When You Love Books…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

To learn more about all of these books

CLICK HERE to access the Goodreads shelf

The End of the Year 2021 Wrap Up


Thank you to all of you of my visitors this past year, particularly to those that took the time to leave a comment, or like, a post! Your support is appreciated.

Blog Statistics: In 2021

Total Posts: 264

Followers: 4,586

Most popular review in 2021: The Husbands by Chandler Baker



Reading statistics: In 2020…

Total books read: 171

Pages read: approx 62k

Average Book Length: 362 pages

All but two were books provided for review. You can see a list, linked to my reviews, on the 2021  Review Schedule page 



Challenge results: In 2021…

2021 Goodreads Challenge

Challenge Incomplete: 171/200


Nonfiction Reader Challenge

Challenge Completed: 12/12


Australian Women Writers Challenge

Challenge completed: 85/50


Aussie Author Challenge 

Challenge completed: 24/24


Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Challenge incomplete: 21/25


Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

Challenge complete: 60/25


What’s in a Name Challenge?

Challenge complete: 6/6


Books in Translation Reading Challenge 

Challenge incomplete: 2/4


It’s a bit of a mixed result, hopefully I can do better in 2022!

In 2021…My Life in Books


Just something I put together for fun.
Consider yourself tagged, feel free to tag others.

Complete the prompts using titles from the books you have read in 2021


2021 was the year of: The Long Game by Simon Rowell

In 2021 I wanted to be: Grace Under Pressure by Tori Haschka

In 2021 I was: Still by Matt Nable

In 2021 I gained: Bad Habits by Sarah Evans

In 2021 I lost: The Safe Place by LA Larkin

In 2021 I loved: A Home Like Ours by Fiona Lowe

In 2021 I hated: The Way it is Now by Garry Disher

In 2021 I learned: All We Have is Now by Kaneana May

In 2021 I was surprised by: Stranger Times by C.K. McDonnell

In 2021 I went to: Other People’s Houses by Kelli Hawkins

In 2021 I missed out on: You & Me On Vacation by Emily Henry

In 2021 my family were: The Best Things by Mel Giedroyc

In 2022 I hope: Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray


If you decide to give it a try, please leave your link in the comments. I’d appreciate a link back to Book’d Out and you are welcome to download and use the tag header

Last year: In 2020…My life in books

Books make the best gifts: Bionic Book Subscription 


We all know books make the best gifts, whether it’s to family or friends, or to ourselves. This Christmas it’s easier than ever to treat yourself or a loved one with the Australian service, Bionic Book Subscription.

Founded during lockdown to benefit readers (and authors), the Bionic Book Subscription service is the brainchild of Melbourne digital designer, Nick McKay. The name ‘Bionic’ comes from the service being ‘half human, half machine’ in that it combines an algorithm designed to learn your reading preferences, with the expertise of a curator who hand picks a book to suit your tastes.

Subscribing to the Bionic Book Subscription service begins with an easy to navigate multiple choice questionnaire that query’s your preferences of the types of books you might like to read.

Then you’ll be asked to choose your subscription plan: one book per month or one book every two months.

It’s really that simple!

It’s a thrill to anticipate the arrival of the mystery book, and you likely won’t have long to wait, as books are sent out on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. McKay has such faith in the Bionic Book Subscription service  that If you don’t like a book you’re sent, or if you’ve already read it, you can simply exchange it (free return shipping is included), or get a refund.

I was delighted to receive my first ‘bionic’ book, courtesy of Nick and the Bionic Book Subscription. It is definitely something I would read, and not something I already own, that’s an impressive feat given my groaning shelves.

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

I really like the personalised, collaborative approach the service takes to ensure your subscription continues to deliver books that suit your tastes. Each time you receive a book, you are asked to complete another short questionnaire to indicate your satisfaction with the selection. These answers are then merged with with the results of prior questionnaires to refine the algorithm the curator then draws on to choose your next book.

With Christmas just a few weeks away, you can treat yourself to a Bionic Book Subscription, or you can purchase a subscription as a gift for a family member or friend, and arrange for the welcome email to be scheduled to be sent on Christmas Day. The service is great value, at just $29.95 per month for one book delivered every month, or $29.95 every two months for one book delivered every two months, including delivery (within Australia). Prepaid subscriptions are also available at lower monthly rates, and you can cancel or suspend the service at any time.

I’m pleased to note that the Bionic Book Subscription service makes an effort to minimise their impact on the environment by using a carbon neutral delivery service, 100% compostable, reusable padded mailer bags from Hero Packaging, and prints all letters on 100% recycled paper.

My next book is due soon, and I’ve already decided I’m going to put it under the Christmas tree so that I have a surprise gift to open.

Visit  Bionic Book Subscription 

to learn more

and subscribe today.



NB I received a three month subscription to trial the service but was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

Bookshelf Bounty


Every third Sunday of the month I share my Bookshelf Bounty – what’s been added to my TBR tile recently for review from publishers, purchases or gifts.

This month I’m linking up with Mailbox Monday

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review 

(My thanks to the respective publishers)




Australia Reads 2021

Australian Reading Hour 

September 14th 2021

Australia Reads is on a mission to get more people reading more books, more often. Research shows that reading books can be a great way to improve your cognitive abilities, relax your body and lower your heart rate, and enhance how happy you are with life.    

This year’s theme is #StoriesThatMatter

It’s about sparking passionate conversations exploring how the stories that matter to us, in the books we read and write and discuss, help shape our sense of identity, belonging and wellbeing – as individuals and as a nation.

There are various online events happening for children, teens and adults…click here to learn more.

I’m looking forward to the Zoom Australia Reads event being hosted by the Northern Beaches Readers Festival with guest authors Chris Hammer, Cassie Hamer, Maya Linnell, Tabitha Bird, Monique Mulligan and Sandie Docker. It’s on Tue 14 Sep 2021 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM (UTC+10), it’s free and you can register HERE

You can also participate via social media by either sharing an Australian book that matters to you, or an Australian book you are currently reading. Use the tags @AustralianReadingHour #StoriesThatMatter @australiareads #australiareads #Morebooksmoreoften #Australianreadinghour

Bookshelf Bounty


Every third Sunday of the month I share my Bookshelf Bounty – what’s been added to my TBR tile recently for review from publishers, purchases or gifts.

This month I’m linking up with Mailbox Monday

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review 

(My thanks to the respective publishers)



Bookshelf Bounty

Every third Sunday of the month I share my Bookshelf Bounty – what’s been added to my TBR tile recently for review from publishers, purchases or gifts.

This month I’m linking up with Mailbox Monday

Click on the cover images to view at Goodreads

For Review 

(My thanks to the respective publishers)






Thanks Reinvented Reader

Motherhood in Fiction

Happy Mother’s Day!

To celebrate, here is a list of ten recently published fiction titles featuring the diverse experience of motherhood


Two couples. One baby. An unimaginable choice.

Grace and Dan Arden are in their forties and have been on the IVF treadmill since the day they got married. Six attempts have yielded no results and with each failure a little piece of their hope dies.

Indian-Australian Priya Laghari and her husband Nick Archer are being treated at the same fertility clinic and while the younger couple doesn’t face the same time pressure as the Ardens, the Archers have their own problems. Priya suspects Nick is cheating and when she discovers a dating app on his phone her worst fears are confirmed.?

Priya leaves Nick and goes through an IVF cycle with donor sperm. On the day of her appointment, Grace and Dan also go in for their final, last-chance embryo transfer. Two weeks later the women both get their results: Grace is pregnant. Priya is not?

A year later, angry and heart-broken, Priya learns her embryo was implanted in another woman’s uterus and must make a choice: live a childless life knowing her son is being raised by strangers or seek custody of a baby that has been nurtured and loved by another couple.


Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter–she doesn’t behave like most children do.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.

Then their son Sam is born–and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.

The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.


I just wanted them to stop wittering at me, eat vegetables without complaining, let me go to the loo in peace and learn to make a decent gin and tonic.

It genuinely never occurred to me when they were little that this would ever end – an eternity of Teletubbies and Duplo and In The Night Bastarding Garden and screaming, never an end in sight. But now there is. And despite the busybody old women who used to pop up whenever I was having a bad day and tell me I would miss these days when they were over, I don’t miss those days at all.

I have literally never stood wistfully in the supermarket and thought ‘Oh, how I wish someone was trailing behind me constantly whining ‘Mummy, can I have, Mummy can I have?’ while another precious moppet tries to climb out the trolley so they land on their head and we end up in A


Mummy has been a wife and mother for so long that she’s a little bit lost. And despite her best efforts, her precious moppets still don’t know the location of the laundry basket, the difference between being bored and being hungry, or that saying ‘I can’t find it Mummy’ is not the same as actually looking for it.

Amidst the chaos of A-Levels and driving tests, she’s doing her best to keep her family afloat, even if everybody is set on drifting off in different directions, and that one of those directions is to make yet another bloody snack. She’s feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated, and the only thing that Mummy knows for sure is that the bigger the kids, the bigger the drink.


A new thought-provoking novel exploring the complexity of motherhood and all that connects and disconnects us.

You think you know her…but look a little closer.

She is a stay-at-home mother-of-three with boundless reserves of patience, energy, and love. After being friends for a decade, this is how Liz sees Jess.

Then one moment changes everything.

Dark thoughts and carefully guarded secrets surface—and Liz is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her friend, and about herself. The truth can’t come soon enough.


Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.

Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth.

Thinking of her dead-end life at home, the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?

With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love.


Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock . . . midnight.

The old millennium turns into the new.

In the same hospital, two very different women give birth to two very similar daughters.

Hope leaves with a beautiful baby girl.

Anna leaves with empty arms.

Seventeen years later, the gods who keep watch over broken-hearted mothers wreak mighty revenge, and the truth starts rolling, terrible and deep, toward them all.

The power of mother-love will be tested to its limits.

Perhaps beyond . . .


Three women. Three daughters. And a promise that they’ll each get what they deserve.

College admissions season at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Academy is marked by glowing acceptances from top-tier institutions, and students as impressive as their parents are ambitious. But when Stanford alerts the school it’s allotting only one spot to EBA for their incoming class, three mothers discover the competition is more cutthroat than they could have imagined.

Tech giant Alicia turns to her fortune and status to fight for her reluctant daughter’s place at the top. Kelly, a Stanford alum, leverages her PTA influence and insider knowledge to bulldoze the path for her high-strung daughter. And Maren makes three: single, broke, and ill-equipped to battle the elite school community aligning to bring her superstar daughter down.

That’s when, days before applications are due, one of the girls suffers a near-fatal accident, one that doesn’t appear to be an accident at all.

As the community spirals out of control, three women will have to decide what lines they’re willing to cross to secure their daughters’ futures…and keep buried the secrets that threaten to destroy far more than just college dreams.


This novel is about a woman called Martha. She knows there is something wrong with her but she doesn’t know what it is. Her husband Patrick thinks she is fine. He says everyone has something, the thing is just to keep going.

Martha told Patrick before they got married that she didn’t want to have children. He said he didn’t mind either way because he has loved her since he was fourteen and making her happy is all that matters, although he does not seem able to do it.

By the time Martha finds out what is wrong, it doesn’t really matter anymore. It is too late to get the only thing she has ever wanted. Or maybe it will turn out that you can stop loving someone and start again from nothing – if you can find something else to want.


Glamorous, beautiful Mummy has everything a woman could want… except for a daughter of her very own. So when she sees Kim—heavily pregnant, glued to her phone and ignoring her eldest child in a busy shop—she does what anyone would do. She takes her. But little foul-mouthed Tonya is not the daughter that Mummy was hoping for.

Meanwhile Kim is demonised by the media as a ‘scummy mummy’, who deserved to lose Tonya and ought to have her other children taken too. Haunted by memories of her own childhood and refusing to play by the media’s rules, she begins to spiral, turning on those who love her.

Though they are worlds apart, Mummy and Kim have more in common than they could possibly imagine. But it is five-year-old Tonya who is caught in the middle…


Followed by Millions, Watched by One

To her adoring fans, Emmy Jackson, aka @the_mamabare, is the honest “Instamum” who always tells it like it is. 

To her skeptical husband, a washed-up novelist who knows just how creative Emmy can be with the truth, she is a breadwinning powerhouse chillingly brilliant at monetizing the intimate details of their family life.

To one of Emmy’s dangerously obsessive followers, she’s the woman that has everything—but deserves none of it.  

As Emmy’s marriage begins to crack under the strain of her growing success and her moral compass veers wildly off course, the more vulnerable she becomes to a very real danger circling ever closer to her family.

In this deeply addictive tale of psychological suspense, Ellery Lloyd raises important questions about technology, social media celebrity, and the way we live today. Probing the dark side of influencer culture and the perils of parenting online, People Like Her explores our desperate need to be seen and the lengths we’ll go to be liked by strangers. It asks what—and who—we sacrifice when make our private lives public, and ultimately lose control of who we let in. . . .

International Women’s Day and Southern Cross Crime Month


It’s International Women’s Day today-March 8th – and March is also Southern Cross Crime Month hosted by ReadingMattersBlog, so to honour both, I’m sharing 8 crime fiction books by women writers from Australia or New Zealand which are published internationally, and therefore should be available in most book markets. 

*Covers may vary between markets – click on the cover to learn more

The Dry by Jane Harper

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Gathering Dark by Candice Fox

Bound by Vanda Symon

Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic

The War Widow/Dead Man Switch by Tara Moss

Shanghai Secrets by Sulari Gentill

The Girl Who Never Came Home by Nicole Trope


This March perhaps you’d like to support an Australian or New Zealand female crime fiction writer by reading one of their books and sharing it via #SouthernCrossCrime2021 

Happy International Womens Day!


A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.

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