The Verdict – and What’s on my Bookshelf

Welcome Readers!

It’s great to have you back for another month of the What’s On Your Bookshelf Challenge, #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge, hosted by SueDonnaJo and of course, me.

This image is so true – reading isn’t a waste of time, and I know I feel nourished by reading while basking in the sunlight – how about you?

reading quote
reading quote – reading is not a waste of time!

Well it’s been another fabulous month of reading and my reading challenge for 2022 is going great guns. I use my reading time as ‘my time’ and enjoy escaping into different worlds.

So what have I enjoyed reading recently?

Just a few of my recent books – such a wide variety!

Books read update
Books read update

Some stand outs

  • The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams was my only 5* rating this month, I’m very strict on giving 5 stars and this one deserved it in my opinion. Thanks to Sue for recommending this one a few months ago – have you read it? I wrote this review on Goodreads:

I really enjoyed this insightful story with books and reading at its core. the characters came alive and I could relate to many of them. There was sadness, joy, family issues, friendships but at the heart it was all about love. A true gem of a story! I noted that I had read most of the books on ‘the list’ but will admit that I didn’t enjoy the Life of Pi at the time of reading it

My Goodreads Review
  • The Matilda Saga by Jackie French

As I recently read and loved The Angel of Waterloo by Jackie French, I went looking for more of her books and discovered the Matilda Saga, a series of 9 books starting with A Waltz for Matilda. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and went on to read the second The Girl from Snowy River and will keep an eye out for the next titles in he series. These first two were free with my Kindle Unlimited membership but the later ones cost a few dollars, so I will see if the local library has them first. Apparently they are classified as Young Adult fiction but I am totally hooked!

Currently I’m reading

I find I always have a few books on the go at once but they are all so different and balance out my reading nicely!

The Verdict

You might remember that last month I mentioned a bookshop owner in Sydney, Tanya Natalie from The Bookplate, who puts together a selection of 5-7 second-hand books for you, based on a personality quiz she gets you to do online, for a cost of $50 (including postage in Australia).

I took the quiz and waited patiently for my books to arrive, which they did earlier this week. There had been a delay in sending my parcel and when I enquired Tanya was very helpful and apologetic. I love getting parcels in the mail!

These are the books I received. I haven’t read any of them and they all sound very interesting! What do you think?

Then there’s The Bookplate’s ‘Book-quet Bundle’

Another great gift idea is a book-quet, where you can do a little quiz about a friend or relative, and they will receive a gift wrapped selection of books based on your answers to the quiz, a bit different than just sending flowers! I did this for my sister’s recent 60th birthday and she was thrilled to get a great selection of books in the mail which will keep her busy over the next few months 🙂

I know spending money can be an issue for some but I thought this idea was very clever. I feel pleased to be helping out a small business, I get some new books that I may not have chosen for myself and if I don’t like them I can simply regift them.

So my verdict is – it’s a win/win and I’m glad I’ve given it a go!

Brontë Books

I can’t let the fact go unnoticed that our online bookclub has recently finished reading and ‘dissecting’ the works of the Brontë sisters. That’s reading, zooming, baking and talking all things Brontë – what fun we’ve had!

Since we started our online bookclub in January 2021, we’ve read Wuthering Heights (Emily), Agnes Grey (Anne), Jane Eyre (Charlotte), The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne), Villette (Charlotte), The Professor, (Charlotte) and last but not least, Shirley (Charlotte).

I know I’ve learnt a lot from our discussions, I hadn’t read many of these before and the way we did it has been educational and also enlightening. The Brontë Sisters were ahead of their time, Charlotte in particular in terms of feminism, and while I enjoyed reading them all, some were harder work than others! I am calling Shirley as my favourite.

If men could see us as we really are, they would be a little amazed; but the cleverest, the acutest men are often under an illusion about women: they do not read them in a true light: they misapprehend them, both for good and evil: their good woman is a queer thing, half doll, half angel; their bad woman almost always a fiend.

Men, I believe, fancy women’s minds something like those of children. Now, that is a mistake.

Shirley by Charlotte Brontë

We’re continuing with the classics, and next up is Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

Reading is the winner

If you’re into reading, please feel free to join us, even if it’s just to leave a comment with what you’ve been reading lately. We’ve now added a linkup (at the end of my post) so you can add your posts directly there and see what others have posted about for the month as well.

Will you join us?

Sue, Donna, Jo and I hope that you will join us in this fun series!

Don’t forget to tell me about the book(s) you’re reading at the moment!

You can read more from my stunning co-hosts here:

Jo from And Anyways…

Sue from Women Living Well After 50

Donna from Retirement Reflections

We’re all in this together, sharing our love of reading 🙂

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter…

Happy reading to you.

Deb xx

Guidelines for WOYBS:

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: Linkup below, 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. You can use the hashtag #Whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

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

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64 Replies to “The Verdict – and What’s on my Bookshelf”

    1. Morning! The Jonathon Franzen book was the only one I’d heard of too but haven’t read it so will see how it goes. It really was a fun activity to do and yes the quotes are great! Just read your post and left you a comment.

      Just a quick thing – could you update the link to my blog to my most recent post if that’s not too much trouble -it’s currently going back to an earlier one.


  1. The Bookplate sounds like a great idea – I’m going to check it out. The Reading List is on my (ahem) list, The Jackie French titles also look interesting. Another great month of reading…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Debbie – You have read an incredibly diverse selection of books this past month. I believe that the Universe is telling me to add The Reading List to my TBR pile. I am especially interested in the Bookplate selection that you received. I can’t wait to hear how each of these books have suited your reading style and how you rate them! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Deb, I could write a whole page in reply to this post. I absolutely love the Matilda Saga, having read all nine books in the series. They are also available on Borrowbox as audio books. I would love to get a parcel of books in the mail, so I think it’s a great gift. The Angel of Waterloo was a reading highlight of 2021


  4. Hi Deb – I loved that first quote about reading being a necessity of life – I love that I have so much time to devote to reading these days and I also like that books are available for free (for those of us on a budget). I’ll be interested to see how your book bundle goes and whether it sets you off on a new author’s series (I love it when I discover a series I like!) Congrats on completing the Brontes too. x


  5. Hi Deb a great wrap up for this month’s What’s On Your Bookshelf? Like you I don’t think reading is a waste of time at all and I savour my afternoons when I can while away a few hours getting lost in a book. I too enjoyed our discussions in Bookclub and can now say I’ve read all of the Bronte sisters’ works. I’m looking foward to Jane Austen and so pleased we chose the Classics as our genre. The Book-quet Bundle is a lovely idea as is the mystery pack. Here’s to another month of reading – isn’t that wonderful? Thanks for co-hosting the WOYBS link up as we share our love of books. xx


  6. I’m eyeing off the Sex, Lies and Question time but I just think it might depress me. We’re so backwards.Ugh. Did you love the Horowitz? They’re soooo funny. He’s so clever. They really gave me a lift in lockdown.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it was a bit depressing and repetitive Lydia, which is a shame as I wanted it to be more ‘something’. I loved the Horowitz books, so clever and engaging!


  7. I love your quote from Owl at the library. It does feel like modern life diminishes the time spent reading. I can’t believe how many books you have read this month! I really need to up my game and claim more reading time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janine, I’m a quick reader and probably fall into the category of ‘wasting time reading’ – my father always used to accuse me of that but I use it as relaxing time and being retired now I can sit and read all day if I want to!


  8. I love that quote. Yesterday we had our first springlike day and I sat in the conservatory with a book and a cup of tea, sunshine pouring in through the windows and for one brief moment in time I thought ‘I really ought to be tidying the bedroom’ but quickly discarded the thought! The tidying could wait another day, but here in the UK you can’t assume that you’ll get another sunny day so soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Reading List was one of my Did Not Finish books from last year.. I just could not get into it at all. Your book pile sounds quite interesting nd fun. I had thought I had read The Other Woman…. but it was a different book with the same title by a different author.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love reading of the passion you and many other have for your books and reading. The group you formed with blogging friends has been such lovely thing to know more about. When I look around our house and the culling we have already done, I am reluctant to add more real books to the bookshelf but as you know I did buy Jane Caro’s book The Mother and am almost finished (record for me!)…B says he will give it a go. And…In 2 weeks time I will be at Newcastle Writers festival…all things being well and will see Jane Caro speak about her first adult fiction book The Mother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Denyse, it’s been a real blessing having a group of book reading bloggers to join with us each month. Jane’s book is on my list and i hope you enjoy the festival. I’ll be there too – via the link!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oddly enough my comment has to do with The Life of Pi, which I also did not like. But I did not tell Yann that when I met him. I like his wife’s books much better – Alice Kuipers. She has one called “Life on the Refrigerator Door”. An easy read but so profound. You’ve got so many books on your shelf!! Bernie

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for focusing on books! I’ve added The Reading List to my reads. I’m currently reading Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket by Hilma Wolitzer, a collection of short stories by US writer Hilma Wolitzer, and Where Blood Runs Cold by Giles Kristian, a thriller set in the Arctic

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow so many books Deb. What on earth do I do with my time, I only read one at a time and nowhere near as many as you. How do you remember where you are up to with multiple books on the go at the same time. I’d be rereading the same pages over and over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You made me smile Jonno! I use reading as a way to unwind and love a variety of stories. My mind is usually racing with a million things so I mange to keep up quite well with multiple books.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. A great selection you have posted this month Debbie. I can’t believe another month has gone by. I will endeavour to come up with something even though I haven’t read much again 🤨
    I still love a good book review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The books you mention are not the kind of books I read usually. Of course, I have read all the books of the Brontë sisters and Jonathan Franzen’s ‘The Correction’.
    I just read ‘Magnificent Rebels’ by Andrea Wulf, a book I really like. Before I read ‘The Anomaly’ by Hervé Le Tellier, another book I liked pretty much.
    Is your reading group online?
    Keep well
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your interesting comment and books. Yes we have an online bookclub and currently working through some of the classics, moving into Charles Dickens after we finish Jane Austen.

      Liked by 1 person

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