An end of week recap
I apologise for this post being a day (nearly two days) late. I am writing to you from my cabin on board the MS Magellan as we sail towards the Orkney Islands on a slightly lumpy sea. The Internet connection is sporadic, so I’ll take this brief opportunity to remain in touch.
As usual, 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 (in my cabin) and keep readers abreast of various book-related happenings.
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE TBR >>
I posted my reflections on The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – a moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, which is the most translated book in the French language. >> See my thoughts >>
Look out for my review of Disbanded Kingdom by Polis Loizou, a 21st Century coming-of-age story set against the emotive backdrop of the UK’s breakaway from the EU and its threatened rupture with Scotland.
Next up is Nancy Campbell’s The Library of Ice: Readings from a Cold Climate, an evocation of the interplay of people and their environment on a fragile planet, and of a writer’s quest to define the value of her work in a disappearing landscape.
* 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:
An Anthology for the Changing Seasons: – “Nature writing has always brought me solace”, writes Lauren from Bookish Byron, as she introduces us to Melissa Harrison’s An Anthology for the Changing Seasons.
The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish – Jennifer Blankfein describes The Weight of Ink as a “complex” story, “rich with history and well developed characters.” Read her thoughtful critique at Book Nation by Jen.
The Poor Man’s Son by Mouloud Feraoun – French blogger, Emma from Book Around The Corner, describes this autobiographical novel as a “homage from a grown man to his origins” who “recalls his childhood with tenderness […] but doesn’t sugarcoat the poverty.”
Review: Circe – Discover why the blog-mistress of Literary Elephant has mixed views about Madeline Miller’s feminist reinterpretation of Homer’s Odyssey.
Review: Flames – Shannon describes Robbie Arnott’s debut as a “wondrous, episodic novel that crisscrosses Tasmania.” She says it made her toes fizz! Find out why at Giraffe Days.
Discovering Fernando Pessoa around Lisbon – Susana from A Bag Full of Stories writes a fascinating piece about the Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher Fernando Pessoa.
* 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:
The Paris Review: The Rare Women in the Rare-Book Trade – When most people hear the term rare books, they imagine an old boys’ club of dealers seeking out modern first editions, mostly by men. But things are changing, says Diane Mehta.
The Guardian: Gillian Flynn: ‘Agatha Christie blew my mind. Every character was evil’ – The author of Gone Girl talks about “the genius of Kate Atkinson and why she reads Hilary Mantel in the bath.”
The New York Times Magazine: Jonathan Franzen Is Fine With All of It – Jonathan Franzen tells Taffy Brodesser-Akner he’s not angry about his book sales being down or by the TV adaption of his latest novel being cancelled. He even insists he’s not bothered by the Internet turning on him.
Melville House: A(nother) UK bookshop has appealed to Twitter for help — but is it sustainable? – If we are to save our indie bookshops, “we must fight our addiction to convenience,” writes Tom Clayton.
Culture Trip: Brexit Literature: A Quiet Form of Dystopian Fiction – Matthew Janney investigates the rise of Brexit literature, a new form of fiction aiming to narrativize the turbulent fallout of the UK’s 2016 referendum.
The Sacramento Bee: Carol McNeal, who built a library of black experience at Sacramento bookstore, dies at 86 – Cathie Anderson remembers a brave American bookseller who founded the trailblazing bookshop Carol’s Books & Things.
The Millions: On Semicolons and the Rules of Writing – Why are so many writers either passionately for or against semicolons? Adam O’Fallon Price investigates.
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.