Winding Up the Week #33

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 Home is Nearby, the debut novel from Australian writer Magdalena McGuire – a vivid and intimate exploration of a young woman’s struggle to find her place in the world. >> Read my review >>

I also reviewed An Untouched House, a short but shocking Dutch war classic by Willem Frederik Hermans, an author who has drawn comparisons to Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut. >> See my summation >>

Look out for my thoughts on Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean – winner of the 2018 CILIP Carnegie Medal.

Next up is something a little different: Green Almonds: Letters from Palestine, a recently published graphic novel by Anaële Hermans and Delphine Hermans – a true story and a collaboration by two sisters.


* Lit Crit Blogflash *

HANNAS DAUGHTERSI’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:

Hanna’s Daughters by Marianne Fredriksson tr. Joan Tate #WITMonth – Claire McAlpine reviewed this 1994 Swedish novel at Word by Word for Women in Translation Month.

Money by Martin Amis – Izzy of Thinking and Inking examines Amis’s 1984 novel about a film director and his insatiable appetite for money, alcohol, fast food, drugs and porn.

Is Little Women a “Lie”? – Is there a “feminist undertone” to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women? Krysta at Pages Unbound Reviews asks if the text supports “a certain subversive reading”.

Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim – Helen at She Reads Novels posted a review of this 1898 novel on what would have been Elizabeth von Arnim’s birthday. She is the latest writer to be featured in Beyond Eden Rock’s Underappreciated Lady Authors series.

Review: Everything Under by Daisy Johnson – Hannah found this Man Booker longlisted novel “mesmerizing, heartbreaking” and “stunningly realized”. Read her critique at I have thoughts on books.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day – Winifred Watson – Jo purchased this title on a recent visit to London’s famous Persephone Bookshop and found it “fun to read.” See her post at to discover why she pitied Miss Pettigrew.

* 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 Guardian: Is social media influencing book cover design? – Holly Connolly wonders with “‘bookstagramming’ becoming a force in marketing,” if designers have started “making covers more colourful, bolder and cleaner, to stand out on our screens?”

The New York Times: The Virtues of Shelf-lessnessSloane Crosley admits to owning books but not bookshelves. Consequently, she stores them “all over the place.”

Literary Tourist: Of French Book Towns, Experimental Presses and Pouilly-Fumé – Nigel Beale explores French ‘Book Town’ La Charité-sur-Loire, where he interviews John Crombie about the innovative Kickshaws Press.

Culture Trip: The 5 Best Independent Bookstores Around Coventry – Georgia Simcox shares her list of the top five bookstores in and around this historic English city.

Literary Hub: Have We Ever Had Enough Time to Read? – “For women of the 18th century, the answer is a resounding ‘no’”, writes Christina Lupton.

Unbound Worlds: 10 Novels of Pagan Horrors and Ancient Ways Best Forgotten – Matt Staggs shares his list of ten novels of horror from the past.

The New York Review of Books: Cats, Doris Lessing, and Me – Vivian Gornick on writers and their cats.

Los Angeles Review of Books: The Consolation of Genre: On Reading Romance Novels – Wordsworth considered the genre “sickly and stupid”; it merited reading only in indolence for Coleridge. Cailey Hall grapples with the Romanticism versus Romantic Fiction debate.

The Paris Review: Is Literature Dead? – “We talk about the need to read, about reading at risk, about reluctant readers,” writes David L. Ulin, “but we seem unwilling to confront the fallout of one simple observation: literature doesn’t, can’t, have the influence it once did.”

THE BOOKSELLER: Gaiman and Murakami shortlisted for Nobel Prize substitute – Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Maryse Conde and Kim Thuy have been shortlisted for the alternative Nobel Prize in Literature.

Esquire: The Greatest Literary Work of the Last Decade Will Be a Gorgeous HBO Series – Here you can watch HBO’s trailer for My Brilliant Friend, the first in a 32-part adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels.



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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16 replies

  1. Thank you so much for linking to my review!

  2. What a lovely week, Paula! I cannot wait to hear about Green Almonds! So many links to explore, and I’m starting with Little Women and feminism! Wonderful post, as always!

  3. I love your weekend posts and the awesome links that you sure. And what did you mention about the Little women? I have to read that right away. Great work!

  4. Thanks for sharing my post!

  5. Thank you for sharing my review. I’ll have to investigate the rest of your links.

  6. Wow these articles are very interesting! I love the one about book covers as I am a huge Bookstagram fan 😉

  7. Green Almonds sounds intriguing! I look forward to your review Paula 🙂

  8. Wonderful post Paula, there are several links that I need to check out. Thanks for sharing.

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