7 Reasons Why You Should Be Reading Books

Click on the pic below to check out my top 7 reasons to read books :)7-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Be-Reading-Books-1024x1024

the advocate | book review

I’ve always been a great historical fiction fan.  I just finished this audiobook that pretty much blew my mind and made it to my list of top ten favorite historical fiction novels.


The Advocate by Randy Singer

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts:

In books of Luke and Acts, the two-part piece of work written by physician/evangelist Luke, are addressed to Theophilus (Luke 1:3,4; Acts 1:1).  The Bible doesn’t say anything about Theophilus but it is generally believed that he was a benefactor of Luke and Paul.  Beyond this, there are only theories.  One of those theories is that Theophilus was the lawyer that represented Paul during his trial before Nero and that Luke wrote the books of Luke and Acts so he would know the facts as he prepared for the trial and he would “know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed” Luke 1:4.  It is upon this theory that Randy Singer tells his story.

Singer tells the story of a man who not only witnesses but plays a role in the trials of both Jesus of Nazareth and the apostle Paul.  It is an epic tale and that put me in mind of Wallace’s Ben Hur and reminded me of my favorite book from the 8th grade, The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (which I now feel like re-reading!). He expertly paints a picture of Roman societal, religious, and political life as you follow the experiences of a man who must make sense of what truth really is as Rome meets her decline and a new religion is born.  It was super educational without being textbook-y, just as a good historical piece should be.

About halfway through the story, I wondered how much more story Singer could possibly tell.  I was not expecting what was to come.  You know the feeling you get at the end of a long, epic movie?  You wonder how things could take such a turn, how the character’s life in the beginning could be so diametrically different from his life at the end?  Your emotions get played and you wonder how you’d deal with it if were your story.  Yeah, that’s how I felt at the end of this book.  Bittersweetness isn’t quite the word to use but it’s the best I can come up with.  It was beautiful and horrible and real.

You should read it.  For real.  Go to Audible and download it or Amazon and get the Kindle or print copy.  I actually got my audio copy from ChristianAudio.

This will definitely be on my list of favorite books read this year, I can’t recommend more highly!  Seriously, read it.  You won’t regret it!

Happy reading, y’all!

This book counts towards the following challenges:

platform | book review

Ever feel like you have something to share with the world but you’re not exactly sure how to go about it? We live in a media saturated society and it’s really easy to get lost in the shuffle. Well this past month I listened to a book that you might be interested in. It has definitely impacted my direction as a blogger.


Platform by Michael Hyatt

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts: 

So, you may know that I’m a lover of lists. I like things set out in bullet points or numbered items that are easy to scan, breakdown, organize and take in. This is one of those kinds of books. Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson, speaks from his expert knowledge of the publishing world and his personal brand building experience and gives step-by-step counsel on what branding is, why it’s important and why you need to do it if you want to be heard in this noisy world. If you’ve got a business or a ministry or you’re a creative who just wants to gather a following, this book is for you. Seriously.

It’s not a message for everyone but for a blogger like myself who’d like to spend my life doing work that I love, it was perfect. If you think that this book might be something you’d be interested in, here’s what you need to do:

Go to MichaelHyatt.com and see what he’s all about. Seriously, it’s a great site.

Go to Audible.com and download Platform and listen to it. Seriously, it’s a great book!

Or go to Amazon and buy a print copy. Seriously, I’m going to get one for my shelves, it was that good and I need it for reference.

I’m now a huge Michael Hyatt/Platform fan and I think some of you, dear readers might want to check out what all the fuss is about! It may change your life too :)

Happy reading, y’all!

Why Women Love Gilbert Blythe and Why Guys Should Pay Attention

Green Gables fans everywhere were shocked and saddened by the death of Jonathan Crombie, aka, Gilbert Blythe of Sullivan’s beloved TV series. In memory of the sweet, sweet guy who played literature’s favorite boy-next-door, I wrote a post about why we girls love Gil and why guys might want to pay attention.

Click on the picture below and check it out!  Hope you like it :)

Why Women Love Gilbert Blythe

Little Woman Review and Thoughts

A couple of years ago I hosted a Little Women Read-Along event here on the blog and…


I never really closed up the event.  It’s not really in the best interest of the blogger to begin a post in this negative fashion but I have to be honest.  However, this kind of neglect is going to work on my favor because I’m going to talk about a topic in the framework of my favorite piece of literature.  I’m going to spend the next several few lines talking about literature, translation and communication. Aaaaaaannd even though I have written about this book before, I’ve never properly reviewed it so I thought I’d knock out a few thoughts on the story as well and count this as my official review.  This will be quite different than my usual review format but stay tuned, it’ll be fun!


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts:

Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is an American literary treasure that has been a favorite of mine for over a decade.  The story of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March is centered around themes of family, coming of age, friendship, life pursuits, heartache, and cherishing those things that are most important to us.

The story begins with the four sisters coping with the challenges of life in Civil War America.  While they’re used to a comfortable life, they now face the struggles of scrimping and pinching to help their mother, affectionately called ‘Marmee’, maintain their household while their father serves as a chaplain in the war.

The experiences of these four sisters are not so unlike those girls face today.  Meg and Amy deal with desires to be popular, pretty and well-liked.  Beth learns to come out of her comfort zone and stay diligent.  Jo, the heroine of the book and my literary doppelgänger, struggles with patience, social awkwardness, and finding a place for herself in the world.

Throughout the mishaps, tears, and triumphs, Marmee keeps the girls grounded and focused on what’s important.  She challenges them to do their best in life and rise above their weaknesses and struggles.  She encourages them to embrace their womanhood but also push past society’s narrow and sometimes silly expectations.  She values simplicity, hard work, and truthfulness and wants her daughters to do the same.  The story’s heroine may be Jo and the title may be Little Women but the woman behind these girls is a mother whose heart and soul helps to shape them into beautiful people.

And it would do no good whatsoever to not mention Laurie, the lovable boy next door and Jo’s BFFL.  He’s got his own set of coming-of-age challenges that I totally appreciate and enjoy reading about.  If you’ve read the book, you understand the struggle when it comes to Jo and Laurie.  I don’t need to say more. It’s been over ten years and I still struggle sometimes even though I completely understand why.  If you haven’t read the book, well, I’m not going to spoil it for you :).

I love, love,  love this book and will never tire of the book or the movie adaptations (there are 4 that I know of).  It’s very sweet and charming.  It’ll make you laugh, cry and may make you a bit angry at times but hey, that’s what a good story does right?  If it’s not there yet, I urge you fellow classic literature lovers, add it to your list of books to read!

Okay, let’s switch gears in the discussion for a minute and talk a little history and language.

This is a very American story.  Four young women growing up in a turbulent society and while the book isn’t at all about the Civil War or its aftermath, it can’t be ignored that these girls are finding their wings in a time in history when America was redefining so much of its own identity.  A lot was going on in the second half of 19th century America, including the world of literature.  Alcott’s father was a transcendentalist.  This was an American philosophy explored by several authors of the day including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau.  Transcendentalists believe in the idea that people have knowledge about themselves and the world around them that transcends what we see, hear, taste, touch, and feel.  A transcendentalist believes that they can trust themselves alone to decide what is right and wrong.  This is not a philosophy I subscribe to but I recognize its place in American ideology, especially in this time period.

So what happens when a story so engrained in it’s culture is translated into another language and culture?  What must carry over into the new language in order for the story to retain its identity?  I don’t know anything about translating literary works but I do know this – there’s more to a story than just the words on a page.  If a translator can capture the life between the lines of a piece, then that is a job well done.  After all, we read literature not just to consume words strung together one after another, we read literature to capture a piece of another time or place than where we are.  Alcott’s Little Women evokes homey, cozy feelings in me as well as inspires a desire to pursue life to the fullest and do work that matters. That’s the beauty of a well-told story and each language, each culture does this in it’s own unique way.

The woman who read and loved Little Women when it first hit the bookstores is quite different from a woman like me who reads and loves it more than a century later.  But even though we have completely different lives, we both share an experience with the story.  The same should go for a translated work.  Little Women could be translated into any other language but the reader should still experience the warmth, the sense of home, and ‘Americaness’ that I imagine Alcott intended her readers to experience.

I think when groups and cultures share their stories, we not only become better intercultural communicators, but we also become more empathetic in our dealings with one another and better apt to treat each other with understanding and respect.  Translations of great works of literature, online content and conversations, and businesses can open people all over the world to wonderful experiences and add incredible depth to life.  After all, we were made to communicate with each other, right?   If the heart and soul that a writer or communicator puts into their work can be translated along with the words, translators and translation services like Smartling have extended the gift of that experience to those that the author could not originally reach.

And that, my friend, is a beautiful thing!

Happy reading y’all!

New Blog!

Just a quick announcement to let y’all know I’m blogging in a new space and my new site, Purple Ink Studios just went up.  If anyone here has followed me on Popcorn and Purple Ink, you’re going to want to slide on over to my new site because Popcorn and Purple Ink is saying farewell.  I still love the name but my blogging life needed an overhaul and with all the change, a new name was in order.  So here’s the link to my new space:

Purple Ink Studios


No worries, Unscripted is staying put!  I have so many book reviews to catch up on but school comes first sooooooo yeah. *giggle*

Stay tuned and have a great rest of the week :)

Happy reading!!

beezus and ramona | review

I was shopping Audible today, trying to figure out what to spend my monthly credit on when I came across the Ramona Quimby Audio Collection.  I know I’m in my twenties and all but you have to understand, I LOVED Beverly Cleary books when I was growing up and here was a $40 collection of all 8 Ramona books available to me for 1 Audible credit!

I got it.

I finished the first two books while weeding the garden beds.

I should have been listening to something else.  Something more…mature.  But it was sooooo sweet revisiting Klickitat street again, it was worth it!  I have a feeling I’m going to finish this collection pretty quickly!

912441Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts:

I don’t remember how old I was when I first listened to this audiobook but I’ve always loved it.  It gains a new kind of precious when you’re an adult. You gain a new kind of appreciation because you better understand childhood and you remember what it was like to be a child.  As an older sister, I can totally relate to Beezus Quimby.  But since you know what’s going on in Ramona’s little, imaginative head, you can’t help but love her and her exasperating ways.

I absolutely love the way Cleary tells her stories.  She connects events and makes things come full circle.  The way the applesauce incident ties in with the surprise party.  The way Beezus’ feelings about her relationship with Ramona and her admiration of the relationship between her mother and Aunt Beatrice.  They’re quite simple really but they’re touching and sweet and homey the way a children’s book should be.

And I must say, Stockard Channing’s reading of the Ramona books is superb and if there is another audiobook production of these stories, I will not ever listen to them cause no one can narrate these books the way she can!

I have 7 more books to go so I’ll have plenty more to write about Ramona in my next several posts!

Happy reading y’all!

This book counts towards the following challenges:

The First Sentence Challenge! | Video

Soooooooooo last August my bestie came to visit me and I told her about this tag going around book vloggers on Youtube.  She liked the idea and agreed to do it with me.  No bells and whistles, just two best friends shooting a video about books for my book blog.  As YouTube standards go, the video has much to be desired but whatever! It was fun!

Why has it taken me forever to post it?

I mean, come on, it is February, Elyssa. 

Yeah well, life happens, school assignments, holidays and whatnot and yeah, there were tweaks I had to deal with even after my brother edited it.

(Btw, try saying edited it. Yeah, uh huh. The struggle is real)

So!  Without further ado, here is my first Just-For-Fun-Book-Tag-With-The-Bestie video – The First Sentence Challenge!!!

Oh yeah, and I know it’s real long so don’t at all feel bad if you don’t want to watch the whole thing! This was mostly for our enjoyment :)

Happy Friday, Y’all!

make it happen |review

Allow me to introduce you to my new favorite book:


This book was recommended by a friend on Instagram and, I have to admit, the cover was so beautiful, I had to check it out on Amazon.  Then the subtitle pulled me in further – Surrender your fear. Take the leap. Live on purpose? Me, me, me!  I want to read that! That book is for me!  Needless to say, as soon as I had a new Audible credit, I downloaded it.  Man, am I glad I did!

Make it Happen by Lara Casey

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts:

Have you ever felt scared about pursuing a more purposeful life?  You’re stuck in the routine grind of work or you’re not sure what’s going to happen after graduation.  There are dreams tugging at your heart but you know that if you took that leap, you’d be free falling and you’re not sure how you’d handle the great unknown.  If you’re like me and you have doubts about your place in this thing called life then this book is for you.

Lara Casey tells her story.  The highs and lows.  The details she’d rather not remember much less see in print.  And it’s not that her story is anymore remarkable than anyone else’s but what drew me in was her honesty and the candid truth that God created each of us with a specific purpose.  The journey can get messy and scary sometimes but He still wants the best for us despite our not-so-good choices.

What also drew me in was her invitation to practical application.  I like practical books.  I don’t just like to know someone’s story, I want the manual that comes with the story and tells me how to make the successes work for me.  I want lists and bullet points, writing prompts and inspiring new ideas.  This book as it.  And that’s why it’s my new favorite.

I can’t recommend this book more highly.  It was soooooooooooo…ooo good!  If you don’t go to Amazon.com right now and order it, at least go to Lara Casey’s website and check out all her cool resources!  You’ll be glad you did :)

Stop chasing the world’s version of perfect and live on purpose for God.

Happy reading y’all!

This book counts towards the following challenges:


the true confessions of charlotte doyle | review

I’m not sure how many times I have listened to this audiobook in the past ten years but it is one of my favorite stories from eighth grade.  I just listened to it again this week and it’s about time I reviewed it!!


I first encountered this book when I was in eighth grade.  I liked it so much, I did one of my book report projects on it.  For some reason, tales about the high seas intrigued me and I went through this lady pirate phase.  Don’t ask.  This book doesn’t even contain pirates.  I just wanted to read about girls on ships and those books were out there – but the girls in the books I got my hands on were pirates!

I have since gotten over the whole pirate thing but I’ve still kept this piece of junior fiction on my list of favorite stories.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts:

Charlotte Doyle is a sweet thirteen-year-old girl traveling from Liverpool, England to her family in America.  It’s quite a simple arrangement really.  Two other families are supposed to travel on the same voyage, thus keeping her protected and occupied.  However, when she boards the ship, the other passengers are nowhere to be seen and she realizes she must make the trip as the only passenger besides captain and crew.

Something’s not right.

Word has it that the captain is not what he seems.  But Charlotte finds him the very sole of propriety, class, and dignity – everything she has been brought up to expect and respect in a gentleman.  He’s the one man who understands her, can protect her, and provide her with the kind of respectable companionship on this long, lonely voyage.  But some of the crew have made it clear that they do not trust or like him.

So what is she supposed to do when everything is turned upside down and she’s caught in the middle of the power struggle?

And what is supposed to do when she’s accused of murder, tried and found guilty?

I have a thing for mysteries, I must say.  And for ship stories.  Ten years later and it still does the job.

This book counts towards the following challenges: