A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas and other bookish things.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas

Published by Caedmon (audio recording) – Caedmon and Harper Collins

Caedmon began in 1952 with Dylan Thomas’s milestone recording of A Child’s Christmas in Wales, widely considered to be the world’s first audiobook and launch of the spoken word industry. In the years that followed, Caedmon went on to establish itself as the preeminent publisher of spoken-word audio in the English language in the categories of literary fiction, poetry, plays, and children’s titles

https://www.harpercollins.com/pages/caedmon

Buy: Caedmon/HC (USA)|HC – remastered (USA)|

“A Child’s Christmas in Wales ” – Dylan Thomas (1952); Added to the National Registry: 2008 Essay by Cary O’Dell

Article: Caedmon – The First English Poet by Ben Johnson

I actually listened to this story on a glorious YouTube recording. It is an absolute delight to hear the author reading, or perhaps more accurately speaking, in his deep, rich voice – ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’, recorded at Steinway Hall, New York 22nd February 1952.

Dylan captures his childhood memories with Christmas reminiscences of snow-filled days, the wonder and joy that are all part of the charm of a child’s imagination and an adults remembrance of it. The words that capture the times and places whilst running off into the wild imaginings makes it both unique and familiar. Conjuring up the happy play with friends and putting an honest, sometimes slightly cruel, spin on what the adults Christmas world seemed like.

Dylan captured and gives the listener a wonderful insight into what it felt like being a child at Christmas. His own childhood during the interwar years in Wales is the setting but I think most adults would find a familiarity with his story regardless of place or time and, as I did, enjoy listening to (or reading) it. Indeed, for those who like book adaptations, it was adapted for television in a version starring Denholm Elliot as a grandfather retelling his childhood Christmas to Thomas, his grandson. This version highlights the humour in the story starting with Mrs Prothero’s fire. You can find it on YouTube as well if you’ve a mind too.

It was a wonderfully charming story to listen to over the Christmas holiday and one I enjoyed.

Coming soon!

A murder victim with celebrity connections spells trouble for DI Clare Mackay…

Gaby Fox is known to many due to her successful TV career, so when her brother and his pals hire the salubrious Lamond Lodge for his birthday celebrations, it is noted by the St Andrews locals. A ripple of shock goes round the town when Russell Fox is gunned down on the premises. 

DI Clare Mackay is attending a wedding when she sees Gabrielle receive a phone call then flee. Soon after, Clare learns why when the news of the shooting reaches her. Instead of trying to enjoy the day – not easy when the groom is her ex-boyfriend – Clare is preoccupied. 

Clare gets to work on uncovering the facts surrounding Russell Fox’s death. The guests at the lodge have secrets to hide, but even when Clare begins to unravel the deceit, it doesn’t bring the answers. The detective can’t help but wonder why no one who knew Russell seems capable of telling the truth, and whether there is more than one person with a reason to want him dead…

FROM THE GLOBALLY BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING

Violet is 38.

The First World War took everything from her. Her brother, her fiancé – and her future. She is now considered a ‘surplus woman’.

But Violet is also fiercely independent and determined. Escaping her suffocating mother, she moves to Winchester to start a new life –a change that will require courage, resilience and acts of quiet rebellion. And when whispers of another world war surface, she must live with a secret that could change everything…

TO FIND A CHILD, SHE MUST BEFRIEND A KILLER . . .



Ella Williams is ten years old. She loves her granddad and her sister and her shiny new red shoes.

She’s just been abducted by a killer – someone who kidnaps young girls, holds them for a few weeks then returns their bodies clothed in white foundling dresses. 

The crimes are clearly linked to notorious child murderer Louis Kinsella, locked away in a high-security hospital. But is it a copycat? Or is he giving someone direct orders from behind bars? 

To save Ella’s life, psychologist Alice Quentin must form a relationship with Kinsella. But he is slow to give up his secrets, and all the while, time is running out…

Protecting someone always comes at a cost.

At the age of thirteen, Charlie Quinn’s childhood came to an abrupt and devastating end. Two men, with a grudge against her lawyer father, broke into her home – and after that shocking night, Charlie’s world was never the same.

Now a lawyer herself, Charlie has made it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past, and is powerless to say no.

But honour-student Flora is in far deeper trouble than Charlie could ever have anticipated. Soon she must ask herself: how far should she go to protect her client? And can she truly believe everything she is being told?

The stunning prequel to Karin Slaughter’s standalone novel The Good Daughter

Nowhere is safe. No one can be trusted.

A bloodied body is found in a Manchester Immigrant Removal Centre. The investigating officer and the pathologist seem certain: a suicide. But for DI Ridpath something doesn’t add up.

As the evidence starts to unravel, and with few leads, the pressure is on to find answers before the Inquest is closed. Caught between the police, the coroner and a system that doesn’t care, Ridpath isn’t making any friends.

And at the centre of the case Ridpath will find a heart of darkness. Innocent people are suffering. How many more will die before Ridpath discovers the truth?

A Virtual Crime Book Club – current reading

The book club’s current read is Snow by John Banville and we will be discussing it at the next club meeting on 3 Jan 2022. Hosted by author Rebecca Bradley – “If you haven’t yet joined the book club but fancy the idea you can find out more about it and find the joining link on this page HERE.

A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Book of 2020

‘The body is in the library,’ Colonel Osborne said. ‘Come this way.’

Following the discovery of the corpse of a highly respected parish priest at Ballyglass House – the Co. Wexford family seat of the aristocratic, secretive Osborne family – Detective Inspector St John Strafford is called in from Dublin to investigate. 

Strafford faces obstruction from all angles, but carries on determinedly in his pursuit of the murderer. However, as the snow continues to fall over this ever-expanding mystery, the people of Ballyglass are equally determined to keep their secrets.

Coming January – February 2022

Apart from my read for the book club I will be on two blog tours in early 2022 which means one of them will be read in December and the second in January. These are two amazing tours which I am really looking forward to.

Her Last Request

One For Sorrow

So I’m a bit behind with my thoughts on books I have been reading but having to read and collect my thoughts on these two cracking reads I hope will motivate me to catch up and be able to post a ‘what I read in 2021’ list. I’m not sure it will be the 52 books I’d anticipated reading but it won’t be too far off. Anyway, it the pleasure of and from reading rather than the counting of books read that matters to me and I’ve read some terrific books this year. I hope you have too.

Wonderful Christmas book gifts

I got some beautiful books for Christmas most adding to my library of Penguin Clothbound Classics but also the much heard about ‘Small Things Like These’ by Claire Keegan. A ‘Between the Covers’ book choice this sounds amazing and am looking forward to reading it. Also, as you can see in the pictures below, I got a rather lovely book bag – which came in very handy to carry home my book haul (29 Dec) from Waterstones. Yes, I took advantage of that amazing half price book sale on hardbacks – no surprise!

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