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The SSiW Welsh Book Club 📖 📚 👓


I made sure I brought all my unread Welsh books with me, and as I’m also reading in Spanish and trying to learn Euskara, I think they’ll keep me going for a while :grin:

I’ll try to finish this one fairly quickly though, so if we manage to catch up when you visit Pau I’ll be able to give it to you.


This is a really good book if anyone is looking for something to read :slight_smile: I bought it last year when I couldn’t read it and I thought it was about a owl :rofl: and I loved the font and how the language looked. I was a bit disappointed when I found out it wasn’t about an owl, but I’m not disappointed now I’ve read it! It’s a really good story! :slight_smile: image image


Myfanwy Morgan does not exist. Just spotted this book. Has anyone read it? [ ]


I’ve just finished reading Yr Horwth by Elidir Jones. It’s the first novel in a fantasy series called Chwedlau’r Copa Coch, aimed at young adults (i.e. teenagers), but still a great story whatever your age. I’m about two decades above the target age, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It also won the prize for Welsh Children’s Book of the Year 2020.

The story the follows the journey of a group of unlikely heroes as they travel across the land on a mission to defeat a monster known as the Horwth. As you would expect in a fantasy novel, this all takes place in a world full of magic, strange creatures, and wild landscapes. The book also contains lots of illustrations of the all different characters, plants and animals, and locations featured in the story.

Since this is a young adult novel the language is fairly easy to understand. I did occasionally come across some words i didn’t know that were not in the dictionary either, then I realised they were words that the author had made up to describe the fantasy plants, animals etc. in the book. :man_facepalming:


Tom - Cynan Llwyd

I reviewed another book by Cynan Llwyd a while ago called “Pobl fel Ni” and you’ll be glad to hear that this is a lot better. It follows a period in the life of Tom, a 15 year old lad who lives with his mum in a high rise building in Cardiff. It tackles a lot of relevant issues like bullying, crime, poverty, loneliness, mental health and racism very casually by, well, by just including them all as a normal part of life. It’s a very good read to be fair.

It’s not a Stori Sydyn book but, although it costs £5.99, is very much in the same vein. It’s obviously aimed at teenagers with the title character being 15 and the level of reading difficulty reflects that. I would say it would be accessible enough for a late beginner with no real trouble.


Gemau - Mared Lewis

This is a very short book (only 77 pages of not tightly packed writing) that I managed to get through in just a couple of hours so, for the cost of £5.99, is not really a bargain by any stretch of the imagination (I bought it by mail order).

Having said that it’s a pretty decent story about a woman, Nina, who has tracked down her real mother, Rose, only to find that she is now a dementia sufferer. There’s a bit of a shock in store for her when she digs a bit deeper. The quality could have been better but a very good read all the same.

I would definitely recommend getting this from a library if I’m honest. Maybe that’s just the Miser in me.

As far as the reading ability for this one - I would say it needs a more intermediate level to get the most out of it.



It is 1963 and there is a TV programme to mark the 50th anniversary of the Senghennydd mine disaster that killed 439 men and boys. John does not need a programme to remind him. He remembers it every day. He was eight years old when he moved with his mother and sister from their quarry village in the North to join his father who had found work in the coal mine at Senghennydd. There were families from all over Wales and England and John had some difficulties at first, but he settled down and made a good friend. Then at the age of thirteen he left school and went to work with his father in the mine.

The book is written for children and the language was simple enough for me to understand at least most of it. I found it a powerful and moving story.



I thought I would recommend this book, and its sequels, here in case people haven’t come across them. The author, Gwen Parrott, writes yn Gymraeg and translates her books into English herself. Needless to say I have only read the English versions so far, but you never know, maybe one day! However the Welsh versions are apparently considered to be suitable for learners (although I would imagine more intermediate- than beginner-level). The books are a great read, real page-turners and very well written. I especially enjoyed the portrayal of social conditions just after the Second World War, but this is always done with a light touch and they are good murder mysteries in themselves.


Diolch yn fawr - I was looking for reviews of Gwen Parrott’s books since I listened to the author’s interview in the podcast Beti a’i phobol (I really recommend this episode of the podcast - it was interesting and funny). I’ll make sure I find her books now - your review makes them sound like a really great read.


Hi Seren, that’s great - I really think her books deserve to be better known. (Disclaimer: I know her slightly - met her at a Zumba class and my ears pricked up when I heard her say she wrote murder mysteries - but I recommend her books as a reader because I really enjoyed them.) I’d be interested to know what you think of the Welsh versions.

I’ll have a look for the podcast too, it sounds well worth a try even if I can only understand 10% of it!


I have read all this thread now and it is very interesting. Thought I’d record where I’m up to reading-wise so when I get discouraged with my progress (which I do easily) I’ve got a record of what I have achieved so far. Hopefully this will also encourage anyone else who is struggling through their first welsh book.
I started with e- ffrindiau and although it is very simple I found it a challenge. Then I read the three Bethan Gwanas books twice - struggling through them first time, really enjoying them the second time.
I have to remind myself this is the first time in my life I have read any book in a foreign language.


If you like a sense of place in a novel, and you like that place to be Wales, then here are three good reads! :slight_smile: Two are wholly in rural settings while Cai also features Aberystwyth.image


What reading level are they, Cetra?


S’mae @franhunni! These aren’t learners books so they are for more confident readers I think :slight_smile:


How lucky am I that Lois Arnold lives in the same town as me and we have become friends. Being only part way through level 1 I asked her to be the Welsh speaker to listen to my questions for the speaking practice homework. She lent me a copy of Ffenestri and I’ve just bought cysgod yn y coed from World Books. I will try and get Sgwp at some point too. I can’t say I can read them, yet, but it will be good to have a challenge to aim at and I was delighted to find I could get a sense of the story from the first page of ffenestri. As an avid book reader - one of those who’ll read the back of the cereal packet if there’s no other option - this thread is brilliant for pointing me towards books in Welsh that, who knows, some day I might even be able to read! Doesn’t feel like it yet, though!


You have a treat in store for you.


I’m half way through Sgwp!. It is a real page turner. I’m already thinking about what to read next and will probably go for Ffenestri.


Looking forward to the day I can do the same. Most of the posts seem to say that Sgwp is the best one, I haven’t bought that yet.


@selina-medwell @ken @Betterlatethan If you like Sgwp! then I can also recommend “Fi, A Mr Huws” by Mared Lewis :slight_smile:


Thank you @Cetra. Will order it today.