Book Reviews Over 50s Lifestyle

What’s on your Bookshelf during November?

November 19, 2021
woybs cohost

This is the fourth post in the What’s On Your Bookshelf? Challenge which I co-host with my good friends and Online Book Club Members, Deb, Donna and Jo. I love the idea of a monthly post because I can share my thoughts on reading and the books I’ve read plus also learn what you are reading as well. As always my book list keeps getting longer!

Don’t forget to copy the #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge contributor badge at the end of the post.

What value do you place on books and reading?

In thinking about what to write for this months WOYBS post, I came across an article ‘The most expensive books and manuscripts in history’. It is an interesting read and I was staggered at the amount paid to own a piece of history. You can read it HERE.

I then came across this post in the ABC Book Club feed on Facebook. ‘Greetings, fellow book lovers. I stumbled across this magnificent piece of history in my my local op shop for $2 last week and was wondering if somebody might be able to help out with any historical back ground. It appears to be an educational resource of some description (University Women’s College), with an inscription ‘To Ella Shaw from India, Xmas 1890,’ (I think!?). It has been beautifully annotated and has made me very emotional reading through the past owners thoughts of Keats’ poetical works. Thanks in advance’

It seems that value and price are relative. So my question to you is:

What value do you place on a book?

I love reading for pleasure and also to learn and ‘No’ I could never afford or perhaps want to pay millions for a book or historical article, I’ll leave that to the ‘collectors’. I value a book from what I learn from it – whether it is a life learning or gaining information, how it makes me feel or the sentimental attachment I have.

For me, any book is priceless if it enriches your life in some way, touches your heart and emotions or creates memories.

Sue Loncaric, Women Living Well After 50

I remember growing up and my Mum put together a recipe book for me in my later teenage years. Unfortunately, I lost in in the many moves I’ve made but it was precious. It contained her written recipes, or recipes cut from magazines and lovingly pasted into the book for me to use in the future.

Reading to and with my grandsons, is another example of creating memories and touching my heart. Although the books might not be worth millions, the experience is priceless. I love that their parents have encouraged a love of reading from a young age.

I remember an Italian holiday to Tuscany where we rented a small villa and I replaced one of the books in the library with one of my own. I still have the book and it evokes memories of my Italian holiday.

Although they are letters and not books, I have letters my Mum wrote to my cousin and my Nan wrote to my Mum when she was in hospital when my brother was born. These letters are over 60 years old but are so precious, because my Mum died when she was 63 in 1986 and my Nan died the year in 1956 before I was born. They give me an insight into these two important women in my life.

There are my ‘go to’ comfort reading books, my relaxing holiday reads, my psychological thrillers that keep me intrigued and in suspense. All of these are valuable to me in what they offer to me at any given time. Even the books I don’t enjoy make me think as I ponder why I didn’t enjoy the book (especially if others have rated it highly).


In my online Bookclub, we are studying the Bronte Sisters and we finally finished reading Villette by Charlotte Bronte . It was a tough read and I have to put my hand up and confess that I resorted to an audio book halfway through. The Classics require concentration and time, and I found that listening to the book on my drives to and from Brisbane, helped me to focus on the story rather than reading a paragraph with my mind filled with other things and then having to go back and re-read.

I said it was a tough read and it was, but at the end, after our several Book Club discussion meetings I found I came to an understanding with both Lucy Snowe (the protagonist) and Charlotte Bronte, the author.

If you are interested you can read my review on Goodreads HERE

Our next book, is The Professor by Charlotte Bronte . This was her first book but was not published until after her death. The book is similar to Villette and is said to be based on her experience as a student and teach in Brussels. I’ll fill you in next month

This is the summary of The Professor from Goodreads

The Professor (1857) is English writer Charlotte Brontë’s first novel. Rejected by several publishing houses, Brontë shelved the novel in order to write her masterpiece Jane Eyre (1847). After her death, The Professor was edited by Brontë’s widower, Arthur Bell Nichols, who saw that the novel was published posthumously. Based on Brontë’s experience as a student and teacher in Brussels–which similarly inspired her novel VilletteThe Professor is an underappreciated early work from one of English literature’s most important writers.


Sue’s bookshelf: read

Heading Over the Hill
The Nightingale
The Perfect Life
Woman to Woman
The Family Gift
People We Meet on Vacation
The Things We Keep
Jane Eyre
Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray
The Honey Queen

Sue Loncaric’s favorite books »


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! See you next month!

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Donna Connolly November 19, 2021 at 09:55

    Hi, Sue – I love that you opened with a link to ‘the most expensive books and manuscripts in history.’ I took a peek at the article, which was super thought-provoking. ‘The Birds of America’ publication caught my eye. I remember it from All of the Light We Cannot See. I believe Doerr used this reference to show that art and literature are powerful ways to reach across the boundaries of time, age, circumstances, and politics. It’s funny what fragments of a book remain in our minds long after reading. I also love the photo of your grandson reading. Truly priceless!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 19, 2021 at 14:15

      HI Donna, yes I was interested to see what was on the list of ‘the most expensive books and manuscripts in history’. Can you imagine a life without books? I can’t and I’m so happy when I see Ethan and Elliot turning to books for enjoyment. x

  • Reply Debbie Harris November 19, 2021 at 10:18

    This was a great post Sue, covering articles, encouraging a love of reading with children, letters from your mum and what you like to read. I’m like you, so pleased that my grandchildren love reading and have been encouraged to do so by their parents. I always learn more about our group from these monthly posts.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 19, 2021 at 14:02

      Thanks Deb, I had intended to write about children’s books and then came up with this post instead. I’m loving our monthly bookshelf posts – we are pretty clever coming up with the idea!

  • Reply Joanne Tracey November 19, 2021 at 13:34

    I’ve done the same – swapped a book at an accommodation place for another – Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers (which I didn’t finish) for John Baxter’s The Most Beautiful Walk in the World. I got the better deal I think.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 19, 2021 at 14:01

      Yes I think you did get the better deal and a great souvenir!

  • Reply Jennifer Jones November 19, 2021 at 15:28

    Hi Sue this was a lovely post. I really enjoyed reading it and found it thought provoking. I’ve read both Candice Fox books. I’ve become a fan of hers. Here’s my #whatsonyourbookshelf post

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 19, 2021 at 16:21

      Hi Jennifer I’m so pleased you enjoyed reading my post and yes I’ve become a fan of Candice Fox. Deb from Deb’s World recommended her books to me and I’ve read two. Thanks for participating and leaving your #whatsonyourbookshelf post. Happy reading.

  • Reply Natalie November 20, 2021 at 00:11

    Hi Sue, I enjoyed reading your post. It’s great that your grandsons love reading. From your list, I’ve read, Glass Houses and the same two books by Candice Fox. I’ll be on her third one Gone By Midnight next. here’s my contribution:

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 20, 2021 at 04:41

      Hi Natalie, thanks for joining us again and I’ve read two of Candice Fox’s books this month. I enjoy her writing and of course, Crimson Lake and Redemption Point are both set in Australia is a bonus. I’ve linked up with you for this week’s #weekendcoffeeshare and loved your photos of the benches – so colourful. Have a great week! xx

      • Reply Natalie November 22, 2021 at 07:31

        Thank you Sue for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare. Have a great week!

        • Reply Sue Loncaric November 24, 2021 at 04:24

          Thanks for hosting, Natalie. x

  • Reply Joanne November 20, 2021 at 01:51

    I definitely have fond memories of reading to my kids (and even those kids I had in my classes when I was a teacher!). I had a college professor that read children’s stories to us once a week and I loved it even then. I don’t think we are ever too old for listening to a good story with friends or family.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 20, 2021 at 04:40

      Hi Joanne, yes I love reading with my grandsons and seeing their love of books grow. Ethan is now reading ‘chapter books’ and getting into series. We are never too old to listen to a good story, I agree. Thanks for sharing your link of what you’ve read and I’ve popped over to visit. Have a lovely week. x

  • Reply Noelle Booth November 20, 2021 at 05:04

    Hi Sue, I really enjoyed reading your post! I haven’t yet read anything from your recommendation, but I will !
    I’m currently reading “where the crawdads sing,

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 21, 2021 at 06:56

      I loved ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ Noelle. It stayed with me for some time after I had finished reading it. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Enjoy and thanks for visiting. x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee November 20, 2021 at 06:31

    I have a few old copies of J. M. Barrie’s collected works (as a teen and young 20’s I read a lot of plays. I still occasionally do but not as much as I used to) and in one of them was the openning night review at the theatre in NZ of Peter Pan (and cars for 5 pounds advertised on the back – maybe not 5 but some ridiculously low amount). I love that the person before me loved the book and Mr Barrie so much (I adore Dear Brutus and The Spot* so much.)
    *I read The Spot (may not be called that, might be The Will – the lawyer and the young couple) and I read it in year 10 maths class and it made me cry and the teacher caught me and I had to pretend I was upset about something. Ha!
    I couldn’t spend lots on a first edition because I wouldn’t look after it properly but I spend a small fortune on Graphic Novels because they are soooooo espensive and you need a lot in the series…but if a good one, so worth it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 21, 2021 at 07:06

      Hello Lydia, I only read plays at school. I have to admit I haven’t read any J.M. Barrie but now you have made me curious. Thanks for joining in with us this month and look forward to having you join us next month. x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee November 20, 2021 at 06:31

    I’m sharing this book this month

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 21, 2021 at 07:05

      Thanks for joining us Lydia, I’ve shared your post in my FB Group. x

  • Reply Bernie November 20, 2021 at 11:57

    The Lost Apothecary is now in my inbox. As I wrote in Deb’s reading with my grandchildren is a favourite activity, one of yours as well.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 21, 2021 at 06:55

      Hi Bernie! Thanks for visiting and yes I love reading with my grandsons. It brings me great joy to see that their parents have instilled a love of reading from a young age. I enjoyed The Lost Apothecary although I felt it didn’t really require the ‘present day’ part. Anyway will be interested to hear your thoughts after you have read it. x

  • Reply October and November #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge – Eat, Play, Live November 20, 2021 at 16:36

    […] #WhatsOnYourBookShelf is a monthly post challenge hosted by Donna, Sue, Jo and Debbie. […]

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 21, 2021 at 06:53

      Thanks Julie for joining us and I will be adding some of your recommendations to my list. Catch and Kill and Love and Lemons Every Day. See you next month.

  • Reply Kirstin November 26, 2021 at 23:10

    I enjoyed this post Sue. I read Anxious people and really liked it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 30, 2021 at 05:18

      Hi Kirstin, thanks for the comment. I’m on the fence re Anxious People. I did give it 4 stars though.

  • Reply Marsha November 30, 2021 at 03:16

    Hi Sue,

    I love this challenge, and I’m always looking for a good book. I just finished the Color Purple by Alice Walker, recommended by blogger Cee Neuner, Regeneration by Pat Barker, and Brave New World by Huxley Aldous, both recommended by Robbie Cheadle.

    I sent an email to Deb asking if you would like to be a part of Challenge Host Interview Series I do on my blog, Always Write. I will interview you questions, and you all can talk it over and decide if that sounds like a good idea.

    I’ll look forward to hearing from you, Sue.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric November 30, 2021 at 05:20

      Hello Marsha, lovely to meet you and yes, we are discussing your interview idea today. It sounds like fun! I haven’t read any of the three books you have suggested so thank you for mentioning them. I look forward to the interview.

    I love hearing from you and your comments are important to me

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