Sunday 3rd July 2022

What Am I Reading/Listening To For ‘What’s On My Bookshelf’ May 2022? 33/2022.

What Am I Reading/Listening To For ‘What’s On My Bookshelf’ May 2022? 33/2022

 “What’s On Your Bookshelf?”

Thanks to Jo, Deb, Sue and Donna who host this.

What Am I Reading/Listening To Lately?

Quite a mix but then again on careful analysis, the topics and themes of my reading/listening are quite similar.

I am curious about life and its many challenges, how we age and human behaviour generally, so this is my update.

And this time round, I have included links to podcasts that are related to the books as they have been an integral part of my experience.

My reading/listening habits:

  • every day some listening is in the car thanks to Audible and any CDs I have for a book
  • every day, usually in the time between evening meal and doing to bed, I put on a podcast as I create something art-wise
  • every night, at the end of my TV/Netflix/DVD viewing or social media, I take a page or three and read it from one the books here beside my bed.
  • Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron is SUCH a challenge but I am really softening in my acceptance and understanding. With 108 (same numbers as on a counting necklace or string in some buddhist traditions) there are 1-2 pages of tightly but well said words to challenge and take in. I first read this BEFORE my cancer diagnosis in 2017 and struggled but now, some 5 years on, coupled with my own practices, I am better attuned to the teachings.
  • Trusting the Gold by Tara Brach is a dip in and dip out little book of wisdom gleaned from her life experiences. She tells of all her perceived human failings and understanding in a self deprecating way but with self compassion. Tara’s voice is a favourite of mine from her other books which of course I have! And she is now hosting some meditations and sleep stories on Calm.

I like variety and that I can choose!

Atlas of the Heart. Brene Brown.

Atlas of the Heart.’s the thing, I have the book, I have the Audible version and I have listened to podcasts with Brene Brown and others.

I am overwhelmed .

I thought I could tandem read and listen.

No. I thought I could just listen…not really. I think it’s partly to do with how HUGE this content is and it would be Brene herself who would admit to it.

I have become a Binge (pay tv) subscriber just to watch the series she made for US on HBO. So far, one episode in, and she is in teaching mode with an audience and I like it a lot.

I now feel over time, it will be more like a dip in and out of experience for me..and the book is freaking heavy to hold!!

Oprah’s SuperSoul:

Atlas of the Heart with Brene Brown

Watching in Australia:!14634


The Space Between The Stars by Indira Naidoo.

I enjoyed this book but it was not a huge new life lesson for me. The story, told eloquently by Indira, a well-known ABC Australia figure, as part love story to her sister and family, and how nature, particularly one tree in Sydney’s Botanic Gardens helped her immensely, was a light read in many ways with some great lessons for love, dying and appreciation of the green, nature and trees all around us. I admit, I saw trees differently after starting the book.


With The End in Mind and Listen by Dr Kathryn Mannix.

I freely admit it, I am a huge fan of Dr Mannix’s work. We have connected via social media too. Her work history as a doctor in the UK, eventually took her down the career path into palliative care and following her retirement she went onto help more people.  Now in a career helping train others and be a counsellor in CBT: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, she IS the doctor I would love caring for me or a family member.

Whilst that cannot happen, her words, so generously share on this podcast as great indicators that the world of those who are facing end of life, and death are being cared for much better as a result of this person’s work and that of many. In no way is this work done, but the conversations (Listen is an EXCELLENT book for any challenging conversation, not all about death/sickness)

I started with these books on Audible and now have the actual copies to refer to (see my ‘post its’ and book mark! Dr Kathryn Mannix is on Facebook too.

In finding her on this podcast (highly recommend it too) I have added links to both of her chats with Andrew G Marshall.

The Meaningful Life Podcast. Andrew G Marshall

Dr Kathryn Mannix with Andrew G Marshall

With the End In Mind

The Meaningful Life

Dr Kathryn Mannix with Andrew G Marshall




The Inner Work of Age. Shifting from Role to Soul. Dr Connie Zweig.

Now, regular readers know I am doing what I can to learn more about ageing…for me to accept the inevitabilities and to enjoy some of the riches it brings and self-discovery. I first found Dr Connie Zweig’s work by accident or maybe I was meant to…and first listened to her words via Audible. It is via a podcast with Andrew G Marshall I found her work of even greater interest and have now bought the physical book.

I will be reading it over a fairly lengthy period I think as there are activities to do to delve more deeply into the ‘inner me’. Might even be a blog post one time as well.

Role to Soul: Dr Connie Zweig with Andrew G Marshall


Ten Steps To Nanette. Hannah Gadsby.


Now, I am just learning more about Hannah Gadsby through listening to her book. What a listen. And a huge number of life challenges have certainly occurred for Hannah. Rather than me share more, I have included a clip from the promotion for her show “Nanette” which is still on Netflix and explains so much about “her story” and its title. I have also included one podcast where Hannah is in conversation with Glennon Doyle.

Hannah Gadsby with Glennon Doyle

We Can Do Hard Things

From Netflix:

And for this month…that’s it! Photo following is of me in front of our family room bookshelf..made by my dear husband.

What have you been reading, and/or listening to in May?




  1. What a fantastic roundup of books, and podcasts Denyse! You are very focussed on these areas and in learning more – once and educator always an educator?? – and it’s so interesting to read about these titles that are keeping you engrossed. I did look at Indira’s book and may listen to it in the future, as she has been an endearing figure in our media as you say.
    Thanks for joining our monthly linkup, with your usual honesty and interest in a variety of subjects. Your posts are always great to read as I learn new things from you all the time.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Oh Deb, nailed it. Learning and being curious about life keeps me interested and alive!! Yes, it must be a teacher/learner thing too. And if I am honest I do like to share to maybe help others.

      The addition of podcasts to this post came quite naturally as they help me know the author’s better as well.

      Indira is a lovely woman and it will be interesting to hear her read the book.

      I got back into listening to Brene’s book this morning and she stopped at one point and said “now this is not in the book, but I want to share this…” and I loved that!

      Take care, and hope the weekend is a good one for you.


  2. Hi, Denyse – This is a very impressive collection of books. Thank you for sharing them with us so candidly and thoughtfully. I just finished taking a course on trees so I am very interested in The Space Between the Stars. I will keep a look out for it. #WOYBS

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks so much Donna, I have a new respect and reverence for trees after the book I mentioned.

      I also already knew a bit about trees not only ‘talk’ to each other but care for each other too, and it opens me up to great observation when I am in a leafy spot.

      Thanks for your kind words.


  3. You have an impressive list. I love how you pu add podcasts to supplement reading.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thank you so much, Antoinette.

      Adding in the podcasts this time round as they have added more knowledge for me about the purpose of the writing directly from the authors!


  4. I tend to listen to non-fiction more than fiction – I struggle sometimes with reading it but get so much more out of the recording. I suspect that’s of because it’s in the author’s voice – literally. Sometimes, though, I’ll get a physical (or digital) copy just so I can mark the passages that resonate – yes, I’m that person. I’ve struggled with Brene Brown in the past (no idea why) but really like the sound of Indira Naidoo’s book… Thanks so much for linking up – it’s lovely to have you here.

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Jo, I find Brene’s voice a tad “big” like her heart and from Texas but I tend to put up with it. Just today though, I decided to resume listening, in the car, and literally had to pull over to write out a quote that really resonated. Now, back to listening along with the book (AT home!) and then I can “mark” it too! She actually says “make notes, use markers” in Atlas..but it still feels a bit wrong. .

      The narrator’s voice is all for me. I have returned books to Audible because of it not matching an expectation or, as in a recent one, I could hear the intake of breath for every new sentence..Oh no!

      Indira’s book is a gentle but also powerful read and a dip in and out of for me. As you know Sydney well, it would appeal too.

      I am enjoying that I can share “my way” for WOYB and it’s great to be here. Thank you.


  5. Hi Denyse, thanks for sharing your recommendations for books and audiobooks especially as they are more around self-development, mindset, learning rather than the normal fiction. I love fiction and prefer that, however, I’m always interested in what others are reading in terms of learning more about life and ourselves. Thanks for linking up at #whatsonyourbookshelf, I’m so pleased you are joining in. Happy reading!

    • Denyse Whelan says:

      Thanks Sue. I am so glad that I now can join in with my selections as I am not a book reviewer in a traditional way but I have a gut sense of what works for me.

      Fiction used to be a love way back in my 40s when I needed an escape and probably a little after that too.

      However, I am so very curious about human behaviour and since 2013 or so this has been my focus. I went to Sydney Writers Festival a few times to hear more about fave authors too.

      I am glad I have joined in and will again soon.


  6. I’ve heard about the Hannah Gatsby – sounds really interesting.

  7. Interesting list! I’m always looking for good self-development reads.

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