Welcome to Bookword blog


Welcome to Bookword blog

Bookword is a blog about books (of course), reading, writing and publishing them. It’s about words, libraries (because we need to fight for them), book reviews, books as objects and in series. On this blog you will find reflections about reading, writing and publishing. You are invited to join in, make comments, offer suggestions and share opinions. There is a new post every 5 days.

Some posts on my blog are about the processes of writing and my current involvement with writing: this blog, non-fiction (published) and fiction (unpublished and published).

‘When you write, you lay out a line of words,’ says Annie Dillard at the start of The Writing Life. ‘The line of words is a miner’s pick, a wood-carver’s gouge, a surgeon’s probe. You wield it and it digs a path you follow. Soon you find yourself deep in new territory. Is it a dead end, or have you located the real subject? You will know tomorrow, or this time next year.’

Like many writers I am also a reader. The connection is explored in Francine Prose’s book: Reading like a writer: a guide for people who love books and for people who want to write them. Great title, great name! That’s my kind of book.

Bookword blog celebrates books, owning them, organising them, as objects, in libraries. I am especially, but not exclusively, interested in promoting books by women, in translation and by women of colour. And this blog celebrates words, individual ones, odd ones, untranslatable ones and mellifluous ones as well as words in interesting combinations.

I run two a series on Older Women in Fiction (every two months) in which I review books with a major female character who is over 60. So far more than 50 books have been reviewed. There is a list of another 50 recommendations on the page: About the Older Women in Fiction Series.

Please join in by any of the following means:

subscribing (contact me by email lodgecm@gmail.com and you can receive email notifications of new posts)

leaving comments

tweeting connections

recommending books

arguing about books


Happy reading!


(Please note: this blog has no relationship to the company that sold books from the website bookword.uk. I have never seen a company with such poor ratings: 99% (of 80 reviews) said it was bad and the remaining 1% said poor. It seemed to persuade people that they would acquire real books, but sent them links to ebooks. The general conclusion is that this site should be avoided.

As I say, the Bookword Blog has nothing whatever to do with it. In fact, I was more than a little miffed that they decided to adopt the blog’s name for themselves.


A Quiet Read by Frank Jameson

30 Responses to Welcome to Bookword blog

  1. What a totally brilliant site. So glad I’ve found you.

  2. Caroline

    Thanks Pippa for your enthusiasm. Glad you found me! And thanks for subscribing.
    Looking forward to more comments from you.

  3. Hi Caroline,
    I love the blog! Just wanted to let you know I used a picture of yours, of Jean Rhys, to make this one: http://drinkingtraveller.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/41-young-j-Rhys.jpg
    Hope you don’t mind. Let me know if you do.

    • Caroline

      Hi Roy,
      It’s a nice thing you have done with that photo. To be honest I am not sure where I took it from. I guess I/we ought to be careful about copyright of images – as we would about people’s words.
      Thanks for the enthusiasm about the blog. Hope you visit again soon.


  4. Congratulations! I like your blog so much I have nominated it for the Liebster Award. To accept your award visit my blog http://wp.me/p3O5Jj-cY and follow the instructions.
    Happy blogging! Best wishes. Norah

  5. Hi

    We love your blog and would love to re-tweet/ tweet. Are you on Twitter?

    Also, we publish the city-pick series featuring some of the best writing on favourite world cities and wonder if you might like to look at any. Do check our website http://www.oxygenbooks.co.uk


    Malcolm, Oxygen Books

    • Caroline

      Thanks for your comment. And your city pick series is in danger of determining my foreign trips in the near future. Such a good idea.

  6. Sophie Tomlinson

    Hi Caroline,
    I have just discovered your blog and am loving it. I am in the process of reading all of it from the beginning. There is much that resonates – feminism, older women, writing, your commitment to the value of reading and books. I have recently embarked on a reading project to mark and celebrate my mother’s life. She died last year, was a great reader and I have inherited a lot of her books. I have decided to read a book published in each year of her life (1922 – 2014). I am going to stick to women writers but intend to include some children’s books so the list becomes a kind of interweaving of my life and my mother’s. The list is slowly evolving, intentionally so, and the reading will be similarly slow. I have begun in 1924 ( no need to read in strict order ) with The Crowded Street by Winifred Holtby. Might leap to 1952 next with The Borrowers which I adored as a child. Such beautiful writing. I am a (very) fledgling writer and particularly enjoy your writing posts. So many good ideas, encouragement, links and so on. Forgive such a long comment but I feel your blog is the one I’ve been waiting for and that you would appreciate my reading project. A small detail- I have subscribed, but didn’t get a confirmation email, so tried again but still no email. It doesn’t really matter, I can read your blog just as easily but it might affect your blog readers/followers stats. Warmest wishes, Sophie

    • Caroline

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for visiting Bookword and for leaving such a great comment.
      What a lovely way to honour your mother’s life. Perhaps you will be inspired to write your own blog about the experience. I love the idea of picking a book from all the years of her life.
      I have checked that your subscription has been received. It is waiting for a confirmation so I expect the system is just being very slow. I have reeived another new subscription since you wrote your comment so it is working in some ways. Next post is Sunday so check then.
      I look forward to lots more comments from you.
      Best wishes

      • Sophie Tomlinson

        Thanks, Caroline. I certainly intend to document my reading project and part of the whole process is thinking about how I want to write about it. It would be good to make it public in some way I think – I’ve felt the need to put the idea of it out there rather than just discuss it amongst friends, so who knows…. Whatever happens it feels important, and exciting.
        Looking forward to Sunday’s post. Meanwhile, I’m up to April 2014 on previous ones!
        Best wishes,

  7. I really enjoy this blog. Thank you.
    My own debut novel is about an older woman trying to turn her life around after she retires. Naturally, it appeals to women of a certain age and it is great that they identify with my protagonist. But I am surprised and delighted to find that readers of all ages – even much younger men – write to tell me that they too recognise those feelings of ‘Time to take stock – what have I done with my life?’ and ‘ Is there time to turn my life around?’
    I am sure something similar is true of the best ‘older women’ novels you have listed.

    • Caroline

      Thanks for this comment. Congratulations on your novel, and on reaching a wider readership than you might have expected. I’ll add you novel to the list when I next update it.
      I so agree with you comments about older women. So many people appear to assume that old people’s lives are defined by death, rather than the life they are in.

  8. Carol Ellis

    Caroline, I have only just discovered your blog but have read a couple of your books with great interest. So much so, that following in the footsteps of Sheffield U3A, I was wondering if you and Eileen would have any objections to me delivering a course, loosely based on your book ‘Retiring with Attitude’ and including some quotes from it, to members of my local U3A in South London? Many thanks and best wishes, Carol

  9. Allys

    I can’t see ‘subscribe’ on your website. I subscribe via bloglovin but would like to recommend your blog to my sister who would prefer to subscribe directly. How can she do this please?

    • Caroline

      Currently without a subscribe button as I have been let down by two plug ins so far. A direct email to me will get you or your sister onto the subscribers’ list: lodgecm@gmail.com.
      Thanks for your interest.

  10. Hello Caroline,

    I found this blog via a Mennonite-focused aggregator site online. You look like a kindred spirit. I want to explore more after I send this message. As a former English professor, college president, and foundation executive, I have found blogging, first about memoir, and now about joyful aging, to be a wonderful way to continue my vocation. Hope we can connect more. I am off to check out your books.

    • Caroline

      No idea how I got onto a Mennonite aggregator site, except by reviewing Miriam Toews’s novels.

      Hope you have enjoyed some of the other reviews and posts on the site. Let me know and keep on visiting and commenting when you wish.


  11. Please may I subscribe to your blog — I was struck by your note about the relatively low number of translations published in the UK.

    I could not imagine how anyone would be able to translate Robert Seethaler’s Ein ganzes Leben (A whole life) and was overwhelmed ed by Charlotte Collins’s excellent translation.

    I have myself translated two Swiss books from German (www.thegreensilkshawl.co.uk and http://www.deathinsilsmaria.co.uk) and am currently working on a third.

    I am now looking forward to reading your blog and picking up ideas. Many thanks, Iris

    • Caroline

      Subscriptions activated. Thank you for wanting more of Bookword Blog. And for picking up on my interest in translations.
      I am impressed that you do translations yourself. Have you any Swiss German fiction to recommend? Especially by women?


  12. Helen Nicholl

    Dear Caroline,
    I have enjoyed your blogs but have too much material to deal with at the moment and am trying to slim down my inbox: for this reason I wish to unsubscribe, but although there is a note about the process in your Privacy Policy, in practice it seems impossible to do.
    Please unsubscribe me, for the time being, but I do wish you and your blog well.
    Many thanks,

    • Caroline

      I have unsubscribed you, and I’m sorry to see you go. I hope you will visit again from time to time, and be able to resubscribe soon.


  13. Hi, Caroline,

    Fascinating to come across your blog – especially as I am a 78-year-old who had a debut novel published this spring which won the Historical Writers’ Association 2020 Unpublished Novel Award. I guess that makes me an older woman writer? And my novel does include a number of older female characters that readers have said they enjoyed getting to know.

    There are details about my book, The Servant, and about me on my website.

    • Caroline

      Congratulations on getting your novel published and for winning an award with it. Glad you like the look of y blog. I expect you notice that I have written about older women writers, but I have a special series on older women characters in fiction.
      Please visit again and leave any comments about prticular posts as you feel moved!


  14. Hello Caroline,
    I’m here via Simon’s blog at Tredynas Days…
    I can’t find the widget to subscribe to yours by email, and in looking down your menu for it, I see you have the archives widget in twice…(so easy to do when we’re moving those pesky widgets around).

    • Caroline

      Hi Lisa,
      There is no widget for subscribing as I have had such terrible problems with the plugins in the past. Now I do it manually. Please email me on lodgecm@gmail.com and I can add you to the list, and send you my promise of privacy etc.
      Trying to remove the second archive now. How did that get there? Why did I not notice it?

  15. Jeanette Doerksen

    Love this blog,I am 71 and have been scouting for books like this,thanks

  16. Angela Brühl

    I want to suscribe to your blog, thanks

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