fantastical world

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis has one of the most fantastical worlds I've ever encountered.  I was agog.

~’Come Alive’: Name a book that makes you outrageously happy

The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery is like eating a bowl of delicious ice cream.  Or maybe an entire carton.

~’The Other Side’: Name a book that changed your mind about something

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer made me believe that Sherlock Holmes pastiches were worth reading after all.  Some of them, anyway.

~’Never Enough’: Name a book that you’ve re-read more than once

How about The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien?  That's actually three books (technically six...) and I've read it half a dozen times.

~’This Is Me’: Name a book with a character that reminds you of yourself

I relate a lot to Anne Elliot in Persuasion by Jane Austen, which is part of why that's my favorite of Austen's novels.  I am overdue for a reread and hoping to sneak it in later this summer.

~’Rewrite the Stars’: Name a book with a forbidden romance

I keep overthinking this and trying to find a romance that's totally forbidden like in Romeo and Juliet.  But how about a romance that's just frowned upon by society?  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte totally has one of those.  Young, poor governess falls in love with approaching-middle-age, rich man.  Nobody approves.  They don't care.  Also, it's my favorite book EVER.

~’Tightrope’: Name a book with an adventurous main character

Constance Kopp, the titular heroine of Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart, is definitely adventurous!

~’From Now On’: Name a book with a wonderful family (related or otherwise)

I'm going to copy Eva on this one, because the found family withing The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is pretty much as wonderful as they come.

Now... who should I tag?  I'm kind of crunched for time today, so I'm just going to tag Flowers of Quiet Happiness, Meanwhile in RivendellMovies Meet Their Match, Any Merry Little Thought, and Lavender Spring even though I haven't had time to look back through their posts and see if they've seen this movie or not.  But I know they all enjoy both books and movies :-)  If YOU loved this movie and want to do this tag, then you're hereby tagged too!