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

Susie’s Friday Book Club.


I read this over Christmas and Matthew Reilly is one of my most favourite authors.  Matthew is Australian and began writing when he was twenty-two with his first novel “Contest” which he self published before being noticed by Pan Mcmillan.  “Contest” was based in the New York State Library so I was instantly hooked, I mean a book about a library?!!!!!  He has now written seventeen novels and a handful of short stories.


Matthew Reilly

(from his website :

He has created two heroes “Scarecrow” and “Jack West Jnr” and this book is one of the Jack West novels.  It does sort of follow on from the others but you can read it as a stand alone.

Jack West is visiting a top-secret base near his farm in Australia, the next thing he knows he wakes up in a cell with the door opening and an Ape of a man attacking him.  He realises that he is not in Australia and is now part of a contest from the Middle Ages and everyone else around him knows what is happening and how to compete and he doesn’t.  How will he get by?  If you don’t win or come high up then you are executed along with several hostages that mean everything to you, including Jack’s daughter!

It is a page turner and I finished the book in two days (which is what Christmases are for?)  If you like action and adventure that this book certainly has it.  I read his second book, “Ice Station” first and then bought “Contest”.  I loved Ice Station so much I gave it to Eldest to read (it is just up his street) and he then went on to read all of Matthew’s books! 


One thing I did want to discuss here is when Authors who have had very successful careers but as they get older don’t want to be on the treadmill of producing one or two books a year, decide to then release books with a co-author.  I have found at least three of my favourite authors who have started to do this and the books are terrible! 


The first Author who I found did this was James Patterson.  His early books were great but then I read this book with a co-author and you could tell that Mr Patterson had written every other chapter and the co-author the others and it was so disjointed and in fact poorly written.


Very much to my disappointment Stephen King has also started doing this and I do sometimes wonder whether the co-author writes the whole book and then the known author just adds his name.  Well I read the book written by Stephen King and his son Owen King and really did not like it at all.  It made me realise how much I longed for the early Stephen King books which were just amazing and off the wall.


The final author who has now started doing this is Wilbur Smith.  I am a huge fan of his work, I own all his books until his latest which has a co-author and so far everyone who has read it has said the same thing, not to Mr Smith’s standard at all.


Saying all this the only author who has had co-authors for a while is Clive Cussler and he seems to have gotten it right with the co-authors who he has worked with. I have read several of his later books and they are still as great as his early books.

I understand the reasons why the writers do it but on the other hand I do think they need to find the right people, like Mr Cussler, so that their body of work does not suffer.  So far the Authors I have mentioned above I have not bought another of their books which are co-authored and don’t see me doing so because the ones I did read really were a disappointment.

I hope you lovely lot have a wonderful weekend, I am off to my sewing space over the weekend but will fit my reading in around it.

Happy Friday!

Hugs, Susie xx


Matthew Reilly’s book based in a Library!!!! 

Monthly Friday Book Club.

Sorry this is a week late but as you can imagine at this time of year, I run out of hours in the day, days in the week!!!!  Anyway this book has to appear here for December as it is one of my favourites which I read every year, like Pride & Prejudice.


You will all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge from films and TV programmes so I don’t need to give you a synopsis.  It is, in my opinion, the best Dickens book as it is a story of hope and no mater how many times you read it, you can’t help but be uplifted by Scrooge’s change of heart after being visited by the three Ghosts. 

I also think that the sentiment of keeping the spirit of Christmas in your heart all year is something we should all strive for. 

I also have a second book this month;


Nigella’s cook books are written with a sense of fun and she shares bits of her life in her writing around the recipes, so you can actually read her cook books, not just use them.  I use her Christmas cookbook a lot at this time of year but also have used several of the recipes during the course of the year too.  The recipes are very easy to follow and if you do not like a particular ingredient you can change it and the recipe still turns out very well. 

I have really enjoyed my Friday Book Club, once a month, and hope you have enjoyed my suggestions.  I will be carrying on with this next year and have a whole bookshelf full of books to read which is one thing I will be doing over the Christmas holidays.

I hope you get lots of books in your Christmas stockings (Books are always on my Christmas list!).  Happy Christmas Reading.

Hugs, Susie xx

Christmas Books wrapped edited2

(Picture Credit :

To Read.

As I didn’t get chance to go to the Book Store on holiday with one thing and another I went when all the children were back at school.  It was lovely and quiet and so I spent a happy few hours browsing.

I found a few of my favourite authors had published new books so I got those and also a few books of a couple of authors I have missed their newest works.  Anyway that means this :


Sorry it’s a bit blurry!!  But a whole bookshelf of new books to read, what a great sight!!!!

Obviously these will appear as I complete each one, on my monthly Friday Book Club, the second Friday of each month!!

It has been a very strange and busy old week but I can honestly say I am so glad tomorrow is Friday and it is the weekend!!!!!!  I know we are not supposed to wish the weeks away but this one can be gone as quickly as possible as far as I am concerned!!

I hope your week is going better than mine!!!!!

Hugs, Susie xxx


Chatsworth Library, again!  I am thinking of putting up some lights halfway up my bookshelves!!!!  Might look for the lights in the sale after Christmas for next year, watch this space, tee hee!!!!!


Susie’s Friday Book Club.


As it is the second Friday of the month it is Book Club Day.

Now all of us who read a lot know that the book is always better than the film.  However have you ever gone on to read the books of old films?  Well if not let me suggest one to you, as it is definitely a favourite of mine.


“Dracula” by Bram Stoker.  I originally read this when I was about eighteen and of course had seen lots and lots of films about him and just think of how many modern interpretations of Vampires there are now, all of which stem from this book.  When it was first published in 1897 it was mistaken for a factual account as it is written in the form of diary entries.  Added to the fact that when wealthy young Victorian Man went off on their Grand Tours of Europe they went with a travelling Vampire kit to ward off any that they may meet, you can see why we all became fascinated.

The story starts where young Jonathon Harker, newly qualified in the field of Law, is sent to visit an old client of the firm, Count Dracula in his Castle in Transylvania to help with the sale of some land.  However he soon realises that he is in fact Dracula’s prisoner, worst still that he is a Vampire, but eventually escapes home to England.  Closely followed by Dracula himself with boxes filled with Transylvanian earth which will help him to re-gain his strength.  That and a very nice young lady named Lucy Westenra, who is holidaying with her good friend Mina Murray in Whitby, will help Dracula become strong again.  Fortunately Mina is engaged to Jonathon who, with the help of the great Van Helsing, devises a plan to rid the World of Dracula.

The book is very good and does not go in for the shock horror of lots of blood. guts and gore but in a very restrained and refined way does have you turning the pages to find out what happens next.  It is a classic of course but certainly one of my favourites.  You can get it from Amazon on all platforms.

I thought you would also like this book as it is not long after Halloween, always a good time for lots of Vampires to be around!!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and don’t get too scared if you read this book, but whatever you are all up, I hope you have a great time.

Hugs, Susie xx


Kings Library, Peles Castle, Transylvania.

Susie’s Monthly Friday Book Club.


This months book is a Kathy Reichs.  You know I love the TV show “Bones” which was based upon Kathy’s character of Temperance Brennan, the books are better and are in no way like the show.  “Speaking in Bones” is Kathy’s eighteenth in the series and, as with all her books, is based upon a case or an idea from her actual job as a forensic anthropologist.

This story begins with an amateur detective trying to convince Brennan that she has identified one of the hundreds of remains held in storage but Brennan does not believe her but as further evidence comes to light and Brennan becomes more involved in the case she is warned not to pursue it.  However this does not deter her but then realises that the case is far more complicated and she is dragged into a world she had wished she had left alone. 

I have got a little behind on Kathy’s books but that is not a problem as there are few to catch up on.  You can get the above book on all platforms from Amazon.

I spent a few hours in the book shop at the end of September getting a few books, which I didn’t have time to do whilst we were away, so I am all set now for the darker evenings with plenty of books to read!

I hope you lovely lot have a wonderful weekend, whatever you are up to.

Hugs, Susie xx


Monthly Friday Book Club.


Hi everyone and welcome to my monthly

Friday Book Club. 

This is one of the books I read whilst I was away on vacation.  Jeffery Deaver is one of my favourite authors and his books do not disappoint. He has written quite a few now and with a number of heroes but my favourite by far is the Lincoln Rhyme thrillers.  His writing is very easy to read and you really do fall into the story and several hours can go by before you know it.

For any of you who have not read a Lincoln Rhyme book he was a Police Captain in charge of the New York Forensic Department when an accident left him a paraplegic but his brain still as sharp as ever.  Over the course of the books he has been able to gain more movement although still in his special automated chair, he is now able to go out and visit some of the scenes.  He is ably assisted by Amelia Sachs and others who help to solve the most mysterious of cases. 

“The Cutting Edge” is about someone targeting Couples who are engaged and about to get married.  What has he got against marriage, or the couples and why does he want them to die?  Diamonds take centre stage and as we know diamonds are a Girls best friend but not when someone is trying to kill you.

As you know I love mystery books and in particular the police procedural ones, such as Bones but I particularly love Lincoln Rhyme.  Jeffery Deaver has never fallen into the trap of just writing a book for the sake of it as his publisher needs to publish each year, as I think Lee Child has. 

If you want to start reading the Lincoln Rhyme books it begins with “The Bone Collector” where we are introduced to Rhyme and Sachs and the others , which was made into a film starting Denzel Washington as Rhyme and Angelina Jolie as Sachs (although they changed her name in the movie!).

I have also seen Jeffery Deaver and listened to him read the first chapter of his new book and met him afterwards and got him to sign the book.  He is a very interesting man, having had several careers but I think the best of which is being an Author and can recommend any of his books to you.

Have a great weekend, whatever you are up to and remember to set some time aside for reading. 

Hugs, Susie x

The book I got signed by Mr Deaver a few years ago.


National Book Lovers Day.

August 9th 2018


Did you know that there is a National Book Lovers Day?  Well I didn’t until I stumbled across a website for it and it is on August 9th each year.


Despite modern technology sales of actual books are up compared to downloading books which I think is a great piece of news.  DH and the Boys wanted to buy me an E-Reader when they first came out as I love books as you know, but using a screen all day everyday I do not want to then read my books on a screen.  I know that you can take over 1000 books with you on an E-Reader and that would be impossible with actual books, but there is something about holding a book and reading it.  Plus I read in the bath, so not so good with electronic readers!!!!!

I also think that books make a room feel cosy, even just a few, if you are lucky enough to have bookshelves laden with books then that is my perfect room.


I was very lucky as a child to have a very good public library near to where we lived and I spent every Saturday afternoon there choosing books to read for the week, along with my parents who were also big readers.  I also spent my pocket money on books and had quite a collection, which has carried on as I grew older.  I always have a book with me just in case I have five minutes in which to read.

I was lucky when I met DH that he too loves books and we have passed this on to the Boys, who both could read before they started school and have loved books all their lives and have their own collections.  It was great to see how their choices changed as they grew older.


On my Blog we have the monthly Friday Book Club where I review books that I have read and think you would like too and also I have a list of the books I have read during the year with a little review.

We are on our family vacation during National Book Lovers Day and I will definitely be taking a lot of books away with me and I also got some Book Tokens for my Birthday so I can spend a happy few hours in the book shop getting a few more!  My friends always ask me what I want for my Birthday and I always say Book Tokens as I love choosing books and some think it is boring always getting me the same present but it isn’t at all.


So I hope National Book Lovers Day inspires you to pick up a book and spend a happy few hours reading; I will be joining you.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Hugs, Susie xx

PS.  Tomorrow would normally be Friday Book Club Day, but we are away on Vacation and I am busy reading, tee hee!!!!  I will be back on September 14th with a review of my favourite book from the Summer.

Friday Book Club for July.

Welcome to my Friday Book Club for July and this is a little bit of a throwback too.

We had the good fortune for our Boys to be young when the Harry Potter Book Series began to be published, the first in 1997.  The film of the first book was released in 2001 when Eldest was six and I took him to see the movie, he absolutely loved it and so we then bought all the books as they were published and I read them to him.  Youngest when he was old enough to also see the film wanted me to read the books to him too, so I got to go through the books twice and of course we saw all the films at the cinema as soon as they were released.  Youngest always used to call Harry “Har Potter” when he was little!!!!!

The reason I have chosen these books for Friday Book Club is because they are so well written that adults can read them, J.K. Rowling did an amazing job of writing them for children but not writing down to children.  This means that adults can read and enjoy them.


When I was little we had the Narnia Series of books written by C.S Lewis and again they were written for children but adults can read and enjoy them.  Of course the films of these books were not made until recently and I have to say I enjoyed the books more than the films in this case.

I have been watching the Harry Potter films again whilst I have been doing my ironing and as they are so long, because they did not miss that much of the story from the books, I get a lot of ironing done to them!!! 

Both the Boys have the Harry Potter set so I think I am going to borrow one of theirs and take them away with me on holiday and read them again.  Who doesn’t like to escape into another World made of magic, even if there is an evil in it, because it is eventually defeated and that is how our World works.


Here they are in the Great Hall.  By the look on their faces you would think we had told them that they had to stay at school!!!!!!

As you know we took the Boys to Harry Potter World when it first opened to see the sets and where the films were made and it was a great visit and again if you have chance, it is well worth a visit. 


Happier faces!!!


Harry’s bed on the set.


The three of them outside Hagrid’s Home.


They just look like Ron and Harry don’t they!


Getting their Wands at Olivanders.


A brilliant and very accurate quote from J.K. Rowling at the end of the visit.

Eldest will deny it now but when he was eleven he wanted to be Harry and he copied Harry’s look and the sort of bag that Harry carried at school and the way he dressed.  Here is a picture of him from 2007;


Here is Eldest, on Bonfirm Night, on the right in that jacket with the sparkler pretending to cast a spell.

harry potter prisoner of azkaban

As you can see from this still of the Film The Prisoner of Azkaban Harry has the same jacket on!!!!

I will say that I am so glad that our Boys wanted to emulate a book character rather than some “stars” today who seem to make money out of nothing!!!!!

The Harry Potter Books can be found in every form from Amazon and if you like fantasy books they really are worth reading.  Of course if you like something which is a little less magic but more about relationships and family then give the Narnia series a go, again who doesn’t want to walk through the wardrobe to a new realm where it is always winter and almost Christmas!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Weekend and Happy Reading.

Hugs, Susie xx


The Library at Hogwarts.

Monthly Friday Book Club.


This book has to be in my Book Club.  I first read it for my O’Level English Literature Exam at sixteen and loved it.  What sixteen year old girl is not into the romance of it?  If you have seen the film “You’ve Got Mail” (my most favourite of films) Kathleen, the Heroine, mentions this book as her favourite and that she reads it every year!  Well I do read it every year and just love it.

Even though it was written in 1812 it is very easy to read and definitely stands the test of time.  Out of all of Jane Austen’s books this is my favourite.  I remember in class the debate raged as to who was prideful and who was prejudiced and in my opinion they both were at various times in the book.


The BBC did this adaptation of the book in 1995 and it was six, hour-long episodes so went through the book in a lot of detail.  The cast was amazing and so like how I imagined the characters to be.  If you have never seen this then I suggest it goes on a Birthday or Christmas list as a must, even if it is only to see Colin Firth in his wet, white shirt!!!!

If you have never heard of this book it is about Elizabeth Bennet the second of the five Bennet daughters and who is the most sensible of them all.  She and her elder sister Jane are of an age to marry and marry they must as their father’s estate is entailed away from their family to his distant Cousin, Mr Collins the Clergyman. 

Mrs Bennet is determined that all her girls must be married and married to wealthy young men.  When Mr Bingley takes a house near to their home at Longbourne, Mrs Bennet is on the hunt.  They encounter Mr Bingley and his party, including Mr Darcy, at the local assembly where Elizabeth is snubbed by Mr Darcy in her hearing saying  “she is not pretty enough to tempt me”! 

The story unfolds over the chapters where Elizabeth and Darcy keep encountering each other at various social gatherings and walks where each others pride and prejudice keeps them apart.  As with all good love stories it comes good in the end.

I will be taking this book away with me on vacation this year as it is just the right sort of book to read when you have nothing else to do!

Happy Friday everyone.

Hugs, Susie xx

Monthly Friday Book Club.


In keeping with the Royal Wedding tomorrow I thought I would share with you this book.  It was first published in 1998 but I have read it a couple of times and loved every page.

Georgiana Spencer (Princess Diana’s ancestor) became the Duchess of Devonshire and mistress of Chatsworth House in 1774.  She very quickly became the toast of London and Society very much adored by the Prince Regent and friend to Marie-Antoinette. 

Her clothes were copied, if she attended the theatre the play was a success and she also influenced the politics of the time.  However in private her husband, The Duke, was indifferent to her charms and had an affair with her best friend, Lady Elizabeth Foster.  For twenty years all three resided at Chatsworth which was at times fraught. 

210 years later a similar scenario would be played out within the walls of Kensington Palace with Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Mrs Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Amanda Foreman’s writing is very easy to read and although she is delivering historic facts, they are not the same old dry boring ones of your school history lessons! 

This book is definitely on my To Read list again.  It is available from Amazon in all versions.  If you like historical novels you will not be disappointed in this book.


Georgiana by Thomas Gainsborough

I hope you are having a very happy Friday and looking forward to the Wedding of the Year tomorrow.  The weather is set to be sunny, warm and 19°C so everyone should have a lovely day ready for the open carriage ride of the Newlyweds.

Hugs, Susie xx