Variety is the spice of life…and so it is with reading #WOYBS

Welcome to another month of #WOYBS!

I’ve read some fabulous books so far this year and am keen to share them with you.

My post title reflects my recent reading – so much variety. I’ve read crime series, memoirs, classics, fiction, contemporary fiction and even a motivational self help book.

This year is all about exploring and I’m making sure I explore my world in many ways, including what books I’m reading!

What’s On Your Bookshelf Challenge (WOYBS) #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

What have I enjoyed reading lately?

  • The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock (Audible) 5 * My review: I loved this book. So far one of my best reads this year! I listened to it via Audible and made myself go for extra walks and drives just so I could keep listening, (I can’t just sit and listen to an audio book for some reason like I can sit and read a book).
    It was sad, but uplifting, honest but beguiling at the same time, and Mercy really got under my skin. She’d been through a lot (!) and the book showed us how she got herself going again, not by choice but by necessity. I loved the travel dialogue, the places she stopped, the caravanning grey nomads, the characters she met along the way and the way she evolved from the where she was at at the very beginning of the story. I felt her pain and laughed along with her, it was a tender beautiful story.
  • The Measure by Nikki Erlick 5* ebook via BorrowBox library app – This was a great story and really made me think about my choices – would I look inside the box?
  • Emma by Jane Austen 4* A great book to finish our online bookclub series of Jane Austen.
  • My Dream Time: A Memoir of Tennis and Teamwork by Ash Barty 5* – We listened to this book while on a road trip and both my husband and I learnt a lot from Ash’s insights. She is a humble and dedicated player and I loved hearing the thoughts from inside her head as she went one step forward and two steps back at times. The background knowledge of her coaches and her ‘team’ was very interesting. A great book to listen to as the tennis and cricket seasons are in full force here in Australia.
  • Rolling with the Punchlines: A Memoir by Urzila Carlson via Audible. Urzila is a comedian originally from South Africa now living in New Zealand and working a lot in Australia. This has been interesting to listen to as we drive around the countryside and I’ve learnt a lot about South African politics, as well as stories of her life. It’s funny, scary, sad in parts but very entertaining.
Books up to mid Feb 23
Books up to mid Feb 23

What I read but didn’t really enjoy

  • Lullaby by Leila Slimani (translated from French by Sam Taylor) Goodreads Blurb….When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect caretaker for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite and devoted woman who sings to their children, cleans the family’s chic apartment in Paris’s upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint and is able to host enviable birthday parties. The couple and nanny become more dependent on each other. But as jealousy, resentment and suspicions increase, Myriam and Paul’s idyllic tableau is shattered.

This was our first Bookclub for the year and as I said in my review on Goodreads I don’t think I would have read this book had it not been a bookclub read. It was a bit confronting and the ending left me up in the air, unsatisfied. I’ve rated it 3 stars because it was well written and the story had potential but it didn’t quite do it for me.

I have to admit the subject matter also hit me hard (infant deaths) and you find out in the first few pages what has happened and then the story works backwards. The discussion we had showed the many layers of the story and although not many of us ‘enjoyed’ the book and it wasn’t tied up nicely at the end, it still had us thinking and talking, which is what bookclubs are all about. Thankfully it was a relatively short book at 228 pages and I got it read quickly.

It’s important to think about why we didn’t enjoy a book just as much as why we did. Whatever we read impacts on us in some way don’t you think?

What I’m reading or listening to at the moment

  • The Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths – (library books)
    Ruth Galloway is a forensic archaeologist living with her two cats, and later her daughter, in a salt-marsh cottage in Norfolk (UK). She is called in to help the police with investigations and has an interesting life which I’m avidly following by reading her books in order and quite quickly!
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – our online bookclub has recently finished reading the works of the Brontë Sisters and Jane Austen. We are now moving onto other classics starting with Great Expectations, which I thought I’d read before but now I’m not so sure. As we do, we’re breaking it into sections, then meeting to discuss before moving on. And we’ll finish with a zoom cooking session! We work our zoom meetings around depending on who’s going to be away and we hope to have this one wrapped up by the end of April. Over at Marsha’s Always Write, it’s interesting to see she’s got a challenge going with some other bloggers that’s all about Charles Dickens.
  • Great, Good, Perfect – I’m listening to this free audio book via audible as I walk in the forest but it’s more of a string of podcasts episodes put together and is becoming very repetitive. The subject matter is interesting and the premise is good, but I may not finish it!

What’s on Your Bookshelf link party

I’m very happy to co-host this link party with my good friends, SueDonna,  & Jo and enjoy discovering new books to add to my ever increasing piles.

We all share different tastes in books so we’ll probably have something to interest you, and it could even lead to a new author or genre! We all try to visit everyone who has joined the linkup and we appreciate your support.

Random reading photo

I love this photo of the Mathematician reading a book to two of our grandchildren last Easter – it shows the power of reading to engage, regardless of age.

the love of reading
For the love of reading

Will you join us?

If you’re into reading, please consider joining us, even if it’s just to leave a comment with what you’ve been reading lately. We’ve 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.

Sue, Donna, Jo and I hope that you will join us in this fun series. I always make notes of new books to read as I go through everyone’s posts each month. Do you do that too?

Do you read a variety of genres or stick mainly to the same style?

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

Sue from Women Living Well After 50

Donna from Retirement Reflections

Jo from And Anyways

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

All my WOYBS posts can be found here – we started this series in August 2021 and the good news is that it’s still going strong!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter…

Happy reading!

Deb xx

Guidelines for WOYBS:

What: What’s On Your Bookshelf #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge
When: Third Thursday PM (Northern Hemisphere)/ Third Friday AM (Southern Hemisphere). Next linkup: Friday 17 February 2023

Beginning January 2023. Third Thursday, 2 pm (PST)/Third Friday, 8 am (AEST).

  • March 16/17
  • April 20/21
  • May 18/19
  • June 15/16
  • July 20/21
  • Aug 18/19
  • Sept 14/15
  • Oct 19/20
  • Nov 16/17
  • Dec 14/15

Why: Share a love of reading.
Where: Linkup, 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.

Debbie in rock chick mode

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

Copyright © 2023 – All rights reserved

43 Replies to “Variety is the spice of life…and so it is with reading #WOYBS”

  1. What an adorable photo of Grant and your grandkids – just beautiful, Deb. The Ruth Galloway series sounds great so will add to my list. I enjoyed The Measure and I’m still not sure if I would look in the box or not. There are pros and cons for both sides but the book really made me think about making my time count. Thanks for being a fab co-host. Happy Reading! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is such a lovely photo that says so much about reading to kids at an early age doesn’t it? Thanks for recommending The Measure, it really made me think. Your post had some great recommendations in it which I’ve made notes about :). Thanks for your stunning co-hosting too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Debbie – That is such an awesome photo of your husband and grandchildren reading together. The power of books truly knows no end. I love how you shared what you liked, and didn’t like about the books that you’ve recently read. I agree that discussing both sides is equally important.
    Finally, thank you for the prompt on beginning to read Great Expectations. I better get on that! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the photo of the mathematician and grandchildren! I agree variety is tops for books! I like to mix fiction with non fiction depending on my mood. I loved Great Expectations. I’d be a lot happier with Dickens than Austen in a book club.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You certainly have been exploring genres this month. It is just as important to know what it is you don’t like about a book – or, rather, didn’t enjoy – as it is to know what you did enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That reading shot is too cute! The wonder and surprise! Bless. You’ve sold me on a couple there. I have that Good perfect one too, cos it was free. Not listened to it tho. I like the sound of the South African comedian – even though I don’t know her work. Will check out.
    As for books we don’t like, I often need to ask is it me or the book – sometimes there are books I think I should love but don’t, so I wonder if it’s my mood rather than the book. Othertimes it’s just missing something or too harsh or something, even tho it ticks all the other boxes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lydia, I love the photo, they are all so engrossed in the story. I’d be interested in seeing what you think of Good Perfect. I think you’re right my mood or the subject matter can have an impact on my reading but I always try to read our bookclub books to participate in the discussions.


  6. Love Great Expectations- one of my favourite Dickens book 😊 The film adaptation of Great Expectations, the opening marsh scenes, were shot in my village. I was sitting on the seawall watching the filming and also got Ray Winstone’s picture, autograph and he also had a pint in our local pub 😊 Several TV & films have been shot here in the marshes actually, including Apple TV’s The Essex Serpent and TV’s Liars .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for joining in Linda, lovely to see you! I must look at the films of Great Expectations and I’ll keep an eye out for your village, how exciting for you!


  7. I love the photo of your grandchildren enjoying the magic of books. Their faces just glow with enjoyment. You have certainly had a wide variety of reading matter this month. I like the sound of the Ruth Galloway series. Thanks for sharing your reads

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Janine, I love that photo too, as it says so much! I enjoyed my eclectic reading this month and am still reading about Ruth, the books are very easy to digest!


    1. Thanks Janet, the photo speaks volumes doesn’t it? Rolling with the Punchlines was an eye opener and very interesting as I’ve seen the comedian on TV but didn’t know much of her story.


  8. Greetings fellow blogger! I wandered over here from Donna’s blog and I’m keen to follow more retiree blogs as I just retired. Well, sort of because I’m still working part time. BUT, one desire I had for my retirement was to read more books and I’ve been doing more reading in the last month and am really enjoying it. I look forward to checking out more of your blog too. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hello and a warm welcome to you! Anyone who knows Donna is an automatic friend of mine :). Congrats on retiring (partly) and hope you enjoy reading more books. What are you reading now?


  9. I don’t know how to do the link up thing (I need a digital mentor!) so I’ll just leave a comment.

    Since my trip to Europe and the UK late last year and then my trip to Tassie in December, I’ve been thinking a lot about history and culture and colonisation, etc. I was in a bookshop recently and a book called Vandemonians by Janet McCalman caught my eye.

    It’s a non-fiction book and I’m learning a lot about life in the mid 1800s in Victoria – what a tough life for many people! A very interesting read, but I might need to follow it with something lighter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know a great digital mentor I can recommend 🙂 That books sounds like an interesting read, and I bet their lives was very different to ours! Thanks for joining in Sharon.


  10. I love the photo with your grandchildren. They look so engaged with the story. I’ve been reading with my kid everyday since she was born. Since I did not have a lot of experience with small kids, I did not know what to say and I didn’t want to babble so reading books was my way of interacting with her. She’s two now and she’s very talkative and enjoys a good book!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m currently reading A Man Called Ove which has been made into a film with Tom Hanks as the lead character – I am really enjoying it. I can really imagine Tom in this role, he will be perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

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