Book Reviews Over 50s Lifestyle

What’s on your Bookshelf ? Link Party

December 17, 2021
woybs cohost

This is the fifth 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!


As our Festive Bon Bons Link Party was a success, Deb, Donna, Jo and I have decided to create a Monthly Link Party for What’s on your Bookshelf? We would still encourage everyone to leave a comment or if you have written a post feel free to link up with us.

Welcome to the first What’s On Your Bookshelf? link party – you can find the link at the end of this post.

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

I saw this on a Facebook Feed in the Goodwill Librarian Page . What a wonderful combination and way to spend Christmas Eve – books, chocolate and the magic of Christmas combined.

What was on my bookshelf for November/December?- Can you see a theme developing?

Below I’ve included some of the books I’ve read during late November and December and I think you can get the idea that I enjoying reading books that have a Festive Season theme. I came upon this idea of using December to read Festive themed books through my good friend Jo from And anyways. Jo is also one of the What’s On Your Bookshelf? co-hosts so be sure to pop over and read her post.

These feel-good books are easy to read, and provide the opportunity to combine my love of books and also build the excitement of Christmas and the Festive Season – my favourite time of year! You can see all the books I’ve read on my Goodreads Page

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 »

On my list have been:

A Highland Christmas – M. C. Beaton
The Christmas Bookshop – Jenny Colgan
Christmas at the Foyles Bookshop – Elaine Roberts
The Santa Suit – Mary Kay Andrews

The Christmas Letters – Lee Smith
Christmas for Beginners Carole Matthews

I would recommend:

My review of The Christmas Letters – 4 stars

I enjoyed reading The Christmas Letters which I found through a recommendation by a friend. I like to devote December to reading Christmas themed books and this one has proven to be a joy. Letters written through three generations from 1994 to the 1990s. We read annual Christmas letters to family initially from a young woman living away from her family with her in-laws and baby daughter whilst her husband is in New Guinea during WWII. Her daughter’s letters take over sharing her life stories each Christmas and finally the grandaughter writing her very first Christmas letter to family and friends. I enjoyed this different style of writing in the form of letters although they are only one-way with no replies. It reminded me of my mother and grandmother. Recently my cousin sent me some letters written by my grandmother to my mother when she was in hospital after my brother was born. Such touching words which I cherish from a woman I never met, and one I lost way to early. I sometimes wish we still took the time to write letters and post them rather then shooting off a quick email which seems less personal.

“What do you think happiness is?” she asked him. “A by-product,” he answered immediately, “to being useful.”

Jenny Colgan, The Christmas Bookshop

My review of The Christmas Bookshop – 4 stars

Who doesn’t love a Christmas book. The Christmas Bookshop is delightful and two of my favourite things – books and the magical feeling that Christmas brings. Carmen is out of a job and her Sophie gives her a life line with the opportunity to move Edinburgh and the challenge of saving Mr McCredie’s bookstore. This was a heart-warming story and perfect for your Festive Reading List

Festive Reading with my Grandsons

I’ve also enjoyed reading Christmas books with my grandsons who help to create the magic of the Festive Season with their excitement at what is to come. My grandsons and I have read:

Christmas reading for children

Macca’s Christmas Crackers – Matt Cosgrove
Santa’s Gifts
Slinky Malinky’s Christmas Cracker – Lynley Dodd
Santa’s Aussie Holiday – Maria Farrer

I also recommend Bluey Christmas Swim which will give you an idea of an Aussie Christmas – Who doesn’t love Bluey?


In my online Bookclub, we are studying the Bronte Sisters and our current and final book for the year 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. We are yet to have our final discussion however, I’ve finished the book and written my review on Goodreads.

My Bookclub has been reading the Bronte Sisters for 2021 and have finished our year with The Professor by Charlotte Bronte. I found this book much easier to read than some of Charlotte’s other work. Perhaps because this was her first book which wasn’t published until after her death. There is definitely a different level of writing in this book compared to her later works.

The reader is taken from Yorkshire to Belgium and again I found in this book, as well as her previous books that Charlotte is not really a fan of women – with Charlotte you cannot be ‘beautiful and intelligent’. This was especially apparent in the description of the students and other women in the book. Again she makes her views clear on religion and people of different cultures. There is however a definite ending this time compared to Villette where the reader is left to their own imagination.

I’m still not sure if I am a fan of Charlotte Bronte perhaps I need to re-read her works now that my Bookclub have discussed each in detail.

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.


The Goodreads Choice Awards for 2021 have been announced – were any on your list? You can see the full list HERE


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!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Antoinette Truglio Martin December 17, 2021 at 08:29

    What an amazing list. I do like that Iceland trading of exchanging books then spending the rest of the day reading.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 17, 2021 at 08:31

      Hi Antoinette, thank you and yes I really like the Iceland tradition. Will you be linking up with us? I’d love to see what was on our bookshelf this month. x

  • Reply Debbie Harris December 17, 2021 at 09:08

    The Iceland tradition is a fabulous idea isn’t it? I must admit I’ve not read Christmas books in December but love the idea of it and you mention some great festive reads here Sue. I love kids books about Australian Christmas and try and send some to Dottie my 2yr old granddaughter in England so she knows what her mum experienced as a child – it’s very different!
    A lovely post which has given me more books to add to my list, thanks for being such a great co-host and sharing your thoughts with us. x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 17, 2021 at 09:11

      Hi Deb, yes I loved the Iceland tradition and thinking of adopting it myself. The children’s books that Ethan and Elliot have about Christmas are lovely reads and of course they have moral message as well. I’m sure Dottie would love them as would Emilia, Zac and Patrick. I’m loving our link party too! x

  • Reply Joanne Tracey December 17, 2021 at 10:09

    On your recommendation I read A Highland Christmas. While I’ve read some in Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series I’d never read Hamish Macbeth – even though I used to love the TV series. I also thoroughly enjoyed Jenny Colgan’s Christmas Bookshop & I do love that Icelandic tradition…

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 17, 2021 at 14:00

      Hi Jo, A Highland Christmas is a quick and easy read and I didn’t realise it was Hamish Macbeth (TV show) until I started reading it. I wanted to go to Edinburgh when I read the Christmas Bookshop. x

  • Reply Deborah December 17, 2021 at 10:13

    Oh, a definite Xmas theme there Sue. I don’t tend to read Christmas themed books – perhaps cos they’re usually outside of my crime fiction / thriller genre? I’m not sure.

    I’m actually even yet to watch any Christmas movies this year. I suspect I’m not yet into the Christmas spirit – am still settling into the new job and dealing with some house-stuff so kinda sidetracked. Also, I’m actually not much of a Xmas person. I did draft a post for your Festive Bon Bons link up but didn’t get around to polishing and publishing it!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 17, 2021 at 14:02

      Hi Deb, that is a shame you missed Festive Bon Bons you could still post yours anyway for us all to see your answers. I love crime fiction/thrillers most of all but during December I do like to relax with Christmas themed books because most of them don’t require you to think and you can relax and enjoy some quiet time. Great that you are settling into your new job especially in time to enjoy the coming festive season. Wishing you all the best for Christmas and 2022 xx

  • Reply Donna Connolly December 17, 2021 at 10:21

    Okay, so if I move to Iceland, people will give me books on Christmas Eve and I can then lay back, enjoy them and eat chocolate at the same time?! Please sign me up!
    I’m so glad that you enjoyed Christmas Letters. I am off to chek if our local library has a copy of The Christmas Bookshop. It sounds exactly like the kind of December read that I have been looking for.

    • Reply Donna Connolly December 17, 2021 at 10:27

      THis just in. My library does have some copies of Colgan’s book. It’s a bit of a waiting list – but I put my name in and hopefully will get a copy of the book before the holiday season is over! May the force be with me! 😀

      • Reply Sue Loncaric December 17, 2021 at 14:07

        You are so quick, Donna! The Christmas Bookshop is about Christmas time but I would enjoy reading it any time of year. Let me know what you think x

        • Reply Donna Connolly December 18, 2021 at 01:32

          Will do! With my librar’s track record, I may not receive this book until Easter, but I will happily read it then!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 17, 2021 at 14:06

      Hi Donna, yes I will join you for the Christmas Eve tradition! I did enjoy Christmas Letters so thank you for recommending it to me.

  • Reply Jennifer Jones December 17, 2021 at 13:47

    I love the sound of your Xmas books Sue. I’m really keen to read Kristin Hannah’s book as I’m a big fan but haven’t come across this one. I’ve add The Christmas Letters and Christmas Bookshop yo my Goodreads list for next year. I’m besotted with Iceland and have read heaps about it so have heard of the read/choc tradition. It sounds like a perfect way to spend Xmas Eve.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric December 17, 2021 at 14:09

      Hi Jen, I was a little disappointed in the Kristin Hannah book compared to her other writing it was a bit light on so I didn’t include it in my list. It is lovely to read Christmas themed books isn’t it? It puts me in the Festive mood but I always want a white Christmas. I’m going to adopt the Icelandic tradition for Christmas Eve – perfect for us book lovers and chocolate lovers.

  • Reply Joanne December 18, 2021 at 06:26

    I LOVED The Christmas Bookshop! One of the bloggers I blog with is a librarian and has started that Icelandic tradition with her own family a few years ago. If we didn’t spend every Christmas eve at my moms celebrating with family I would absolutely want to do that with my own family.

    • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After 50 December 18, 2021 at 08:42

      The Christmas Bookshop was so enjoyable, Joanne and I wanted to be in Edinburgh experiencing the White Christmas. Living in Australia and in Queensland our Christmas Season is hot and humid. x

  • Reply Natalie December 18, 2021 at 07:57

    Hi Sue, Thank you for hosting WOYBS and your book recommendations. I’ve read two of the seventeen books on the list of GoodReads Choice Awards. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and your family!

    • Reply Sue from Women Living Well After 50 December 18, 2021 at 08:43

      Hi Natalie, thanks for joining in and I think it will be a fun monthly link up as we move through 2022. Merry Christmas to you and your family and hope that 2022 is happier and safer for everyone. xx

  • Reply Alison Hutt December 19, 2021 at 19:32

    I’m getting inspired from this post and Donna’s to read some Christmas books.
    The Christmas Bookshop seems to be the winner. Next time I must remember to use the badge!

  • Reply Sue Loncaric December 20, 2021 at 04:52

    Hello Alison, I really enjoyed The Christmas Bookshop and I see others have as well. Thank you for joining our What’s On Your Bookshelf? Link Party and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and 2022. I look forward to you joining us for our monthly link party in 2022. x

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    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 16, 2022 at 10:52

      Thanks for the mention in your post Julie! x

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