Paula’s end of week recap
This is the third of my weekly posts in which I summarize books read, reviewed and currently on my TBR shelf. In addition to a variety of literary titbits, I look ahead to forthcoming features, see what’s on the night-stand and keep readers abreast of various book-related happenings.
If there is something you would particularly like to see on Winding Up the Week or if you have any suggestions, questions or comments for Book Jotter, please drop me a line. I would be delighted to hear from you.
READ AND REVIEWED >
I read and reviewed The House of Impossible Beauties, Joseph Cassara’s tale of love and resilience in the world of the Harlem ball scene. It will be released by Oneworld Publications on 1st February. I gave it four stars on Goodreads and my piece was a Featured Review on NetGalley. > Read my thoughts >
Look out for my forthcoming review of The Word for Woman is Wilderness, the fictional story of a young woman who sets off on an epic adventure to the Arctic Circle by Abi Andrews.
Next up is A Month in the Country, a short but much-loved novel by J.L. Carr. First published in 1980, it won the Guardian Fiction Award and was nominated for the Man Booker Prize. This is my February choice for the Monthly Genre Challenge in The 2018 Reading Challenge Group on Goodreads.
Coming up soon is The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale – a novel about magic, set during the First World War. It is due for publication by Penguin Random House on 6th February.
You may recall me announcing in WUW#1 (with considerable glee) that I will be heading to Hay-on-Wye for the book festival this year and was therefore rather pleased to have procured tickets for an event in which my literary heroine, Margaret Atwood discusses The Handmaid’s Tale with Peter Florence. Well, I have now obtained tickets to see Margaret Atwood and Gaby Wood (director of the Man Booker Prize) in conversation on 29th May.
In this extended session Atwood will talk about her poetry, short stories and novels, including the Booker Prize winning The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace, Cat’s Eye and her recent dystopian trilogy Oryx and Crake, Year of the Flood and MaddAddam. Suffice it to say, I am now more irritatingly smug than ever.
When the event starts, I will keep you updated with Hay Happenings, my frequent dispatches from the festival site.
Death of a Sci-ficon
On Monday a message popped up on my Twitter feed to say that Ursula K Le Guin, the award winning sci-fi and fantasy writer, had passed away at her home in Portland, Oregon, at the age of 88.
This remarkable woman was best known for such seminal works as the Earthsea Cycle and the groundbreaking gender-fluid novel The Left Hand of Darkness. Although she had been in poor health for the last few months, she apparently kept on working almost until the end. Le Guin wrote over fifty books during her long career and inspired a generation of science fiction writers. She was also a pioneering feminist and vocal campaigner. Her death is an immense loss to book lovers the world over.
Gollancz say they will publish Dreams Must Explain Themselves, a collection of Le Guin’s non-fiction, on 22nd February. An omnibus of her Earthsea novels (illustrated by Charles Vess) will be released later in the year.
Umpteen fascinating articles appeared on my bookdar last week. I generally make a point of tweeting my favourite finds, but in case you missed anything, here are one or two interesting snippets:
- The Guardian: Margaret Atwood: ‘I am not a prophet. Science fiction is really about now’ – “The TV adaptation of her dystopian classic The Handmaid’s Tale captured the political moment. Ahead of a new series, Atwood talks bestsellers, bonnets and the backlash against her views on the #MeToo movement.”
- Melville House: Design Instagrammers are shelving books backwards, because who wants to know what to read in this day and age? – You have to wonder why anyone would want to shelve books with the spines facing inwards!
- The Paris Review: Ursula K. Le Guin: The Rabble-Rouser with a Gentle Smile – Neil Gaiman remembers Ursula K. Le Guin as a petite rabble-rouser with a gentle smile.
- BOOKish: Functional and Fun Bullet Journal Ideas for Tracking Reading – I know many of you are keen list-makers and journal-keepers (myself included), so I thought this piece about bookish bullet journaling was rather fun and might provide inspiration.
- The Guardian: Prize launched for thrillers that avoid sexual violence against women – The Staunch Book Prize has been founded to celebrate books where ‘no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped or murdered.’
- LITERARY HUB: During World War II, Literature Reigned Supreme – In the 1940s, literature mattered: How internationalism and the struggle against tyranny created the most intensely literary decade in American history.
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 a week bountiful in books and rich in reading.
NB In this feature, ‘winding up’ refers to the 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
Categories: Winding Up the Week
Coincidentally, my dad recently bought me A Month in the Country for Christmas – I’d never heard of it or Carr before. I’m looking forward to it!
Me too! 😊
I read A Month in the Country with my Summer School students two years ago. I think it was the most successful novel that I’ve ever timetabled. I hope you enjoy it.
Many thanks. I’ve heard good things about it from connections on Goodreads, so really looking forward to getting started.
Hay on Wye! I visited once years ago and absolutely loved it. It’s a bookworm’s dream!
You’re right there. I too visited the town years ago and loved it, but this will be the first time I have been to its famous book festival. Can’t wait!
Yeah. I visited about a month after the festival. I’m sure you’ll have a great time!
Oh- I think I missed reading about Le Guin- I read and wrote a short essay on the Left Hand of Darkness for a MOOC I took on science fiction and fantasy a couple of years ago- a very interesting read.
What a great book to study! 😃
Seeing Margaret Atwood speak would be really awesome.
Have a great week!
Many thanks indeed. I can’t deny that I’m rather excited about seeing Margaret Atwood – I’m a big fan. She seems to be doing the rounds of literary events in the UK this year, so I obviously struck lucky! 😊
Your review was featured on NetGalley! Wow. How do you even find out it’s featured?
Oh wow, I didn’t hear about Ursula K Le Guin. Just a few weeks ago I was surprised to find out she was still living, and now I’m pretty much proven wrong. Huh. I heard a new book of hers was releasing though… Must be the one you mentioned.
To find out which of your books have been featured on NetGalley, click on >> Your Shelf >> Feedback Sent >> and look down the left hand side of the list for a small orange icon attached to the edge of the books (I think it’s meant to be a pen). Wherever you see one of these, you know that the book’s review has been featured. Actually, you can see what it looks like right here: https://netgalley.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003982114-What-does-it-mean-that-my-review-is-featured- Hope this helps, Evalina! 😊