An end of week recap
Once 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 *
Dewithon 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:
The 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 *
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:
New Welsh Review: The Nightingale Silenced and Other Late Unpublished Writings – The 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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