Book Reviews Over 50s Lifestyle

Can I Persuade you to share What’s On Your Bookshelf?

May 20, 2022

Are you easily persuaded? That should give you a hint of one of the books on my bookshelf this month.

Another month has flown and again, it is time for What’s On Your Bookshelf? Over the last month, I’ve been busy and that has eaten into time spent enjoying one of my pleasures in life – reading – and I’ve missed it!

Life has been hectic and a bit of a roller coaster ride personally. I’ve wanted to escape into books which is where I usually go when I’m stressed, however, as I mentioned above I’ve not been able to escape as often as I wanted too.

So what have I been reading (when time permits)?

Book Club

We have finished our adventures with the Brontë Sisters and are now reading the works of Jane Austen. Persuasion was our first choice although it was actually the last completed novel written by Jane (yes I’m on first-name basis) in August 1816 and published by her brother after her death in 1817 at the age of 41. I am interested to see how her earlier works will compare to this last book she wrote. I haven’t read all of her works so I’m looking forward to this next chapter (oh that’s a pun!) in our Online Book Club reading.

If you’ve read the book, did you know there was an alternative ending?

Do you know how many times the word ‘Persuasian’ occurs in the book? On the surface readers can see how Anne Elliot was persuaded not to marry Captain Wentworth, however there are many examples of how other characters in the book ‘persuade’ or are ‘persuaded’. You can read all the incidences here in this article I found:

Again, we see a woman author who wrote anonymously so she could have her books published. If you recall, the Brontë sisters used pseudonyms when they first started writing, because society would not have entertained books written by a woman! Thankfully times have changed.

I enjoy Jane’s writing (I rated Persuasian 5 stars) and Persuasion has many themes –

Status & Social class – Birth and also how moving through the ranks such as Captain Wentworth can bring wealth and social standing. The social climbers such as Mr Elliot and Mrs Clay, the snobbery of Sir Walter and Anne’s sister Elizabeth.

Marriage – the heady impulses of youth compared to love in later stages of life ‘second spring’. Austen affirms the more mature marriage of compatability and mutual appreciation is superior to one based merely on passion. We see this not only in Anne and Captain Wentworth’s but also in the marriage of Admiral & Mrs Croft who appear to actually like and love each other!

Gender Inequality – marriage was really the only viable option for women

Persuasian – whether it is wise to be influenced by others to to remain fixed on our own convictions and impulses – Anne experiences both.

Persuasian Jane Austen

Our Bookclub has taught me not only to read the books, but to explore the author and learn more about them as it adds a further dimension to understanding their works. Here are some suggested readings for Jane Austen (although some might have spolier alerts for her books you haven’t read).

The Little Book of Mindfulness

This little gem is part of a series written by Dr Patrizia Collard. The Little Book of Mindfulness – 10 minutes a day to Less stress, more Peace was just what I needed in my life. It also fits nicely with my WOTY (Word of the Year) ‘BE’ and contains simple daily practices of 5 – 10 minutes which helps us to let go of the anxiety, procrastination and stress which prevents us from living a healthy and happy lifestyle.

I also purchased The Little Book of Meditation which I will work through after I finish the Mindfulness practices.

The Little Book of Mindfulness

Other reading

I wasn’t sure how I felt about Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce and The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley. I think they are the type of books where I needed to process my thoughts later. Both interesting storylines but at times I felt they were both a little slow, yet I wanted to find out what happens. I rated both of these 3 stars on Goodreads because although I enjoyed them I didn’t feel that spark. Perhaps you have read them and if you have I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Linda’s Midlife Crisis by Toni Pike (who I actually went to High school with). I was lucky enough to be asked by Toni to read an ARC of her latest book Linda’s Midlife Crisis. This is a delight to read and shows that we don’t have to put up with a life that is making us unhappy and unhealthy. After a ‘breakdown’, Linda decides it is time to make some changes in her life and with the encouragement and support of friends and family, she finds the courage to make the changes to live life her way. I gave this book 4 stars and it was the perfect read on a rainy Sunday afternoon.


I love a good crime/thriller especially if it is set in the U.K. I’m enjoying Ann Cleeves ‘Shetland series’ set in the Shetland Islands of Scotland and also Val McDermid’s ‘The Allie Burns’ series.

What have you been reading lately? Why not join us at What’s On Your Bookshelf and share it with us? You can link up your post below.

What’s On Your Bookshelf is a monthly link-up co-hosted by Debbie (Deb’s World), Jo (And Anyways), Sue (Women Living Well After 50) and Donna (Retirement Reflections). #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

What's on your bookshelf?

Donna, Jo, Debbie and I are delighted to co-host What’s On Your Bookshelf? Link Up. To join us and share what you have been reading, you can share in the comments, pingback with your own post, or use the handy InLInkz bar below. Please be sure to tag #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge. We look forward to hearing your thoughts as well as your book suggestions!

Happy Reading!

Sue Loncaric

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Retirement Reflections May 20, 2022 at 09:05

    Hi, Sue – Your opening question is an excellent one! I believe that most of us tend to be influenced by others more frequently than we often realize. That’s one of the things that I loved most about Austen’s ‘Persuassion.’ She brilliantly showed how Influence can often be quiet and subtle but also very, very pervasive.
    I am very interested in the Little Book series that you shared here. They would also fit in very well to my WOTY reading.
    Wishing you an awesome week ahead!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 11:57

      Hi Donna, I enjoyed discovering Persuasion with you and the group. I also found the article on the number of times Persuasian was used throughout the book was very intersting. x

  • Reply Joanne May 20, 2022 at 09:16

    I’ve been hearing that a lot about the Paris Apartment; it sounds like it just missed the mark for most people and ended up being an okay book. The Midlife Crisis book sounds good though!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 11:58

      Hi Joanne, I’ve found this happens with a few books I’ve read lately. It was an okay book but something was missing and I can’t put my finger on it. x

  • Reply Debbie May 20, 2022 at 10:11

    I love the way you used Persuasion in your title Sue, very clever! Your review and breakdown of Persuasion was spot on and summed up the various themes perfectly. Your other readings for the month had a lot to offer and I’ve made notes as I was going through your books. I also enjoyed Toni’s Linda’s Midlife Crisis and easily escaped into that over a wet weekend! Great having you as a co-host of WOYBS you always have so much to offer. Thanks 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 11:58

      I surprise myself sometimes, Deb! That would be a title you would come up with!

  • Reply Antoinette Truglio Martin May 20, 2022 at 12:39

    What an incredible book list. I think the Midlife Crisis may be on my TBR list. Thanks a bunch.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 11:59

      I think you would enjoy Linda’s Midlife Crisis, Antoinette.

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee May 20, 2022 at 12:54

    What a find on the alternate ending – I just read your link. I’m going to share that with my bookclub as we have some fans. Great share!! You get thru so many books in a month. I’m really dragging the chain!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 12:00

      Yes it was something I came across in a Jane Austen FB Group I’m in. When our Bookclub reads a book we all start running down rabbit holes as we research the author. It is really fascinating and enjoyable. x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan Blogs May 20, 2022 at 14:02

    oooh, I enjoyed the lead in with your blog title and do admire your on-line bookclub and all the learning and exploration happening. I admit I am not a deep delver into fiction but can, at times, learn something more about world history for example as I did listening to, then viewing Pachinko which is about Korean people and their difficulties in being accepted in places such as Japan and USA. How lovely to have a friend as an author. I also have the entire collection of those little books. Perfect for fitting in a bag and take out when I had coffee back in 2018-2019. Thanks for the link up. Denyse.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 12:01

      Thanks Denyse, I really have learned so much from my Book Club and love our meetings. x

  • Reply Jo May 20, 2022 at 15:09

    I’m in the process of reading the Claire Tomalin book on Jane, but those other 2 sound great too…as does Toni Pike’s book…Thanks as always for being a fantabulous cohost.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 12:02

      Thanks Jo, so many books, not enough time! xx

  • Reply Toni Pike May 20, 2022 at 15:09

    Hi Sue, Thank you so much for reading and reviewing Linda’s Midlife Crisis. I love how you’ve been delving into the Bronte Sisters and Jane Austen. Toni x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 12:02

      I really enjoyed your book Toni and appreciate you providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy x

  • Reply Janine May 20, 2022 at 20:18

    Hi Sue, I think it’s very easy for most people to be persuaded, especially by society as a whole. As humans we always want to fit in. This inevitably means we compromise on our own desires and values. Jane Austen really digs into this human trait in her novels wonderfully.
    I hope the rest of May brings you more peace and reading time xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 12:04

      Hi Janine, I’m enjoying ‘studying’ Jane Austen’s books and you are so right when you say ‘as humans we always want to fit in’ – I don’t think that has ever changed nor will it. It is just the way we are. Thanks for our good wishes but May has been quite hectic so I haven’t been able to read as much as I usually do. Sigh….

  • Reply leannelc May 20, 2022 at 20:53

    Well you’ve certainly been churning through some books this month Sue – and a nice little mix from the very old to the very new. I hope they gave your mind a nice place to rest and recover during the busy-ness and stress.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 12:04

      Hi Leanne, it is my escape and I love reading. I’ve been usually structuring my day to do things in the morning and then indulge in a book in the afternoons. I’m liking this format for my days. x

  • Reply Natalie May 21, 2022 at 12:12

    Hi Sue, Thank you for sharing your books with #weekendcoffeeshare. I read The Paris Apartment last month. I hope you find the Little Books of Mindfulness and Meditation helpful. I enjoyed two of Ann Cleeves’ books so far and will check out Raven Black to add to my TBR pile. Have a wonderful week ahead!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 12:05

      Hi Natalie, I’ve enjoyed all of Ann Cleeves books that I’ve read so far and I know there are quite a number to read. Happy days! x

  • Reply Janet Alcorn May 22, 2022 at 05:17

    Ooh, I’m going to check out that Shetland Islands series! And now I have another place to add to my already-too-long travel bucket list.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 11:54

      I love them Janet. The problem is, once I find a series I enjoy I just read them all straight through! I would love to visit the Sheland Islands x

  • Reply Books as decor? (May 2022 read) – Eat, Play, Live May 22, 2022 at 11:03

    […] Tags: #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge by Deb, Sue, Donna, and Jo. […]

  • Reply Rowena May 24, 2022 at 23:01

    Sue, I have enough trouble persuading myself to do things, let alone someone else. Perhaps, I should go and read the book. I’m not a huge Jane Austen fan though. It seems I’ve missed the link up but here’s a link to my post:
    Best wishes,

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 25, 2022 at 11:53

      Hi Rowena, thanks for commenting and I’m sorry you missed the link up but perhaps next month you will join us. I’ve not read all of Jane Austen’s books so I enjoyed discovering Persuasion with the book club.

  • Reply Julie June 4, 2022 at 05:42

    “Linda’s Mid-Life Crisis” catches my eye because when I hit 30 — and this was a few years ago, I was told it was “middle age.” Honestly, I don’t think too much of what is middle age or quarter age, I just focus on what makes me happy. If there’s something that does not make me happy, if I can, I’ll try to shed it off.

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