Book Reviews Over 50s Lifestyle

Do you have any ‘Marmite’ Books on Your Bookshelf?

February 18, 2022
What's on your bookshelf?

I had planned something completely different to write for this month’s What’s On Your Bookshelf? Challenge and then I found a comment in a Facebook Group which prompted me to shelve my original idea (is that a pun?).

Do you have any Marmite Books on Your Bookshelf? I bet you do and I bet you have read many, I know I have.

Have I piqued your interest yet?

What is a ‘Marmite’ Book?

For those of you who haven’t heard of Marmite it is the UK equivalent to our Aussie Vegemite. It is a type of softdark brown, salty-tasting food for spreading on bread, made from yeast. So what does a ‘spread’ have to do with books?


There is also another meaning for Marmite and the Cambridge dictionary defines this as:

something or someone that some people like very much and other people dislike very strongly:

He is something of a Marmite presenter – you either love him or you can’t bear him.

Cambridge Dictionary

This was the comment left on the ABC Bookclub Facebook Group

I was introduced to a concept called ‘a Marmite book’. I assumed it meant a book that left a bitter taste in the mouth! But no- it means a book that people either love or loathe with no in-between. Using a local flavour (pun intended) what books come to mind as Vegemite books?

Del Winslow

So now you know what ‘a Marmite’ book is.

Examples of ‘Marmite’ Books

One that immediately comes to mind is Hamnet a book I absolutely loved but my friend, in her words ‘loathed the book’ and has mentioned this several times so it is definitely a Marmite book for her.

For me, I found I couldn’t get into The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville. In my Goodreads review I wrote:

I have read many positive reviews about this book and it is the first time I’ve read Kate Grenville’s work. However, I just didn’t enjoy it. Slow to start, I felt as if it was building up to something and then the story finished. The characters were real, suffering from self consciousness, a need to be liked, loved and to belong which we all can relate to, but I found them frustrating and it was painful. I ended up skimming (which I don’t like doing)

There have been books that I love and want to re-read again and again. Trinity by Leon Uris is one, The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams and I adored the Nightingale and The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. Where the Crawdads Sing was another book that stayed with me for some time.

I used to try to finish every book and struggle to finish some at times. Now if I don’t like a book I just don’t finish it. I’ve let go of feeling that I have to.

Let’s agree to disagree

We are all unique, like different things and what a boring world it would be if we all liked the same. The most important thing is that we read and we encourage our children and grandchildren to read. Reading expands the mind and whether you like or dislike a book it makes you think.

My book of the month

Thursdays at Orange Blossom House

This is such a feel good book by Sophie Green. A story of friendship and support between women of different ages who meet during a weekly Yoga class. You can read my Goodreads review below.

Another beautiful story of women, friendship, yoga classes and the ability to open up our minds, hearts and bodies. I read The Shelly Bay Women’s Swimming Circle and loved it, so it was a natural progression to read Sophie Green’s Thursdays at Orange Blossom House. I was not disappointed and I think I may have enjoyed this one just a little more than the Swimming Circle.

In far north Queensland, 1993, Grace Maud. Patricia and Dorothy, are an unlikely trio to become friends but through yoga classes with the exotic Sandrine, they develop a love and friendship for each other whilst discovering who they are and letting go of long held ‘stories’ which have been holding them back from enjoying life.

I loved it! 

Sue’s 2022 Books read

Northern Spy
Where the Trees Were
Still Life

Sue Loncaric’s favorite books »

Book Club Reading

This is a big call, but I think ‘Shirley’ by Charlotte Bronte just might be my favourite of all the Bronte Sisters books. We are halfway through and Shirley, when she arrives is a bright, colourful, vivacious character who complements the more subtle and quieter Caroline Helstone. The story covers social issues, definitely feminist issues and set in the Industrial Revolution and Napoleonic Wars.


What: What’s On Your Bookshelf (#whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge).
When: Third Thursday PM (Northern Hemisphere)/ Third Friday AM (Southern Hemisphere).
Why: Share a love of reading.
Where: Blog, Blog Comments, Instagram or other Social Media.
Who: This linkup is open to everyone.
How: You can share in the comments, with a blog post, or on other social media of your choice. Include the hashtag #Whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge so that we can find you and include your link in our posts.

Be a proud contributor to #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

To show our appreciation to all participants, contributors are welcome to display this badge on their blog, website or social media.

What's on your bookshelf contributor badge

Sharing what’s on their bookshelf this month

Take a moment to link through to see what my co-hosts and others have written……

Deb from Deb’s World
Jo from AndAnways
Donna from Retirement Reflections

Now over to you – what’s on your Bookshelf?

Deb, Donna, Jo and I hope that you will join us each month and share what you’ve been reading! If you have any questions just ask us. You can also link to any, or all of our posts, with a pingback, that way we get to see your posts quicker!

Don’t forget to tell me about the book(s) you’re reading at the moment! Then click on the blue button below to see what others are reading.

See you next month!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

2022wotylinkparty cohost
Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Debbie February 18, 2022 at 08:09

    Hi Sue, this is another great post for our monthly What’s on Your Bookshelf challenge. I am enjoying Thursdays at Orange Blossom House at the moment having just finished the Swimming Circle one by the same author. They are lovely books to read, all about women, friendships and life in general. I remember reading her The Inaugural Ladies Bookclub a few years ago and loved it too.
    I’ve not heard of the ‘Marmite’ book idea but it makes sense! I too loved Hamnet as you know from previous conversations 🙂
    Thanks for being a co-host for our monthly link up, it’s always so good to see what others are reading! I always value your recommendations 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2022 at 08:16

      Thanks Deb, I’ve just downloaded The Inaugural Ladies Bookclub which I started last night.

      • Reply Debbie February 18, 2022 at 16:03

        Hope you enjoy it Sue!

  • Reply Jo February 18, 2022 at 08:20

    I’ve just finished Orange Blossom House so it will be on my Feb list. The marmite concept makes absolute sense to me – I’m like that with Liane Moriarty books – I know I should enjoy them, but can’t.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2022 at 08:36

      I really enjoy Sophie Green’s books because they are so easy to read yet have a wonderful story. I’m a hit and miss with Liane Moriarty. Some I really like and others like Apples Never Fall, I was definitely on the fence with. x

  • Reply Retirement Reflections February 18, 2022 at 08:30

    Hi, Sue – I continue to learn so much from you. I had never heard of Marmite Books before. The concept makes complete sense. I love that books have the power to cause strong emotion — and that that emotion can be unique for each of us. I prefer book club discussions where there are different points of view on the same read. Isn’t this what gives life that extra spice?! BTW – As you know, I absolutely loved Hamnet…and hate Marmite!
    Thank you for cohosting #Whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2022 at 08:34

      Hi Donna, you are always so supportive of my WOYBS posts! I adored Hamnet and yes, I hate Marmite but I do love Vegemite so not sure what all of that means LOL:)

  • Reply leannelc February 18, 2022 at 09:35

    This made me smile Sue – and I immediately thought of Hamnet before I even started reading your post! I also remember you saying that you aren’t a huge fan of Brene Brown – but I’ve really learnt a lot from her. I always find the reviews on Goodreads interesting for the contrasts in who LOVED a book and who LOATHED it – I just have to try to figure out which camp I’d fall into before I launch into something I may regret 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2022 at 13:30

      I knew you would think of Hamnet, Leanne! LOL:)

  • Reply rawsonjl February 18, 2022 at 10:58

    What a fun topic! I too have started giving up on books I’m not enjoying; life is just too short to slog through books that are unenjoyable when there are so many out there to pick from.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2022 at 13:28

      Yes, Joanne, it was a fun thought from the FB Group and rather clever actually. I think as we get older and life is busier we don’t have time to waste on things that aren’t bringing us joy and that includes books. Enjoy your weekend and thanks for stopping by. x

  • Reply Rebecca Cuningham February 18, 2022 at 12:35

    Sounds like Ladies Swimming Circle is one that several of the bookwomen have enjoyed. Must check it out! Thanks for including me in the bookshelf challenge. : ) Rebecca

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 18, 2022 at 13:26

      Yes it is a lovely story, Rebecca but I think I liked Thursdays a Orange Blossom House a little more. You are welcome to the challenge and I look forward to reading your post next month! Happy Reading! xx

      • Reply Rebecca Cuningham February 18, 2022 at 13:43

        Thanks, Sue, good to know which to read first. 🙂 Sounds like a friendship story I’d enjoy. See you next month.

  • Reply Thistles and Kiwis February 18, 2022 at 14:36

    Kate Atkinson’s ‘Life After Life’ is my Marmite book, and actually almost everything by her except for the early Brodie books. I loved Ann Patchett’s ‘The Dutch House’ but a friend hated it. Love the idea of Marmite books!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2022 at 11:35

      I love the idea of Marmite books too because it can really sum up how some books can be divisive. I’ve not heard of either of the books you mentioned and that is what I love about the link up – discovering books that others have read or are reading. See you next month.

  • Reply Jennifer Jones February 18, 2022 at 15:07

    I was really curious when I saw your title Sue as I’d never heard of a marmite book. Mine is probably The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I love it so much that I read it every year. However I notice on Goodreads that it has many 2 star reviews. Thanks for the opportunity to catch up again with what you’ve been reading.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2022 at 11:35

      Hi Jen, I hadn’t heard the term either until I saw it in a FB thread. I’ve not read The Alchemist but I know you’ve mentioned it before so one for me to check out. xx

  • Reply Janis @ February 19, 2022 at 09:07

    I love the idea of “Marmite Books.” We usually have at least one person at our book club meeting that hates (or loves) the book that everyone else loved (or hates). Based on what I read about Hamnet from you and a few other bloggers, it is my selection for my July book club. I haven’t read it yet but I hope I will be in the “love” camp.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 19, 2022 at 11:37

      I loved the idea too, Janis. I suppose life would be pretty dull if we all liked the same things. I will be interested to see how Hamnet is received by your Book Club. I loved it from the first page but as I wrote in my blog post, a friend ‘loathed’ it. xx

  • Reply Donna February 19, 2022 at 10:03

    I chose Hamnet for my book club last year and loved it. It wasn’t a vegemite book in that forum for us and ended up 8/10. I recently finished Bruny and The Last Migration – both a really good look at modern issues.

  • Reply February 2022 reads – Eat, Play, Live February 19, 2022 at 14:53

    […] #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge: Deb, Sue, Donna, and Jo.  […]

  • Reply Marsha Ingrao February 20, 2022 at 07:02

    Hi Sue, I love the idea of marmite books. BTW, I hated vegemite. Tim Tams were more my speed. LOL. Thanks for including your reading list for the year. I’m glad you don’t finish then all. That’s a hard habit to break for me too.

  • Reply What’s On Your Bookshelf? | Beyond the Flow February 22, 2022 at 00:02

    […] to a blogshare which is right up my alley: What’s on Your Bookshelf, hosted by Deb, Sue, Donna, and Jo. I could be here for several years and you’d be long gone, if I literally […]

  • Reply Janet Alcorn February 22, 2022 at 07:25

    I like the “Marmite book” idea. I think these books are often ones that break the mold in some way, that take risks, whether with style or characters or subject matter or subverting genre conventions. Two come immediately to mind for me: The Bridges of Madison County, which was hugely popular in the early 90s. I loved it, but a lot of people hated it, because the romance was an extramarital affair. The other one is Gone Girl, which most people loved, and I disliked. It was interesting to read a book with 2 unreliable narrators that subverted some thriller tropes, but the main characters were loathsome people, and I didn’t like spending time in either of their sociopathic heads.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 22, 2022 at 16:09

      HI Janet, I saw the movie, The Bridges of Madison County although I haven’t read the book. Gone Girl I enjoyed the book but not the movie. I agree these types of books do make the mold because they create reactions at different ends of the spectrum. x

  • Reply Julie February 25, 2022 at 01:07

    I’ve never had marmite or veggemite. I’d be open to it if I ever come across a jar one day. I hear the opinions are polarizing. “Thursdays at Orange Blossom House” sounds like a nice read. I go to exercise classes too and I love connecting with other gym goers from all walks of life.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 25, 2022 at 10:01

      Marmite and Vegemite – you will either love or hate the taste, no in-between. 🙂

  • Reply Marsha Ingrao March 6, 2022 at 06:24

    Congratulations, Sue you are featured in my February Wrap-up post.

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