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

Susie’s Friday Book Club!

Yes I know it’s Monday! 

Here is March’s Book Club.  This was the first book I had received from Heywood Hill in my “Book a Month” present from DH & The Boys!  

It is set in Cracow 1893 and Zofia Turbotynska, whose husband is a Professor at the local university, is bored!  She spends her days directing for staff of two and trying to climb the local Cracow social ladder.  Part of her attempts to climb involves the local Retirement Home, Helcel House, and organising a charitable raffle.  Zofia one morning visits the home to find it in uproar as one of the residents has gone missing, only to be found deceased a few days later by Zofia directing the staff of the Home to search the attics!  The death is ruled as an accident but Zofia is not convinced and sets out to find clues to what has happened, basing her actions on her favourite detective novels which she reads. 

This book was originally written in Polish and then translated to English and “Maryla Szymiczkowa” is in fact two people Jacek Dehnel and Piotr Tarczynski, Jacek is an author and Piotr a historian.  I enjoyed the book up to a point.  I found around half way through that it got a little bogged down with the descriptions and the walking backwards and forwards to Helcel House!!!  So much so that I did skip several pages to the end.  It probably would not have been a book I would have chosen to read if I was in a bookshop but then again this is the whole point of the book a month, so if I was rating this out of 10 it would be 7/10!

This is the book I am reading now.  I do like Karen Slaughter’s books as the characters are all connnected but each book is about one of them with the other characters being in but not of the book.  Might review this next month or the new book I have just received from Heywood Hill, we shall see!!!! 

I hope you had a great weekend and some time to read or quilt or both!!!! 

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

 

This is The Stuttgart City Library.  Although I am usually not a fan of modern interiors I do like this!!!  (Picture by: William O’Connor).  Here is the link if you would like to read further about it 

 

Monday.

Going into Monday like:

Just how I feel today!

Literary Monday!

How many times have you finished a book and then thought I wish it had been longer?  I can get so wrapped up in the story that you get to the last page and are amazed that it is the end.  Of course it is also a real trial when you are reading a series of books and then have to wait for the next one to be publised, George R.R. Martin being a case in point.  We have been waiting for quite a few years now for the next instalment of the Game of Thrones books!!!!  Please get a move on and get it published Mr Martin!

Definitely prefer reading books to watching TV although I do watch films.

Who hasn’t wondered what happened to them after you close the book, especially Elizabeth & Darcy of Pride & Prejudice?  

This is quite true and I remember when Youngest started to read books for himself and he said he could see pictures when he read the words, a true reader!

We had a set of books when we started to read at primary school called “The Janet & John Books” which progressed for new readers, above, and they are still used today in a more modern form.  I was able to read when I went to school so I think I started on Book Five and both our Boys could also read when they went to school.

The children are all back at school today, the first time since Christmas and this is the first step to us hopefully opening things up again.  Let us hope that it does not drive up the rate of infections again!

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DH & I have had our first jabs of the vaccine for Covid and it was fine.  Our second jabs will be in May! 

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On a final note our newspapers are full of that wretched interview and to be honest some of the things that the Duke & Duchess of Sussex have said are appalling and they should be ashamed of themselves, especially as we know the Royal Family will not respond to neither confirm nor deny anything.  However one of the things the Duchess said about Harry and herself being married before the actual wedding is wrong.  In Britain you are not able to get married unless the place is licenced and you have two witnesses!  It may be that they practiced their vows in the garden but they certainly did not get married.  SO if she is stretching the truth (lying) about that, what else is she/they lying about?  

I hope you are having a very Happy Monday and will have a great week. 

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

#TBT & World Book Day.

You know I don’t need much excuse to talk books and today is World Book Day!  When The Boys were at primary school they always had to dress up as their favourite book characters and for a long while it was Harry Potter for both of them, although I did have trouble one year with Youngest as he wanted to be “Kipper”!  We managed to make the ears and found a shirt that was sort of the colour of Kipper!!!  His favourite of all the Kipper books was this:

I must have read this book to him a thousand times, it was always the book he chose and sometimes I had to hide it so we would read something else!

His other favourite was “Humphrey’s Bedtime” by Sally Hunter, another book I read all the time to him and I think because Humphrey’s bedroom was the same as his:

The window was exactly the same as Youngest’s!

Eldest loved the “Thomas The Tank Engine” books and we had all the original stories in one big hardback book which again DH and I read constantly to them both.  I read “Winnie The Pooh” to them and as they got older progressed to the Harry Potter stories.  It was the thing I wanted to do the most after Eldest was born was to read stories to him and then Youngest when he arrived.  It was a huge part of the bed time ritual which we all loved.  Both Boys continued to read as they got older and Books were always bought but tailed off a little as exam revision took over and when they had to read books for school.  However they both now read for pleasure.

I think Books are something which keep you company whatever is happening in your life and I can never not imagine having a book to read with me wherever I go.  A very good friend who was a secretary like myself, never reads a book!  She will perhaps glance through a magazine occassionally but she never reads and I just cannot imagine being like that at all. 

Here are two of my favourite Book Quotes!

Yes I don’t need wardrobe space I need book space!!!

So apt for the current situation!

Of course this is what I should have been doing today:

No not quite reading but I have been working so it is a bit the same, so Home jobs will have to get done tomorrow now, hey ho!

As it is #TBT today here are the Boys in 2005 in Hatchards of London book shop picking out the books they would like.  This was Easter so they always had a small chocolate Easter egg but their main gift was book(s).  As you can see on the floor Youngest has picked out some Thomas books (!) Eldest was into Knights and dragons at his age so he is trying to find those sorts of books.  They were nine and five!!!  We have stored all their childhood books in sealed boxes in our attic for when they have little ones of their own.

Our bookcases in our sitting room, looking rather tidy (!)

My “To Read” shelf which has rather more on now since Christmas! 

I hope you have enjoyed our little trip through World Book Day today and hope you get some time to read either today or over the coming weekend.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Susie’s Friday Book Club ( Yes I know it’s Monday!)

Well last week passed in a blur and Friday I was busy grocery shopping and doing other jobs which I meant I missed this post!!!!!!  Any who here we are.

If you have followed me for a while you know that Clive Cussler is one of my most favourite authors and if I ever want a good book then I turn to Mr Cussler.  This one does not disappoint as it is a Kurt Austin adventure where he is trying to explain why the world’s oceans are rising and it is not due to climate change.  It has to do with an ancient Japanese sword and a plot by a Chinese business man!!!  They get up to all their usual antics and amazing escapes and it is a great book to escape into!  I have almost finished it and I will then be on to this book next.

I got my first book from my subscription with Heywood Hill!!!  It is great to receive parcels like this in the post.  I normally get to open all the mail as I am at home of course and mainly it is bills and work so it is really nice to receive this through the mail!!!

As you can see it is wrapped really well and with a pretty ribbon too.

This is the book inside!  I will review it for March.  It is perhaps something I would not have chosen for myself but that is the whole reason for doing the subscription to find new authors.  Can’t wait to see what March will bring.  I may get a bit behind with the books depending upon how much reading I get to do with work and everything else but I will catch up at holidays!!!!   

We had a lovely evening on Saturday but I forgot to take pictures of the food!!!  I started cooking at 8.30am and finished by 4.00pm and we ate at 7.30pm by which time I was quite tired but it was worth it, they all loved it. 

Have a wonderful week everyone. 

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Hello February!

“Even though February was the shortest month of the year, sometimes it seemed like the longest.”
JD Robb

I always thought as a child that February was the longest month of the year, even though it is the shortest, it is probably to do with the early dark nights and mornings!!  Well we have got the first month of the year out of the way, not that we have done a lot in that month in Lockdown and they are saying that we will be in lockdown for quite a while, hey ho!

“Once you have read a book you care about, some part of it is always with you.”   Louis L’Amour

Library Trinity College Dublin.

I think that all the Colleges have the most wonderful libraries and although the books are probably all weighty academic tomes, they would be wonderful places to spend several hours reading your own books!  Books to me always have a very calming effect and it is also the same when I go into a bookstore!!! 

We ended up getting quite a few jobs done over the weekend, it was really cold so they were all indoor jobs!!  I did some reading and a little bit of sewing, which I will show you tomorrow, but that was it.  The trip to the dentist was okay but I spent the rest of Friday not doing a lot which was actually quite nice.  I hope you lovely lot had a good weekend whatever you were up to and have a great week.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Monday Book Quotes – Burns Night.

𝘔𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵’𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴, 𝘮𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦,
𝘔𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵’𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴, 𝘢-𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘦𝘳;
𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘥-𝘥𝘦𝘦𝘳, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘰𝘦,
𝘔𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵’𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘐 𝘨𝘰.

𝘍𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴, 𝘧𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩,
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩-𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘝𝘢𝘭𝘰𝘶𝘳, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩 ;
𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘐 𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘦,
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘐 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦.

𝘍𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴, 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩-𝘤𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳’𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘯𝘰𝘸,
𝘍𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘸;
𝘍𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘥-𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘴,
𝘍𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘶𝘥-𝘱𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘴.

𝘔𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵’𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴, 𝘮𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦,
𝘔𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵’𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴, 𝘢-𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘦𝘳;
𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘥-𝘥𝘦𝘦𝘳, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘰𝘦,
𝘔𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵’𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘏𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘐 𝘨𝘰.

Robert Burns

On this day in 1759 Robert Burns was born in Alloway two miles south of Ayr.  Over the years he wrote over five hundred poems, songs and stories whilst still working for a living as an Exciseman and raising four children with his wife Jean.  All this took a toll on his health and aggravated his rheumatic heart condition and he passed away on July 21st 1796 with his funeral taking place on July 25th when his youngest son was born.  He was just 37. 

Tonight glasses of Scotch will be raised in remembrance of Robbie Burns and the famous haggis, neeps and tatties will be eaten, although not by my lot as they are not fans of Haggis!  If you are celebrating have a wonderful Burns Night.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  As you saw from yesterday’s post it snowed here, although it is starting to melt today!  Not a lot got done quilting wise I was too busy drying gloves, hats etc after snowball fights (!) and making hot chocolate!  Saturday was just a chill day too as we had had such a busy week.  Sometimes I just think you need those sorts of weekends.  Have a great week all.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Monday Ish!

As it is Monday and Mondays can be, well, not inspiring; I have decided to start a new thing – Book Quotes/pictures/libraries/bookshops etc for Mondays!    Books inspire me, I can spend hours in a book shop, book quotes inspire me and you know I just love libraries so here we go for this new Monday posts,

A.A.Milne was born on January 18th 1882 in Kilburn, North London.  He was a wildly published Author and Playwright before writing the “Winnie The Pooh” books, originally for his son Christopher Robin Milne.  Unfortunately these books rather overshaddowed his previous work and father and son did come to regret the popularity.  However to millions of children out there they are very much loved, including our Boys!

Who does not love the innocence of the stories and the peacefulness of the Hundred Acre Wood but beware of the Heffalumps & Woozles!

Suzzallo Library, University of Washington – USA

(Picture copyright : http://douglaspubliclibrary.org/)

This structure was built in 1923, it has many interesting details including figures showing academic heroes like Shakespeare, Dante, Louis Pasteur, Benjamin Franklin, Plato, Sir Isaac Newton, Galileo, Charles Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci, Beethoven, and more.

I think this room could also double as the Hogwarts main hall, especially with those hanging lanterns!!!  I would just love to spend time here reading.

I hope you like this new style of Monday Posts!

I hope you lovely lot had a wonderful weekend and have a good week.  Happy Monday!

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Susie’s Friday Monthly Book Club.

Yes I know it is a Christmas picture of the Chatsworth Library but I just love it too much not to have it on the blog!!!!!

I showed you this collection of Christmas books which I am reading at this time of the year.  I am currently reading “A Christmas Party” by Georgette Heyer and it is in the style of Agatha Christie.

Joseph Herriard and his wife Maud live in his brother’s, Nathaniel, mansion house Lexham Manor with him.  Joseph is keen to have an old fashioned family Christmas and invites Paula & Stephen, their niece and nephew to come and stay as well as Nathaniel’s business partner Edgar Mottifsont.  Also invited for the festive season is Mathilda Clare a distant cousin of Joseph and Nathaniel, Paula’s friend Willoughby Royden a playwright and the final guest is Stephen’s Fiance Valerie Dean, who Nethaniel hates with a passion.

After a few days of getting the Manor decoarated for Christmas with various help from the guests, Jospeh suggests that Royden reads his play he has written to them and for which he wants Nathaniel to back him with Paula in the leading part!  After the reading everyone goes up to change for drinks in the library before dinner.  They assemble but their host, Nathaniel does not appear.  When they eventually go to find him in his room, they find he has died but how?  The door was locked from the inside?

The Doctor and local Police Inspector are  called who keeps things as they were found for Inspector Heminway of Scotland Yard to take over when he arrives.  He then proceeds to interview the house party and try and work out who did the evil deed, one thing he knows is that the killer is amongst them!

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Georgette Hayer was a contemporary of Agatha Christie and wrote quite a few mystery novels, thirteen in total.  She wrote a lot more Historical novels, 40 in fact.  I have not read any of those but will give one of them a go. 

I am half way through A Christmas Party and really enjoying it.  I just love the whole family gather at Christmas and then there is a murder!!!!!!!  You can get it from Amazon in paperback and Kindle. 

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Well we have made it through the first week of January virtually unscathed!  I have managed to catch up on work and home stuff so that is one good thing.  Tomorrow I am hoping to do some quilting, sticking to my Aims so far!  We won’t be doing any gardening or anything like that as it is absolutely freezing here today and over the weekend!  I will be hibernating I think, I know Treacle is!!!!

Have a wonderful Winter’s Weekend you lovely lot!

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

I am too comfy to move Mom!

Christmas Still?

Yes a full lockdown again but we can all still go to work!  Good news for DH and the Boys and me.  Of course I only have to move from our kitchen into our den where my desk is, so going to work is easy for me!!!   However I do start to go a bit stir crazy if I am in all week and don’t get out somehow so I have made DH promise that he will take me out in the truck for a drive, if nothing else!!! 

I saw this the other day on Instagram where I follow The Biltmore Estate.  You know me and libraries especially decorated for Christmas, well here is their library all decked out.  Don’t you just love it?  I know we have until tomorrow to discuss Christmas and for me to show you Christmas things.  I have left my “tree” up on the Blog until tomorrow as well when I will have to replace it with something else wintery. 

Speaking of Libraries here is the library we went to as a family near to where I used to live with my parents.  As you can see it is quite big and not only were there lots and lots of books there were rooms which could be used for meetings and study areas where you could go and revise and look up information.  Of course in this day and age students don’t need that as they just look everything up on line!  I like that you can still go to libraries and they are quiet places, something else we don’t get much of these days!

I also forgot to tell you about a wonderful present I got from DH and The Boys for Christmas!  This is Heywood Hill Ltd, Bookshop in Curzon Street, London.  They were established in 1936 by Heywood Hill and his soon to be wife Anne Gathorne-Hardy.  During the second half of WWII Nancy Mitford, eldest of the Mitford Sisters and related to the late Deborah Devonshire of Chatsworth House, worked at the store.  The shop is now owned by the 12th Duke of Devonshire, Peregrine Cavendish, following on from his father who became the majority shareholder. 

Anyway I read an article in The Telegraph about the shop and in particular their subscription service which they run where they will supply you with a year of books, hard back or paperback.  They talk to you about your likes and dislikes and the sort of things you like to read and each month they will send you a book.  There are fourteen options for you to choose from and DH and the Boys bought me the twelve paperback books.  If you read quickly there is an option for forty books in a year!!!!  If only I had that sort of time. 

The subscription service has been a life line for the shop since all the chaos of last year and also for their customers with more time on their hands to read!!!  I will let you know when I get my first book! 

I have often been asked why I do not belong to a local Book Club and my answer is always the same, the Book Clubs I know about they always want to read meaningful books or books with messages or books which have won literary prizes.  I hate to tell you but that is definitely not the sort of books I want to read.  I read for pleasure and to escape into another world not to be depressed at the end of it!!!!  Perhaps that is shallow of me but…. hey ho!

I have finally caught up with my work and the house is now back to normal and I just need to finish the ironing.  As we are now at home all the time again I may sneak a few hours with my new book!  I hope you all have time to do some leisure reading.

Happy Tuesday everyone.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

My Childhood Library!

Yesterday was Book Club Friday and it reminded me of how my parents and I would go to our local Library every Saturday afternoon and get our books for the week.  We had books at home which we owned and I always had books for my Birthdays and Christmas but when I was growing up if you wanted to read a lot being a member of the local library was the best way.  (Unfortunately I cannot show you a picture of the Library as all the pictures have copyright on them!!!!).

(Image from : https://marketlavingtonmuseum.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/library-ticket-old-style/)

Above is the old style of reader’s library ticket which you had and when you wanted to check a book out they would take the slip out of the book and put it into your ticket and then stamp the book with the return date. They had really large metal date stamps which made a huge clunk!!!!!!

When you borrowed books from the children’s library you could only check out four books, which by the time I was eight was just not enough!!!!  You had to be ten to borrow books from the main library and I could not wait!  We also had a library at my school and was ten when I read “The Hobbit” by JRR Tolkien which got me into fantasy books!  In fact there was a larger school library at my senior school and spent most lunchtimes in there.

When I did eventually get into the main library I devoured all of the Agatha Christie books but you will not be surprised after yesterday’s post!!  I also read a lot of historical fiction and as I got older the romantic novels.  However over the years I now tend to read more mystery novels, crime thrillers but still love historical fiction.

When I was in Primary School I had a very good friend, Judith, she and I used to swap books.  Our favourites were the Boarding School books:

When I was eight for my Birthday I had the Narnia Set, below,  which at the time was quite expensive, however the books themselves to buy individually were only 20 pence!!!

I still think books are one of the best buys in this day and age and although they now cost for a large paperback between £6.99 and £8.99, it really is only the cost of two large fancy coffees!!!! 

I do have to admit now though that if I want a book I do tend to buy it rather than go to the Library and borrow it.  I am in the fortunate position to be able to do that and also our local libraries have reduced the amount of books they have to borrow and also have reduced the amount of genres! 

This is my local bookstore which is a chain in the UK, Waterstones, which do stock a lot of books.  Of course I use Amazon as well but I do try and support independent book stores when I can.

This is the new Library near to us, which opened in August this year.  I have not had chance to go and have a look yet but am hoping to soon.  I may even join!

Going to the library with my parents was the highlight of my week, especially at this time of year with the weather being often bad we would spend a lot of our leisure time reading. 

Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you get to spend some time with a good book.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx