Winding Up the Week #12

Winding Up the Week #11An 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 Sylvia Pankhurst: Rebellious Suffragette by Shirley Harrison, a fascinating political, historical and cultural biography drawing on Sylvia’s journals, letters, writings and paintings. >> Read my thoughts >>

Look out for my review of Suffragette: The Battle for Equality, an illustrated children’s book about the woman’s suffrage movement by award-winning artist David Roberts (with an introduction by BBC presenter Lauren Laverne).

Next up is Ayiti, the debut collection by Roxane Gay – a blend of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, all interwoven to represent the Haitian diaspora experience.

Coming soon is White Houses by Amy Bloom, a novel about the secret love of Eleanor Roosevelt and her old friend Lorena Hickok.


* Dewithon 2019 *

Wales_FlagWe have twelve months in which to prepare for Reading Wales 2019, so in order to make the most of that time, and hopefully discover a diverse selection of Welsh writers, DHQ (Dewithon Headquarters) – the nerve centre for our literary jolly – is now up on Book Jotter. Here you will find links to writers and their works, literary organisations, book festivals, useful articles and all kinds of websites connected to the literature of Wales. This page will be updated on a frequent basis over the coming months. Please feel free to make comments and suggestions. >> Vist DHQ >>

A big thank you to Chris Lovegrove, who is exploring the world of ideas through books on his fascinating literary blog, Calmgrove. This week he very kindly posted a piece about Dewithon 2019. >> Wales Readathon Announcement >>

* Hay Update *

As some of you may recall, I announced in WUTW#1 that I would be adding a rather large tick to my book-bucket list this year by spending several days at the Hay Festival. This is a celebration of books and reading, which takes place annually in Hay-on-Wye – Wales’ famous book town – from 24th May to 3rd June.

I was delighted to acquire tickets for two separate Margaret Atwood discussions (I believe I may have mentioned this once or twice already), but I can now report I will be attending several other events, including talks with Roddy Doyle, Ian McEwan and Rose Tremain, among others. Naturally, I will share my experiences on Book Jotter.

Please look out for Hay Happenings, my frequent reports from the festival site.

* 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:


Medium: How to Retain More of Every Book You Read – Finishing a book is easy, understanding it far harder, according to James Clear.

Please Kill Me: Famous Authors Who Wrote Filth – “Erotica imprints such as Olympia Press gave many authors, including Fran Lebowitz, Diane di Prima and Roald Dahl early career boosts.” writes Erika Blair.

LiveScience: Blasting This Old Book with X-Rays Could Reveal Greek Physician Galen’s Ancient Words – Thanks to X-ray technology, we may soon have a lot more writing by Galen to read.

The Guardian: What can we learn about our wellbeing from memoirs of ill health? – “Simon Gray, Christopher Hitchens, Joan Didion … some of the most vivid memoirs have been accounts of illness. But what can they teach us about being well?”

TLS: The naked and the readJ. Michael Lennon on the library of Norman Mailer.

Medium: Shelfie: Christina Collins Shares Her Bookshelf – Poet Christina Collins talks about the 10 books she took with her on her cross-country move.

Signature: Remembering Philip Kerr Through His Bernie Gunther Mysteries – Scottish writer, Philip Kerr passed away on 24th March. Lorraine Berry looks back on his Bernie Gunther series in remembrance of the author.



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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10 replies

  1. Thanks for the link, Paula, I’m very pleased to promote Dewithon and, judging from responses to my post, at least half a dozen or so additional bloggers look prepared to join in the Readathon! 🙂

    The James Clear article drew my eye, and even though he was writing about non-fiction the same equally applies to fiction. Quality and not just quantity in reading I’m in total agreement with. And when he writes, “The most useful insights are often found at the intersection of ideas,” I found validation for the pile of books perpetually on the bedside table — the TBRs, the current reads and the temporarily abandoned but not discarded. They nearly always inform each other and aid the “exploration of the world of ideas through books” that is the motto for my own blog.

    And now some of the other links are calling me… 😁

  2. You’re in for a treat with White Houses. I’ve yet to read anything by Amy Bloom I haven’t both enjoyed and admired.

  3. I’m so jealous you are going to Hay this year! I went last year and it was wonderful. I will look forward to your coverage of it.

  4. Very jealous of you going to Hay…..

  5. I’m curious to see what you think of White Houses. The synopsis for that had me very intrigued.

    Hay Festival sounds amazing, especially that you’ll get to attend a couple of Margaret Atwood discussions. I love her!

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