Friday Fiction – it’s been a while between updates!

Welcome to Friday Fiction #9

So many books, so little time!

Frank Zappa

What’s been happening in my reading room?

It’s been a while since my last Friday Fiction post, (back in November 2020!), and here we are now in April 2021, with winter staring us in the face, going by today’s temperatures anyway! I must say I’ve been enjoying the autumn colours here In Tumbarumba.

I did write about two books I enjoyed immensely, one was Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell and the other was Sam Bloom:Heartache and Birdsong, in my Shoutout Saturday post in February. I have since seen the movie Penguin Bloom and I absolutely loved it! Have you seen it? If not, I can highly recommend it.

Since our last book chat I’ve completed my Goodreads Challenge for 2020 and I am now well on my way towards my goal for 2021.

I only set a goal to challenge myself and am in no way competing with anyone else. I simply love reading and keeping a track of what I’ve read.

You can see my list of book and my ratings, here in the link below:

Reading Challenge for 2021

May be a cartoon

So what books have I enjoyed since our last chat?

I’ve been working my way through the James O’Loughlin series by Michael Robotham and am currently up to #6 which I’m attempting to listen to on Audible. I tried Audible a few years ago and gave it away as I don’t seem to concentrate as much as when I actually ‘read’ a book. I’m giving it another go and am trying hard to just concentrate more as I listen and not try to do other things at the same time, unless I’m driving or ironing! I’ll let you know how I go.

One book I am enjoying listening to is Agnes Grey, mainly because it is read by Emilia Fox and her voice is perfect for the story. My online book club is sticking with the classics and after Wuthering Heights, we’ve now moved onto another Bronte sister, Anne’s Agnes Grey. The way we do it is set a number of chapters to read before our Zoom chat and discuss the happenings in those chapters before moving on. It’s been a great way to enjoy reading the classics and we’ve all learnt a lot from each other – which is what a book club is all about.

In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn, was another book I wouldn’t have read, except Sue from Women Living Well After 50 suggested it to me, as the story made her think of me and my history of a tragic accident when I was 17. I wrote about this book and the impact on me in a post in March – Good friends, good books, good company

The Girl who saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson was an interesting book which my husband recommended I read.

Just because the world ignores you, doesn’t mean you can’t save it .

Nombeko Mayeki was never meant to be a hero. Born in a Soweto shack, she seemed destined for a short, hard life. But now she is on the run from the world ‘s most ruthless secret service, with three Chinese sisters, twins who are officially one person and an elderly potato farmer. Oh, and the fate of the King of Sweden – and the world – rests on her shoulders.

As uproariously funny as Jonas Jonasson’s bestselling debut, this is an entrancing tale of luck, love and international relations. 

I’ve also been getting into Fiona McIntosh books lately, having read the Quickening Trilogy, Tapestry and The Royal Exile. They are largely historical with some fantasy elements and they have really captured my attention and kept me engrossed. Another friend is also reading other books by this author and has recommended the Perfumer’s Secret, which I’ve added to my ‘want to read’ list

The Four Winds by Kristen Hannah was another book suggested by a reading buddy and although it was quite a harrowing read in many ways, I learnt a lot and ultimately enjoyed the story.

Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

The rating system I use

1* = did not finish/terrible

2* = OK

3* = enjoyable

4* = really good

5* = excellent

My Reading Challenge for 2021

So far I’m up to 33 completed books for the year in my Goodreads challenge, with a few more on the go – all at once!

I started my Friday Fiction series quite a while ago, to share what I’ve been reading, what has taken my fancy or what I’d like to read.

This series was sparked by an item on my list – 12 things to do before turning 60 – which was to write more book reviews and share them on my blog. I have since done an update on my original post – An update on my list of 12 things to do before turning 60. I’m happy to say I’ve now turned 60 and am doing quite well for an old girl 🙂

Book review bloggers

One of my best ways of learning about new books to read is to follow book reviewers and blogger Deb at is one of my favourite reviewers. I often add books to my want to read list based on her reviews.

Also reviews by friends on Goodreads help me make a decision about what to read – or not! So thanks to all those who take the time to read and write reviews – it helps a lot. Sue has also recommended I read The rose Code by Karen Quinn, so that’s on my list too!

Over to you, so what are you currently reading or watching? Have you read any of these, and would you?

I access many of my books for free, via our regional library app. Sometimes I have to wait for them to be available but generally it works well. I also use Kindle Unlimited and buy titles to read on my Kindle from Amazon. I also buy real books!

Some book fun – will you join me?

Thanks for joining me for Friday Fiction. I look forward to reading with you again soon.

Don’t forget to tell me what you’re reading at the moment!

Deb xx

You can also find Deb’s World in lots of other places – stay in touch by clicking any of the buttons below.

Debbie - mother of a 40 year old

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

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13 Replies to “Friday Fiction – it’s been a while between updates!”

  1. How time moves when we are not looking! Good to read your update. I love listening via Audible as I do so much driving around and long drives at times too. And I am finally getting into some fiction as a result. These two recent ones are The MIdnight Library and currently, Richard Glover’s wife Debra Oswald’s The Family Doctor. I admit I am not comfy with some topics (latest one is domestic violence) but listening and learning is something I have challenged myself to do. Glad you are updating your reading. Thanks Deb…and for being a 100% supporter of my blog and its link up. Always appreciated. Denyse

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Denyse, where is the time going? The Midnight Library has been recommended to me too and it’s on my list. I feel much the same about Debra’s book, I want to read it but the topic is a bit challenging. I will read it at some stage. Lovely to read your thoughts as always 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lots of variety Deb – I’ve been on a bit of a Nora Roberts binge (after my JD Robb binge) – I tried mixing it up with some Fantasy and failed. I started reading Three Dark Crowns and just found it too morbid and dour – so I applied the “life’s too short to finish books you don’t enjoy” theory and moved back to something a bit lighter and brighter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leanne, I’m still to read a Nora Roberts, which would you recommend I start with? I like your theory and rarely continue a book if it doesn’t grab me early on. Thanks for dropping by.


  3. Hi Deb, thanks for the shoutout. I’ve just finished The Rose Code which I highly recommend and The Godmothers which was a light, but enjoyable read. I’ve just started the Last Girls from Bonegilla which is about the immigrants arriving in Australia after WWII. It is personal for me as Mike was 4 when he arrived and he and his family stayed at the Immigration camps in Bonegailla when they arrived in 1952. I’ll let you know what it is like.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sounds like you are having another great reading year. Lovely to see you on goodreads. I listen to a fair amount of books on audio via an app that our library uses. I wouldn’t recommend it while baking as I seem to lose track of which ingredients have already been added. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear, baking and audio books hadn’t crossed my mind Sue! Isn’t it funny what we can do while doing something else at the same time, but then some things just don’t work out?


  5. Hi Deb, nice to read your updated book reviews. I love book reviews. One site I use a lot is I read recently The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams for book club, a good one for everyone. I do love a good thriller. I’ve just started Tim Weaver’s new one Missing Pieces. I’ll make a note of the historical fantasy ones you mentioned and see if they are like Robin Hobbs’ Fitz and the Fool series.
    I’ve just finished watching the fourth series of Unforgotten, and will probably start the latest Line of Duty series soon. Currently in a snap lockdown for three days. Have a good weekend

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the link Alison, I’ll definitely have a look at it. I loved the Dictionary of Lost Words too, such a great read! I appreciate the other suggestions and will add them to my list. I don’t think I’ve read any Robin Hobbs but have heard good things. Liner of Duty is very popular, I must get back to watching it! Take care.


  6. I find I have issues “reading” fiction on Audible – but it seems to bring the classics alive. Emilia Fox is the perfect Agnes. I’m currently reading something that I don’t think I’ll finish – which, sadly, says more about me (and my state of mind) at the moment and less about the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe that’s the issue Jo, I just can’t seem to concentrate and hold the information Ive read in but reading it I don’t have a problem. I agree Emilia Fox is perfect for Agnes Grey.

      Liked by 1 person

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