An end of week recap
We’re winding up the week for the first time in 2019. I hope you enjoyed the celebrations and wish you a Happy New Year.
You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned I may not be able to commit the time necessary to be as fully involved with the book blogging community as usual. Sad to say, my partner was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of cancer shortly before Christmas and is in for a difficult few months of surgery and chemotherapy. Nevertheless, I don’t intend to abandon Book Jotter – indeed, I think it may act as a haven of sanity as we fight this horrible thing. I will therefore post reviews and features as frequently as possible. I also intend to continue with my plans for the Wales Readathon (Dewithon 2019) in March, and I very much hope you will join in the fun.
As ever, 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.
* My Christmas 2018 Book Booty *
Santa left some beauties under my tree on Christmas morning. Did you receive any long-coveted books in your stocking? >> See my Christmas Book Bonanza >>
* 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:
Ash by Alys Einion – The latest novel from Welsh writer, Alys Einion, about a woman escaping an abusive relationship “contains an abundance of issues”, writes Karen from BookerTalk. Although she found the book “a little repetitive”, the “characterisation kept [her] interest throughout.”
Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere by Jeanette Winterson – A small but Powerful Book – Joules Barham from Northern Reader found that while this recently published adaption from Winterson’s 2018 Richard Dimbleby Lecture was “full of facts”, it was also “a most enjoyable read.”
Day 1299: Flush: A Biography – It was clear to Kay “that a lot more was going on than a story about a dog” in Virginia Woolf’s 1933 story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cocker spaniel, Flush. Discover why the novel perplexed her at Whatmeread.
Long-Lived Literary Lions and Lionesses – Dave Astor discusses “famous writers who lived into old age, 85 or more” at Dave Astor on Literature.
The Unpunished Vice: A Life of Reading by Edmund White – Of this 2018 literary memoir Eric Karl Anderson of Lonesome Reader remarks: “It’s moving reading about White’s motives for wanting to write and engage with literary culture”.
New Year in the Bookshop – Another entertaining post from Victoria Blake on working in a second-hand book shop.
* Irresistible Items *
Umpteen fascinating articles appeared on my bookdar last week. I generally make a point of tweeting my favourite finds (or adding them to our Facebook group page), but in case you missed anything, here are a handful of interesting snippets:
The Guardian: Audiobooks, inclusivity and #MeToo … how books changed in 2018 – In 2018, “the books world turned towards inclusivity and a broadening of perspectives”, writes Alex Clark.
The Millions: Literary Obituaries of 2018: Let Us Now Praise the Under-Sung – Many well-known figures from the literary world died in 2018. Bill Morris discovers some of the frequently overlooked writers who died last year.
The Financial Times: What I Learnt From a Year of Reading Only Books by Women – Alice Fishburn set herself a challenge in 2018 to only read only female authors. She shares her thoughts.
Motherboard: How to Download the Books That Just Entered the Public Domain – Follows these instructions to obtain the tens of thousands of books from 1923 that became legal to download for free in 2019.
BBC News: Glasgow’s LGBT book shop a ‘wonderful success’ – “The owners of an LGBT book shop in Glasgow say they could not have imagined how successful it has been.”
The Bookseller: Feminist Library to open in Peckham after £35k crowdfunder success – Staff at the Feminist Library have raised £35,000 for a move to Peckham in south-east London.
The Guardian: 2019 in books: what you’ll be reading this year – “The Goldfinch takes flight in cinemas, Robert Macfarlane goes underground and Margaret Atwood continues The Handmaid’s Tale … what to look forward to in the world of books.”
Literary Hub: On the Experience of Entering a Bookstore in Your Forties (vs. Your Twenties) – Steve Edwards considers the meaning of books as you grow older.
Mental Floss: JK Rowling Explained Why Harry Potter’s Hagrid Doesn’t Have a Patronus – Hagrid lacks a Patronus. Natalie Zamora asks why.
National Literacy Trust: Books should be sweets for children, not brussels sprouts – Author of the award-winning How to Train Your Dragon series, Cressida Cowell, believes we need to get our children to love reading.
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.