The SSiW Welsh Book Club 📖 📚 👓


My first attempts with reading was to use Colin Jones’s books for learners ‘Coed y Brenin’ and ‘Cwm Gwrachod’. Both of these have audible downloads with Colin reading the books. I found this really useful to get to read with the words being said. Just like bedtime stories, I probably memorised parts but a very useful exercise nonetheless. I was going on the principal that if it worked to teach me to read in English it should be good for Welsh too.
Both books help motivate by having a developing story. They may be the sort of thing you are looking for.


I’m in Wrexham. I will try our library service; it’s ages since I visited the library. Not sure why I didn’t think of that, so thank you for a great idea.


These are on line. I used the English ones a lot when I was abroad for several months last year. I have reserved Nigel Owens autobiography, and expect to get an email tomorrow telling me it’s available for me to download. But the library will have, or should have, books available on physical CDs as well.


Exactly what I need. Thanks for the recommendation.


Gwylliaid - Bethan Gwanas

Here’s another great book aimed at teenagers by BG with a good dollop of history thrown in for good measure. It’s about a girl and a boy who get thrown back in time to experience life with a group of “Gwylliaid Cochion Mawddwy” (“red bandits of Mawddwy”) in the 16th century. I remember this book did my vocabulary a power of good purely because the subject matter was so different to other books I’d read.

Aimed at the teenage market, we’re in the late beginner to intermediate reading bracket again I think. Keep in mind what I said about the subject matter though, a dictionary definitely came in handy.


Gwrach y Gwyllt - Bethan Gwanas

Well, what can I say about this? I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s got everything. Humour. Mystery. Violence. Sex. Revenge. Spooky bits. Excitement in bucket loads. Even a bit of history and legend chucked into the mix. The story centres around a woman that turns up in a small town after buying an old rundown place in the woods on the outskirts. Her secrets are revealed as the story unfolds so you’ll have to read it for yourself.

The content plants this book firmly in the adult section so expect the language to mirror that. An intermediate reader won’t feel out of their depth too much though.


Thanks for starting this thread @catrinlliarjones and thanks to the contributors so far. I’m still pretty early in my learning journey and it’s great to see the recommended reads with an idea of the required level.


You are so very welcome! I’m so glad that it has grown to be such a valuable resource. Can I also second you and thank all the dedicated contributors. The reviews are just fabulous, detailed yet concise. I particularly like the ability level suggestions and the book cover photos - genius!

Diolch yn fawr iawn everybody! :smile:


Please forgive me if this is the wrong place for this posting, but does anyone else here feel they would like to discuss the topic of book exchange, or “pass-the-book-round-the-circle” schemes?

I mean, I like to purchase books but perhaps “grwp sgwrs” / conversation meet-ups are already becoming informal book exchange-and-sharing circles. I liked “Am Ddiwrnod” but I’d rather find it a good home or send it round a circle so I revisit it (I mean, it revisits me) intermittently… Anyone got any feedback and ideas and experiences that would help me consider this?

In my own life, in phases when I’ve had a stable set of acquaintances or a group of friends and family nearby, and if I think a book is a key text, I buy multiple copies and pass them on to friends who will themselves pass them on. Occasionally a book or two may even come filtering back. I quite like seeing the newness being replaced by the well-thumbed, well-travelled look… Am I the only nutter on this forum functioning like this?


This is a lovely idea @lornarhodes, I’ll set up a thread and copy your message in to it. :slight_smile:


Ti’n symud yn gyflym! You move fast! Diolch i ti, Catrin!


Replying to my own post, to give an update: I found the second book (Dan Ddylanwad) in new condition, at the publisher’s online shop no less, and to make the postage cost a bit more bearable I ordered the third book (Dan Ewyn Y Don) as well in one swoop. Still no luck with the first book, though, so I have resigned to skipping that for now, starting the series with the second book. I think you can expect a few reviews from me in the near future. :slight_smile:


For learners, the new series Amdani is fantastic- 20 books published in 2018, graded by level, including some for very new learners such as Am Ddiwrnod! (What a day!).

There is a comprehensive overview with lots of exclusive articles by the authors here:

Prior to this series being published, I put together a similar overview of books for learners:

Both pages are fully bilingual… Enjoy exploring!


I hope you find the first book Hendrik. I will keep an eye out for it too.


If you completed Level 2 I can recommend Budapest By Elin Meek published by Y Lolfa in 2007. Gwyn is on a business trip in Budapest when sees an a " hen cariad" the past. I hope that this book has not been reviewed already but it is a good read


I don’t think we have had this one yet.
Trwy’r Ffenestri by Frank Brennan, adapted by Manon Steffan Ros. There are five short stories, one for each of the five senses. Gwales says “Get to know complex characters, remote locations, and stories that will stay in your mind for a long time.” Yes, all true. The characters are interesting rather than likeable, and all the better for that. Oh yes, I shall remember the stories for a long time. I had this book to review before publication. At Uwch level, it was really far too difficult for me, but it was so good that I made my way through with much help from a dictionary. I look forward to reading it again more comfortably when I have progressed a bit further.


Can I suggest the following:

‘Cai’ by Eurig Salisbury

‘Un o ble wyt ti?’ by Ioan Kidd

‘Cyfres Cig A Gwaed: Deffro’ by Angharad Edwards

‘Os Mêts’ by Bethan Gwanas

(top tip if you don’t understand something is to read it out loud, it’s probably Wenglish!)

Also, Harry Potter in Welsh ( Harri Potter a Maen yr Athronydd) is great if you’ve read the book in another language. You can figure out what owls and cauldrons are if you know the story!

I’m currently trying to get going on ‘Y Llyfrgell’ by Fflur Dafydd


Thanks for your offer, and I have good news. I mailed the publisher to ask if there is a chance of a reprint, and they confirmed that Dan Yr Wyneb will be reprinted in mid-November this year (probably coinciding with the release of the new book - number 8 - Dan Bwysau)


Great news. :sunglasses:


Finished “Y Nant” by Bet Jones today. It’s a detective story about a murder at a Welsh learning course, which turns almost into a thriller near the end. It reminds of “Murder on the Orient express” in that almost everyone has a motive to kill and that the number of suspects is very restricted (the learners and the staff are cut from the world because of a snowstom). But it’s also very different in how it feels - Christie’s stories are always warm and cosy, with a detective you can trust, “Y Nant” at times feels as cold as the weather described in, deals with uncomfortable topic and you can’t trust anyone in it.
Overall, I found it a very good book, fast-paced and with realistic characters. At the beginning I found some of them disgusting, in the end I felt sorry for everyone. Sometimes, people hide secrets that not only poison their lives, but can also destroy the lives of people around them.
Could anyone recommend another good mystery in Welsh? Not gory and without mentally ill characters.