Friday, November 30, 2018

Guest Post. . .Why I Love the Classics by Melissa Chan

Below is a post from Melissa Chan on Why I Love the Classics.  I have fallen in LOVE with her site Literary Books and Gifts. She is offering a discount code for Becky's Bookshelves Readers.  It is at the end of this post!   

Why I Love the Classics

When I was young, I spent a lot of time in a used book store. There were calendars of the year, CD's so scratched that they no longer played, and dime store paperbacks, but what this store had was a great deal of was classic novels. My family and I would spend many Saturdays trading in our used books and boardgames in, racking up credits to be spent in the store on other books. I'd spend long hours in the stacks searching for new titles that I could bring home and later swap again. The local library still constituted most of my reading material but there was just something different about these books. The covers, the leading, the typography, the overall look and feel. They had travelled such a far distance to be there, at that time, in that bookstore, for our enjoyment. This, I believe was the beginning of my lifetime love of classic novels, literature, and everything about them.

Here are just a few reasons why I love classic literature.

The physical copies themselves

New versions of books, eBooks, and audiobooks are all fantastic ways to distribute, consume, and share the stories within the novels. Their low cost and efficiency makes them a great option for many. Classic novels in their original formats will often have lovely and antique physical copies that match the stories. Sometimes printed during the time they were written, but often many years after, they will look and feel different than newer glossy covered books. I love old book covers and their artwork. Sometimes weathered with time and slightly distressed with age. I'd often remove a plain looking dust jacket only to find gorgeous cover artwork laying beneath, as if finding a box of treasure. Like watching a period piece film, original copies of classic novels give off the same notion, and one I cannot seem to get enough of while browsing old copies of books.

The historical context

Just like the physical copies of a book, no matter how lovely do not effect the story itself, the history behind a book does not either. However this does not mean that it does not have an effect on the book after it has been published. Since the classics were published such a long time ago, their authors have had a chance to live and exist throughout history. No reading of William Shakespeare's works is complete without at least a few facts surrounding his life and how he lived. After reading Edgar Allan Poe's unique and intriguing work, one might wonder about who he was as a person and perhaps pick up a copy of a biography on his life. History has the ability to give context above and beyond the pages of the book, I love that practically every classic novel comes with it's own backstory for further reading.

My favorite books tend to be classics

Maybe I'm a little biased, but Moby Dick by Herman Melville is one of my favorite novels. Recently I have been reading a great deal of 20th century literature and have found many new favorites there, but previous to this most of the books I have enjoyed best have been none other than classics. Reading Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley and Dracula by Bram Stoker was my first introduction into the horror genre and I'm glad I picked them up from the classics bookshelf first.

Classics have long been the choice books of many readers. I'm glad that they were written and have accumulated over time so that readers such as myself have the option to pick them up and try them out.

Do you read the classics? Do you enjoy them? Let me know in the comments below.

Written by Melissa Chan, founder of Literary Book Gifts and designer of tees and totes for book lovers.

BeckysBookshelves20 is the promo code, good for 20% off anything in the Literary Book Gifts store, no minimum, and does not expire.  The Literary Book Gifts products are wonderful and would make incredible Christmas Gifts.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Making of Mrs. Hale by Carolyn Miller

The Making of Mrs. Hale by Carolyn Miller is the third book in the Regency Bride’s series. The book has many characters from Mrs. Miller’s previous books, but you do not have to have read them to enjoy this story. (But, I can't imagine why you would not want to read them because they are fabulous! ) 

This story follows Julia Hale and her husband, Major Thomas Hale, after they have run off to Gretna Green to be married. The quote, “ Marry in haste, and repent in leisure,” sums up their story. Their story starts off far from a happily ever after. However with God reconciliation and true love become a possibility. 

I am a huge Carolyn Miller fan, and this a wonderful story of romance, mystery, happy endings and faith. I loved Julia Hale as a heroine. She is spunky and is trying so hard to support her husband and be kind to her family. I loved reading the parts of the story from her point of view. She has a beautiful heart. Our hero, Thomas Hale, is a man who is open to changing and becomes a hero you will love.

I highly recommend The Making of Mrs. Hale. You will not be disappointed by this wonderful regency read. I received this book from the publisher and was not required to write a review.

Monday, October 15, 2018

A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson is a contemporary Christian romance and mystery.  The book is set on coast of Georgia and this is the first book of Ms. Johnson’s new Georgia Coast Romance Series.

 The main character Millie is searching for a treasure at a mansion through reading a diary by her great-grandmother.  Her helper, our hero Ben, is her partner.  Time is running short for both of them who each have their own secrets and problems.  The book follows their many treasure hunting adventures, the strengthening of their faith, and their love story.  

I loved learning about the opulence of the 1920’s.  I enjoyed it when Millie read from her great-Grandmother Ruth’s diary and the story within the story.  
Liz Johnson is a new to me author, and I have been so glad for the opportunity to read this book!   Her characters have depth and Ms. Johnson is a master storyteller. She weaves the past and present effortlessly together in A Sparkle of Silver.  The ending was amazing.   I highly recommend A Sparkle of Silver and believe you will enjoy this lovely book
I was given this book by the publisher and not required to write a review. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall

Enchanting Nicholette by Dawn Crandall is well. . . enchanting.  The story follows Nicolette Everstone, a Widow, and our hero also a widower, Cal Hawthorne.  They meet romantically in a bookstore, and begin their adventure of falling in love. 

This book has incredible romantic tension.  The scenes with Nicholette and Cal were wonderful to read, and I looked forward to each time Nicholette would meet Cal again.  I felt myself back in time in the wonderful places Ms. Crandall wrote about.   The book is written in first person, Nicholette’s POV.  Dawn’s fantastic descriptions of her surroundings make this book so fun to read. 

 The book is the fifth in the Everstone series, but definitely can stand alone if you have not read the other four.  But, why would you want to do that.  You really want to read the other four.  Life is too short to miss out on Dawn Crandall’s books.   I am such a big fan of Dawn Crandall that I have thought of offering to take care of her of her plants, pets, and/or children so she has more time to write.   I will let you know if she takes me up on that. 

The Enchanting Nicholette is a wonderful novella.  It is the perfect length to read and savor.  I love how Dawn’s stories are God-centered, and so romantic.    I highly recommend this book. 
I was given a copy of the book by the publisher, but not required to write a review. 

About Dawn Crandall: 
Dawn Crandall’s debut Gilded Age Victorian romance, The Hesitant Heiress, was a 2015 ACFW Carol award finalist in the debut category and received the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2015 Write Touch Reader's Choice Award and the 2015 Romancing the Novel Reader's Choice Award. Her follow-up novel, The Bound Heart, received the 2016 Laurel Award from Clash of the Titles. Dawn earned a BA in Christian Education from Taylor University. She’s been balancing books and babies lately as her two sons were both born as the first four books of her Everstone Chronicles series were being released from Whitaker House from 2014 to 2016. Dawn lives with her husband and two young sons on a hobby farm in her hometown in northeast Indiana.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Christmas Heirloom Collection

The Christmas Heirloom consists of four Holiday Novellas by the wonderful authors:  Kristi Hunter, Karen Witemeyer, Sarah Loudin Thomas, and Becky Wade.  The book has four charming stories from the 1820’s Regency England to modern day Washington state.  The book revolves around each character finding true love and involves a special brooch that is passed from mother to daughter through the generations.  The stories also happen around Christmas making this story a wonderful way to begin celebrating Christmas. 

I loved each novella and they were fabulous.  They are the perfect length, all of the stories were well developed, and unique to the time period and author’s style.  The story of the brooch flowed through each story very naturally.   Each woman who was given the brooch embroidered their name on the bag that held the brooch.  I could picture the brooch and bag and loved seeing it appear in the different novellas.   I was so engaged in each story, and was very sad when the book ended.  

I highly recommend The Christmas Heirloom.  So many wonderful authors in one book!   The stories are fabulous, well written, and will help you to celebrate Christmas!  Such an enjoyable read. 
I was given a copy by the publisher and not required to write a review. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Amazon Gift Card Give-Away


I am running a contest for a $25 Amazon card!  It is very simple to enter.  Follow Becky's Bookshelves Blog.  Once you complete that entry there are four more bonus entries.  It is super simple.  Remember when you follow a blog you do not get any email.  You simply follow.  My hope is you can win and can buy some of the wonderful  books I have reviewed or anything else you would like!!  

Happy Fall!

If you are on a mobile phone. . go to the end of this post and click on the words "View web version" (It is under a HOME button)   It will take you to a page where if you look in the top right corner you will see the FOLLOW button.  Click on that and Follow Publicly. 

Good Luck!
Rules: The contest is open to anyone I can send an Amazon online gift card to. Please know I VERIFY all winning entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Christmas with the Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

Christmas with the Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe is a great way to start the Christmas season!  I was so excited to come back to Big Heart Ranch in Oklahoma for a visit.  I am a huge fan of the ranch and the characters there.   I love Tina Radcliffe’s characters.  They seem like the kind of people I would want to have lunch with.    In Christmas with the Cowboy we learn more about Emma who works at the ranch and Zach who is a six-foot five former Navy Seal.   Emma had been married to Zach’s brother, but is now a widow.  Zach has always been fond of Emma since they were kids.  They have wonderful chemistry and I was cheering for Zach and Emma to get together.   I loved their banter and Emma’s twin girls added so much. 

This story has wonderful adventures, great cowboys, and the down-home feeling of Oklahoma.  (I was born in Oklahoma so I know this.)   I highly recommend you read Christmas with the Cowboy.  Prepare yourself to get into the Christmas spirit and make some new friends. 
I was given this book by the publisher and not required to write a review.