Category Archives: Books Including Susie’s Monthly Friday Book Club

Susie’s Friday Book Club.

Here is November’s Book Club!  I know it’s late!!!!!

DH bought this for me a few years ago and I love it.  It has lots of receipes and anecdotes of Christmases at The Ritz in London. I have used several of the recipes from it for various Christmas dinners especially the Cranberry sauce one to go with the turkey. 

The first Chapter tells you about how The Ritz prepare for Christmas from the week before to Boxing Day and the second Chapter tells you about the customs and traditions of Christmas and how they came to be.  Then there are the recipes and there is also a Chapter of gift ideas and things to make. 

If you love Christmas then this is a must for your Bookshelf.


I wanted to show you this, above.  It is the Christmas Tree in St. Pancras International Train Station in London.  A Bookshelf Tree!  Now how about that for an idea!  It has been sponsored by Hatchards, my favourite Book Store in London, and was built over the course of a few days on the main concourse.  This is the train station that we go into if we go by Train but sadly I have not seen it in person!  There are nooks around the bottom of the tree for people to sit and read in.  To be honest if I did go there I probably would not move and just read all day!!!!!

Hatchards, London.  The Oldest London Bookstore established in 1797.  It is also next door to Fortnum & Mason!

Happy Winter Reading. 

Hugs & Love, Susie xx


Susie’s Friday Book Club.

Completely behind with the Book Club, I really don’t know where the weeks go to!  Here is October’s Book Club!

This is the final book in the series by Matthew Reilly regarding Jack West and his journey through seven books.  I am glad that I did not have to wait for the final book as I had sort of forgotten about the series until I saw it advertised. 

Jack West has been fighting against a shaddow group of people who actually run the World and all the Governments answer to them.  Their aim is to bring about the downfall of all the countries so that they are able to rule in the open once and for all.  There are many twists and turns through the books and he is helped by a loyal band of friends with different skill sets, think Mission Impossible and James Bond rolled into one! 

This last book does not disappoint and do they save the world?  Well have a read it is really good!

It will be a few years but I will read all these again as they are so good!

Happy Reading! 

Hugs & Love, Susie xx


Susie’s Monthly Book Club Friday.

This month’s Book is this one which Youngest bought me for Christmas last year.  A Biography of our late Queen, Elizabeth II.  I have not got too far into it but the Author, Robert Hardman, speaks to those who knew her personally and he also had access to many personal papers covering the time from Princess Elizabeth being a young wife staioned in Malta with her husband at HMS Magpie to the Covid years.  As a Commemorative Edition the Author added the Platinum Jubilee in, her passing and Funeral. 

Although her life was lived in the public eye we get to see the private side too and her family life bringing up her four children, their marriages and sadly three divorces as well as the Grandchildrens’ arrival and then her Great Grandchildrens’ arrivals too. 

All of us were born during Queen Elizabeth’s reign so can be classed as Elizabethans and she truly was a mother/grandmother to our nation.  I am looking forward to getting further into the book.


I have been going through another one of those phases where I am waking up at 2.00am every day!  No matter what I do during the day, which is generally the same most days, I have these periods as you well know who follow me!!!  Of course by the time I get to 3.00pm I am ready for bed!!!  Needless to say that today I should have been doing home jobs but that is going to have to wait until Sunday morning now!  Tomorrow DH and I are out all day, the hospital first thing for an eye check up for me (!) and then the County swimming awards and lunch and then in the evening we are going out for dinner with the Boys’s Godparents!  We are also hoping that Sunday will be nice so we can get out in the garden!  Hey Ho!


“Don’t you love New York in the Fall?  It makes me want to buy school supplies.  I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

From the great Nora Ephron and my favourite film “You’ve Got Mail”

The weather here has turned cooler and in fact I turned the heating on today!  The leaves on our trees are starting to fall and some of the plants are starting to get their Autumn colours on, so we are definitely into Autumn. 

Have a wonderful weekend you lovely lot. 

Happy 60th Birthday to Sue!  Have a Lovely Day x

Hugs & Love, Susie & Coco xx

Books, Books, Books!

As things were hectic before we went away, I missed Book Lovers Day on August 9th which was while we were away!  I did partake by doing quite a bit of reading whilst away, in fact managed to read five books, above, and start my sixth.  Of course I now have to pick which book for Book Club Friday!!!

I had already started The Apollo Murders before we went away and it was a very different book writeen by Chris Hadfield, a former Astronaut and yes it is a murder mystery set in space but it is not Sci/fy! 

I then read Marauder by Clive Cussler which is an Oregon mystery about the tramp steamer ship with hidden qualities.  As usual a great yarn which kept me turning the pages as always.

I then read The Marlow Murder Club which was one of the books from my year of books from the bookshop.  It was okay but it was a bit slow! Not for me.

I then read The Death Instinct by Jed Rubenfield. Hmm not sure what to think about this one.  It was set in the early 1900’s in New York and linked the characters with real people including Marie Currie and Freud.  It was okay but again don’t think I will bother with another of his books.

Finally I read The Two Lost Mountains by Matthew Reilly.  This is a series of books by Mr Reilly about Jack West which started with Seven Ancient Wonders, then The Six Sacred Stones, The Five Greatest Warriors, The Four Legendary Kingdoms, The Three Secret Cities, the Two Lost Mountains and ends with The One Impossible Labyrinth.  The story continues through all the books and I cannot wait to read the final one.  Matthew Reilly is a great writer and like Clive Cussler his books just keep you turning the pages until the last one.  I am am about to start the final book now!!!

It was great to have time to read without too many interruptions!!! 

It was a busy three day weekend last weekend getting jobs done and DH, Eldest & Youngest spent the Monday at the Garage!  I spent the day doing all the holiday ironing!  This week has been busy with work and of course we are one day short, so all week I think it is the day before!  It will be Friday before I know it. 

I am hoping to sort out work and other jobs and get back to blogging every day again.  I hope you are having a wonderful week, I cannot believe that we are moving into Autumn!!!  

Hugs & Love, Susie & Coco xx

The Library At Chatsworth.

This is normally the view you get of the Library at Chatsworth from the doors as you are not allowed in for various reasons.  However DH and The Boys saw a Library Visit in July at Christmas and bought it for me as my Christmas present. So DH and I went last Friday.  Warning:  Picture Heavy Post!

We got a tour of the house before we got to visit the Library.  The above pictures are of the main hall, known as The Painted Hall, for obvious reasons.

After that we were shown into a side room where the Library Archivist told us all about the history of the library and had several books out for us to look at which are unique to the Library here, mainly written by various Dukes of Devonshire or their wives. 

A lot of family letters have been put into volumes as well as books written by family members.  One book containing handwritten poems by various guests who had stayed at Chatsworth.

Of the eighteen thousand books in the Library, the majority were bought by the Sixth Duke of Devonshire, William George Spencer Cavendish (1790 – 1858) who was known as The Bachelor Duke for never marrying, although he did have several affairs.  He was the only son of the Fifth Duke and his wife Georgiana and became the Sixth Duke when only twenty one years of age.  He loved books and spent many years travelling around to various estate auctions buying whole libraries.  Not only is there 18,000 books in the Library there are even more stored in the attics at Chatsworth, which the Archivist and her team are slowly going through.

It was the Sixth Duke who created the Library as we see it today, adding shelves to the room which was originally called The Long Gallery and used for exercise on cold, wet days.  I think it is much nice as a Library.

We got to go into the Library and sit on the chairs, whilst we listened to the Archivist tell us about the creation of the room.

One of the Treasures of the Library is a First Edition of Pride & Prejudice (one of my favourite books).  A lot of people think that Jane Austen had Chatsworth in mind when describing Darcy’s home, Pemberley although Chatsworth is mentioned in the book.

The Books in the Library are not in alphabetical order and do not follow the Dewey Decimal System either.  They were originally but in topic order and large to small!  Over the years this had changed so many times by the different Dukes & Duchesses that the original order has been lost.

A Contemporary of The Sixth Duke was Charles Dickens who stayed at Chatsworth on several occasions.

A lot of the fiction stories in Dickens times were printed as Novellas on paper weekly and then when the story was completed were then printed as a book.  The Bleak House book in the Library was printed into a book but they kept some of the Novella booklets and put them in the book too.

It was a lovely morning and great to actually go into the Library and also sit down!

DH and I then went to The Deveonshire Arms Hotel for lunch in their new Conservatory, which was great although it was raining by the time we got there so we could not sit outside!

The weekend was a busy one as DH was out at a swimming event on both days so I got lots done at home and Sunday I actually managed to have a lie in!!!  Monday and Tuesday were busy and I have been up to Eldest’s garage today to help out there.  Tomorrow I have home jobs to do, washing & Ironing and grocery shopping.  Starting to also get things organised for our vacation. 

Hope you are all having a wonderful week. 

Hugs & Love, Susie & Coco xx

Susie’s Friday Book Club.

Having abandoned the book I was reading earlier in the week, I have only just started this one.    I have so far read all of James Rollins books and loved them.  These are all about Commander Grey Pierce and Sigma Force who are a covert arm of the US Defence Department.  This novel spans over 50,000 years of human evolution and begins when an Archaeologist finds an underground Catholic Chapel in Croatia hidden for centuries but it contains the bones of a Neanderthal woman.  In the caves surrounding it there are paintings depicting the Neanderthals fighting a shadowy form.  The investigation will take the team half way around the World and it will have far reaching affects on human kind.

This is a résumé of the book as I have only got to Chapter Two but all of Mr Rollins books move really fast and the adventure keeps you on your toes!!   It is 688 pages long so it will keep me busy for a while!


DH and The Boys have headed off to Goodwood Festival of Speed ready for an early start tomorrow morning.  Coco and I are tucked up at home as it is raining today, in fact it has not stopped all day.  I got all my home jobs done yesterday and grocery shopping and am doing the ironing today so have a clear weekend.  I have a Spa appointment tomorrow morning which I am looking forward to and back in the afternoon to watch the Wimbledon Ladies Final. 

I hope that whatever you are up to this weekend you have a wonderful time. 

Hugs & Love, Susie & Coco xx

Books – What Genres Do You Like?

Do you have a favourite genre or do you just read anything?  I have found as I got older I prefer mysteries and adventure. 

As those of you who follow my Blog know, reading is a favourite hobby of mine and something which has been with me since I was small.  Every Saturday Mom, Dad and I would walk to our local Library and take out our books for the week and several more when we were going away on holiday.  Also any money I was given for my Birthday was spent on books and my Christmas list always had more books on it than anything (and still does!).

When I moved from the Children’s Library to the Main Library a whole new World opened up with different genres and I loved the romantic books and the History romance novels but now I cannot stand them!!

Godmersham Park

I got this book last year when I was at Waterstones spending my Birthday book vouchers and it was in the “Three for Two” section.  I thought give it a try may be good.  Well it wasn’t! I got to page 84 and I was bored, I skipped a few chapters and tried again and it was still very, very slow.  I read the last chapter and thought no I am not going to finish this!  I have a few other books in a similar vein and think I will be donating them to our local Charity Shop!!  I think I am going to stick to mysteries and adventures.

Obviously as you grow your tastes change in many things but I think more so with books.  Murder mysteries are definitely a favourite of mine, I love medical mysteries too like the Kathy Reichs books.  I do love Historical novels but stories around factual events or Historical mysteries but then again I can read one and really enjoy it and then something similar and I don’t like it.  I think it all depends upon the writer.

I have also found with some authors that I like one book of theirs and then try and read another one and really don’t like it!  Have you got any authors like that?  One of them for me was Philippa Gregory.  I loved her book “The Other Boleyn Girl” but then tried to read another of her books and could not get on with it!  You know that I love Stephen King books but I have never got on very well with his “Dark Tower” series.  

Do you ever find as well that you love the series of one set of books but that not get on very well with the other series?  I absolutely adore “The Hobbit” which I read was I was eleven but although I read “Lord of the Rings” and enjoyed it, it was not as good as The Hobbit for me.

I have quite a few books on my TBR shelf and I am going to take quite a few away with us when we go to Scotland in August.  

This will be one of them because it is quite long.  Youngest bought it for me at Christmas and I am sure it will be a fascinating look at our Late Queen’s life.  When I have sorted my holiday books out I will show you what I am going to be reading!  I have started a new book which I will show you on Friday for Book Club,

I got my work done this morning and I have been at Eldest’s since late morning and got his work done.  I was hoping to get home as I have lots to do but I am now dog sitting!

I suspect Coco is not going to be impressed!

Happy Wednesday everyone, almost the weekend. 

Hugs & Love, Susie, Coco & Honey! xxx

Susie’s Friday Book Club.

I think someone is stealing days from me!  I honestly don’t know where the time goes.  Anyway I know it is Monday but I did not want to wait until this Friday to do this month’s Book Club so here it is.

For those of you who do not like horror or gruesome books then this one is not for you!  I have read five of Chris Carter’s books now and loved them. 

Detective Robert Hunter and his partner are called in the early hours of the morning to a murder scene at a home in LA.  The pretty young woman who owns the home is inside but is dead in the most heinous of ways, something which no one at the scene has ever seen before, even the medical examier and her team are horrified. 

There is no obvious means of forced entry so did the murderer know the victim?  Why is the death so horrible.  Robert starts to investigate but starts to run in to problems straight way.  Will he be able to find the killer before he does this again?

Because I have been so busy over the last few weeks I am only on Chapter Fifteen of this book, but I love it! 


Now don’t faint but I have actually managed to catch up with ALL my jobs; work, home, swimming everything!  I have been working my little socks off to get it all done but I have managed it.  That’s not to say of course that the jobs don’t keep happening, like the washing and ironing, but I am up to date now!!!

Tomorrow Jayne and I are going out for lunch for our Birthdays so can’t wait, i think it will be my reward for getting everything done!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful week you lovely lot. 

Hugs & Love, Susie & Coco xxxx

Susie’s Friday Book Club.

I am half way through last month’s book so have not started a new one yet, but I did want to show you this:

I first came across Julian McDonnell via his YouTube channel which can be found here

He started off by doing short films about different areas in London and then expanded it to longer walks.  He tells you about the history of where he is and fascinating facts that are generally not known and also points out things that in a normal walk you would probably miss. 

His videos have become so popular that he has included many of them in this book which was published in April this year.

A picture of Julian and list of the contents.

Each walk tells you the distance, approximate time and the nearest Tube Station and a QR code for your phones.

Julian has a very easy going presenting style and even if you don’t go to London to do any of the walks, his videos do show you London with his very interesting facts.  He usually posts a new video once or twice a month.  He is, of course, on Instagram as well if you have that :

The walks always end at a local Hostelry with a drink to revive Joolz and his crew. 

A great book if you are ever in London to try some of the walks and do check out his YouTube videos, they are very entertaining.

Busy week again and hopefully I will catch up over the weekend!  I hope you lovely lot have a wonderful weekend. 

Hugs & Love, Susie & Coco xx

Susie’s Friday Book Club.

Yes I know I am late with this, it has been a busy end of April and beginning of May!!!  So here is April’s Book Club and I will be back next week with May!!!

I have read all of James Rollins books based on his stories of Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force.  A group which have military training but also other expertise in medicine, communications, amunitions etc.  It begins in Utah where a quiet research station sounds out a distress call, not for help but for them all to be killed.  A chilling request which is  done but it also affects everything within fifty miles of the station.  However it has not stopped what was happening there.

Sigma Force are dispatched to try and sort out the mess and stop it affecting the area and possibly the world. It is an ancient threat and the team have to find out from historic maps and writings where it all started and if it can be stopped and if not stopped if it can be contained!

Mr Rollins books are a real roller coaster of a read and there is never a dull moment and they move really fast that you get caught up in them.  I am half was through and really enjoying it.

Been trying to read some more recently as it is one of my Aims this year, but there does not always seem to be enough hours in the day!

Happy Reading Everyone. 

Hugs & Love, Susie & Coco xx