An end of week recap
I am returning to the UK tomorrow, which is why my end of week post is with you a day early. I haven’t until now dwelt upon the likely weather conditions at Manchester Airport – opting instead to shield myself from such disagreeable thoughts – but my stay in Cyprus has come to an end, so face them I must. Far more heartening is anticipating cosy times cuddled up with various animals in front of a crackling log fire, reading something suitably autumnal.
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 and keep readers abreast of various book-related happenings.
I’ll see you on the other side.
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE TBR >>
I read Margaret Atwood’s 1996 Man Booker shortlisted historical novel Alias Grace for The Classics Club. It was also my September selection for The Monthly Genre Challenge at The Reading Challenge Group. >> Read: THE CLASSICS CLUB: Alias Grace >>
Look out for my forthcoming review of Murder by the Book: A Sensational Chapter in Victorian Crime by Claire Harman.
Coming soon is Shirley Jackson’s 1959 supernatural thriller, The Haunting of Hill House. It is my third selection for The Classics Club and the title I have chosen for October’s Monthly Genre Challenge 2018 at The Reading Challenge Group, which this month is Horror/Thriller/Paranormal.
* Read Margaret Atwood in November *
I’m looking forward to taking part in Margaret Atwood Reading Month, a literary jolly organized by Naomi at Consumed by Ink and Marcie at BuriedInPrint. Throughout the month of November participants will read and review Atwood’s work (including her journalism, fiction, poetry and comics), take part in planned events or simply concentrate on a single piece of her writing. For further information please see: Margaret Atwood Reading Month: November 2018 #MARM.
* Lit Crit Blogflash *
I’m going to share with you five 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:
Moving to the country: Down the Garden Path by Beverley Nichols – Nichols’ much-loved 1931 gardening classic is discussed at Leaves & Pages. Apparently, there’s a “fair bit of snark” to be found in this memoir, “but it’s a funny sort of bitchiness”.
Lullaby by Leïla Slimani [book review] – Karen at BookerTalk found Slimani’s novel “deftly written” and “deeply powerful”.
The Bear and the Nightingale By Katherine Arden, A distinctive and enchanting book based in Russian folklore – Jennifer Marie Lin finds “Slavic culture fascinating” and therefore considers Arden’s fantasy an “easy book to recommend to anyone with even a passing interest in folklore”. Read her in-depth critique at The Bibliofile.
Life After Death from a Scientific Perspective – “October is naturally the perfect time for creepy, scary, haunty reading,” says Rennie Sweeney at What’s Nonfiction? Read her review of Mary Roach’s Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, which she describes as “truly a doubter’s dream.”
* 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 Bookseller: Fitzgerald novel ‘Human Voices’ adapted for TV – HarperCollins has agreed a deal with independent producer Rebecca Gushin to adapt Booker Prize-winning author Penelope Fitzgerald’s Human Voices for television.
Unbound Worlds: The Stars Are Isles: Moby-Dick’s Enduring Influence on Science Fiction – From Jules Verne to China Miéville to Star Trek: how the influence of Herman Melville’s magnum opus, Moby-Dick has resonated through the science fiction landscape for more than a century.
The Guardian: The Guardian view on lengthening books: read them and weep – A short editorial on increasingly lengthening books. Do we perhaps conflate physical heft with artistic or intellectual merit?
Literary Hub: Ingrid Persaud’s Debut Story Wins the BBC National Short Story Award – Emily Temple reports that the Trinidadian writer Ingrid Persaud’s story “The Sweet Sop” has been chosen from an all-female shortlist.
Stylist: Halloween scares, comedy gems and feminist must-reads: October’s top 10 books – “Make some shelf space because October is bringing some of the biggest books of the year” writes Francesca Brown.
The Bookseller: Indies express dismay as Waterstones starts selling Super Thursday titles early – According to Charlotte Eyre, independent booksellers are angry that Waterstones were selling Super Thursday titles ahead of their publication date.
Travel + Leisure: Oscar Wilde’s Former London Pied-à-terre Is Becoming a Hotel – Cailey Rizzo discovers the writer’s former London pied-à-terre will reopen in December as the Belmond Cadogan Hotel.
The Atlantic: When an AI Goes Full Jack Kerouac – “A computer has written a ‘novel’ narrating its own cross-country road trip” says Brian Merchant.
BookRiot: No, I Didn’t “Forget” that Classic Book on My List – “Compiling book lists is: a joy. A chore. An excuse to revisit titles you’ve stayed away from for too long”, says Michelle Anne Schingler. It is also: “highly subjective”.
Bustle: 15 Rules For Borrowing Books, So You Don’t Lose Your Friends In The Process – Some useful tips from Melissa Ragsdale on the etiquette of borrowing books.
Signature: 10 Best Books to Read While Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month – Celebrate the USA’s National Hispanic Heritage Month by reading and rereading books, both classic and contemporary, by renown and remarkable Hispanic American authors.
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.