Winding Up the Week #6


An end of week recap

This is the sixth 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 in general, please drop me a line. I would be delighted to hear from you.


I read and reviewed Burmese Days, a novel based on George Orwell’s experiences as a policeman in Burma during the 1920s. I gave it three stars on Goodreads. >> Read my thoughts >>

Look out for my thoughts on The Only Story by Julian Barnes – published this month by Random House UK, Vintage Publishing.

Next up is Craig Larsen’s The Second Winter, a winner of the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award for Literary Fiction.

Coming up soon is Turn a Blind Eye, an apparently “pulse-racing” thriller by Vicky Newham, scheduled for release on 5th April.


World Book Day 2018

World Book Day

On sale in the shops: WBD costumes for kids

World Book Day is an annual celebration of authors, illustrators, books and reading, which takes place in the UK on the first Thursday in March – meaning this year it lands on 1st March – although, the rest of the world observes it on 23rd April (a date that unfortunately clashes with St. George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday).

Designated by UNESCO as an international event, it is the biggest literary shindig of its kind, and has been marked in over 100 countries around the world since 1995. In Britain, it is sponsored by National Book Tokens, an organization that every year gives 14 million Book Tokens (gift cards that can be spent online or in book shops) to children across the UK and Ireland. This support gives young people from all walks of life the opportunity to read books and, according to the National Literacy Trust, WBD provides a quarter of eight to 11-year-olds in the UK with their first chance to buy a book of their own.

Thousands of specially published £1 World Book Day books are donated by publishers each year and teachers are inspired to encourage the joy of reading in their pupils. Children also participate in a range of literary events and go to school dressed up as their favourite book characters.

What will you be doing to celebrate World Book Day in 2018?

Fab Features

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:

Brain Pickings: Zadie Smith on Optimism and Despair – “Progress is never permanent, will always be threatened, must be redoubled, restated and reimagined if it is to survive.”

The Guardian: ‘I really want to find it before I die’: why are we so fascinated by lost books? – “From the Book of Kells to Walter Benjamin, literary history is marked with tantalising absences – which two bibliophiles have made it their business to go after.”

ASYMPTOTE: Aeschylus, the LostIsmail Kadare, Albania’s best-known novelist and the winner of the inaugural 2005 Man Booker International Prize, believes we cannot know what world literature would look like without Aeschylus.

Medium: The Definitive Guide on How to Read Properly – Reading is dead! says Melissa Chu. Or is it?

Electric Literature: How the Bronx is Building a Vibrant Literary Community – Jennifer Baker writes of five people and organizations supporting writers and readers in New York’s often neglected borough.

Signature: Setting the River on Fire: On Robert Lowell’s Writing and Mental IllnessNathan Gelgud examines Kay Redfield Jamison’s exploration of the ways in which Robert Lowell’s bipolar disorder informed his work.

Bookstr: 10 Beautiful Beatrix Potter Quotes to Remind You How Great She Is – “The new Peter Rabbit may be bad, but the old one was great,” writes Laura-Blaise McDowell.


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 British expression: ‘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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15 replies

  1. Ooh, lots of tempting links to explore! What am I doing March 1st? As it’s St David’s Day in Wales I’m involved in musical activities in the Land of Song, accompanying at a local school eidlsteddfod and singing in a choral concert put on for a local walking festival.

    Puzzled why World Book Day can’t be celebrated in England April 23rd; after all, Catalunya inaugurated the practice of giving books and roses on this day, feast day of its patron — St George!

      • Ahh yes, World Book Night. Thank you for the link. Apparently this is a completely separate event organized by the independent charity, The Reading Agency. All most peculiar!

    • Crumbs, I almost forgot about St. David’s Day on 1st March. Fingers crossed my daffodils are in full bloom by then. Hope you have lots of fun with your musical activities.

      From what I can gather, it was decided Britain wouldn’t celebrate WBD on 23rd April, partly because of St George’s Day, but also because this date sometimes clashes with the Easter school holidays. Who came to this conclusion, I have no idea, but I strongly suspect they weren’t Welsh! 😉

      • All this confusion comes about because nobody thought through the consequences of calling the UK and Ireland event for children by the same name as that for an already existing annual international event! (And it actually would be an easy matter to subtly change the name to Children’s/Young Readers’ Book Day or a more apt title than World Book Day. )

        As for the first Thursday in March, the beginning day of the month is going to coincide with St David’s Day on a regular basis, and in Wales that’s always going to be taken up with school eisteddfodau and the like, to the exclusion of most things bookish!

        But we’re apparently stuck with this decision, so ho-hum. Could be worse, could be something like leaving the EU for some promised pies in the sky…

      • Oh yes, the EU! Please don’t get me started on Brexit. I still can’t quite believe we’re actually going to go through with it! 😠

      • Sorry about that 🇪🇺 #48%

  2. So many interesting links! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love the links of articles you share in the post! They are all so interesting 🙂 Turn a Blind Eye looks quite interesting. Can’t wait for your thoughts on the book.

  4. A book day is a great celebration. Do you know why it’s celebrated in the UK on a different day than the rest of the world? Just it clashing with other holidays set already?

  5. Great links! And living in the US, I hadn’t realized that the UK celebrates World Book Day on a different date than the rest of the world. Interesting! I hope you enjoy, whenever you celebrate it. 🙂

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