Winding Up the Week #13

An end of week recapWinding Up the Week #11

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 (with an enormous sigh of relief, I might add) The Assassin’s Cloak: An Anthology Of The World’s Greatest Diarists, edited by Irene and Alan Taylor. This whopping wodge of collected diary entries has been on my bedside table for goodness knows how many months. I’ve dipped into it frequently but, due to so many other reading commitments, progress has been pitifully slow. >> Read my thoughts >>

I also posted a review of the superbly illustrated children’s book, Suffragette: The Battle for Equality by New York Times bestseller, David Roberts. It is due to be published on 31st May by Pan Macmillan. >> See what I thought >>

Look out for my comments on A House of Pomegranates, a collection of whimsical short stories by Oscar Wilde – originally published in 1891. This is my selected Fantasy title for April’s Monthly Genre Challenge in The 2018 Reading Challenge Group on Goodreads.

Next up is Ayiti by American author, Roxane Gay – her debut collection from Grove Press.


* Reading Wales 2019 *

I continue to add freshly mined literary links to DHQ in the hope you will be induced to read some of our many wonderful writers from Wales. From The Guardian’s archives is a list of 10 Welsh underground novels, and a recent Googling session brought to light an interesting feature from Alison Flood about a new ‘golden-age’ for Welsh language novels.

A big thank-you to Claire McAlpine, the blog-mistress at Word by Word, for suggesting a link to Honno – an independent co-operative press run by women committed to promoting the best in Welsh women’s writing. She describes it as: “an excellent source for finding books written by women in Wales. A very extensive website and easy to find whichever genre you wish to read.”

Much gratitude also goes to my book blogging chum, Gretchen Bernet-Ward, for endorsing Dewithon on Thoughts Become Words – a treasure trove of her “transliterated work” where she reveals her “inner workings through the written word.” >> See DHQ: Wales Dewithon19 >>

I have added several other newly discovered links to Welsh literary websites, among them: The Association for Welsh Writing in English, the R.S. Thomas Literary Festival and Seren Books. Please keep your suggestions coming in.

* Book Beanos Breaking Out All Over! *

There are yet more book-blogging jollies to report:

1977Karen from Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings and Simon from Stuck in a Book are soon to co-host the 1977 Club, in which all are invited to read and write about books published in 1977. This continues their tradition of focusing on titles released in particular years, when those partaking are asked to read, review and generally share their thoughts on the experience – previously there have been clubs for 1924, 1938, 1947, 1951 and 1968. The event will run from 16th-22nd April, so I suggest you get in the mood by donning your favourite flares, sticking ABBA: The Album on the turntable and taking the family to watch Star Wars. Look out for the official 1977 Club page appearing soon.

I’m sure some of you have been taking part in the Iris Murdoch Readalong with Liz Dexter at Adventures in reading, writing and working from home. She kicked off proceedings last November with Under the Net and is working her way through 26 novels at the rate of one a month – meaning it will end in December 2019 (with Jackson’s Dilemma). Liz has posted a reading schedule for participants to follow, but she invites you to jump in at any point as there are no rules regarding the number of books you must read. She merely asks that you use the hashtag #IMreadalong when tweeting about the event.

Please do let me know if you are organizing a bookish happening. I will gladly give it a mention in WUTW.

* 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 a handful of interesting snippets:


BuzzFeed News: How Joan Didion Became Joan Didion – An excerpt from Michelle Dean’s new book explores how Joan Didion became “one of the boys” while still not quite fitting into their literary regime.

The New York Times: The New Vanguard – Critics select 15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.

London Review of Books: The Left-Handed Kid – There is a lot to learn from the history of Chinese typewriters according to translator Jamie Fisher.

Medium: Reading 100+ Books a Year to “Upgrade” Yourself is a Complete Waste of TimeZat Rana isn’t sure that he likes the Internet’s “new obsession” with books, and he’s not convinced speed-reading is all its cracked up to be!

The Guardian: Madeleine Thien: ‘I can read a book over years, and not feel I have to finish it’ – The Canadian novelist and short story writer, Madeleine Thien, talks about the books in her life.

Bookwitty: Persephone Books: Though She Be But Little, She is Fierce!Persephone Books is a tiny, almost cult-like, British publishing house which specialises in resuscitating lost or neglected books by women that deserve a second lease on life. Don’t miss out on these hidden treasures.

Electric Literature: 11 of the Best Love Letters in Literature, Both Fictional and Not – NYC-based writer, Dani Spencer believes these “11 vulnerable glimpses into the besotted human-id are all-consuming reads.”



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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13 replies

  1. Thank you for mentioning my Iris Murdoch Readalong and for getting the whole participatory, non-strict vibe of it all! I will definitely follow your blog, not having been aware of it before somehow!

  2. Lots of lovely links there! And thank you for publicising the 1977 Club – it should be great fun! 🙂

  3. I missed those articles in The Guardian so thanks for highlighting them. I’m curious about that piece on the 1000 books list.

  4. Love this summary and links to interesting articles you’ve come across during the week, and thanks for the kind words, Honno Press is a wonderful source indeed for Wales literature.

  5. I was delighted to read my name in this post and blushed! Paula, thank you for such a great mention. Will be following Dewithon19 closely. I have mentioned you in my latest blog post for a different reason

    • Thank you so much, Gretchen. Wow, is all I can say. What a brilliant post. You certainly live an interesting life. Please do keep on entering those writing competitions. And incidentally, I’m definitely interested! 😃

  6. You’re always boosting my confidence, Paula, you’re a literary gem!


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