An end of week recap
“The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting.”
– Louisa May Alcott
Wherever you live and however you plan to spend the next few days, I wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful end of year. I will catch up with you before 2022 is out.
As ever, this is a post in which I summarise 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.
If you are planning a reading event, challenge, competition or anything else likely to be of interest to the book blogging community, please let me know. I will happily share your news here with the fabulous array of bibliowonks who read this weekly wind up.
* Spend a Year in the Company of William Trevor *
Together with Cathy Brown from 746 Books, Kim Forrester of Reading Matters is currently dusting off her William Trevor collection in order to present a year-long celebration of the late multi-award-winning novelist, playwright and short story writer – often referred to as ‘one of the elder statesmen of the Irish literary world’. The ladies intend to work their way through “Trevor’s extensive backlist” and post reviews on their blogs “in the first week of every month.” Everyone is invited to participate in the challenge, which begins in January 2023, though there is no pressure to follow the official timetable. Please head over to ‘A Year with William Trevor’ is almost here! to peruse the “proposed reading schedule,” and perhaps check out Kim’s original post announcing the readalong: Introducing a Year With William Trevor. Please be sure to use the #WilliamTrevor2023 hashtag when discussing the event on social media.
* Irresistible Items *
Umpteen fascinating articles appeared on my bookdar last week. I generally make a point of tweeting (soon, perhaps, Mastodonning) my favourite finds (or adding them to my Facebook group page), but in case you missed anything, here are a selection of interesting snippets:
The Cardiff Review: Paradise, Lost: Priya Hein’s Riambel – “In the span of a mere 160 pages, this extraordinary debut packs rare insight into the trauma and deference seeded by the long reign of capitalism and the white man’s whims,” writes Vartika Rastogi in her review of Priya Hein’s Riambel.
Public Books: World Literature Comes Full Circle, 1522–2022 – What can readers learn from five centuries of circumnavigation?
Arts Hub: Book review: The Other Olivia, Tamara M Bailey – The Other Olivia is a “tightly constructed sci-fi of international proportions, influenced by the Canadian series Orphan Black and The Matrix but set in Western Australia.”
Air Mail: An Artist of the Changing World – The Nobel Prize–winning author Kazuo Ishiguro on Japanese movie classics and why Bill Nighy is the greatest actor.
HipLatina: Best of 2022: 15 of the Best Books by Latinx Authors Published This Year – Sofía Aguilar looks back at her favourite Latinx books published during 2022.
Tor.com: Five Furry Feline Fables: “Puss in Boots” Retold – “Given that the fierce fighter Puss, from the fairy tale mashup world of the Shrek franchise,” has returned to our screens, Rachel Ayers “thought it fitting to check out some of this famous cat’s other adventures.”
The Washington Post: We’re drowning in old books. But getting rid of them is heartbreaking – “‘They’re more like friends than objects,’ one passionate bookseller says. What are we to do with our flooded shelves?” asks Karen Heller.
EL PAÍS: Nélida Piñón, the daughter of Galician emigrants who became a symbol of Brazilian literature, dies – “The writer, who was 85 years old, was the first woman to occupy the presidency of the Brazilian Academy of Letters,” says Joan Royo Gual.
The Millions: A Year in Reading: Rumaan Alam – Despite feeling that he “didn’t accomplish much in 2022,” the Bangladeshi American author said he did read 100 books and had more than a few favourites.
Walrus: Our Tote Bags, Ourselves – Maija Kappler explains how “a humble bag became a humble brag.”
Book Post: Notebook: On the Way to the Forum – Ann Kjellberg shares her thoughts on the closure of Bookforum.
The Irish News: Miriam Margolyes: ‘When there’s any pressure on feeling jolly, I immediately feel ill-tempered’ – The actress Miriam Margolyes describes herself as a “Christmas Scrooge” as she chats to Gemma Dunn about a “Channel 4 show by the name of Miriam’s Dickensian Christmas”.
Paper Republic: 2022 Roll Call of Published Translations from Chinese into English – Nicky Harman presents a list of literary works translated from Chinese into English over the previous twelve months.
BBC Culture: Baba Yaga: The greatest ‘wicked witch’ of all? – “The Slavic crone, known for living in a house built on chicken legs and feasting on children, is a complex, and arguably feminist, figure – as a new book shows, says David Barnett.”
The Jakarta Post: Yearender: The best Indonesian books (about Indonesia) of 2022 – “This year might have come and gone, but these books on Indonesia and its surprises will pique your interest enough to turn the page and make the year last a little longer,” promises Tunggul Wirajud.
Tablet: Tolstoy and ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ – According to Maxim D. Shrayer: “Martin McDonagh’s new film reanimates the legacy of the Russian classic.”
Book Marks: The 10 Best Book Reviews of 2022 – “Merve Emre on Gerald Murnane, Casey Cep on Harry Crews, Maggie Doherty on Cormac McCarthy” and others.
The Nation: Reading Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble in the Age of Ron DeSantis – “More than 30 years after [Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity) was published, the seminal queer theory text still has some things to say,” finds Naomi Gordon-Loebl.
The Marginalian: “Goodnight Moon” Author Margaret Wise Brown’s Radical and Rapturous Life, Illustrated – Maria Popova examines Mac Barnett’s biography of the “unapologetically strange” children’s author.
The Korea Times: LTI Korea’s translation award shows global boom in Korean literature – The Literature Translation Institute of Korea has revealed the winners of its annual translation awards.
Brisbane Times: Suburban Noir is a haunting account of crime in south-west Sydney – Cameron Woodhead and Steven Carroll cast their eyes over recent fiction and non-fiction.
iNews: Will we ever stop retelling A Christmas Carol? – “The festive season is seemingly incomplete without endless adaptations of Charles Dickens’ Victorian morality tale. Why are we still so obsessed with it?”
Prospect: Challenged as never before: Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’ at 60 – “Nobody expected a book on pesticides to become a bestseller, never mind inspire a generation of climate activists. But over half a century on from its publication, the influence of Carson’s emotive polemic is still being felt,” finds Gus Mitchell.
NLR Sidecar: Et Alors? – Alice Brockhurst on Constance Debré’s autofictions.
The Guardian: Euphoria by Elin Cullhed review – inside the mind of Sylvia Plath – “The Swedish writer offers an audacious, gripping novel imagining the poet’s final year and the conflict between creative genius and domestic life,” says Lara Feigel in her review of Euphoria.
Scroll.in: The Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize reveals its 2023 longlist of 21 books – “The shortlist for the award will be unveiled at Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival in January 2023.”
LARB: Ghost Stories Aren’t Dead: On the Anthologies “Even in the Grave” and “Other Terrors” – Lindsey Carman Williams reviews two new anthologies that “captivate the senses with fear, horror and terror in every short story written” by an array of talented writers.
4Columns: Shotgun Seamstress – Hanif Abdurraqib on the “legendary zine celebrating the mid-2000s Black punk scene, collected for the first time in a complete anthology.”
Phys.org: Ancient grammatical puzzle solved after 2,500 years – “A grammatical problem that has defeated Sanskrit scholars since the 5th century BC has finally been solved by an Indian Ph.D. student at the University of Cambridge.”
Inside Hook: One Science Fiction Author’s Tech Predictions for 2023 – “Robin Sloan has some intriguing recommendations,” finds Tobias Carroll.
Shondaland: The Irony of Writers Who Dress Well – “As industry standards continue to decline, will writers’ wardrobes follow suit?”
BBC US & Canada: Why Emily St John Mandel asked for help getting divorced on Wikipedia – “It is rare for artists to want to talk about their love life in interviews,” says Robin Levinson-King. However, Canadian author, Emily St John Mandel, “is insisting on it.”
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 is an excellent description on Urban Dictionary.
Categories: Winding Up the Week