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 – ★★★★★
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
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.
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: ★★★
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 withinThe 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.
#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