Book Reviews Over 50s Lifestyle

What’s On Your Bookshelf? January 2023

January 20, 2023
What's On your Bookshelf?

Welcome to a New Year of What’s On Your Bookshelf? with more reading and sharing. I’m looking forward to you sharing what you’ve read at our monthly link up co-hosted with my friends Deb from Deb’s World, Donna from Retirement Reflections and Jo from And Anways.

My 2023 Rating System

In 2023 I will be more consistent with my book ratings and I’m keeping it simple and remembering that it is only my opinion. What I might not like or might enjoy may not be the same as someone else reading the book.

1 star – I didn’t like it – I probably won’t write a review because even though I don’t like a book, I admire authors to put the time and effort into their work.

5 stars – Absolutely loved it ! Couldn’t put it down. The book might not be a classic or a literary success but if I have really enjoyed the story and characters then it will get a 5 star from me.

As my Word of the Year is TIME and using it wisely I’m not going to waste my time finishing a book that I don’t enjoy. I’ve let go of pushing through just to say I’ve finished the book.

You might also like to follow my reviews on Goodreads

What’s On Your Bookshelf? January 2023

During the last few days of December, I read a couple of fun books in particular The Hub by Nicola May.

The Hub – Nicola May

The HUB – Nicola May – ★★★★★

This was a fun, feel good romcom and perfect for a summer holiday read. August Saunders has recently returned from London and come home to Futtingdon (be careful how you pronounce it LOL 🙂 ) having had her imminent wedding called off by her now ex-fiance. A mystery writer, August needs some time out to lick her wounds and also try complete her latest book.

She meets the mysterious and at times volatile Max Ronson who rents out office space in the HUB a he has in a refurbished barn at the family’s turkey farm. Sparks fly when they meet but August is frustrated because she can’t break through Max’s defenses and find out what he is hiding.

Life is never dull especially when August discovers there may be a real-life mystery to solve after all.

The 52 Book Club’s Reading Challenge 2023

52 Book Club Reading Challenge 2023

In the last few days of 2022, I was reminded of the 52 Book Club’s Reading Challenge which I originally read about in the WOYBS link up.

One of our members, Jennifer Jones from Next Phase in Fitness & Life wrote about participating in the 52 Book Club’s 2022 Reading Challenge.

I investigated and decided that I would like to try the challenge in 2023 and probably use it as a guide to explore new genres. You can read all about the Reading Challenge for 2023 HERE. Basically, it is all about encouraging reading and to read outside of your normal genre. There are 52 prompts to guide you and for me, it isn’t about reading 52 books but more about exploring books that I normally might not read, for example, fantasy. The prompts make you think and research books that will fit the prompt.

As you don’t have to read books in the order of the prompts I’ve ticked off #15: Set in Australia

Prompt #15 – Set in Australia

I chose Outback by Patricia Wolfe which is set in Outback Queensland – My rating: ★★★

What's On Your Bookshelf? January 2023 - Outback - Patricia Wolf
Outback – a DS Walker Thriller – Patricia Wolf

Outback is the first book in the DS Walker Series. Set in fictious town of Coolardie in North West Queensland, DS Lucas Walker has returned to his home town to care for his dying grandmother. He was not expecting to be drawn unofficially in to a case of two German backpackers, Rita and Berndt who have gone missing on their way to take jobs at an outback Cattle Station.

Walker is joined by Rita’s sister, Barbara a detective from Berlin who is desperate to find her sister and wants to be involved in the case.

Having worked undercover in organized crime the Federal DS wonders if there is a link to the local drug trafficking trade and the two missing backpackers. However, the answer might not be what he is expecting.

I enjoyed the book although at times I lost interest and was frustrated when I felt Walker was working in the wrong direction to solve the case. I stayed the course and was rewarded with the thrilling ending which held me until the last page.

The writing took me to the outback of Australia – extreme heat, dusty and the vastness of the landscape. Definitely somewhere you don’t want to go missing.

Prompt #8 – Dystopian Fiction

I chose The Measure by Nikki Erlick – My rating ★★★★★

The measure of your life, lies within

The Measure, Nikki Erlick

Wow! What a debut book for Nikki Erlick and what a start to my reading year. The Measure is beautifully written and so thought provoking. I was immersed from the beginning and enjoyed a lovely Sunday reading. Nikki Erlick, covers so many social issues throughout the book and there is certainly an important message for us all. I won’t tell you the premise of the book because you really need to read it. It is about choice, it is about how we treat others it is ultimately about how we live our life. It’s a 5 star read for me.

Ethan and Elliot’s Recommendation

In last month’s WOYBS I introduced my two grandsons, Ethan (8) and Elliot (4) who had reviewed their favourite Christmas books. I have decided to ask them for more reviews or recommendations throughout the year. I love to know what they enjoy reading and why.

Whilst on holiday in Tasmania in early December they selected this book for me as a Christmas Gift. Why? As you can see from the inscription from them, they felt it reflected the adventures we have had and will continue to have during school holidays.

Beside the Sea – Kerri Day & Jess Racklyeft

A delightful story of spending time with Nan beside the sea. My grandsons and I are yet to sit down and read it together but we have flipped through and seen some adventures that are like the ones we have done in real life.

Italian Street Food – Paola Bacchi

This was a Christmas gift from my son and DIL. In my previous post for What’s On Your Plate? I explained that:

A belated Christmas gift from my son and his wife, prompted me to commit to making TIME with my darling, to discover new recipes and to bring back our Saturday ‘Restaurant at Home’ nights. There was a time when we did this every Saturday. We would take it in turns to plan and prepare a special menu for each other, lay the table with our special dinnerware and put on some background music. A ‘date night’ at our home restaurant. It was a wonderful way to re-connect, especially as we were both busy during the week.

Now we aren’t quite so busy but why shouldn’t we make time for each other over a meal made with love? We both enjoy cooking and it is a lovely way to spend time together.

What is Italian Street Food?

Paola explains that it is definitely not Fast Food but tasty, cheap and has a story and tradition. I love that and it brings back memories of my visits to Italy.

It is about being in touch with the local people, who make it, their land and their traditions.

Whilst these recipes aren’t formal they are tasty and I quite enjoy making platters occasionally rather than a main course.

I’m looking forward to trying some new recipes based on Italian Street Food.

What’s On Your Bookshelf? I would love to read your recommendations and reviews.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

#WOYBS Dates for the Diary

To make it easy for you to know when to link up here are the dates for What’s On Your Bookshelf? 2023

Beginning January 2023. Third Thursday, 2 pm (PST)/Third Friday, 8 am (AEST).

• January 19/20,
• February 16/17,
• March 16/17,
• April 20/21
• May 18/19,
• June 15/16,
• July 20/21,
• Aug 18/19
• Sept. 14/15,
• Oct 19/20,
• Nov. 16/17
• Dec.14/15.

Happy Reading!

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Jo January 20, 2023 at 08:18

    The Hub sounds right up my reading alley – and Outback also appeals. My reservations list at the library is getting longer!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 09:26

      I thought of you Jo when I was reading The Hub and knew you would enjoy it. I hear you about the reservations list it is never ending (but in a good way) xx

  • Reply Jennifer Jones January 20, 2023 at 09:37

    I agree with all you say about The Measure Sue. I did chuckle when i saw that you’ve used ot for Dystopian as i did. The Outback sounds like a book that I’d enjoy so it’s going on my list. I enjoyed your post

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 12:04

      I’m sure we will double up on some of the prompts but I’m enjoying the challenge so far. x

  • Reply Retirement Reflections January 20, 2023 at 11:31

    Hi, Sue – That book inscription from Ethan and Elliot warms my heart. How adorable are they?! <3 You have had a great start to the 52 Book Club’s Reading Challenge. I look forward to following where this adventure takes you!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 20, 2023 at 12:06

      They are very caring children and I’m so grateful I’m their Nan. I’m looking forward to reading different genres throughout the challenge – that’s my goal. x

  • Reply Carol @ Reading Ladies January 20, 2023 at 18:25

    Life’s too short to read books that we aren’t enjoying!!! By the way, I read (via listening) an Australian author in January as well! Exiles by Jane Harper

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 21, 2023 at 05:11

      Oh I totally agree Carol although if you said that a few years ago I would have been horrified LOL :). Jane Harper is a favourite of mine and Exiles is on my list. My daughter recently read it and recommended it to me. Have a lovely weekend and thanks for visiting. x

  • Reply Debbie January 20, 2023 at 20:00

    I love the inscription from Ethan and Elliot Sue, how loved you are and how sweet the boys are! I enjoyed the Outback and am currently reading The Measure on your recommendation, and it’s certainly got me in! The 52 Book Club challenge sounds very interesting and I look forward to seeing how you go. I always enjoy reading Jen’s progress on the challenge as well!
    Thanks for being a great co-host, we all work well together without planning our posts with each other beforehand. xx

  • Reply Joanne January 21, 2023 at 09:13

    I’m doing that same reading challenge but I haven’t covered either of those genres yet!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 21, 2023 at 10:18

      Oh that’s great Joanne. Maybe we will get some ideas from each other and Jennifer Jones who is also doing it. x

  • Reply Gail Is This Mutton January 21, 2023 at 17:38

    I love the sound of The Measure. I’m also not going to finish a book if I don’t like it. Your home date nights with Italian food make me very envious! My husband never cooks x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 22, 2023 at 09:52

      I really did enjoy The Measure because it stayed with me long after I had finished the book. It was very thought provoking and made me stop and reflect on my life. Thanks for visiting and hope you are having a lovely weekend. xx

  • Reply My Reading life in 2022…and my January 2023 reads! – Eat, Play, Live January 21, 2023 at 17:51

    […] What’s on your Bookshelf hosted by Sue (Women Living Well After 50), Donna (Retirement Reflections), Jo (And Anyways), and Deb (Deb’s […]

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 22, 2023 at 09:53

      Thanks so much for sharing your reading recommendations with us. Havea lovely weekend. x

  • Reply Janet Alcorn January 23, 2023 at 11:59

    The Hub sounds fun and The Measure sounds fascinating! Looks like your year in books is off to a strong start!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 24, 2023 at 07:28

      Hi Janet I really enjoyed The Measure and I’m sure you would too. I love reading and trying the new 52 Book Club Challenge will help me to discover new authors and genres. Thanks for visiting and have a beautiful week. x

  • Reply January 26, 2023 at 13:04

    Just copied and pasted the dates for these posts into an email to myself. Really want to join you. And want to get back to sharing book review on my blog. Wasn’t The Measure a good book? So glad the book club chose to read it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 27, 2023 at 04:57

      The Measure was really thought provoking, Leslie. Join when you can, no pressure but I’m sure your reviews would be worthwhile and we would love to have you join in. x

  • Reply Julie January 30, 2023 at 14:43

    I am interested in “Italian Street Food.” I just placed a hold to pick up at my local library!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 30, 2023 at 15:20

      It is an interesting read and I have earmarked a couple of recipes to try. x

  • Reply Julie January 30, 2023 at 14:50

    “The Measure” sounds like the premise of “They Both Die at the End” by Adam Silveira. I haven’t read the book but I’ve heard good things.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 30, 2023 at 15:21

      Oh I’ve not heard of “They Both Die at the End”. I did enjoy The Measure although at times a little confronting. x

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