Book Reviews Book Reviews Over 50s Lifestyle

What’s On Your Bookshelf? – June 2024

June 21, 2024
What's on your bookshelf?

It’s time for the monthly What’s On your Bookshelf? link up . 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 Anyways. Remember to check out what has been on their bookshelves as well.

My reviews cover books read and listened to over the last month.

What’s On Your Bookshelf? – June 2024

I have a fabulous selection for you this month with a mixed bag of reading over the last month. Of course, I love my psychological thrillers and cozy crime, however, I’ve also read a couple of non-fiction books from authors who I have interviewed for my Women Living Well After 50 Podcast.

My favourite reads for the month

My selections this month are different genres but ones that I thought worthy of being classed as ‘my favourite reads for the month’. If you enjoy psychological thrillers, I highly recommend ‘The Widow’ and ‘The Narrator’ both by K.L. Slater. This author was recommended by Gail from Is This Mutton? a few months ago and I’ve read a couple of K.L. Slater which I’ve previously reviewed. I was gripped with both of this month’s reads and always enjoy an unexpected twist at the end.

The Widow – K.L. Slater – My rating ✭✭✭✭✭

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Suspense

Kate and Michael Shaw live with their young daughter, Tansy in a village and life is good. When a mother goes missing at the annual Christmas Tree lighting, and Michael steps in front of an oncoming truck, Kate must face the possibility that her beloved husband was not the man she knew and the discovery of a mobile phone hidden in his toolbox, does nothing to ease her mind. With the village turning against her she fights to find the truth.

I enjoy the twists and turns we take when reading K.L. Slater books. This one was another of her books that I couldn’t put down and I couldn’t predict the outcome.

A highly recommended read for lovers of crime and mystery. It’s 5 stars from me.

The Narrator – K.L. Slater – My rating ✭✭✭

Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Crime

“What in the world happened after she’d got all dressed up and left the house?”

Eve has built a career as a narrator of audio books and has narrated all of Phillipa Roberts’ Tower Series, but when author Phillipa goes missing, a marriage break-up as her husband leaves their marriage after another affair to set up home with his new partner, and the suicide of her father, Eve’s world looks like it is falling apart – no career and no marriage and no Dad. The only saving grace is her beautiful daughter Scarlet and her Mum who they move in with. That is until the final book in the Tower series is found hidden in Phillipa’s attic. With the discovery of the new manuscript, the publishers forge ahead to publish. As Eve recommences narrating this new book she senses things aren’t quite right and sets about to find out what really happened to Phillipa.

Overall, I loved the book, although I did not like Hugo, the husband and sometimes felt a little frustrated that Eve ploughed headlong into the mystery. Having said that, the book captured me, becoming more intriguing as the story unfolded. I couldn’t put it down and was definitely not prepared for the twist in the tale.

If you love psychological thrillers, you will love The Narrator.

Darling Girls – Sally Hepworth – My Rating ✭✭✭✭

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Prompt #51 – Related to the word ‘Wild’

I’ve enjoyed reading Australian author, Sally Hepworth’s books and Darling Girls was no exception.

Jessica, Norah and Alicia although not sisters by blood are sisters in every sense of the word. Having grown up in the same foster home with an unstable foster mother, Miss Fairchild, their bond is strong although their personalities couldn’t be more different. When baby bones are discovered buried under the house of their foster home ‘Wild Meadows’ they are embroiled in a police investigation and revisiting their past.

Another mystery which I couldn’t unravel before the end and well worth a read.

Vengeance on Tyneside – An Agnes Lockwood Mystery – Eileen Thornton – My Rating ✭✭✭

Genre: Mystery, Fiction

This Book #3 in the Agnes Lockwood Mystery series and although I only rated it 3-stars it was still worth a mention.

When two young women are stabbed to death, DCI Alan Johnson and Sergeant Andrews struggle to find a connection. Agnes was at the scene of the first stabbing and as usual can’t help getting herself involved. On a personal level, Agnes is in a relationship with DCI Johnson, and both are looking to take the next step and move in together. But can their strong personalities make it work?

I enjoy a cozy crime and as usual, Agnes Lockwood Mystery series ticked all the boxes. Whilst not an outstanding read, it held my interest and great for a weekend read when you don’t want anything too deep.

It’s In Your Hands – Your Steering Wheel, Your Choice – Dr Jane Foster – My Rating ✭✭✭✭

Genre: Non-Fiction
Prompt #39 – Non-Fiction recommended by a friend

Do you feel overwhelmed and spiral easily when things go wrong? With so much upheaval over the past few years it’s never been more important to develop greater emotional resilience – a vital skill that can help you live a happier, less-stressful life.

I was given a copy of Dr Jane Foster’s ‘It’s In Your Hands – Your Steering Wheel Your Choice’ to read as a prelude to interviewing Jane on my Women Living Well After 50 Podcast.

“It’s In Your Hands” (Balboa Press), offers a unique and practical guide to regain and sustain control of your emotions. Drawing upon decades of experience, Dr Foster provides a simplified language to tackle complex emotional subjects. In an ideal world, everyone able to discuss their emotions healthily would contribute to a better society.

Dr. Foster uses a driving metaphor to explain how your response to everyday situations determines your emotional path, providing tools to regain and maintain direction. Emotional Resilience empowers individuals of all ages, ensuring that simple language and analogies resonate with children through to adolescents and adults. This unique approach lays the groundwork for emotional success at every stage of life.

I found Jane’s book easy to read and can definitely see that her ideas could be incorporated at any age to build Emotional Resilience. If you are feeling overwhelmed or

If you are interested you can listen to the podcast episode HERE.

This Animal Body – Meredith Walters – My rating ✭✭✭✭

Genre: Fiction
Prompt #43: About finding identity

Another book that was forwarded to me as preparation for an interview with author, Meredith Walters for the Podcast. Although this is a work of fiction there are many ‘lessons’ we can take from the book and I found it an interesting read.

Frankie Connor is a first-year graduate studying Neuroscience at U.C. Berkley. Having suffered with anxiety and depression, she hopes to find the cure both for herself and others. Frankie has never felt like she belonged. Adopted as a baby and despite a loving family, she has struggled to find herself. When she meets a group of talking animals who hold the secret to her past, she can’t dismiss them as merely dreams.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book and of course the protagonist who talks to animals requires an open mind. As I became involved in Frankie’s story, the life lessons and messages came through. It’s not always about listening to our brain but learning the language of our body.

Meredith Walter’s own back story is interesting and I enjoyed interviewing her. Her message about the listening to the language of our body was fascinating and the episode will be live on the podcast and a few weeks.

Beach or Cozy Fireside Reads

These three books would be perfect for a beach holiday read or in front of a cozy fireplace. Although I enjoyed them, I won’t review as they are very similar to other books of this genre.

Stunners Classic Book Club

Seven Little Australians – Ethel Turner – My rating ✭✭✭

Genre: Classics, Australian, Children, Historical Fiction

Our classic selection for the latest Book Club read is Seven Little Australians. I had never read this book at school and whilst it was written for children, it can appeal to adults as well. Unfortunately, I think I was expecting more from a book that is regarded as an Australian classic. I found it difficult to connect to the characters but I note from their reviews on Goodreads, other members of our book club loved the book . I’m looking forward to the discussion. You might enjoy it too. and it is a short read if you are interested.

Set in 1890s, Captain Woolcott lives with his much younger second wife and his six children having lost his first wife tragically. He and his new wife have a child and so we meet the Seven Little Australians. Despite ruling the children with discipline (he reminded me of Captain Von Trapp from the Sound of Music), their step-mother, not more than a child herself, provides the softness to these unruly children, who get up to mischief, led by their sibling, the feisty, Judy.

Audio Books

My Favourite Mistake – Marian Keyes – My Rating ✭✭✭

Genre: Chick Lit, Romance, Fiction, Irish literature, Contemporary
Prompt #49 – Set in City starting with ‘M’

My Favourite Mistake by Marian Keyes kept me company on my daily walks during the month. It is Book 7 in the Walsh Family series which I’ve enjoyed reading. At first, I thought it would be a 5-star rating but alas, I agreed with several reviewers’ comments (which I read later), it was way too long and towards the end I confess I upped the listening speed to finish it. It’s only a 3-star from me. Although I really did want to rate it higher, the waffling in some parts turned me off.

During the month I ticked off a few more prompts on the 52 Book Club Reading Challenge. There a more places filled than blank now.

You can start the challenge at anytime so 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.

Here are the prompts I’ve completed so far and most of the books I’ve reviewed this month have slotted nicely into the prompts.

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…

• 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.

The next #WOYBS will be Thursday July 18/Friday July 19. I’m looking forward to seeing and reading What’s Been on your Bookshelf? during the month.

Sue Loncaric

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Women Living Well After 50

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  • Reply Cathy June 21, 2024 at 08:17

    Quite a mix there Sue with mostly mysteries to be solved. My list is definitely growing longer😊
    Also I’m seeing Darling Girls mentioned on a few blogs so that’s one I’ll be hunting out at the library.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 21, 2024 at 08:54

      I tried to mix some different genres in Cathy but I do love my crime and psychological thrillers LOL 🙂 I think you would enjoy Darling Girls although at times it can be confronting with the way some foster parents treat the children. Still a great read though. x

  • Reply Thistles and Kiwis June 21, 2024 at 10:24

    The detective ones look worth following up – always on the look out for a good one!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 23, 2024 at 07:25

      I love a good detective series, Barbara. x

  • Reply marsha57 June 21, 2024 at 14:07

    I’m reading a couple of Young Adult books about magic of all things. But, I wanted something a bit lighter than I’d been reading.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 23, 2024 at 07:27

      I never think to read YA, Marsha but maybe I should as a break from the psychological thrillers, I love. x

  • Reply Jennifer Jones June 21, 2024 at 17:30

    I haven’t read any of the books that you’ve read this month Sue, but the Slater books look like something I’d enjoy. Popping them on my list. It’s interesting to see your 52 book challenge books. I love seeing the books that others choose for the prompts.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 23, 2024 at 07:27

      I really enjoy K.L. Slater, Jen. They are well paced and usually with a twist that you don’t see coming. x

  • Reply Toni Pike June 21, 2024 at 17:56

    What a great reading list, Sue

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 23, 2024 at 07:29

      Thanks, Toni. I enjoy reading as you may have guessed! Any more books coming from you? xx

  • Reply Joanne June 21, 2024 at 20:00

    I really enjoyed Darling Girls too! Vintage Vacation looks like a fun one.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 23, 2024 at 07:30

      Darling Girls was a good read, Joanne. The Vintage Vacation I’m sure you will enjoy. It is lighthearted and an easy read but not boring. x

  • Reply Jo June 22, 2024 at 07:10

    I read The Narrator, The Girlfriend and The Marriage a few months ago and loved them. Now to put The Widow on my reserved list. Love the look of the Maddie Pease books too.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 23, 2024 at 07:34

      I haven’t read The Girlfriend or The Marriage so will check them out. I think you would also enjoy the Maddie Please books. x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee June 22, 2024 at 11:32

    I never read the book but we all watched the series religiously growing up. I found out later my frien’s brother was in it. How weird is that! I’m curious if your disconnect is from outdated social mores (ie they just seem old fashioned and harsh) or if writing style is outdated? Sometimes clunkiness is in more rigid English expression? Or of course, just not your thing. #WOYBS

    • Reply Lydia C. Lee June 22, 2024 at 16:49

      Opps. I’m talking about Seven little Australians,…my pre coffee mornings are problematic…I knew what I meant!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 23, 2024 at 07:36

      I’m not sure why I felt disconnected with this book, Lydia but you’ve given me some thoughts to ponder. I don’t even think I watched the television series but I know Leonard Teale was in it as the father. x

  • Reply Gail Is This Mutton June 22, 2024 at 17:00

    So glad you enjoy KL Slater ! I’ve just read her new title via NetGalley, Message Deleted, which is out in a few weeks.
    Agree that My Favourite Mistake was too long. At least you can speed up an audio book!
    Great reviews as always. Have a great weekend.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 23, 2024 at 07:39

      Hi Gail, I’m glad you reviewed her books as I’m hooked now. I’m glad you agree with me about My Favourite Mistake I thought I was being harsh. I certainly did speed up the audio book although then it was difficult to listen because of the accent. I love the slow, Irish lilt and it doesn’t come across well at double the speed. LOL 🙂 x

  • Reply Debbie June 23, 2024 at 17:50

    Hi Sue, I’ve enjoyed a few of KL Slater’s books recently, they certainly get your hooked don’t they? The Marriage was my most recent and although I wasn’t sure about it at first it got me in. You’ve read a good variety again this month and I always enjoy your reviews. Thanks for being a great co-host, we get through a few books don’t we??

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 24, 2024 at 09:42

      I haven’t read The Marriage but I really do enjoy K.L. Slater books. We both enjoy similar genres as I noticed some books you mentioned I had read too. x

  • Reply Janine June 24, 2024 at 03:26

    Hi Sue, a great mix of books this month. I like the sound of the K L Slater books. Thanks for sharing

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 24, 2024 at 09:41

      I’ve become a fan of K.L. Slater. I’m sure you would enjoy them if you like a psychological thriller. x

  • Reply June 26, 2024 at 12:13

    Looks like a pretty good batch of books. I have pinned 3 of them to suggest to the book club. And It’s In Your Hands sounds like just the book for me. Oh, I wish I had more time to read and could read faster. So many good books, so little time.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 28, 2024 at 05:43

      Hi Leslie I found ‘It’s In Your Hands’ so easy to read but with a wealth of information that is easy to implement in our daily lives. Take care and I hope you enjoy the books you pinned. Now it is just a matter of finding the time to read, isn’t it? x

  • Reply Kirstin Troyer July 5, 2024 at 06:42

    Yikes, I’m so behind with commenting…Love your list!! THe cozy’s sound good. You’re making good headway with your 52 list.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 11, 2024 at 07:55

      Hi Kirstin, I’m so behind on commenting and replying too! Thanks for visiting and making time to leave me a message. Have a great week! x

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