Winding Up the Week #111

An end of week recap

WUTW3Once again, I bring you a truncated wind-up. My excuse this time is D and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary today and we have friends staying with us in our little lodge over the weekend. Nevertheless, Dewithon kicked off on the 1st March (Saint David’s Day) with a visit to Harlech Castle and a plethora of promotional plugs from fellow book bloggers.

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 nightstand and keep readers abreast of various book-related happenings.


* Week One of the Wales Readathon *

SDD GOOGLE 20Dewithon 20 is now under way and you can keep up with the latest posts from fellow members of the book reading community at our dedicated page: Wales Readathon 2020. My first post about a St David’s Day visit to an ancient settlement in North Wales, which revealed an abundance of Welsh literary wonders, can be found at >> The Tomes and Towers of Harlech >>

Are you taking part or following the progress of this year’s official readathon book, One Moonlit Night by Caradog Prichard? See my brief introduction to the novel, plus a few shared thoughts on chapters 1-4 at >> DEWITHON 20 WEEK 1: One Moonlit Night by Caradog Prichard >>

One again, Google celebrated our patron saint’s day on 1st March with a cheerful red dragon Google Doodle on their home page (see above) – sadly, I believe it was visible only to users in the UK.

My heartfelt thanks to every one of you for your fabulous features and tremendous support. Please do keep sharing your Dewithon content and comments for the rest of the month. If you publish anything at all relating to the event, please be sure to let me know.

* Lit Crit Blogflash *

I’m going to share with you three of my favourite Welsh-themed literary posts from around the blogosphere. There are so many talented writers posting high-quality book features and reviews, it’s difficult to limit the list to only these few – all of them published over the last week or two:

EX CADThe Dylan Thomas Prize Longlist Blog Tour – “The Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize has become one of [Annabel Gaskell] favourite literary awards.” Check out Annabookbel for the 2020 “longlist in full”.

The Joy of Books (3) – Chris Lovegrove at Calmgrove shares his joy of moving to the Welsh town of Crickhowell and “discovering it had an independent bookshop”. Book-ish, which is located on the High Street, has “won many, many awards”, and its owner, Emma, inaugurated “the first Crickhowell Literary Festival in 2015.”

From Cop to Author: How Therapy Transformed Matt Johnson’s Life – Over at BookerTalk, ex-policeman and author Matt Johnson is under the spotlight at Cwtch Corner. Karen discusses his background, writing life and reasons for moving to Wales.

* Irresistible Items *

landscape photography of field covered with yellow flowers

Umpteen fascinating articles appeared on my bookdar last week. I generally make a point of tweeting my favourite finds (or adding them to my Facebook group page), but in case you missed anything, here are a handful of interesting snippets:


NIGHTINGALENew Welsh Review: The Nightingale Silenced and Other Late Unpublished WritingsThe Nightingale Silenced was Margiad Evans final extended prose piece before her death. Ed Garland assesses it as feat of creative self-observation, a report from the unsettling parallel universe of a 1950s neurological institute and a memoir of what the author herself describes as “a prose illness…”

The Guardian: Appropriation or plagiarism? Booker novel poses difficult question – “International Booker prize nominee Willem Anker has made use of Cormac McCarthy’s fiction – but is this sufficiently acknowledged?” asks George Berridge.

The Paris Review: The Strange, Forgotten Life of Viola Roseboro’ – Though the larger-than-life editor discovered the greatest writers of the Jazz Age, she died destitute.

The New York Times: 52 Books for 52 Places – “Can’t make it to all the destinations we recommend? Read about them”, says Concepción de León.

Literary Hub: Coronavirus is affecting the Italian publishing industry in a big way. – “Italy has so far been the site of Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak,” says Aaron Robertson, and is “hobbling the normal ebb and flow” of the publishing industry.

Crime Reads: The Best Small Presses Publishing Crime Fiction Today – Gabino Iglesias with a “celebration of the indie presses keeping crime fiction weird.”

Entertainment Weekly: Exclusive: BookExpo announces the buzziest books coming this year – “The renowned literary trade-fair [in the US] has a knack for highlighting future classics. EW has the exclusive on the 15 books to get the honor for 2020.”

CBC: 6 works of Canadian fiction to read for Black History Month 2020 – “Check out these six recent works of fiction by black Canadian authors.”

Publishers Weekly: London Book Fair Canceled – “Citing concerns about the potential spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, Reed Exhibitions has canceled this year’s London Book Fair”, which was scheduled to start next week.

Bloomberg Businessweek: Barnes & Noble’s New Plan Is to Act Like an Indie Bookseller – “Can the world’s most feared hedge fund rescue the last big American bookstore?”

Guardian Australia: Stella prize 2020: Charlotte Wood, Favel Parrett and Tara June Winch make shortlist – “Josephine Rowe’s short story collection also honoured while Jess Hill and Caro Llewellyn round up nonfiction”.

Radical Reads: Irvine Welsh’s Top 10 Books – “Scottish writer Irvine Welsh shot to fame when his debut novel Trainspotting was published in 1993.” Here he shares a list of his ten favourite books with the New York-based bookstore One Grand.

Dazed: 8 books that inspired fashion collections – From The Shining to A Clockwork Orange, Mumbo Jumbo and A Cyborg Manifesto.

Nottinghamshire Live: Postcard sent by D H Lawrence to be auctioned after it was kept under a bed – “This newly discovered postcard from 1910 is a wonderful find reawakening a love story from more than a century ago.”



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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44 replies

  1. 30 years is amazing Paula – congratulations to you both!

    I’ve never heard of Viola Roseboro so I’ll definitely take a look at the article, she sounds really interesting.

  2. Some great links here as always Paula!

  3. Congratulations!!! A few days ago you asserted that I’d met interesting folk, you’re probably too modest to realise you are just as interesting too- not from a creepy perspective. Thank you very much for the postcard link.

  4. Congrats on the anniversary! 😀

  5. Congratulations with the 30th anniversary! And thanks for all the links. I have bookmarked 52 Books for 52 Places, which is great inspiration. Normally, I travel a lot, but at the moment, it is a bit on hold. At least, I can read about all the destinations, I would like to go. 🙂

  6. Thirty years of living and growing together is pretty wonderful. Congratulations and may there be many more years ahead of you!

  7. Llongyfarchiadau to you both: a milestone truly to be celebrated, especially after such an as it were interesting year for you two.

    And thanks for the bookshop link! 🙂

  8. Congrats on your significant milestone 🙂

    Thanks for the 52 books for 52 places link – my Around the World reading challenge needs a boost (it’s getting harder and harder as I cross countries off the list!).

  9. Have a happy anniversary followed by an excellent year!!!

  10. Have just spent a couple of hours following all the links. Just marvellous, thank you for all your round ups. Happy anniversary.

  11. Have just spent a very enjoyable couple of hours following up all your posts. Thank you and happy anniversary.

  12. Happy anniversary 🙂

  13. Thank you again for an inspiring list! And many congratulations on your anniversary 🙂

  14. Thanks for the link, and congratulations on your anniversary to you both.

  15. A very happy anniversary to you both.

  16. Happy anniversary and lovely links as ever! Hope Dewithon continues to go well!

  17. Interesting article about Barnes & Noble, my curiosity is peaked about its future.

  18. Happy 30th Anniversary! I hope you had the best time celebrating lifelong love! ♥️

    • Thank you so much, Jennifer. We had a lovely weekend with friends and went out for a delicious meal on Saturday night. Hope life is treating you well. How are the kits? 🤗🐾

      • That sounds like the perfect way to celebrate, Paula! ♥️

        I don’t think I’ve updated you on the kitties, but we had a rocky couple months. All is ok now, but in a two-week time period, Dickens had a mast cell tumor on his eyelid removed (exceedingly rare in a 1 year old cat), and he was just barely out of surgery when Harper had two seizures. Almost a month later, Dickens was just about healed from surgery while wearing that horrible cone, and then she had two more seizures. After rounds of testing, everything was ruled out, so by default, she has genetic epilepsy and will be on meds every 12 hours for now. The best news is after a sad and stressful time of watching her adjust to the meds, she HAS adjusted, and she is amazing at taking them. She continues to be the queen of the house and inspires us with her joy for life every day! Thanks so much for asking.

      • Good gracious, what a time you’ve been having with your puss cats. It’s so upsetting when they become poorly – you feel so helpless. However, cats do have a habit of adjusting marvellously to almost any situation (no doubt with their kitty super-powers). I know you must feel worried but at least it seems Harper has learned to cope with the meds – you too, of course. Let’s hope the seizures stop for good. Please pass on lots of Welsh cuddles to Harper and Dickens. Thinking of you, also, Jennifer. 🤗🐾🐈

  19. Happy Anniversary, Paula, a wonderful milestone!

  20. Many congratulations to you and D, Paula, on such a special milestone. I’m so glad you were both able to celebrate and enjoy the day 🤗 I’ll be along to comment on the first week of One Moonlit Night very soon. Hopefully before the week 2 post is up! 😂

  21. Belated congratulations to you both!

  22. 30 years! Congratulations. A lovely and special one to celebrate given what you’ve been though in recent years. Sorry to be late to the party, but the week you posted this happened to also be my birthday week. Let’s just say that my husband and I will be celebrating a little over 40 years this year which might give you some sense of the decade in which this birthday falls – haha.

    Anyhow, I’m glad it is a shorter WUTW as I have less time to read this week with all the catching up I have to do. Hope you enjoyed your friends’ visit.

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