Archives for the month of: December, 2018

Image result for will you catch me elson

Published by Hodder.

Odds Fish!

This is a moving tale of friendship, wildlife, conservation, families, love and alcohol abuse. Its a tale of bravery – self belief and how friends can sometimes pull together to Nell Gwyn WKPDmake things right. It is also the story of imagination and  Nell Gwyn – a companion to King Charles II –  a fascinating character, of whom I knew a little, but now know so much more.

This is the story of a modern day Nell whose mother tries hard to be someone she can admire. To be the mother Nell needs, but things are not easy. Nell spends her days caring for her mum, hoping to trace her dad,  and nurturing any wildlife she comes across that need respite or care.

Her friend Michael lives nest door with his brother, aids and abets her – an inventor with wild and glorious ideas which means that at school he is often signing the punishment book, staying late for detention and generally getting into scraps. His brother is exasperated by him and can’t believe it when he finds that all his laces from his boots have been stolen away to be used in Michael’s latest invention – to help Nell feed all her small creatures.

There are too many children affected by their parent’s addiction to alcohol. This is a story for them, for those with whom they make contact, with whom they hopefully get help and understanding.

This is a story of hope.







Waterstones has a Children’s Book of the Month (CBOTM) and these are promoted to customers nationally throughout the year.

Since I have such a loyal following of customers in my store I have been given permission to choose my own Children’s Book of the Month – in effect a CBOTM specifically chosen for customers visiting Finchley Road O2.


This then is the launch of

Sue’s Children’s Book of the Month: SCBOTM



is Lucy Strange’s new book

Our Castle by the Sea

a phenomenally good adventure story set at the beginning of the Second World War. Full of intrigue, secrets and traitors. I have already reviewed it – but will be marking it as SCBOTM along with the others for the rest of the year.

Lucy Strange has said that once we have sorted a date between us, that she will come to sign copies!

Details will be posted on, and on Twitter.

An opportunity not to be missed.

I hope to see you all in the new year.

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Published by Bloomsbury

This is due to be published on the 4th of April – so a review from another proof (very gratefully received), but not a book for Christmas.

This is for all young readers who happen to love felines, books, adventures and SUPERHERO’S! This is wonderful – I loved it. Tagg finds out his parents are not the usual run of the mill Tom & Queen cats. Neither is his brother, from a previous litter.

Related imageA story of superheros and a super villain too – a real romp of a book. Not the usual run of the mill 5 – 8 story. A little more complicated, clever and intriguing.

One for the spring. One to keep an eye out for. This age group doesn’t have many new books that are good.

Filled with pictures (always a good thing) and an adventure with a twist or two.

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Published by Chicken House

There really is something about Chicken House. They seem to publish good books. Well written with interesting plots. This is another such.

Set at the beginning of the ‘last’ war (the Second WW). Pet’s world is secure. She is happy living with her parents, & older sister in a lighthouse at the coast. Her father is responsible for the light – and as the war begins, for messages of national importance. Her mother, an artist, is originally from Germany. Things change as fears grow of the possibilities of submarines in their cove. As propaganda takes hold. Pet and her sister find themselves dealing with anti-Germanic racism at school, and then at home, when Mutti comes under verbal attack. Then she is taken away by the authorities…

This is full of mysteries and secrets, What was Mutti doing early in the morning and what was Pet’s sister doing, if she wasn’t overhauling her small boat? Is everything and everyone, as innocent as they seem, as they should be? Pet finds herself questioning the very basis of her relationship with her family.

I am in the middle of this (page 146 of 132) – a book I am now carrying around with me and reading with great pleasure at quiet times at work (not many of those at the moment), on the train, and just before I turn over to curl around the cat to fall asleep.

Brexit might be a problem. Is a problem, but we have as a Nation gone through so much more. This is a tale of one such time – one that I am relieved not to have lived through.

A book that asks the questions hardest to answer. Who are you, your family? Your nationality? Especially if born in one country, but with your own family living in another. Particularly at times of war.

This is Lucy Strange’s second book and is, I think, better than the first (The Secret of Nightingale Wood), which is always good – I love it when author’s writing improves…as they go on to their next book. Particularly if the first one is good too – it can only get better!

Read it. A superb book for Christmas.

I have just finished it. I am pleased to say it is one of those books that you have to put down, once in a while, as you become more worried about what is going to happen and are hoping it is all going to turn out as you would like. A stupendous book.


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Published by Harper Collins

I received this through the post, from my oldest friend who lives in Cork, Ireland. It is of Irish decent. I have always liked the Irish (particularly this one) – and this is a superb book. It reminds me a little of the Derek Tangye stories set in Cornwall, I think, that I used to read many years ago.

This though, is set in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland on a sheep farm ( Zwartbles). Bodacious is the chief feline who oversees the work of the farm, from the dosing of the lambs in spring, keeping the rats and mice at bay, ensuring the eggs are collected from the egg-makers, walking the fields with The Shepherd, and accompanying The Shepherd when she is travelling on the quad bike…amongst other occupations.

This is a rather charming wonderful book of a cat whose responsibilities are taken seriously, with an eye on the wildlife and the stories he has been told: Bodacious’ own story is one to bask in – like a heat lamp…

It is really rather special.

The cat on the cover is credited to the author (along with the black faced sheep on the left), and though it doesn’t state so on the flap, I think the feline sitting with such certainty on the post is Bodacious.

It is a charming tale of an extraordinary cat. I too had an extraordinary cat, which is probably why the book was sent to me. Pakka and I would walk the common, and hunt together…though I think I was probably more of a hindrance.  Particularly when she might have caught a vole / shrew – which I would gain from her and then release. She went down rabbit holes too, whilst I waited ‘up-top’, so I do understand Bodacious’ appreciation of The Shepherd stopping and watching quietly. My new familiar is young still, so our relationship is in the early stages, but we are beginning to understand one another.

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Relationships such as these are to be celebrated. The author, though, seems to have taken this a little further: she has an appreciation and special relationship with most of the creatures that she has come across – this is a joy and a must buy for Christmas.

Though having read about the breed, I’m not sure that I don’t need a Zwartbles rug… Actually I know this to be the case…and Sakka would like it too, I’m sure!