An end of week recap
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.
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE TBR >>
* Witch Week is Which? *
I was intrigued to spot an announcement at Lizzie Ross’s blog for Witch Week (30th October – 6th November). Originally hosted by Lory at The Emerald City (2014-17), it’s an annual event named after the third book in Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series, which celebrates favourite fantasy books and authors. It has focussed on a different theme each year (New Tales from Old and Dreams of Arthur, to name but two). This year’s theme is Feminism and Fantasy, the read-along will be Ursula K Le Guin’s The Other Wind and the official organizers are Lizzie and her “co-conspirator” Chris from Calmgrove. Watch out for more information appearing on this literary jolly.
* 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:
Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston #BookReview – Lisa Hill of ANZ LitLovers LitBlog shares her thoughts on Zora Neale Hurston’s important 1937 novel – an epic tale of a proud, independent black woman.
Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar #bookreview #tarheelreader @escobargolderos @thomasnelson #auschwitzlullaby – North Carolina critic, Jennifer at Tar Heel Reader says this historical novel: “…sheds an important light on the prejudice against, and extermination of, the Romani people by the Nazis during WWII.”
War in Val d’Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-1944 by Iris Origo – “Nirmala describes Origo’s war memoir as “deeply moving and inspiring”. Read her fascinating review at Red Lips and Bibliomaniacs.
To make the invisible visible: Brother in Ice by Alicia Kopf – Joseph Schreiber believes Catalan author, Alicia Kopf’s new hybrid novel is “an exercise in trust”. Discover why her journey “resonated deeply” with him at roughghosts.
* 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:
Culture Trip: What Our Literary Editor Thinks You Should Be Reading This September – Matthew Janney shares his favourite new book releases of the month.
The Guardian: ‘Different sex. Same person’: how Woolf’s Orlando became a trans triumph – Jeanette Winterson explores the affair and politics behind Virginia Woolf’s ground-breaking novel.
Medium: Why You Need to Curate Your Reading List – If you want to write, you must read more advises Michelle Matthews. She offers several suggestions for starting a reading list that will “help you in your creative pursuits”.
Publishers Weekly: The Case of the Confusing Pub Date – A book’s publication date can sometimes seem bizarrely timed. Elizabeth Bluemle asks why.
Independent: The books everyone starts and no one finishes – In his regular column, Alex Johnson scrutinizes books most likely to be abandoned unfinished.
Vulture: J.D. Salinger’s Books Are Being Reissued For a Big Centennial Celebration – Little, Brown has announced it will be reissuing major works by J.D. Salinger ahead of what would have been his 100th birthday on 1st January 2019.
The New York Times Magazine: Letter of Recommendation: Recently Returned Books – If you’re wondering what to read next, Elisa Gabbert suggests you take a look at titles recently returned to the library.
Vanity Fair: Man Booker Writers On The Books that Have Inspired Them – Authors longlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2018 share with VF London the books that have influenced their work.
Medium: The enduring truths of Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Miserables’ – John Wight believes that “modern literature lacks the epic works that encompass and define the times in which we live”, describing works of the last thirty years a “plethora of vacuous tripe” written by “middle class people”!
The New Yorker: The Unjustly Overlooked Victorian Novelist Elizabeth Gaskell – Though less popular than her contemporaries like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell was passionate about the political issues of her time says Hannah Rosefield.
Press Gazette: New literary magazine Booklaunch will use extracts instead of reviews and offer something readers can ‘pick up’ – Dorothy Musariri reports that Stephen Games’ magazine Booklaunch will be “like walking into a book shop, picking up a copy of a book and deciding whether you like the feel of it before buying…”.
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.