Winding Up the Week #10




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.


I read and reviewed Vicky Newham’s Turn a Blind Eye (DI Mayha Rahman, #1), the first in a new series of crime novels set in East London. >> Read my thoughts >>

Also available is my review of the 2017 novel, Lost For Words. Author, Stephanie Butland, writes in a studio at the bottom of her Northumberland garden, the English county in which she grew up. Her new novel, The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae, is due for publication on 19th April. >> See what I thought >>

Look out for my critique of The End of Loneliness, Benedict Wells’ European Union Prize for Literature winning novel, published in translation for the first time this month.

Next up (before Women’s History Month ends, I very much hope) is Sylvia Pankhurst: The Rebellious Suffragette, a newly published political, historical and cultural biography by Shirley Harrison, which draws on Sylvia’s journals, letters, writings and paintings. It includes a Foreword by her son, Richard Pankhurst.

Coming close on its heels is the beautifully illustrated children’s book, Suffragette: The Battle for Equality, by David Roberts. 2018 marks a century since the first women won the vote in the United Kingdom, and this book tells the story of their fight.


* How to Read a Novel: Week #3 *

I have completed the penultimate week of How to Read a Novel, the online course I’m taking courtesy of FutureLearning and The University of Edinburgh. In this unit we discussed dialogue and looked in detail at The Lesser Bohemians by award-winning Irish novelist, Eimear McBride. >> Start a dialogue >>

* #Dewithon19 *


Since announcing Wales Readathon 2019 in WUTW#9, I’m thrilled to report an enthusiastic response from peeps in the book blogging community. A wide range of Welsh writers and their works have been suggested, so I’m now frantically compiling lists.

The Readathon will take place from 1st to 31st March 2019. During that period, it is hoped that participants from anywhere in the world will commit to reading and blogging about at least one Welsh piece of literature (more if possible, but you’re under no obligation). You may choose a novel, non-fiction book, short story anthology, biography (by or about a Welsh writer), travelogue, volume of poetry (or a single poem), essay collection, or indeed any written work with a meaningful connection to Wales. Also, in much the same way Scottish readers adopted J.K. Rowling as one of their own (or the Cubans did with Hemingway), I see no reason why published writers living and working in Wales shouldn’t be included, regardless of their country of origin. However, I would very much like to hear your thoughts on this point.

I intend to publish a page of basic information on Book Jotter about Wales Readathon 2019, which will serve as the DHQ (Dewithon Headquarters) over the coming months. Here I will post links to useful websites and information sources, suggested reading lists, regular updates and a set of not too stringent rules.

This is a multiblogual event, so please be sure to let me know if you post anything at all about our Readathon, however brief – this will enable me to promote your piece. Should you be generous enough to tweet about our reading event, I would be grateful if you could include the hashtag #dewithon19 in your message. Diolch yn fawr (thank you very much)!

* Agatha Christie Readathon *

While we’re on the subject of readathons, you may be interested to know that James J. Cudney at This Is My Truth Now will be hosting an Agatha Christie Readathon throughout April. Everyone is invited to read a book, “during each of the four weeks, then post a review, and on the last day […] discuss [it] with other participants.” James describes himself as “an avid mystery reader” and a big Christie fan. If you would like to join in the fun, take a peek at the guidelines, suggest books if you like and start planning your perfect murder read.

* 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: Up in smoke: should an author’s dying wishes be obeyed? – Many a great author has had directions for how their works should be handled after they die. But should they get a say?

Brain Pickings: Bear and Wolf: A Tender Illustrated Fable of Walking Side by Side in Otherness – “A watercolour serenade to kinship across difference in a shared world,” writes Maria Popova.

BOOKWITTY: Great Irish Books that Deserve to be Read or Resuscitated – Ireland has produced a plethora of great writers. But what about great Irish books that have either fallen into obscurity or failed to gain the recognition they deserve? Daragh Reddin presents seven books, both new and old, that deserve their place in the pantheon of great Irish fiction.

Atlas Obscura: Book Towns Are Made for Book Lovers – What Makes a ‘Book Town’? The small towns around the world that have made bookstores their specialty.

Signature: Why Hannah Arendt’s Thoughts on the Shape of Power Are Relevant Now – According to Hannah Arendt, authoritarian government, tyrannical rule and totalitarianism take different shapes. Illustrated by Nathan Gelgud.

PW Tip Sheet: 10 Things I Learned From Reading Terrible Books Written by Dictators – Man-bear love in Saddam Hussein’s romance novel, Vladimir Putin’s judo manual and more.

The Guardian: Gone Girl’s gone, hello Eleanor Oliphant: why we’re all reading ‘up lit’Hannah Beckerman, writing in The Guardian, explains why uplifting fiction has become the current literary trend.

Medium Daily Digest: What Jane Yolen Learned from Writing 365 Children’s Books – How does one publish as many books as there are days in the year?



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.

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.

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6 replies

  1. Great wrap-up and heads up post. Thank you so much for sharing the Agatha Christie Readathon! 🙂

  2. Awesome post!

  3. As well as your other snippets my eye was naturally drawn to Dewithon 2019. Good to see there’s strong support for it and that you’ll be posting more about it. I would indeed like to flag it up in a post before the end of the month. Cathy Brown runs a similar thing called Reading Ireland Month (, doesn’t she, also during March — naturally! 🙂

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