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

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

Sue’s Friday Monthly Book Club December.

Here are the December Books for my Book Club and yes we have a few not just one!  Some I have read and some are on my “To Read” Shelf, which has had to move for Christmas!!!!  In fact I am hoping to get quite a bit of reading done over the Christmas holidays.

As you might know, if you follow me, that at this time of year I love to read Christmas books so collect them up and keep them for now!  The book below is what I am currently reading:

I came across Edward Marston earlier in the year and loved the book I read, “Fear on the Phantom Special”.  I did not review it for Book Club but the books are set in the 1860’s and finds Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming from Scotland Yard investigating mysteries involved with the private railways up and down the United Kingdom. 

In A “Christmas Railway Mystery” one of the engineers disappears after a night out at the local pub only for his body to be found the next day in an alley next to the rolling mill minus his head.  The Inspector and Sergeant had to Swindon with only ten days before Christmas Day in the hope they can solve the murder and be back to their homes in time for Christmas.

The following Books are on my “To Read” shelf but I am hoping to get through them this Christmas.

The above book is all about everything Christmas in New York including the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Centre, Christmas lights in Brooklyn and Holiday train all beautifully illustrated with Michael Storrings’ watercolours.

50 Recipes and stories from New York at Christmas is the above book.

When we visited Dicken’s Museum in London in October I bought this lovely little copy of “A Christmas Carol”.  This book, like Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” I read every year.  I am never certain that Ebenezer will discover his Christmas spirit in time!!!!

Now you all know, again if you follow me, that I love mystery stories especially the old fashioned everyone gathering at a big country house for Christmas, a large family and friends and they all settle in for the long Christmas holiday.  Except by day two someone has murdered one of the guests and then the local Inspector arrives to solve the mystery!

As you can imagine there are an awful lot of these books out there and I just love them.  The British Library (which DH and I also went to whilst we were in London) have re-published some out of print classic books and the above one is one of them. 

The horror on the train, great though it may turn out to be, will not compare with the horror that exists here, in this house.’ On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been lit and the table laid for tea – but no one is at home. Trapped together for Christmas, the passengers are seeking to unravel the secrets of the empty house when a murderer strikes in their midst.

Georgette Heyer is not as well known as her contemporaries Agatha Cristie and Dorothy L. Sayers but is a great writer in the same format.

The above book finds that It is no ordinary Christmas at Lexham Manor.  Six holiday guests find themselves the suspects in a murder inquiry when the old Scrooge who owns the substantial estate is found stabbed in the back. Whilst the delicate matter of inheritance could be the key to this crime, the real conundrum is how any of the suspects could have entered the locked room where the victim was found, to commit this foul deed. For Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard, the investigation is also complicated by the fact that every guest at Lexham Manor is hiding something – casting suspicion far and wide

This is the first novel of Ada Moncrieff and in the style of the greats. 

Christmas Eve, 1938. The Westbury family and assorted friends have gathered for another legendary celebration at their beautiful country house. The champagne flows, the silverware sparkles and upstairs the rooms are ready for their occupants.  But one bed will lie empty that night. On Christmas morning, David Campbell-Scott is found dead in the snow. There’s a pistol beside him and only one set of footprints.  Yet something doesn’t seem right to amateur sleuth Hugh Gaveston. Campbell-Scott had just returned from overseas with untold wealth – why would he kill himself? Hugh sets out to investigate…

And finally the Queen of Mystery Writers, Mrs Christie, and a compendium of Chritmas stories with your favourite characters, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple and other short stories.

Hopefully you will find something here in the December Book Club to keep you busy and entertained in the dark nights and  Christmas holidays.

Have a Very Merry Bookish Christmas!

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Susie’s Monthly Friday Book Club.

The weeks are flying by and despite trying to be organised I missed this month’s Book Club! Sorry! I have put a picture of Chatsworth House library dressed for Christmas as I think we could all do with a little cheer. In fact I got an email the other day from the bookshop I use which said that they were all dressed for Christmas and to please excuse how early it was but they had the same thoughts!!!! Loved it.

Anyway here is my book choice for October.

I have read quite a few of Alison Weir’s historical novels. She takes the character and then writes the book based upon historical facts but as a story which fleshes out the character as opposed to a book of just facts.

I have always loved this part of history and in particular Henry VIII’s six wives but most is written about his second wife, Anne Boleyn, rather than his first wife Katherine.

This book begins with Katherine’s arrival in England and her marriage to Henry’s brother, Arthur, who unfortunately does not live long past the wedding. As Henry becomes heir apparent he marries his brother’s widow and there begins their twenty four year marriage. Sadly, as was the case in this period of time, despite having six children only her daughter, Mary, survived, which was the cause of her eventual divorce from Henry in his pursuit of a male heir!

There is a lot more to Katherine than the sad figure which history consigned her to in the arrival of Anne and the replacement of Katherine by her. Especially at the end of her life when she sent a note to Henry still declaring her love for him despite everything he had done to her!

I loved this book and if you also enjoy it, then Alison has also written about all of Henry’s wives, the books below.

DH and I are off to London for the weekend today, the Boys are both at home looking after little Treacle for us. I will have pictures to show you next week. Have a wonderful weekend you lovely lot.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Susie’s Friday Book Club for September on Monday!

I didn’t do Book Club on Friday as it was September 11th.  So just a few days over here is September’s Book Club Book.

Those of you who read my Blog regularly know I am a huge fan of Clive Cussler and since his passing I have, for various gift giving occasionsn asked for the books I have missing from the collection.  So for my Birthday DH and the Boys bought me a few of them.  One of which was the above.

His books are rolling adventures which keep you turning the pages until the end and this one is just the same.  Kurt Austin and his crew are trying to stop a meglomaniac destroying all the oil wells in the world so that the only option left is to use their business of green energy to replace the destroyed wells.  Some new characters are also introduced in the book from NUMA Headquarters as well as all your favourite ones.

His books always make me want to join NUMA, like I always wished I had gone to Hogwarts for school, if only!  I think you very rarely find authors where you like all the books they have written but in Mr Cussler case I have.  I love Stephen King books but I have never been able to get into reading “The Dark Tower” series, for some reason I just don’t like them. 

Anyway if you need another book for your “To Read” shelf then you can add this one, I loved it.

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

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Susie’s Friday Monthly Book Club.

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I am half way through this book but as it is 700 odd pages long I get a pass.  It is Book One in a series of three by Robert Jordan. 

Set in a distant land Rand is busy helping his father take cider into the village from their farm for the celebration of Beltine (spring to you and I).  However his father is concerned about visitors to the village and a strange hooded figure on a black horse which only Rand and his two friends could see.  His father, much to Rand’s annoyance, insists they go back to the farm, where in the dark of night they are attacked by un-holy beasts.  With his father badly hurt Rand gets him back to the village where he discovers that it was attacked, but only his friends’ houses.

One of the visitors tells him that he and his two friends need to leave the village and travel to the far distant Capital but won’t tell him why, but it is the only way to keep their village safe.  Having healed his father the visitor insists they leave in the middle of the night all haste to the Capital.

The story unfolds with the un-holy beasts at their heels, Rand and his friends being terrorised in their dreams and new cities which are not friendly either.

I love these fantasy books and am looking forward to reading Books 2 and 3 as well.  They certainly take you away from real life for a while!!!  If you like fantasy books, in the style of Tolkien then you will love this series.  As always available from Amazon in all forms.

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I have been reading so much and working, I have been finding that my eyes are getting very tired.  I use glasses to read and work at the computer and I did have an eye test last year and it was okay but I was due for a re-test in March, which of course did not happen.  Anyway I have booked in for a test next week!

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It is Molly’s Mom’s Birthday today!  We hope you have a lovely day!

Have a wonderful weekend all. Hopefully we will be able to get some jobs done outside over the weekend as the weather is supposed to be warmer and sunny.

Friday Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Susie’s Friday Monthly Book Club.

Yes I know it is Monday!!!  I was out all day with DH last Friday for work so this post did not get done!!!!!  Sorry.

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As much as I love fiction books, especially, mysteries/crime etc I do also enjoy what I call coffee table books.  This one is by Angela Kelly who is the current Dresser to H.M. Queen Elizabeth.  Ms Kelly has been with the Queen for over twenty five years collating her wardrobe from every day wear to the official robes which are used on ceremonial occasions. Ms Kelly even wears Her Majesty’s shoes to break them in before she actually wears them!

It is filled with fascinating pictures of life around the Palace whilst dealing with the clothes and events.  Ms Kelly has a very easy style of writing and it is filled with anecdotes and funny events from those twenty five years.  In fact it would be fantastic if well all had our own Ms Kelly to help with our wardrobes!!!!!

So if you would like to take a peak behind the curtain of the various Palaces and see how things are done, this book is for you.  I got the hardcover version but it is available from Amazon on all platforms.

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I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  It was a busy but not busy weekend for us, things got done but others didn’t.  We saw the Boys and their Girls over the weekend which was lovely and we got a few bits done in the garden until the thunder storm hit yesterday when the rain came down in stair rods!!!!  The garden was looking okay until then when it battered all the flowers and plants!!!  We are due to have that sort of week all week but at the moment next weekend looks nice, fingers crossed.

Have a great week, all.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

 

 

Susie’s Friday Book Club.

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Anyone who reads my Book Club suggestions knows that I am a huge fan of the late Mr Cussler.  I particularly like the Oregon Files series of which this is his latest. 

Juan Cabrillo and his team are tasked with rescuing three CIA agents in Southern America before their covers are blown, which seems a simple mission, but all three go wrong almost from the start.  Also in the same area a covert CIA operation is also taking place when it is attacked by what looks like a tramp freighter, however it has hidden features and destroys the CIA ship.  Why has Cabrillo and the Corporation turned on their own? 

It is another fantastic ride with the action continuing on each page until the end but will the Corporation survive?

Another great story from the master of action and I will be interested to see if Boyd Morrison will be allowed to continue to write the stories now Mr Cussler has passed. 

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Doing Book Club today (yes I do know it is Thursday even if we are in Lockdown!) as tomorrow is VE Day 75 and I have done a special post about that. 

We are hearing things about the Lockdown being eased although they still seem to be indicating that it could be on for another three weeks.  Our Boys have had emails from their companies with how they think it will work once they are back but I do think it will be trial and error with this until we find a workable solution to all of it.

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I did see in the paper today where a Dutch restaurant have erected small green houses outside for two or three people and they are delivering the food on a long wooden paddle.  The staff are wearing gloves and face shields but it does look like a cute idea to get around the social distancing.  Obviously takes up a lot of room as well but it is latteral thinking.  (picture credit: The Daily Telegraph uk)

I hope your Thursday is going okay and have a great weekend, stay safe.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Susie’s Friday Monthly Book Club.

Yes it is Book Club Day and I am reading a lot, as well as other jobs and work, during Lockdown.  Here is April’s Book:

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This is actually Book 3 of the Blake & Avery series by M.J. Carter but the first one I have read.  I will go back and read books 1 and 2. 

Set in Victorian London, Blake is in debtors prison as he won’t  do any more investigation work for his patron, Avery is in London to try and persuade him to do so and whilst here gets himself invited to the most popular Club in town, The Reform Club.  The Chef is the famous Frenchman Alexis Soyer, and he is about to cook a large and important political dinner with foreign heads of state attending, however one of the Members who eats regularly there dies in his rooms at The Club after one of Soyer’s dinners.  Is it coincidence or deliberate? 

Avery is asked to stay at The Reform Club and investigate and he only has a few days in which to find the answers before the major dinner.  Blake refuses to help so he is left to try and find the answers.  Can he do so in time?

If you like Sherlock Holmes then you will like this book.  It is not as convoluted as Holmes but still very good following the clues.  It is available from Amazon in all forms.

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We are having another lovely Spring day here in Derbyshire with the temperature reaching 21°C and tomorrow is supposed to be the same.  Sunday is due to be a little cooler but still nice so it will be garden jobs for us to do!!!!  Make the most of the sun whilst it is out.

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This was our sunrise this morning at 6.15am.

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Your Daily Treacle.  As she is unable to go for a Spa Day, I have modified her beard and eyebrows as they were getting very long!!! I have also given her a very good brush (she was not pleased!).  If the Lockdown goes on for much longer I will be having to get some clippers!!!!!!  Watch out Treacle!!!

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I hope everyone has a lovely Easter despite the Lockdown, stay safe everyone.

Hugs & Love, Susie xx

Susie’s Friday Book Club.

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This is the first book I have read of Steve Cavanagh.  This book is the fourth Eddie Flynn novel.  Eddie was a con man but a chance encounter with a Judge who steered him towards a career in the Law, has given him a respectable career.  He now represents clients getting them off charges which he was once accused of.

“Thirteen” sees Eddie being asked to be second chair in a high profile case of a film star accused of killing his wife.  Eddie is in trouble with some bad cops and his new employer wants him to go up against the cops to prove they lied about the evidence.  They are about to go into Court when the top lawyers pull out, which leaves Eddie to try and win the case on his own.  However the real killer is on the jury and ready to sway the rest in favour of the death penulty!!!!  Can Eddie get his client off and avoid death himself?

I really enjoyed this book and can highly recommend it.  It moves very well through the chapters, there isn’t too much legal jargon but the suspense is kept high.  I will be reading more of Mr Cavanagh’s books especially in this series.

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Sorry this is a day late!!! I spent Thursday working and then doing home jobs and yesterday I was out early at the grocery store, 7.00am, as I hate crowds and after unloading and putting the shopping away I then spent the rest of the day ironing!!! It’s lovely to go out but the washing does not stop piling up!!!  I do sometimes think I am running a laundry service!!!!!! 

Have a great weekend, don’t panic and stay safe.

Hugs, Susie xx