An end of week recap
“There Will Come Soft Rains”
by Sara Teasdale
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
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.
* Reading Jane of Lantern Hill *
Many readers will know the Canadian author L.M. Montgomery best for her classic 1908 children’s book, Anne of Green Gables, however, she wrote numerous other novels, essays, short stories and poetry collections during her life – one of which, Jane of Lantern Hill (1937), is the chosen work for a Montgomery readalong taking place next month. Blogger Naomi MacKinnon of Consumed by Ink and writer and editor Sarah Emsley have joined forces to host the event: Reading Lantern Hill. For further information about taking part, please head over to Announcing a Readalong of Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery and be sure to use the #ReadingLanternHill hashtag when discussing it 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 Wall Street Journal: ‘Where We Meet the World’ Review: A Flood of Senses – “Millions of nerve endings link our brains to a turbulent sea of experience,” finds Sam Kean.
Literary Hub: Baroque, Purple, and Beautiful: In Praise of the Long, Complicated Sentence – “Ed Simon asks us to reconsider our definitions of good style.”
National Geographic: Notes from an author: Paul Theroux reflects on the evolving nature of rail travel – “Almost half a century since taking his first long-distance train journeys, the author reflects on the inspiring, fast-evolving nature of rail travel.”
Tablet: The Odd Knight of the Cinnamon Shops – In his new book, Bruno Schulz: An Artist, a Murder, and the Hijacking of History, David Mikics explores “the life and tragic death of Bruno Schulz, the great Polish Jewish magical realist writer and artist murdered by the Nazis.”
LARB: A Tale of Literary and Financial Debauchery: On Joel Warner’s “The Curse of the Marquis de Sade” – John Galbraith Simmons reviews Joel Warner’s The Curse of the Marquis de Sade: A Notorious Scoundrel, a Mythical Manuscript, and the Biggest Scandal in Literary History.
The Sydney Morning Herald: Uncontrollable desire and its dramatic consequences – Stephanie Bishop’s latest novel examines the passionate relationship between a young writer and an older professor.
Granta: Best Of Young British Novelists 5 – Granta has announced its latest batch of Best Of Young British Novelists – aka “the twenty most significant British novelists under forty.”
Fortnum & Mason: The Shortlist is Here! – Fortnum & Mason has announced its shortlist “celebrating the very best in food and drink writing, publishing, broadcasting and photography since 2013.”
Metropolis: The Thorn Puller – The Thorn Puller is “Hiromi Ito’s debut English-language novel translated by Jeffrey Angles.”
Quill & Quire: White Riot presents multi-faceted view of anti-Asian racism through the lens of an early 20th-century riot – David Chau on White Riot: The 1907 Anti-Asian Riots in Vancouver Henry Tsang.
Scroll.in: Longlisted for the International Booker Prize, Perumal Murugan is best read for craft, not themes – “Murugan – whose novel Pyre is on the longlist – never explains his characters or the way their minds work, and yet shows the reader who they truly are,” says Nandini Krishnan.
Evening Standard: Naomi Alderman on The Power: ‘we are living in a dystopia right now’ – The Power author and now co-screenwriter of the novel’s adaptation chats [with Vicky Jessop about] revolutions, women’s fear and Margaret Atwood.”
Eurozine: Gogol: A Ukrainian in disguise – “Gogol is the greatest Ukrainian member of the Russian literary pantheon. But his artistic biography was as much about radical self-effacement as cultural appropriation.” Zinovy Zinik on “the trajectory of Gogol’s work from exoticism to belligerent Russian nationalism.”
Counter Craft: Publishing Numbers Big and Small – Lincoln Michel shares his thoughts on “review copies as ‘theft’ and making ripples for books you love.”
Colombia University Press: Rob Verchick in Conversation with Robyn Massey about The Octopus in the Parking Garage – Rob Verchick, author of The Octopus in the Parking Garage: A Call for Climate Resilience, suggests that the surprising discovery of an octopus in a man’s garage is “a potent symbol of the disruptions that a changing climate has […] brought to our doorsteps.”
The Guardian: Anne Perry, killer turned crime writer, dies aged 84 – “After murdering her friend’s mother as a teenager, as dramatised in film Heavenly Creatures, she turned to writing period thrillers.”
Air Mail: Mutiny on the Wager – “The Lost City of Z and Killers of the Flower Moon author David Grann discusses his latest book, the 18th-century mutiny-and-shipwreck story The Wager,” with Jim Kelly.
The Inverness Courier: The Highland Book Prize shortlists four writers with novel, short stories and memoirs – “This year’s judges have selected four titles from the longlisted 12 for the Highland Book Prize finalists,” reports Margaret Chrystall.
National Review: The Catholic Church’s Ultimately Futile List of Forbidden Books – “University professors sometimes became victims of Church censorship and had their own writings placed on the Index; but more often, they were in fact censors,” says Nicholas T. Parsons in his review of Robin Vose’s The Index of Prohibited Books: Four Centuries of Struggle over Word and Image for the Greater Glory of God.
Bomb: Gina Chung Interviewed by Jen Lue – Sea Change: “A novel about family ties, animal sentience, deep sea exploration, and suburban New Jersey mall culture.”
The Irish Times: A murder haunted a community. Then it began to haunt me, too – Dublin dweller, Aoife Fitzpatrick, discusses her debut novel, The Red Bird Sings, which is set in rural West Virginia, and is based on the true story of an extraordinary murder trial.
The Conversation: How governments are using science fiction to predict potential threats – “Science fiction has always been good at predicting distant futures and now governments are turning to them to ward off possible threats,” finds Mike Ryder.
AP: Illustrated Anne Frank book removed by Florida school – A graphic adaption of Anne Frank’s diary has been removed from a US high school following a complaint from Moms for Liberty.
The Japan News: Best-Selling Japanese Author Keigo Higashino Tops 100 Mil. Mark – “Author Keigo Higashino has sold more than 100 million books in Japan.”
Wired: How Bookshop.org Survives—and Thrives—in Amazon’s World – “Andy Hunter’s ecommerce platform was a pandemic hit. Now he’s on a mission to prove that small businesses can scale up without selling out,” writes Kate Knibbs.
The Continental: Gloom for Laughter – Crime writer Thomas Raab chats to Márton Méhes about “the origins of mean-spirited Austrian humor, the ability to stumble and laugh at oneself, and the hopeless search for the ultimate answer.”
BBC Future: Why do some people ‘mirror-write’? – “Sophie Hardach explores the mystery of ‘mirror-writing’. Is this skill a left-handed superpower?”
Deadline: Camilla Läckberg & Henrik Fexeus Novels Secure Three-Season TV Adaptation At Viaplay – “Camilla Läckberg and Henrik Fexeus’ bestselling crime novels are to be turned into a three-season English-language TV series by Viaplay,” reports Max Goldbart.
Mental Floss: For Sale: The Hampshire Estate Where Jane Austen Wrote ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and Other Books – Ellen Gutoskey is intrigued to discover the house where Jane Austen grew up is now “ritzy enough to suit her wealthier characters.”
The Collector: H.P. Lovecraft: The Grandfather of Horror – “Considered the grandfather of horror fiction, H.P. Lovecraft had a life fraught with sadness and hardships,” writes Greg Beyer.
Open Book: I Just Got Published – So, Why Don’t I Feel Great? – A Canadian of mixed Filipino-Finnish background, Samantha Garner discusses her fantasy novel, The Quiet is Loud, which is described here as the “perfect marriage of literary and speculative fiction for readers of Kazuo Ishiguro and NK Jemisin.”
AnOther: Stephen Buoro’s Satirical Take on Nigerian Society and Culture – “As his debut novel The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa is published, Stephen Buoro talks about religion, his upbringing in Nigeria, and writing on a BlackBerry.”
The Quietus: The Trenchcoat Mafia: John Robb’s History Of Goth Reviewed – Richard Foster examines John Robb’s The Art of Darkness: A History of Goth, a “new history of all things goth,” which he describes as “a labour of love.”
BBC Newsbeat: Gal-dem closure: Magazine ‘was different to everything else we’d seen’ – Anisah Vasta & Luke Wolstenholme report: “Gal-dem was seen as a safe place for ethnic minorities in the creative industry and became a platform which helped many young writers launch their careers.”
Al Jazeera: My undergrads struggle to read – I think I know why – “Thanks to the likes of TikTok and Instagram, young people are experiencing a devastating crisis of attention,” says Greg Wrenn, Associate professor of English at James Madison University.
Publishing Perspectives: Translator Daniel Hahn To Receive the Ottaway Award – Words Without Borders annual award for the promotion of international literature will go to Daniel Hahn this year.
MSNBC: Missouri GOP proposes a frighteningly efficient way to ban books – “Targeting particular library books for removal was bad enough. Now some Republican lawmakers in Missouri have proposed withholding state money from libraries,” says Jarvis DeBerry.
Esquire: Behind the Scenes of Barack Obama’s Reading Lists – “Does the president really read all those books?” wonders Sophie Vershbow. “The answer,” she says, “might surprise you.”
Exberliner: The real Sally Bowles – “Berlin’s most famous British expat is arguably Christopher Isherwood’s Sally Bowles. But the real-life woman behind the fictional character, Jean Ross, was so much more than a silly dilettante who sang badly…”
Colossal: Jukhee Kwon Revives Abandoned Books in Elaborate Paper Sculptures and Installations – Kate Mothes on the South Korean artist, Jukhee Kwon’s “elaborate sculptures” made entirely from old books.
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
When I spotted Fortnum & Mason I thought you were branching out into gourmet food reviewing, Paula!
Well, there’s a thought! 😂
If you need any volunteers…
Having an F&M hamper arrive in the post for review would certainly be a change from books! 😋
Thanks for including our Readalong in your announcements! 🙂
You’re very welcome, Naomi. I hope you have a fun readalong! 😊👍
The Al Jazeera article was excellent, Paula!
Thank you, Carol. I’m glad you found it of interest. 😊👍
Jane of Lantern Hill is such a favourite with me. Though with my current state of affairs I can’t think how I’ll work in a reread.
The Bruno Schultz book reminded me I have a collected stories of his waiting on my TBR as did the piece on Pyre remind me that Murugan is an author who’s been on my to read list for much too long. A third reminder was Keigo Higashino also a resident of the To Read list 🙂
Lots of love to the kits and doggos.
Thank you, Mallika! 😊 The mogs ‘n’ dogs all send you their love. 😺🐶🐾
Brilliant, Paula – a bumper collection! I know I have a copy of Jane of Lantern Hill somewhere and am very tempted. It depends whether I can find it… And thank you for flagging up the Bruno Schulz book – I love his writing so I definitely need to check this out! 😀
Many thanks, Kaggsy. I remember a long-ago discussion with you about Bruno Schulz, so I hoped you would find this link of interest. 😊
Another wonderful gathering of links, thank you Paula! I’m especially happy to see you picked up the Ed Simon piece on the beauty of different styles of language and the richness they can bring to writing. Loved that piece.
Many thanks, Julé. 😊
The poem you quote at the beginning is so right. I’m interested to see that science fiction is being used to think about the future! At least someone is using someone’s imagination.
It’s surprising (although, it probably shouldn’t be) how often sci-fi authors get things right. Also rather scary! But forewarned and all that… 👾
Such cool links, Paula! I was fascinated with the article on ‘mirror-writing’ and have a friend who does that as a party trick 🙂 G.
Glad you enjoyed them, Gretchen. 😊
Yes, the mirror-writing is quite literally mind-bending. Is your friend left handed?
Thank you for the poem – that was lovely to read, just what I needed!
Lots of good articles to read this week – The book banning is so frustrating (and scary) to me, even more so now because we can see it gets followed up with these Republican-led legislatures voting to defund libraries like they did in Missouri!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the poem, Marie. It seemed apt for many reasons.
What is happening in the US (and other parts of the world to lesser or greater degrees) is depressing and really quite frightening to rational, open minded people. We just have to hope that reason prevails before the situation deteriorates beyond redemption. 🤞