WALES READATHON LIBRARY: On Our Shelves

The Complete Dewithoner’s Reading List

THE BARD

The Bard, 1774, by Thomas Jones (1742–1803)

The following list comprises titles reviewed and discussed by those taking part in Dewithon, a yearly celebration of Welsh writers and their works for the pleasure and enlightenment of the international book-blogging (and wider bookish) community. It includes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, in fact anything with a significant link to Wales.

It is hoped this index will act as a stepping-stone for those wishing to discover written works from (and about) our small but literary nation. Please feel free to drop me a line if you think anything is missing.

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THE WALES READATHON LIBRARY

Aiken, Joan

  • The Whispering Mountain (1968)

Alexander, Lloyd

  • The Book of Three (1964)

Attlee, Helena

  • The Gardens of Wales (2009)

Azzopardi, Trezza

  • Remember Me (2003)
  • The Tip of My Tongue (2013)

Bailey, Anthony

  • A Walk Through Wales (1992)

Bauer, Belinda

  • Blacklands (2010)

Bawden, Nina

  • Carrie’s War (1973)

Borrow, George

  • Wild Wales (1862)

Breeze, Andrew

  • The Origins of the ‘Four Branches of the Mabinogi’ (2009)

Breverton, Terry

  • Welsh Pirates and Privateers (2018)

Chatwin, Bruce

  • On the Black Hill (1982)

Clare, Horatio

  • The Prince’s Pen (2012)

Clarke, Gillian

  • At the Source: A Writer’s Year (1999)

Conran, Alys

  • Pigeon (2016)

Cooper, Susan

  • The Grey King (1975)

Cowper Powys, John

  • A Glastonbury Romance (1932)

Dafydd, Fflur

  • The White Trail (2011)

Dahl, Roald

  • James and the Giant Peach (1961)

Davies, Rhys

  • The Black Venus (1944)

Davies, W.H.

  • The Autobiography of a Super-tramp (1908) – BOOK OF D19
  • Songs of Joy and Others (1911)

Dillwyn, Amy

  • The Rebecca Rioter (1880)

Douglas, Claire

  • Do Not Disturb (2020)

Dunthorne, Joe

  • The Adulterants (2018)

Eames, Marion

  • A Private Language? A Dip Into Welsh Literature (1997)

Edwards, Dorothy

  • Winter Sonata (1928)

Erskine, Barbara

  • Sleeper’s Castle (2016)

Fisher, Catherine

  • The Clockwork Crow (2018)

Fforde, Jasper

  • The Last Dragonslayer (2010)

French, Dawn

  • Because of You (2020)

Garner, Alan

  • The Owl Service (1967)

Gethin, Sara

  • Not Thomas (2017)

Goudge, Elizabeth

  • The Child from the Sea (1970)

Gray, Ann

  • Gronw’s Stone, Voices from the Mabinogion (1997)

Greenwood, Juliet

  • The White Camellia (2016)

Gruffydd, W.J.

  • Folklore and Myth in the Mabinogion – A Lecture Delivered at the National Museum of Wales on 27 October 1950 (1958)

Hall, M.R.

  • The Coroner (2009)

Halliday, Peter

  • Mor Llwyd Oedd Fy Nghwm / How Grey Was My Valley (2021)

Hancocks, David

  • Cunval’s Mission (2004)

Hawkins, Alis

  • None So Blind (2017)

Hickson, Joanna

  • First of the Tudors (2016)

János, Arany

  • The Bards of Wales (1857)

Jenkins, Eifion

  • If You Fall I Will Catch You (2008)

Johnes, Martin

  • Wales: England’s Colony? (2019)

Johnston, Dafydd R.

  • A Pocket Guide: The Literature of Wales (1994)

Jones, Cynan

  • Cove (2016)
  • The Dig (2014)
  • The Long Dry (2006)

Jones, Tom

  • Over the Top and Back: The Autobiography (2015)

Kemp, Laura

  • The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness (2018)

Lofmark, Carl

  • A History of the Red Dragon (1995)

Lovekin, Carol

  • Ghostbird (2016)

Lewis, Rhiannon

  • My Beautiful Imperial (2017)

Llewellyn, Richard

  • How Green Was My Valley (1939)

Machen, Arthur

  • The Great God Pan (1890)

Merriman, Catherine

  • Barbecue (The New Welsh Review, 1992) *

Moray, Ann

  • The Rising of the Lark (1964)

Morden, Daniel

  • Secret Tales from Wales (2017)

Morris, Jan

  • A Writer’s House in Wales (2002)
  • My Favourite Stories of Wales (1980)
  • Trieste and The Meaning of Nowhere (2001)

Mortimer, Penelope

  • The Pumpkin Eater (1962)

Newton, Jan

  • Remember No More (2017)

Nimmo, Jenny

  • The Snow Spider Trilogy (1986-89)

Parker, Mike

  • On the Red Hill: Where Four Lives Fell into Place (2019)

Parry, Eve

  • Aliens on the Great Orme (circa 1993)

Pearson Finnemore, John & Emily

  • From a Welsh Hillside (1923)

Penman, Sharon Kay

  • Here be Dragons (1985)
  • Falls the Shadow (1988)
  • The Reckoning (1991)

Peters, Ellis

  • A Morbid Taste for Bones (1977)

Postgate, Daniel

  • Cenhadaeth Nadolig Bluebell – An Ivor the Engine Story (2009)

Price, Angharad

  • The Life of Rebecca Jones (2002)

Prichard, Caradog

  • One Moonlit Night (1961) – BOOK OF D20

Pullman, Philip

  • Northern Lights (1995)

Raine, Allen

  • A Welsh Witch (1902)

Richards, Alun

  • The Penguin Book of Welsh Short Stories (1976)

Riggs, Ransom

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2011)

Roberts, Kate

  • Feet in Chains (1936)

Ronson, Jon

  • The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004)

Ross, Manon Steffan

  • The Seasoning (2012)

Russell, Bertrand

  • The Problems of Philosophy (1912)

Sheers, Owen

  • The Green Hollow (2018)
  • Resistance (2007)

Spooner, L.M.

  • Gladys of Harlech (1858)

Strachan, Mari

  • Blow on a Dead Man’s Embers (2011)

Szerb, Antal

  • The Pendragon Legend (1934)

Thomas, Dylan

  • Collected Poems (1953)
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (1940)
  • Under Milk Wood (1953)

Unknown

  • The Mabinogion (12th-13th Centuries CE)

Various

  • Second Penguin Book of Welsh Short Stories (1993)

Walton, Jo

  • Among Others (2011)

Warr, Tracey

  • Conquest: Daughter of the Last King (2016)

Waterson, Luke

  • Song Castle (2018)

Williams, Raymond

  • Border Country (1962)

Wynne, Ellis

  • The Visions of the Sleeping Bard (1703)

Wynne Jones, Diana

  • Eight Days of Luke (1975)
  • The Homeward Bounders (1981)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (1986)

Wynne-Rhydderch, Samantha

  • Not in These Shoes (2008)
* short story

An updated version of this list will appear following the event each year.

Many of the titles can be purchased direct from Blackwell’s.

Dewithon Logo Daffs



Categories: Wales Readathon

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49 replies

  1. Lovely list. But how are you defining Welsh? This has been a bit of a thing for me as I am published by Seren Books and lived in Wales for many years but wasn’t born there and don’t live there now. I am a fan of Catherine Merriman – we used to share a job and an office – but she’s not born Welsh either, though she does still live there and many of her works were published in Wales. Must a writer be ‘born in’ or ‘now living in’ Wales? Is that the dividing line?

    • Thanks Maria. I haven’t been overly strict about this – basically I’ve included writers from (or living and working) in Wales. Far more important is that their literature has significant links to Wales and the Welsh. I suppose it depends if a writer considers themselves to be Welsh or has been greatly influenced by Wales (and it shows in their work). Someone like Catherine Merriman would be fine. There are no rules about being Welsh born. Does that help? I hope it all makes sense!

      • Yes it does make sense. And Catherine certainly is fine! I just wondered as I realise I am in the outsider space because of not now living in Wales though I still feel very close to it. Probably why I am learning Welsh now!

      • The fact you are learning the Welsh language makes you an honorary Menyw Gymreig in my book! 🤗

  2. Fab list Paula – thanks for compiling! I’ll definitely be returning for reading suggestions 🙂

  3. Good to have this reference, thanks! (From one who has compiled lengthy lists for her Japanese Literature Challenge, I know what a task this can be.)

  4. Wish I’d had time to reread the wonder Diana Wynne Jones…

  5. Congratulations on such a successful Dewithon! I’ve enjoyed reading several of the reviews as they’ve appeared round the blogosphere, and been inspired to add a few books to my wishlist. Maybe I’ll have acquired them in time for next year… 😀

  6. I’m bookmarking the list for future reference, Paula! So helpful! I’m sorry to say I didn’t work in my Supertramp book, but I will get to it one day, and I’m grateful to have your thoughts at my fingertips when I finally do. ♥️

    We are seeing a return to spring here, but of all things, it snowed today! Quite the unusual sight! It will be back in the 70s in a couple days! Thinking of you and yours and sending love and warm thoughts, always, my Welsh friend.

    • Hey Jennifer, lovely to see you. Don’t feel badly, you have so many reviews to write it must be almost impossible to add to your commitments. Spring has sprung here, too, and would you believe we also had snow during the night (having enjoyed lovely sunny weather for the past week). Having said that, our top temperature has only been around 13 degrees (about 56 F) and snow isn’t unknown here in April.

      Olive is doing well. She and Lilly have become really close (in a mother daughter way) and she has a new best friend: George, a two-year-old Doberman belonging to friends. They romp about together having a marvellous time. She’s finally getting to enjoy her puppyhood!

      Love and hugs to you and the puss-cats (they’re so photogenic). 🤗

      • I love to hear that Olive is setting in well and making friends and a close confidante. How wonderful she’s getting to be a puppy! Thank you for the compliments on my sweet cats. The kittens just turned six months old!

        I’ll keep you posted on the first hummer sighting. The chipmunks have been out on warm days so that’s a promising sign. ♥️ xo

      • A very happy, huggy half year birthday to the kits! 🐈💖🥛🧶 xxx

  7. Sharon Penman proved popular😀 she is American I believe so books set in Wales count ?

    Can you add one to your list Ali’s Hawkins, None so Blind. https://bookertalk.com/2019/03/19/none-so-blind-the-harry-probert-lloyd-mysteries-by-alis-hawkins/

  8. Thank you, Paula. You prompted me to read Garner’s The Owl Service which somehow I had missed as a child and teen. I was struck by how the Welsh landscape was an integral part of the story. This helpful list is now saved for the future.

    • You’re most welcome, Anne. You make me feel guilty as I still haven’t read The Owl Service, despite it being on my TBR shelf for aeons! 🤭

      • I’ve been meaning to read this for years as well. And, thanks to the readathon, I picked it up in the library just yesterday. Only to browse through, mind, but you’ve got me thinking more about Welsh writers, and that’s an important step. Thanks for raising our literary awareness in this regard!

      • It certainly is an important step. I’m so glad your Welsh reading appetite has been whetted, Marcie. 😃

  9. Such a variety here, Paula! I still have some reviews to post: books read within Dewithon, reviews not yet drafted. (Plus one I’m still finishing). They will happen as and when I can and I’ll continue to link to Dewithon but I’ll leave it to you as to whether you are able to add them or not. This has been a mighty undertaking for you and I shall quite understand if you really need to switch off for a while! It’s been a fabulous month and a wonderful reading experience. Thank you! 🤗

  10. Oh this is great, do be sure to link back to it next year as there are some lovely authors there. Well done for such a brilliant event and I’m so glad I was able to join in!

  11. I too shall be saving this list (minus my own reviews of course) as prompts through the year and not just for next March. Congratulations again!

  12. I am sorry I only contributed one book. I always bite off more than I can chew. I hope to finish Super-tramp soon….

    But I love lists and this one is really helpful. Will you be hosting again next year?

    • There’s absolutely no need to apologise – I’m so glad you were able to participate. I really enjoyed your post on Susan Cooper’s The Grey King.

      Yes, I will definitely host the event again next March. Hope you’ll be able to take part again. 😊

  13. Yay for Dewithon! It’s a great initiative and I’ve learned of many interesting books 🙂

  14. What a great list, Paula! It will be helpful in picking out a book next year. 🙂

  15. Happy to hear you’ll be hosting again next year. I’ve put it on my 2020 planning calendar. I think I’ll have The Mabinogi on my TBR. I see a few books related to it above. Came across this edition earlier today: https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520309586/the-mabinogi-and-other-medieval-welsh-tales

Trackbacks

  1. DHQ: Dewithon 2019 – Book Jotter
  2. Winding up the Week #64 – Book Jotter
  3. Are You Ready for Wales Readathon 2020? – Book Jotter
  4. Need Another Challenge? Another Bookish Event? – The Classics Club
  5. Are You Ready for Wales Readathon 2020? – Thoughts Become Words
  6. Winding Up the Week #113 – Book Jotter
  7. Winding Up the Week #114 – Book Jotter
  8. Winding Up the Week #115 – Book Jotter
  9. Are You Ready for Wales Readathon 2021? – Book Jotter
  10. Winding Up the Week #164 – Book Jotter

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