Winding Up the Week #18

An end of week recap

Winding Up the Week #11This 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 Luke Waterson’s Song Castle, an exuberant caper through 12th-century Wales in the company of poets and musicians from all corners of the then-known world as they gathered to compete for a permanent place at a Welsh Prince’s table. This would be an excellent Dewithon choice! >> Read my thoughts >>

Look out for my reflections on Scoop, one of Evelyn Waugh’s best known comedic novels, first published in 1937.

Next up is Books For Living by Will Schwalbe – another of those books about books I so enjoy reading!

Coming soon are a number of possibilities, but I haven’t yet made any definite decisions regarding the book (or books) I will take with me to Hay. I’m still very much open to suggestions. Is there a perfect title to pack in my Festival bag?


* Book Review Breather *

Everyone in the book blogging community seemed to be jumping on the My Blog’s Name in Books bandwagon, so why not me, too (stamps foot)? >> My Blog’s Name in Books >>

* D Day! *

500 FollowsOn Tuesday I passed another one of those WordPress milestones: 500 follows on Book Jotter. This may not seem hugely significant to those who have a vast band of followers, but it’s gratifying to know my blog now has a solid base of book-loving readers and that it continues to gain interest at a steady rate.

* Wales Book of the Year Short List 2018 *


On 11th May, Literature Wales finally announced the Wales Book of the Year Short Lists for 2018. The English-language categories are as follows (see the Welsh-language finalists here):

The Roland Mathias Poetry Award

All fours by Nia Davies (Bloodaxe Books)
The Mabinogi by Matthew Francis (Faber & Faber)
Diary of the Last Man by Robert Minhinnick (Carcanet Press)

Fiction Award

Hummingbird by Tristan Hughes (Parthian)
Light Switches Are My Kryptonite by Crystal Jeans (Honno)
Bad Ideas \ Chemicals by Lloyd Markham (Parthian)

The Creative Non-Fiction Award

Icebreaker by Horatio Clare (Chatto & Windus)
David Jones: Engraver, Soldier, Painter, Poet by Thomas Dilworth (Jonathan Cape)
All that is Wales: The Collected Essays of M. Wynn Thomas by M. Wynn Thomas
(University of Wales Press)

The winners will be announced at an award ceremony at The Tramshed in Cardiff on Tuesday 26th June.

* 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:


Electric Literature: South American Women Authors Who Have Been Overlooked – If you only know Borges, Márquez and Bolaño, make room on your bookshelf for these writers says Daniela Serrano.

The Guardian: Book clinic: what to read on a train journey round Europe – From Agatha Christie to Tim Parks, Andrew Martin selects authors whose railway stories he intends to read as he travels through central Europe and Italy.

Medium: Why can’t we read anymore? – Hugh McGuire asks the rather dispiriting question: can books save us from what digital does to our brains? He believes they can.

Literary Hub: Data-Driven Amazon Bookstores Can’t Compete with Indies – “Everyone I’ve discussed it with, finds something enraging or gross or troubling in the idea of a physical Amazon bookstore,” writes Antón Barba-Kay.

The New York Times: Can the Nobel Restore Its Honour? – A series of #MeToo accusations against someone close to the academy has rocked the institution to its foundations, forcing it to postpone this year’s literary award. Can it ever hope to recover its reputation?

Bookwitty: An Interview with Artist, Author and Illustrator Miles Hyman – The grandson of Shirley Jackson, Miles Hyman is an author and illustrator living in France. He adapted his grandmother’s spine-chilling short story masterpiece, The Lottery, into graphic novel form.

Independent: The Book List: Are these the titles you need to read to get into a top university? – Alex Johnson delves into the Open Syllabus Project, which maps the college curriculum across 1 million + syllabi.

Signature: 12 Best Books From the 2000s That We Still Love to Read Today – The 2000s were an interesting and momentous time for book lovers. Keith Rice shares a few of his favourites.



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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29 replies

  1. Having enjoyed Jenny Diski’s ‘Skating to Antarctica’ I find the thought of Horatio Clare’s icebreaker travelogue rather appealing. Luckily my local bookshop had it (maybe still has it) on their shelves… Quite a few other naughty tempting titles here too!

  2. Congrats on getting to 500 followers!!

  3. 500 followers is awesome! Well done 😁

  4. Congratulations on your 500 followers! I milestone that I am so trying to get!

  5. I have had to resist doing the your name in TBR thing due to the huge length of my blog name! A good week, though.

  6. When are you going to Hay? I keep looking through the programme in the hope something will inspire me but it’s not happening so far.

  7. Congratulations on 500 followers!

  8. Congratulatioons on 500 followers, you have an awesome blog😁😁

  9. Congratulations on 500 followers! That is very exciting!

  10. Another informative and helpful round-up, Paula, thank you. The Independent article is fascinating. And at the end – complete with helpful ‘tap to buy’ button: ‘A Book of Book Lists’ by Alex Johnson. I must resist! 😱

    I’m also adding my congrats too. You put a lot of work into your lovely blog. And at least 499 others plus me appreciate it very much 🙂

  11. I love seeing the Wales Book of the Year Shortlist. Have you read any of them? Are you planning to?

  12. I have bookmarked the article on South American women writers. Thanks!

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