Winding Up the Week #26

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 The Brontë Family: Passionate Literary Geniuses – an enjoyable biography of the Brontë sister’s unconventional lives, astounding literary talents and tragic deaths by Karen Smith Kenyon. >> Read my views >>

I posted my reflections on 24 Stories: of Hope for Survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire, an anthology of short stories written on themes of community and hope by a mix of the UK’s best known writers and previously unpublished authors, whose pieces were chosen by Kathy Burke from over 250 entries. >> See my thoughts >>

Look out for my comments on The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which I’m reading for the Monthly Genre Challenge at Goodreads. July’s choice was made from the Young Adult/Middle Grade shelf.

By my bedside is Present Continuous: Contemporary Hungarian Writing edited by István Bart, which is an anthology I picked up in a second-hand book shop many years ago. It has replaced Simone de Beauvoir’s 1949 feminist classic, The Second Sex, which turned out to be a fairly hefty commitment (both intellectually and in length). I have removed it from nightstand for the time being, hoping to get to grips with it during the winter months.


* Sailing Into Net Free Waters *


The Livingstone Library on board the MS Magellan

Next Saturday I hope to be arriving in Dublin aboard the MS Magellan, en route to the Norwegian Fjords (by way of the Orkney Islands). I intend to post Winding Up the Week as usual but I don’t know what to expect with regards to Internet access when I’m out at sea, so cannot make any promises. I set off from Liverpool on 13th July and will be away until the 22nd, but will do my utmost to remain in touch. I am packing some suitably Nordic reading materials in my suitcase and will post reviews upon my return.

* Lit Crit Blogflash *

I’m going to share with you six of my favourite literary posts from around the blogosphere. There are so many talented writers posting high-quality book features and reviews, it was difficult to limit the list to only these few – all of them published over the last week or two:

Where to Start with Virginia Woolf – Kathy Hamilton makes reading Woolf seem quite simple. If you’re wondering where to begin, please read her informative post at The Female Scriblerian.

“It is not possible to have perfection in life but it is possible to have perfection in a novel.” (Elizabeth Taylor)Madame Bibi Lophile Recommends posts two thoughtful Elizabeth Taylor book reviews: The Sleeping Beauty (1953) and Angel (1957).

Katherine Mansfield: New Directions – Matilda, a first year PhD student at the University of Birmingham researching the bathroom’s function in early twentieth-century fiction, shares her experiences of attending the Katherine Mansfield: New Directions conference in Bloomsbury on her blog, More Than Modernism.

On my book-shelf – a history of Loneliness – John Boyne (2014) – Michael Graeme examines Boyne’s novel about “the abuse of children in the Catholic Church in Ireland” at the Rivendale Review.

Book Review – Rebecca – Katie from Brunching Bookworms shares her thoughts on a classic Daphne du Maurier novel.

Sappho: A New Rendering by Sappho, Henry de Vere Stacpoole (translation) – The prolific Lady Emily Rose of Glencoe discusses a 1920 translation of Sappho’s work, recorded and “passionately performed by Leanne Yau”, in a recent post at Knights of Angels.

* Irresistible Items *

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:


Literary Hub: 12 Famous Authors at Work With Their Dogs – Emily Temple takes a light-hearted look at writers and their dogs.

The Cut: 9 Writers on the Most Outrageous Ways They’ve Procrastinated – Some amusing anecdotes from writers and students inclined to dawdle.

The Guardian: What it is like to win the Booker prize, by Margaret Atwood, Hilary Mantel, Peter Carey and more – “As the Man Booker prize turns 50 and readers vote for their favourite ever recipient, novelists reveal the highs (and lows) of winning ‘the Oscar’ of the literary world.”

Yorkshire Post: First-edition Harry Potter book bought in Harrogate in 1997 sells for £56,000 at auction – An unidentified woman who bought an early copy of the first Harry Potter book as a child has seen it sell at auction for £56,000.

Penguin: Penguin Pride On Tour 2018 | London – “Penguin Pride returns to London for a second year with an awe-inspiring line-up of LGBTQ writers, poets, musicians and activists to celebrate the city’s incredible diversity and to shine a light on new voices in the community.”

1843: The best books about Paris – Tim Martin knows what to read to improve your Parisian know-how, “whether you’re travelling for work, a holiday or from the comfort of your armchair.”

Atlas Obscura: Found: 3 Poisonous Books in a University Library – Librarians at the University of Southern Denmark discovered three rare books dating from the 16th and 17th-centeruries have their covers suffused with arsenic.

The Paris Review: A Summer Reading List for Misfits – Yelena Moskovich suggests five experimental summer reads for the black spider crawling across your beach towel.

Five Dials: Virginia Woolf in the Bomb-scarred City – Daniel Swift walks the streets of London SE1 tracing the route taken by Virginia Woolf in an after-air-raid-amble.



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 or comment below. 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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20 replies

  1. Aw, thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. Have a wonderful time in Norway, Paula. Hoping for a few photos…

    • Thanks, Susan. I’ve taken breaks on smaller boats but never aboard a cruise ship like the Magellan, so I’m not too sure what to expect. The scenery looks wonderful in the brochure – very much hope I’ll get some half decent snaps!

  3. Thank you for the mention Paula!

    I really like The Little Prince, I’ll look forward to reading your experience of it 🙂 I’ve also had The Second Sex hanging around for far too long – maybe you’re right and it’s something for the winter months…

    Have a lovely holiday!

  4. A wonderful post, Paula! I’ll be reading and clicking through further. I am also excited about your trip to see the fjords and look forward to your pictures! We were schedule to see some by float plane on a trip to Alaska, but it was stormy that day. Safe travels and enjoy every bit!

  5. Really interesting post! Thanks for the shoutout and glad you liked the post, the conference was brilliant! ☺️

  6. What a wonderful trip you have planned, Paula. Enjoy! 🙂

  7. I loved that Guardian piece on winning the Booker, just fascinating reading. Enjoy your trip!

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