The SSiW Welsh Book Club 📖 📚 👓


Unfortunately, living in the US would suggest that my local library won’t contain any Welsh language books.


Is there a Google Drive for SSiW? I was just thinking it would be cool to have a Google Sheets set-up that listed all these books everyone is suggesting so it would be easier to scroll through. What are your thoughts on something like this?


I use an app called “my library” that, as well as cataloging all the books I own with a simple zap of the barcode or entering in the isbn and ‘ticking’ them off when read, allows me to create a wishlist for any future purchases. A very handy app indeed.


I don’t know how you all feel about bilingual editions (I haven’t read the entire thread), but I’m having great fun with Un Nos Ola Leuad, with the English translation on each facing page. It’s Gog (and I’m De), and I think it’s some dialect, but the narrator is a boy, so the language is relatively simple. At least, after struggling mightily through the first ten pages, I got to the point where I can now understand often a whole sentence or two. I am very strict about wrestling with the Welsh before I check the sentence in English, and yet, sometimes I can’t put the book down. Caradog Prichard writes wonderful prose.


Hi @johnowen,
I have bought physical copies. Most were ordered online, most recently from Y Lolfa. It was a real treat to buy books in person from Palas Print on holiday last May.
Oxfordshire County Libraries have a small collection of dictionaries and books on learning Welsh, but I don’t think that they have any fiction.
I did read a couple of books on the computer when I was reviewing them, but I bought physical copies when they became available.


Hello @seren, lovely to see you on the forum again! I liked Eva as well, buying her at either the Royal Welsh, or the Eisteddfod, and reading her. My weakness is buying but then not reading books. Which reminds me…


Baba Hyll - Manon Steffan Ros

This book is from a series called “Pen Dafad” and is aimed at young teenagers. Baba Hyll is a legend of a witch that lives in the woods above where Huw lives with his parents. One day, after visiting his mate on the other side, he decides to take a short cut through the woods but it’s getting late … and dark, then he sees something in the path ahead.

Baba Hyll has a more mature feel than the next book, Pen Dafad, and so felt a little more satisfying for an adult to read. A very enjoyable story.

I guess a reading ability of late beginner to intermediate would be enough to get through this book with not too much effort.


Pen Dafad - Bethan Gwanas

Pen dafad is the story of Dewi Lloyd who turns into a sheep.

The blurb on the back of the book says “You’ve heard of a werewolf, yeah? Well, what happens when you cross one of them with Bethan Gwanas?”

This is a really fun story to read, full of good childish laughs that BG is so good at. It has a lot more of a comic feel and less mature than Baba Hyll but is no less of a book in my view.

Again, I would say it’s aimed at young teenagers so a late beginner to intermediate reader would find this a very manageable effort to read.


Bloke in that picture looks like me…


Pluen - Manon Steffan Ros

This book made a bit of a stir when it was released and I think it deserved every credit. A very good story with an important look into dementia which affects so many of our lives. I really enjoyed this and it even got my wife to keep asking what was happening as I was reading it.

Blurb from my app … “A novel for older children and young adults by popular author Manon Steffan Ros, which follows Huw as he prepares his project on the Second World War during the summer holidays. Strange things happen as he begins to explore a secret relating to his grandmother’s brother in this endearing story, with strong characters and an important message. Tir na n-Og Award Winner 2017.”

As it says above it is aimed at older children and young adults so again a late beginner to intermediate reader wouldn’t have too many problems.


I can see that might be a snag. Good luck with your search anyway.


"Mirror, mirror on the wall … " :smiley:




I have a question regarding a specific series of books. During bootcamp this year I picked up a book by John Alwyn Griffiths, “Dan Gwmwl Du”, because in general I like detective novels, and this book looked interesting. Now, today I finally started reading the book, and although the language is not aimed at learners, I was immediately hooked.
After a couple of pages (and careful reading of the back cover) I found out that this book is the fourth in a series. I did some digging, and it appears that the first book Dan Yr Wyneb is out of print and next to impossible to find. The second book Dan Ddylanwad seems to be out of print as well, but at least I found it in second-hand shops. From what I could gather, the main character in books one and two is Meurig Morgan, but the main character of book four (Jeff Evans) is mentioned in the review as well. The third book Dan Ewyn y Don is readily available in many stores, so I have pretty much already decided to buy that book before picking up Dan Gwmwl Du again.

Is anyone familiar with this series of books? Does Jeff appear in the first book as well? How important are the first two books in regards to the Jeff Evans storyline? Should I best start with the first one (difficulties in acquiring the book notwithstanding), or would the second book be a good starting point? Thanks for any advice :slight_smile:


I get quite a few as e-books from – they come with a warning that they’re not compatible with Kindle, but then I run them through Calibre to de-DRM them and they’re compatible with whatever device I want to put them on. Removing the copy protection would enable you to pirate them, which is illegal, but I’m pretty sure a European court has ruled that if you’re just backing up books you’ve legally bought, it’s OK. I don’t know about the legal status of removing DRM in the US.


Diddorol! I’ll definitely have to check into that. Diolch.


Filled with these suggestions, I am now off to the bookshop in Bala to rifle through the Welsh section…


Very happy to see you too:)
Yes, the same here. I have some kindle books in Welsh waiting, but I just can’t resist buying a couple more:) Especially after reading the reviews here.


A question to posters in the Book Club:
Are there any Welsh audiobooks available?
I’ve just come off the 6-months Welsh speakers course and a month into the Deep End, so as such don’t do a great deal of reading.
I’ve found when I have tried anything recommended the vocabulary is challenging and my reading skills are equivalent to a 6-year old so my reading doesn’t flow and it just feels like ‘homework’.
I thought perhaps reading along with an audiobook may be the answer.
Any views appreciated.


Where do you live? There are audio books available, but not nearly as many as English ones!
My county libraries, Sir Gar, Carmarthenshire, have a service for e books and audio books. Borrow Box. At the last count they had 38 Welsh language books. Not many, but more than a couple of years ago!