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A Classic Beauty

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“I like good strong words that mean something…” ― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott // Book Review - Thank you to Little, Brown and Company for sending me a review copy //                                                                                                                       

Little Women is a favorite classic of mine and I’m sure many of you feel the same way! This book review is a preview, not of the story itself, but instead, it's a look at this gorgeous, illustrated, 150th anniversary edition of Little Women published by Little, Brown and Company. This hardbound book is beautiful both inside and out and would be a perfect addition to any bibliophile’s library! The end papers are so charming and the beginning of each chapter features a turquoise toned illustration. Take a look below...

Happy 150th Anniversary, Little Women!

  • ISBN: 978-0316489270
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company 
  • Publication Date: September 25, 2018
  • Format: Hardcover, 528 pages, Illustrated Anniversary edition

 

 

 

 The end-papers in this book are so charming!

The end-papers in this book are so charming!

 A perfect quote from the book is imprinted on the back of the book.

A perfect quote from the book is imprinted on the back of the book.

 Isn't this just the sweetest illustration!

Isn't this just the sweetest illustration!

 I always enjoy an illustrated classic! Happy Anniversary,  Little Women !

I always enjoy an illustrated classic! Happy Anniversary, Little Women!

 The beginning of every chapter features a turquoise-toned illustration by Shreya Gupta.

The beginning of every chapter features a turquoise-toned illustration by Shreya Gupta.

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Bookish Kindred Spirits

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“Shakespeare said the eyes are the windows to the soul, but we readers know one’s bookshelves reveal just as much.” -Anne Bogel, I’d Rather Be Reading

I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life                                         by Anne Bogel // Book Review - Thank you to Baker Books for a free review copy//

A cup of hot cocoa, a cozy blanket and a copy of this delightful book creates the perfect bookish trifecta! As I read this collection of 21 charming essays, I found myself smiling, laughing and reading passages out loud to my family (it helps that they know that I am not the only crazy book person in the world)! We, as readers, are unique in our individual book preferences yet this book brings together what we all share as bibliophiles! Book lovers will relate to Anne’s writing and reflection on topics such as books that find you, being book bossy, life imitating art and those reoccurring bookworm problems. I especially enjoyed Anne's humor in the essay on how to organize your bookshelves - this is me on paper! I highly recommend this gem of a book is that celebrates the “delights and dilemmas” we experience as bookish kindred spirits in this wonderful world of books!
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Have you read this book? What essays were your favorites?
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"We are readers. Books are an essential part of our lives and our life stories. For us, reading isn't just a hobby or a pastime; it's a lifestyle." -Anne Bogel, I'd Rather Be Reading
 

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A Mother's Love

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“Well, that was life. Gladness and pain...hope and fear...and change. Always change! You could not help it. You had to let the old go and take the new to your heart...learn to love it and then let it go in turn. Spring, lovely as it was, must yield to summer and summer lose itself in autumn. The birth...the bridal...the death...” 
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside

Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery // Book Review //

 For years, I have always adored "young" Anne, "college" Anne and "newlywed married" Anne in Books 1-5. I have now reached unchartered territory with the Anne of Green Gables series with my first reading of this book. In Anne of Ingleside,  we meet Anne as a mother of six, very active and imaginative children. I understand the desire (and complaints by some) of wanting to read more of Anne in her early days, however, life keeps swiftly moving, and with the advancement of time comes change. Montgomery wisely provides us, the reader, with the passage of time which is always full of joys and sorrows. Although my first love of this series will always be the young Anne of Green Gables, the more I reflect on the "older" Anne of Ingleside, the more I grow to also appreciate her wisdom, growth, maturity and most of all, her love for her children, husband, family and friends. Themes of family, rememberance, love, hope, loyalty, patience, a mother's love, the passage of time, insecurity, forgiveness and imagination are found beautifully nestled throughout this book. I am reminded of how quickly time passes, how fast children grow and how every moment of life (especially the little ones) are precious! I hope you have enjoyed or will plan to enjoy this wonderful story!

“They were all growing so fast. In just a few short years they would be all young men and women...youth tiptoe...expectant...a-star with its sweet wild dreams...little ships sailing out of safe harbor to unknown ports. The boys would go away to their life work and the girls...ah, the mist-veiled forms of beautiful brides might be seen coming down the old stairs at Ingleside. But they would still be hers for a few years yet...hers to love and guide...to sing the songs that so many mothers had sung...Hers...and Gilbert's.” 
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Ingleside

 

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Sweet as Sugar

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“It was really a very simple thing, after all,—it was only that he had lived near a kind and gentle heart, and had been taught to think kind thoughts always and to care for others. It is a very little thing, perhaps, but it is the best thing of all. He knew nothing of earls and castles; he was quite ignorant of all grand and splendid things; but he was always lovable because he was simple and loving. To be so is like being born a king.” -Frances Hodgson Burnett, Little Lord Fauntleroy

Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett // Book Review //

This book stole my heart from the very beginning and still holds it long after I turned the last page. I can't recommend this book enough! Despite the selfish, uncaring behavior displayed by much of culture today, I believe that there is still kindness in this world - and kindness matters! I understand that some may describe this book as sugary sweet - they are correct - and I unapologetically loved every minute of it! Themes of childhood innocence, a mother's love, kindness, optimism, generosity, friendship, tyranny, greed, selfishness, goodness, deceit and charity are presented throughout this classic.

I will leave this review short and simple with the sincerest recommendation to treat yourself and your family to this classic. Little Lord Fauntleroy, along with Burnett's other works, The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, would be wonderful stories to read-aloud to the children in your life! This book is more than just a children's classic, however, as the storyline does not necessarily only address the person we are as much as the person we desire to be. This is a message that we can all take to heart - even if it is as sweet as sugar!

“But only be good, dear, only be brave, only be kind and true always, and then you will never hurt any one, so long as you live, and you may help many, and the big world may be better because my little child was born. And that is best of all, Ceddie, — it is better than everything else, that the world should be a little better because a man has lived — even ever so little better, dearest.”

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Is it real or is it fantasy?

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A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively // Book review // Before I share my thoughts on the content of this middle grade fantasy, I must gush over the charm and loveliness of this cover! Isn’t it just the sweetest! The title, A Stitch in Time, is a clever reference to a Victorian needlepoint sampler as well as a parallel timeline linking the present and the past.

In regards the story itself, I have mixed feelings. I enjoyed getting to know the protagonist through the first half of the novel. Maria is a thoughtful, kind, respectful, only child with an abundance of imagination. As an only child she is often alone with her thoughts and therefore finds herself talking to animals and trees. Themes of family, loneliness, reality versus imagination, acceptance, change and the passage of time are woven throughout this coming-of-age story. 

The story in the second half of the book felt underdeveloped in the advancement of the plot. The mystery of the barking dog, unidentified child and creaking swing grabbed my attention in the beginning and then the details just kind of fizzled out by the end.  Although I enjoyed her atmospheric writing style in her creation of place and time, I personally thought that the many evolution/Darwin references distracted from the storytelling.

Have you read this book or any other books by this author? I am looking forward to reading Penelope Lively's other fiction written for an adult audience. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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