What’s on my bookshelf #9

It’s time again for what’s on my bookshelf, a monthly round up of books read – enjoyed or otherwise hosted by hosted by SueDonnaJo and Deb. I’m a couple of days early this month, as we are off on a short trip and I thought I would just like to get this done and dusted before we set off.

So to the books…and first up is French author Hervé Le Tellier’s mystery/sci fi/thriller The Anomoly. This is one of those ‘can’t put it down’ books, as well as one that gives food for thought. The plot involves an Air France flight from Paris to New York which emerges from an unexpected storm to confused air traffic control personnel, and is redirected to a secret military base. You may ask why…well it is because it is exactly the same flight as one that already landed after emerging from a storm three previously. It isn’t just the same flight number but the same plane, with the same passengers. I won’t reveal any more, but it is a great read and am sure it will be made into a Netflix series.

Book number two is by New Zealand author Anne Harré The Leaning Man. Set in Wellington, it tells the tale of Stella Weston who returns from London to attend her parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary. Her best friend dies under mysterious circumstances, and Stella set out to find out what really happened. I really enjoyed this book – great plot and fun to see some local places featured (including the florist I bought flowers in last week!). The title refers to the statue Solace in the Wind which stands by the waterfront in the city.

It was also a month for old favourites – the latest Donna Leon Give Unto Others, which I really enjoyed and showed her back on form in this post-Covid Venice set crime fiction. I also re-read Barbara Pym’s A Glass of Blessings for a bit of comfort reading. One of my favourite books by one of my favourite authors, it is always a joy to pick up one of her books. I also finally got around to picking up Anne Kennedy’s volume of poetry The Sea Walks Into A Wall. One poem in particular Light on in the Garden sticks in my mind, the opening lines of which are:

The guys on the exec team hate art. 
They watch a movie sometimes, hum along to a tune in the car, 
buy jewellery for their wives, 
but the guys on the polytech executive team really hate art. 

Oh how true those sentiments are about the focus on STEM to the detriment of arts education these days! A topic for another day perhaps…..

Anyway, to this month’s cook book, Sofia Nordgren’s The Nordic Baker. Organised by the seasons, this is a beautiful book of vegan baking. There are a couple of things I want to try, including a seed and nut bread that looks really delicious.

Finally, I just finished Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This at the hairdresser today after I had put together most of this post already. I have really no idea what I think about this book. You can tell she is also a poet, and deconstructing the novel in this way was interesting, but I can’t say I enjoyed or liked this book. Please let me know if you have read it and what your thoughts are.

So that is my reading for this month. Have you read anything good, or any of the books I have read?

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com


  1. I am so jealous! I love reading but rarely have time for it. We (my sister and I ) own a small farm with about 5 acres of gardens and downsized to just chickens (used to have horses, goats, llama and a few other adopted critters) but I still cant seem to find time in my day. I have tons of how-to books but only get to read them when I am looking for a way to fix something (hahaha). I keep thinking I will have time when I retire – oops – just turned 63, disabled and still not retired – week!! Aahhh – life goes on. Thank you for the share!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had some holiday so have had more time to read than usual. Otherwise, it is hard to fit in but I love reading so sometimes I read instead of doing things around the house.


  2. Love, love, loved Anomaly! I finished and immediately called a book buddy in Seattle to discuss, but she has not been able to put her hands on it yet, huge library waiting list for that one.

    I will check out The Leaning Man, because I love trying out authors new to me and books set on locations I have never visited. I most recently read Heirloom Gardener by John Forti – a series of essays about gardening and living in ways that are more gentle on the earth. It has lovely illustrations and was mostly enjoyable but sometimes I felt that the author did not really address the fact that the vast majority of people on the planet do not have resources to live better. Currently reading non fiction: Deaths of Despair by Case and Deaton and it will be a hard read just because of the subject matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anomaly was good wasn’t it? Quite different and so well written. The gardening book sounds interesting if perhaps a little elitist from your description. Next on my list are some essays by Siri Hustvedt.


  3. Thank you for the wonderful book reviews and recommendations. How fun that that The Leaning Man mentioned your local florist. (I did enjoy the bouquet photo you posted!) You inspire me to dust off my own Barbara Pym collection. I’ll definitely look for A Glass of Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for joining us for April’s ‘What’s On Your Bookshelf”. I love the diversity of the books that you selected. For this month’s WOYBS linkup, we will be combining forces with Sandy, Amanda and Sarah for ‘Friendly Friday Challenge.’ That post goes live 12:01 am, Friday, April 22 (Vancouver), and 5:01 pm Friday, April 22 (Brisbane). We will be sure to add your post to our InLInkz section. Enjoy your break away! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another great edition of WOYBS with such a variety of books you’ve read. They all sound great but I’m leaning into the Leaning Man for some reason 🙂 Thanks for joining us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I do enjoy a Donna Leon, but like Deb’s comment above, I’m leaning towards The Leaning Man. I just tried to find a copy on Amazon but no luck. Will try the library next. Thanks for linking up.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Barbara
    I haven’t read any of these books but The Anomaly and The Leaning Man sound interesting.
    My husband is half English and half Austrian/Polish coincidentally!


  8. Thank you for your book shares and great to find a fellow Donna Leon fan! I too feel drawn to The Leaning Man and The Anomaly. The problem with this link up party is my book wish list is growing longer and longer!

    Liked by 1 person

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