A Book Review of Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson - A journey through the treasures and transforming power of a reading life.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Momentum, a nonfiction imprint of Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.

An enlightening and invaluable resource for any avid reader or book lover.

When I first chose to read Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson, I immediately identified with her because I too grew up loving to read and explore books. As a child, and even still as an adult, my time spent reading was, and is, a time I treasure and crave. As a new mother, I want to cultivate that desire and passion for reading in my daughter’s life so I felt Book Girl might provide me with the tools I needed to do that. To me, this book did just that and more… A truly invaluable resource that I know I will find myself returning to over and over again; a book I want to rave about to all my friends!

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Hidden Among the Stars, a Tyndale House Publishers historical fiction novel by Melanie Dobson

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Hidden Among the Stars, a Tyndale House Publishers historical fiction novel by Melanie Dobson

You may have noticed that I did not rate this book like I have done in the past with my fiction novels. That is because Book Girl is above any rating in my opinion. It is truly a book to cherish. As I read through the first part of this book where the author shares her heart and purpose for the book, I felt a unique kinship with her as a book girl. I laughed because I also remember “nap times” in my house as a young child where we were given the option to nap or read quietly. I almost always chose to read.

Author Sarah Clarkson does an excellent job of creating a dialogue that draws you in. It feels as if she’s in the room, sitting and talking to her reader in person. There’s a warm friendship and strong connection that flows throughout this book. She shares of her own personal experiences and takes the time to explain her thoughts and recommendations well. In addition, she discusses the direct link between reading and how it can deepen and strengthen your life, your faith and your education. While reading through these sections of the book, I realized that I’d never really considered how books had impacted my life - my worldview, the decisions I’ve made, the desires I have for my daughter and her reading life… It was an exceptional time spent in these pages, reminiscing over the books I’ve loved and making my own lists of books I’d still like to read, or even better, the ones I’d like to read with my daughter.

Book Girl is an excellent resource for any reader, but geared mostly towards women. I highly recommend it to fellow mothers but also any young woman or woman who desires to deepen her reading experiences. This is not just a book to be read and shelved; it is a resource and a guide. A book to return to, to study and to cherish.

Thank you, Sarah Clarkson, for your time spent creating Book Girl. Your love, knowledge and passion are evident and we, as readers, extend our utmost gratitude to you for continuing to pass on the legacy of being a Book Girl.

When you hear a riveting story, does it thrill your heart and stir your soul? Do you hunger for truth and goodness? Do you secretly relate to Belle’s delight in the library in Beauty and the Beast?

If so, you may be on your way to being a book girl.

Books were always Sarah Clarkson’s delight. Raised in the company of the lively Anne of Green Gables, the brave Pevensie children of Narnia, and the wise Austen heroines, she discovered reading early on as a daily gift, a way of encountering the world in all its wonder. But what she came to realize as an adult was just how powerfully books had shaped her as a woman to live a story within that world, to be a lifelong learner, to grasp hope in struggle, and to create and act with courage.

She’s convinced that books can do the same for you.

Join Sarah in exploring the reading life as a gift and an adventure, one meant to enrich, broaden, and delight you in each season of your life as a woman. In Book Girl, you’ll discover:

  • how reading can strengthen your spiritual life and deepen your faith,

  • why a journey through classic literature might be just what you need (and where to begin),

  • how stories form your sense of identity,

  • how Sarah’s parents raised her to be a reader—and what you can do to cultivate a love of reading in the growing readers around you, and

  • 20+ annotated book lists, including some old favorites and many new discoveries.

Whether you’ve long considered yourself a reader or have dreams of becoming one, Book Girl will draw you into the life-giving journey of becoming a woman who reads and lives well. - Book Girl Synopsis


Image courtesy of https://www.tyndale.com/authors/sarah-clarkson

Image courtesy of https://www.tyndale.com/authors/sarah-clarkson

Sarah Clarkson loves books, beauty, and imagination, and thinks everyone else should too. She's a published author (The Lifegiving HomeRead for the HeartCaught Up in a Story) and recent graduate of Oxford University, where she studied theology at Wycliffe Hall. She blogs at sarahclarkson.com and is a regular guest on the podcast At Home with Sally, where she chats about her current reads and imaginative discoveries. She lives in Oxford, England, in a red-doored cottage she shares with her husband, Thomas and their daughter, Lilian. Learn more about Sarah on her website or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Also, take a moment to find Sarah’s Storyformed Project, another great resource, at www.storyformed.com.

Lastly, pick up your own copy of Book Girl or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below! 


A ★★★★★ Book Review of Hidden Among the Stars, a historical fiction novel by Melanie Dobson

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts below are my own.  Also, this blog post includes affiliate links which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.

Hidden treasure, secrets, friendship and a story that will captivate readers hearts and imaginations…

As history unfolds in this gripping, new novel by author Melanie Dobson, readers will find themselves not only captivated by Hidden Among the Stars endearing characters, but absorbed in this time slip book’s two simultaneous stories that are masterfully tied together by an imaginative and creative author. While rich in WWII history, this book takes place in 1930’s Austria as the Germans invade and in the life of present day bookstore owner, Callie Randall. With subtle, yet powerful morals such as friendship, loyalty, equality and choosing what is right, this novel is perfect for both contemporary and historical fiction readers.

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Hidden Among the Stars, a Tyndale House Publishers historical fiction novel by Melanie Dobson

A ★★★★★ Book Review of Hidden Among the Stars, a Tyndale House Publishers historical fiction novel by Melanie Dobson

★★★★★ || I’ll be the first to admit, the Hidden Among the Stars cover is what initially drew me in for this novel. (…And they say to never judge a book by it’s cover.) With my love of historical fiction and a particular interest in WWII fiction, I was excited to begin this novel. From the first three chapters, I was completely hooked; it was quite the page turner! This time slip novel has two stories happening simultaneously, one that happened near Lake Hallstatt in Austria in the late 1930’s, and a second story that takes place in current day, both of which I found completely intriguing.

The characters are both endearing and relatable. As a book lover, I enjoyed Callie’s character very much and as an introvert, found my self connecting with her on a deeper level. Author Melanie Dobson weaves a heartwarming story through her characters as they face loss, overcome trials, maintain loyal friendships and fight to choose what is right.

There wasn’t anything I didn’t love about this novel. It was all I’d hoped for and more. I’d no sooner finished the story and I wanted to read it again! The story was entertaining, moved along at a pace that kept me interested, held a bit of mystery and suspense as well as certain elements of faith and friendship that were very impactful. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and descriptiveness very much. So much, in fact, that I’ve already searched our local library for her other books as well.

While reading the story, I saw this post from Crazy4Fiction.com on social media about the author’s trip that sparked the idea for this novel which I found fascinating. I know much time, work and love goes into creating a story of this magnitude and I think Melanie Dobson executed this piece magnificently.

From the award-winning author of Catching the Wind, which Publishers Weekly called “unforgettable” and a “must-read,” comes another gripping time-slip novel about hidden treasure, a castle, and ordinary people who resisted evil in their own extraordinary way.

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambi that connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.. - Synopsis from Hidden Among the Stars


Image courtesy of  http://melaniedobson.com .

Image courtesy of http://melaniedobson.com.

Writing historical and time-slip fiction is Melanie Dobson’s excuse to immerse herself into the past by reading old books, interviewing experts, and exploring fascinating places across the United States and Europe.

Melanie is the award-winning author of twenty historical romance, suspense, and time-slip novels. Three of her novels, Chateau of SecretsThe Silent Order and Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa, have received Carol Awards, Catching the Wind received the Inspirational Fiction Audie Award, and The Black Cloister was named the ForeWord Religious Fiction Book of the Year.

Melanie received her undergraduate degree in journalism from Liberty University and her master’s degree in communication from Regent University. Prior to her writing career, she was the corporate publicity manager at Focus on the Family and owner of Dobson Media Group.

Melanie met her husband, Jon, in Colorado Springs, but since they’ve been married, the Dobsons have relocated numerous times with Jon’s work including stints in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Berlin, and Southern California. Along with their two daughters, Karlyn and Kiki, they now enjoy their home in the Pacific Northwest. The entire Dobson family loves to travel and hike in both the mountains and along the cliffs above the Pacific, and they enjoy serving together with the orphan care ministry in their church.

When Melanie isn’t writing or playing with her family, she enjoys teaching, dancing, and reading inspirational novels.

Learn more about Melanie at http://melaniedobson.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Lastly, pick up your own copy of Hidden Among the Stars or borrow it from your local library.  Then, I'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on the book in the comments below!