Winding Up the Week #1


Paula’s end of week recap

This is the first of a weekly post in which I summarize books read, reviewed and currently on my TBR shelf. In addition to a variety of literary titbits, I will look ahead to forthcoming features, see what’s on the night-stand and keep readers abreast of various reading challenges.

If there is something you would particularly like to see on Winding Up the Week, or you have any suggestions, questions or comments for Book Jotter, please drop me a line. I would be delighted to hear from you.


This week I reviewed the novel Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday, giving it 4 stars on Goodreads. It is due for publication on 1st March. > Read my thoughts >

I am in the process of writing a critique of Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, a debut short story collection released last month by Graywolf Press – so watch out for that appearing soon.

Next up will be The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara, a novel inspired by the real House of Xtravaganza from the seminal documentary Paris is Burning, set in New York during the late 1970s. It is due for release on 1st February.

On my beside-table is George Orwell: A Life in Letters, edited by Peter Hobley Davison, which I tend to dip-into shortly before nodding off. I will post a review at some point, but at my current reading rate of about ten pages per night, it may not be for a while.


This year I am going to fulfil a life-long ambition when I spend several days at the internationally renowned Hay Festival, which takes place in its Welsh home (affectionately known as “the town of books”) from Thursday 24th May to Sunday 3rd June 2018.

My accommodation was booked several months ago when by some miracle I discovered an available pitch at a lovely glamping site a mere five-minute walk from the festival hub. Prior to this, I had all but given up hope of finding anywhere to stay within a thirty-mile radius of the town – mainly because those attending invariably reserve their rooms in advance from one year (possibly decade) to the next. And who can blame them? Henceforward, I intend to brand my name on this patch of grass!

Last week I became an official Friend of Hay Festival, opting for the double membership so that my partner could also take advantage of benefits like priority booking, discounts, exclusive offers etc. This achieved, I promptly booked Early Bird tickets to see Margaret Atwood discuss The Handmaid’s Tale with Peter Florence in the Tata Tent. As anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with me will know, I am a huge Atwood fan, so I hardly need allude to the smug expression on my face.

Anyhow, when the event starts, please look out for Hay Happenings, my frequent reports from the festival site.


If you would like to use my Winding Up the Week meme, and/or make use the photo at the top of this page, all I ask is that you give me credit with a link back to Book Jotter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I wish you all a week bountiful in books and rich in reading.

NB In this feature, ‘winding up’ refers to an act of concluding something and should not be confused with the popular British ‘wind-up’: an age-old pastime of ‘winding-up’ friends and family by teasing or playing pranks on them. If you would like to know more about this expression, there’s an excellent description on Urban Dictionary.

Hosted by Paula @ Book Jotter.

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12 replies

  1. I’m reading The House of Impossible Beauties right now! It’s absolutely wonderful—I’m impressed.

  2. I have never been to the Hay festival mainly because I don’t get on well with crowds. However my bank manager has never forgotten (or forgiven) the week’s holiday I spent there one Easter. Neither my finances nor my bookshelves have ever recovered!

  3. I’m not really a crowd person either but the Hay Fest is something special. Like you, I have visited the town pre-festival, although it was only for a day (and probably about thirty years ago), but I still managed to leave with a crate-load of books. I hardly dare think what would have happened if I had spent a whole week rummaging about in the stores. I feel your pain, Ann, I really do! 😉

  4. Oh, I plan to read Handmaid’s Tale later this year. Hope you enjoy the discussion. Would love at attend something like that.


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