An end of week recap
This is 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 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.
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE TBR >>
I read and reviewed the delightful Great Polar Bear, a poetic and scientifically accurate story about a year in the life of a polar bear by children’s author, Carolyn Lesser. My brief write-up was a Featured Review on Net Galley. >> Read my thoughts >>
Off the bedside-table at long last is George Orwell: A Life in Letters. For the last three or four months I’ve been dipping into this book, reading only a few pages at a time before turning out the light. So it was with a mixture of sadness and relief that I read Orwell’s final letter – written shortly before his death – dated 17th September 1949. >> See my comments >>
Coming soon is Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland. It’s a little out of my usual sphere, but I rather like the description of the protagonist’s work-place and refuge being a “New York book emporium.”
* How to Read a Novel: Week 1 *
I completed the first week of my free online course, How to Read a Novel, and I’m relieved to report that I made good progress. >> Plotting and swotting >>
* More milestones *
Another of those colourful, saucer-shaped discs landed on my notice board a few days ago, transmitting the message: “You received 1,337 likes on Book Jotter!” Was that 1,337? How bizarre! Call me a nit-picky old quibbler but that seems a slightly odd number. The little green aliens at WordPress obviously have an unorthodox saucer-grading system. Ah well, it was still very much appreciated.
* Women at Work with the Live Life Better Podcast *
If you’re in or near London on 7th March, you may like to go along to the LIVE.LIFE.BETTER. LIVE EVENT at the Like A Woman Bookshop in Shoreditch. Podcast host, Melissa Hemsley will discuss how best to put purpose at the heart of a business. She wants to know if feminine traits are set to differentiate the successful leaders of the future, and if we can find meaning in our work. Authors Rukmini Iyer and Holly Branson will join her to share their experiences, provide key tips and hand out take-home takeaways.
Don’t worry if you can’t be there in person – the organizers have all eventualities covered. You can follow updates on the night and the following day when the event will be released as a special International Women’s Day podcast on the Penguin Living Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.
* 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:
The Guardian: The parent trap: can you be a good writer and a good parent? – “Doris Lessing left her marriage and children to write. Seventy-five years on, Lara Feigel examines the author’s maternal ambivalence and explores her own struggle to balance motherhood and freedom.”
Literary Hub: 25 Legendary Literary Feuds, Ranked – Literary ding-dongs in ranking order!
The Millions: Are Feminist Dystopias the #MeToo Movement of Literature? – A steady rise in post-apocalyptic/dystopian books that feature control over some aspects of female reproduction has not been entirely lauded, writes Kaethe Schwehn.
Penguin Random House: 10 Vintage books that celebrate International Women’s Day – Celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March and the year of Vote 100 by reading the women who made the world a fairer place for those that followed them.
Paris Review: Astrid Lindgren, the Gutsy Creator of Pippi Longstocking – Chantel Tattoli writes about the famed Swedish author of Pippi Longstocking as Jens Andersen’s biography, Astrid Lindgren: The Woman Behind Pippi Longstocking is released by Yale University Press.
PW Tip Sheet: Inside the Secret Society of Jane Austen Superfans – A look inside the dancing, petticoat-wearing world of Janeites.
Signature: Best Books to Take You Back to the ’80s When You’re Feeling Nostalgic – The best books of the 1980s ranged from disturbingly prescient dystopian horrors to heart-rending sagas, escapist yarns, and everything in between.
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.