Happy New Year everyone!!!
It’s time for a new year of reading and sharing at the What’s On your Bookshelf? link up for 2024! 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. Remember to check out what has been on their bookshelves as well.
I love the time between Christmas and New Year. The celebrations are over and everyone is in a relaxed mode from Boxing Day. It is the perfect time to catch up on some reading and relaxation by the pool or in airconditioned comfort for some of us, or cozy by the fire for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere.
During the December/January holidays I read some really good books which I wanted to share with you.
What’s On Your Bookshelf? – January 2024
52 Book Club Challenge 2024 is now underway
Having completed the 2023 52 Book Club Challenge I am looking forward to 2024’s challenge. Some of you who link up have indicated you are taking the challenge too so it will be interesting to see what books we select for the various prompts. One of my holiday reading books mentioned below will cover several prompts which may help you.
Here is the link to find all the information about 2024 Reading Challenge – The 52 Book Club
Some of the prompts are definitely unusual however there are guides on both the 52 Book Club website and Goodreads to help you decided what books might be a good fit for the prompt.
Do you think you will take the challenge? I’ve kicked off my reading challenge for 2024 reading a couple of books in January.
Have you ever kept a Reading Journal?
One of my Christmas gifts from my daughter was a Reading Journal. I’ve never kept a reading journal before and didn’t really know what it was until I saw that the 52 Book Club Reading Challenge has a journal you can purchase specifically for the challenge.
This is my journal and I love it. It will certainly be a good way to keep record of what books I’ve read as well as my thoughts on the books which will help with reviews.
My favourite reads over the holidays
It’s never too late for one last adventure…
Constance Fitzgerald may be approaching 70, but she’s never been one for settling down. She’s spent her life untethered and free, but when she finds herself newly engaged and a soon to be grandmother, Constance is forced to accept it may be time, perhaps, to settle down. Until a chance encounter with throws open a window to her past, and Constance decides to head to the Highlands to find an old friend… (Goodreads)
The Golden Girls Road Trip by Judy Leigh was not what I expected and I really enjoyed it. When I saw the title I thought it would be a ‘nice little book’ to read during the holiday season. I don’t think the title really portrays the story, which is more than just a holiday read and has much more depth to the story. Constance Fitzgerald (Connie) is 70, preparing for her marriage to Leo. She has accepted that she gave up the love of her life 52 years ago. A free spirit who has travelled most of her life, is now preparing to share her life with Leo in addition to trying to win over her daughter-in-law Diana.
Life takes a turn and Connie realises that perhaps it is never too late to right the wrongs of her past. We are taken along for the ride as Connie drives her beloved Ruby (campervan) to Scotland in the hope of finding an old friend.
The characters are real and the story although easy to read has depth with a couple of twists and turns to keep the reader interested.
It definitely isn’t smooth sailing for Connie. Will she find peace and her happy ever after? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
This book was recommended by Gail from Is this Mutton in one of our previous #WOYBS link ups. I kept it for the holiday period and devoured it in two days.
What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?
Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace.
But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.
Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter. (Goodreads)
Wow! This book was recommended to me by a friend and I’ll be reading more of K.L. Slater’s books. This psychological thriller had it all – twists and turns and I couldn’t put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and storyline and highly recommend it if you love a good thriller.
If you are participating in the 52 Book Club Reading Challenge 2024 this book will qualify for several of the prompts. Prompt #20 A Revenge Story, Prompt #14 A Grieving Character, #3 more than 40 chapters, and maybe also #10 told in non-chronological order?
Toni having recently been widowed moves with her 5 year old daughter, Evie to be closer to her Mum. A stroke patient lies in a hospital bed unable to communicate although inside she sees, hears and thinks. She is in a locked in state and doctors are debating whether to turn off life support.
What unfolds is every parent’s nightmare but who, why and how are the questions?
I’ve already downloaded several other K.L. Slater books which I’m looking forward to reading in 2024.
A brand-new series perfect for Richard Osman readers and all fans of a page-turning whodunnit. It was meant to be the start of quiet season in the sleepy Cornish village of Seal Bay, but not for sexagenarian librarian and wild swimming enthusiast Morwenna Mutton. Because when a local businessman is found on the beach with a bread knife is his back, bungling police officer DI Rick Tremayne is soon out of his depth. Morwenna knows it’s going to be down to her to crack the case.
The list of people the victim upset is long, the evidence is slight, and an arrest illusive. Morwenna has plenty to occupy her time what with ghostly goings-on at the library and skullduggery at her granddaughter’s school, but she could never resist a challenge. And even the most ruthless of murderers should quake at the sight of this amateur sleuth getting on her bike to track them down.
If you love Miss Marple and The Thursday Murder Club, then you’ll love The Morwenna Mutton mysteries. (Goodreads)
This was an easy read, and a good choice after reading the thriller, Blink. I love a cozy crime and enjoyed the story line. The main character, Morwenna is likeable and the writing is good. I would definitely recommend the Morwenna Mutton Mystery series.
Prompt #10 – 52 Book Club Challenge – ‘Told in Non-chronological order’
Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.
They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.
Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.
Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week… in front of those who know you best?
A couple who broke up months ago make a pact to pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in this glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry. (Goodreads)
When I first started reading Happy Place by Emily Henry, I set it aside as I thought it was just another romance/chic lit book. However, on holidays and ‘in the mood for something light’ I revisited and found to my surprise that I really enjoyed the book. Harriet and Wyn have been together since meeting in college. A couple others aspire to be like – they are so together and so in love. Yet all is not as it seems and when their annual holiday with long term friends as we discover early in the book. I found the story entertaining, easy to read with likeable characters. It definitely is a romance book but there was enough depth to keep me interested and hoping that Harriet and Wyn will find their Happy Place. It’s a story about friendships, love and maintaining longterm friendships despite growing up and wanting different things. Change happens everyday but friendships and love can overcome change and remain strong.
Prompt #1 – 52 Book Club Challenge – ‘Locked Room Mystery’
Pandemic lockdowns have Ruth Galloway feeling isolated from everyone but a new neighbor—until Nelson comes calling, investigating a decades-long string of murder-suicides that’s looming ever closer, in USA Today Elly Griffiths’ penultimate novel in the beloved series. Three years after her mother’s death, Ruth is finally sorting through her things when she finds a curious a decades-old photograph of her own Norfolk cottage— before she lived there—with a peculiar inscription on the back. Ruth returns to the cottage to uncover its meaning as Norfolk’s first cases of Covid-19 make headlines, leaving her and Kate to shelter in place there. They struggle to stave off isolation by clapping for frontline workers each evening and befriending a kind neighbor, Zoe, from a distance. Meanwhile, Nelson is investigating a series of deaths of women that may or may not be suicide. When he links a case to an archaeological discovery, he breaks curfew to visit Ruth and enlist her help. But the further Nelson investigates the deaths, the closer he gets to Ruth’s isolated cottage—until Ruth, Zoe, and Kate all go missing, and Nelson is left scrambling to find them before it’s too late. (Goodreads)
I’m a fan of Elly Griffiths and of course her protagonist, Ruth Galloway. This is the 14th book in the Ruth Galloway series and as always I was hooked from the beginning. I did read this out of order so there were some spoilers for me from previous books and character development but it was still a great stand alone story. Set during the pandemic lockdown, it brought back memories of what life was like and what we had taken for granted. There is the crime to be solved – how can a series of deaths be murder when the only way in is locked from the outside? The book also delves into how people handled locked down, Ruth’s discovery of her Mother’s past, raising her daughter Katie (Nelson’s daughter) and the complicated relationship with Nelson himself. A great read and I gave it 5 stars.
Advance Copy Reading a new book coming soon from Joanne Tracey- My rating ✭✭✭✭✭
During the holiday period, I was honoured and lucky enough to get a sneak read of Jo’s new book and I’m sworn to secrecy and don’t want to give anything away, but you are in for a treat when it is published later this year. In the meantime you can see all of Jo’s books at her website, Joanne Tracey – Author.
Current Reading or Listening
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – our Simply Stunning Book Club selection
Well these are the books that have been on my bookshelf during the month, What’s been on yours? I would love you to share with me your recommendations.
Dates for the Diary
The What’s On Your Bookshelf? Link Up dates for 2024 are listed below. Make a note in your diary as a reminder as we would love to have you join us.
The link for What’s On Your Bookshelf (WOYBS) is open on the third Friday of each month at 8 am (AEST) – that makes it sometime on the third Thursday of each month if you’re in the northern hemisphere…
• January 18/19,
• February 15/16,
• March 14/15,
• April 18/19
• May 16/17,
• June 20/21,
• July 18/19,
• August 15/16
• September 19/20,
• October 17/18,
• November 21/22
• December 19/20.
Happy reading and remember to pop over to read what books have been on my co-hosts shelves.
Happy New Year!
The next #WOYBS will be Thursday February 15/Friday February 16. I’m looking forward to seeing and reading What’s Been on your Bookshelf? during the month.