There have been many threads on this forum over the years discussing books suitable for learners of all stages. We’ve had some wonderful reviews and suggestions which have been a valuable resource for forum members.
But unlike the Welsh Music thread and the Welsh Gigs thread, there isn’t one single thread on the forum for discussing Welsh literature, so I thought I’d start one!
So please feel free to use this thread/topic for general discussion of all kinds of Welsh books. Use it as a place to make suggestions, give reviews, to exchange books, to ask for suggestions and so on. It may well become a very valuable resource! Diolch!
Dwi heb wedi darllen yr cyfres yma o gwbl, mewn saesneg neu ieith arall! Ond dwi’n cael diddordeb mewn defnyddio’r cyfres Harri Potter i cadw fynu gyda’r iaith Cymraeg, yn enwedig gan fy mod i’n hoffi’r ffilmau!
Oh no. Oh dear. How embarrassing. Geraint is the first person to respond in this thread, and paints a target on his own forehead by NOT SUGGESTING THE COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES THAT CATRIN CONTRIBUTED TO…
If you’re fond of Gruntius, maybe now would be a good time to make your farewells…
O, Mam Bach - Various authors (including Catrin Lliar Jones)
I’ve actually just finished this book this afternoon having dipped in and out of it since it was published. It’s a collection of 13 short stories and accounts with the running theme of motherhood. They are all very varied in subject matter, writing style and dialect. In view of that I would say that all reading abilities are catered for so be aware that while some are relatively easy to read, some of them are a lot more difficult.
A very enjoyable read throughout with lots of laughs, lots of enthusiasm, and lots and lots of feels. The obvious advantage of having a collection of shorter pieces is that you can read whichever one takes your fancy depending on mood or reading ability and not worry about missing out at all.
I will definitely be looking for more material by a fair few of these authors. (Come on @CatrinLliarJones, we’re waiting. )
Oh my life! I see my husband is in a ‘leg pulling’ mood this evening. [runs and hides]
Thank you for all your suggestions so far, lets hope this thread becomes a vibrant one! Great idea @gruntius to include cover photos.
Llyfr Glas Nebo is a work of art - it’s beautiful, it’s concise, it’s important, and its will be wisdom with you forever. I picked it up and couldn’t put it down till I’d finished it.
Diolch for being so kind as to take time to mention O Mam Bach - but you really didn’t need to and I certainly don’t think my contribution warrants being in the company of Llyfr Glas Nebo!
Geraint has described O Mam Bach’s eclectic collection of short stories perfectly. Alongside some of the more intense and heart-rendering tales in the book, my contribution is frivolous and was fun to write. It includes a lot of dialectical dialogue which may at times be difficult to understand. But it was an honour to be included with such outstanding authors, especially as it was my first ever published work.
I’ve actually got an autographed first edition of said collection. It was even better than “OK”
From the same publishing house, I’ve also read “Rhyw Rhyw ar Fryn” but I’m afraid it’s not suitable for reviewing here.
As soon as I started learning Welsh, I bought and started reading “Rhys Lewis” by Daniel Owen (reputedly one of the first Welsh novels). I promise I’ll publish a review when I finish it but it might be a year or two yet.
Here’s a rather good detective type story in the “Stori Sydyn” series (short books written in a way to try to encourage people into reading, using simple language, shorter sentences and shorter chapters) and at just a quid is one of the best value reads you’ll get. Probably in the beginner to intermediate level I would say but certainly not difficult.
The story starts off, like any detective story, with a crime, a rape to be specific but isn’t too graphic, and carries on with the victim seaking revenge. Will she get it?
I thouroughly enjoyed this book and found the writing style quite easy to get into. The need for short stories like this to draw you in straight away was well executed here. It’s quite a dark storyline and a bit intense in parts but very entertaining with a well thought out ending.
Absolutely Geraint! You are spot on. There have been several varying book threads over the many years of the SSiW forum, but no central one. So the idea is to create one central super thread for all book suggestions and discussion.
Two of those are also the first two books I bought! Y Geiriadur Lliwgar and Gareth King’s Modern Welsh Dictionary!
The one on the left is great, as I have the same book in English (“First Thousand Words”) only it’s an older edition from 1975 and it’s fun seeing how they’ve made it more inclusive and representative of our changing population and health and safety rules. In the 1975 one, the fire in the garden is a little bonfire; in the later one it’s in a little brazier. In 1975 the matches in the kitchen are loose on the table; in the later one they’re on the windowsil away from the children, and in the later book some of the people have been coloured in to make them darker skinned!
Trwy’r Darlun and its sequel, Trwy’r Tonnau, are about the adventures of a brother and sister as they travel to and around an alternative world full of weird and wonderful creatures in search of missing parents, facing dangers on a daily basis and making new friends along the way.
I’ve literally just finished the second book this morning and have to say that, although these books are aimed at the 9 to 13 year old market, I have really been kept entertained by the whirlwind storylines. Being drawn into books aimed at children probably says a lot about me but I’m fine with that.
I’m guessing at a late beginner to intermediate reading level (with a dictionary) at least for these two books. Later intermediate readers wouldn’t struggle at all in my opinion.