Winding Up the Week #43

An end of week recap

BASHED UPI’ve had a full and eventful week, but not unfortunately in a positive or productive way. I must apologise for the truncated appearance of this post – I’m rather behind in my reading and reviewing schedule. I will allow the accompanying picture to speak for itself. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, which is all that matters.

As usual, this is a weekly post in which I share a variety of literary titbits, look ahead to forthcoming features and keep readers abreast of various book-related happenings.


* Reading Non-Fiction in November *

The second week of Nonfiction November was all about ideal book pairings. Hosted by Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves from 5th to 9th of the month, we were asked to find two books that are perfect partners. >> Week 2 – Nonfiction Book Pairing >>

* Margaret Atwood Covered *

In my second contribution to #MARM I shared a few favourite Margaret Atwood book covers. Week Two of the event was hosted by Naomi at Consumed by Ink. >> MARGARET ATWOOD READING MONTH: Cover Images >>

* Lit Crit Blogflash *

BOOK JUMPERI’m going to share with you a mere three 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:

The Book Jumper – Mechthild Gläser – For German Literature Month, Lizzy from Lizzy’s Literary Life chose this 2015 bibliographic fantasy (translated by Romy Fursland), which she describes as “a delightful YA portal to the world of classic literature.”

A delightful pair of Viragos – novels by E. H. Young and Vita Sackville-West – Two enjoyable mini reviews from Jacqui at JacquiWine’s Journal: Miss Mole (1930) and All Passion Spent (1931).

A Book for Patricia Wentworth Day: Run! (1938) – Jane at Beyond Eden Rock describes British crime writer Patricia Wentworth as “a wonderful spinner of stories” but finds in this mystery novel “a certain amount of silliness”.

* 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:


CBC: Facing an essay on The Handmaid’s Tale, student reaches out to the ultimate source: Margaret Atwood – Faced with an essay on The Handmaid’s Tale, a student reached out to Margaret Atwood for advice.

The Guardian: Librarians to the rescue! A brief history of heroic bibliophiles – “Whether they’re saving books from censorship, or sheltering their community from danger, there’s nothing new about librarians choosing actions alongside words”, writes Sian Cain.

The New York Review of Books: Concentration Camps for Kids: An Open Letter – Margaret Atwood, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Michael Cunningham and a long list of others have penned an open letter decrying the US Government’s detention of children.

The Bookseller: New management for Cardiff book cafe Octavo’s as Accent plans expansionOctavo’s Book Cafe & Wine Bar in Cardiff, set up by Accent Press two-and-a-half years ago, is under new management after the resignation of M.D. Hazel Cushion as a director and fellow shareholder Desmond Fforde.

Electric Literature: A Reading List of Short Story Collections by Black Women Writers – Camille Acker examines an assortment of short fiction collections by black women writers.

Huffpost: LGBTQ People Erased From Books in Russia Under ‘Gay Propaganda Law’ – A story written by transgender activist Coy Mathis is missing from the Russian edition of the children’s book Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.

The Paris Review: Feminize Your Canon: Kamala Markandaya – Markandaya’s debut novel, set in India, was an international best seller. But when she turned her attention to England, and to its disenchantments, her name gradually faded from literary prominence.

The Chronicle of Higher Education: An Underground Sensation Arrives – Tom Bartlett writes of the three-decade publication saga of a revered manuscript about slaves and sailors in the Caribbean.

The Washington Post: I wanted my kids to love books. So why did I stop reading them myself? – Lori Fradkin, a former Cosmopolitan editor, discusses the importance of reading to your children and the very few books she’s read herself in recent years.

The Guardian: ‘Scary new world’: political book sales explode as UK readers seek answers – According to Waterstones, year-to-date political book sales are up 50%.

GRANTA: Lucia Berlin Writes Home – Nina Ellis on the life and writing of Lucia Berlin.

Melville House: Study discovers reading can ease mental health and loneliness, asks for £200 million in literacy aid – “Literacy charity The Reading Agency and UK think tank Demos teamed up to raise awareness for the transformative power of reading”, says Christina Cerio.

Mental Floss: 8 Tips For Overcoming ‘Readers Block’ – Emily Petsko shares a few tips on vanquishing this frustrating and “well-documented problem”.

Nylon: 10 New Books To Read This November – Kristin Iversen lists newly published books that will “give you something to look forward to this month!”



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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42 replies

  1. How horrible. Glad there were no serious injuries.

  2. So sorry about the smash, Paula, but relieved to hear you came out of it unscathed.

  3. I think there’s something in the mood of the country (I was almost run down by an impatient motorist the other night). Please be really careful on the roads, I don’t want you to be reviewing Crash by J.G. Ballard from a hospital bed. Best wishes.

  4. Ouch! Sorry about your car, but very glad no one was hurt!💕

  5. Must have been a difficult week; so glad no one was hurt! Thanks for the great info, especially the link to the article from the “New York Review of Books,” which I hadn’t heard about before this.

  6. Sorry to hear about the incident with your car, but at least no one was hurt. As you quite right say, that’s the main thing. And many thanks for including a link to my Virago post – very kind of you.

  7. Oh dear, Paula! How horrid for you, but I’m glad no sentient beings were hurt. Hopefully, no books either… 😉

  8. Oh goodness, Paula, I’m so glad you are ok. I thought you were more quiet than normal this week and am happy to see this post. ♥️ I’m reading a wonderful book now and have wondered if you’ve read it- Elmet? It’s made me think of our language discussions because I have had to look up a few British words because I’m savoring every bit of this one. So good!

  9. Oh no – I’m glad no-one was hurt. Wishing you a much less eventful week ahead (or only full of fun events).

  10. Oh my gosh, Paula, so glad to hear you’re ok and sorry that you’re going through that!

    Thanks for so many excellent stories as always! “Because it’s in the world” was such an amazing answer for Margaret Atwood to give to that question. Love that she responded.

    Hope this week is smoother for you!

  11. I am SO sorry!

    Car accidents suck. A lot.

    Thankfully, there’re no serious injuries. I hope you are doing all right.

  12. So very sorry about your accident and glad to know that you are okay!

  13. I too, am sorry for the accident you had. I’m amazed you managed to blog at all!

  14. I really liked your article on librarians. It mentions a book I thoroughly enjoyed, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu. What an amazing story!

  15. Glad to hear that nobody was hurt and that you are counting that as the important element!

    And you probably are not surprised that I am going to say how much I love that Margaret Atwood responded to that student. One of the reasons that I so admire her is that she is active and engaged with readers and humans on social media. Often even when they are disrespectful. Always with an eye to working towards a more-egalitarian way of being in the world. She’s at the point in her career where she could simply say “I’ve done enough” but she does not see the work as being done, so she is still at work. 🙂

    • Thank you, Marcie.

      I simply had to include that Atwood article at the top of the list. It was such a typically Atwoodian thing for her to do. She’s a total one-off and I hope she keeps working for many years to come.

  16. Thank God you’re ok! I’ve read several tips for getting out of a slump but never to turn to page 69. Whatever helps of course :-). Great list!

  17. Oh, poor you! I’m so glad there were no serious injuries but it can still knock your confidence for a while. You deserve lots of medicinal chocolate!

  18. Oh my goodness! So glad you’re alright Paula! 😰

  19. Chiming in to say sorry about your car crash. That’s a great article about the “crazy” teacher’s student being answered by the author herself.

  20. Glad you and those involved are ok, Paula. Poor car!

    • Thank you, Sandra. It’s lovely to hear from you. How are things in Cornwall? Hope you are keeping well.

      • Hi Paula, things in Cornwall are good but I’m not there much – or here in the blogging world. Sadly my father has been quite poorly since July and my focus is on him and my mother. I’m sure I’ll be back eventually and in the meantime it’s nice to look in when I can 😊

      • I’m sorry to hear that, Sandra. It’s so difficult watching your parents getting older. I very much hope your dad makes a recovery. I’ll look out for you popping over. 😊


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