Friday, December 31, 2010

The Traditional End Of Year Round Up Post-

Or what I managed, or almost managed, in this my first years Blogging
-Subtitled a Bluffers guide to semi-literate blogging.

japlit4           library-rc-1
I started this blog around the beginning of April this year (2010)  because of Boredom, yep!, I was bored. Quick back track. In October 2009, I had an accident on my mountain bike - Kona Cindercone (steel) – braking to avoid a small dog, who, at that precise moment, chose to leave the safety of the pavement. I flew over the handlebars in a very poor impression of Superman, and was rapidly introduced to gravity, playing the role of a Dickensian schoolmaster i.e. he slapped me down quick & hard – end result, I ripped my knee open on the curb, stood up, checked dog (fine & dandy), checked bike (functioning) - I cycled home, went to the hospital, and was off work for over 6 months, had keyhole surgery to repair my Anterior Cruciate Ligament, followed by lots of physio from a mad Polish woman. As I said Boredom, so lots of reading later and I met a certain Chilean writer (figuratively speaking), through “The Savage Detectives” and in the process of finding out more about him, I discovered Blogs, fell in love with the concept, did some research, came up with a name, and started my own with a tentative post entitled “ What it says on the tin”. This post was an attempt to set out my stall, by that I mean it was meant as a  mission statement, a means by which I could set the parameters of my Blog, this being-
“a place to discuss the books we like, music that soundtracks our lives & that glass of fine malt that rounds of a fine evening.”
Seventy three posts  later, and I’ve realised that books are the main reason I blog, although that won’t stop me mentioning  my latest favourite artist/musician etc., or writing posts on a favoured Malt, it appears that books are the mainstay of The Parrish Lantern.


Also this year in the spirit of learning about this world, I have entered, I joined several challenges. these being -

japlit4Japanese literary challenge 4 run by Bellezza at Dolce Bellezza, through whom I’ve learnt a lot.  I’ve also managed to read and post on fifteen works of Japanese Literature, and in the process discovered a whole load of writers I would never have come across otherwise.
My favourite book entered here was a close call, but in the end  I chose – Stained Glass Elegies by Shusuku Endo, although not by any stretch of the imagination a new book, just new to me.

orbisOrbis Terrarum challenge This is run by Bethany canfield(dreadlock girl), and is an around the world challenge (8 books in 8 months), with the expressed aim of getting  individuals to read books from places  that they wouldn’t normally attempt, so ideal for a newbie - I posted 10 from 7 countries (image of head increasing 10 fold).
How the hell, do you pick one book?. For this challenge I’ve posted on books by Nick Cave, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, & by Alessandro Baricco plus a few more, all of which I absolutely adored. So this is a bit of a cop out, but it’s probably my favourite Roberto Bolano (This is subject to change) -  Last Evenings on Earth

bbaw-button2010_medBook Blogger Appreciation week (September 13-17, 2010.) This was a bit presumptuous of me, but I thought what the heck, and although I didn’t come anywhere, I met a lot of fellow bookfiends, who I now follow, and even some that follow me.
For this I chose one that I enjoyed writing the most, and also contains my favourite Haruki  Murakami short story -  On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl, One Beautiful April Morning. This is a beautiful, funny, sad story that I adored (In fact I read it twice over), that perfectly describes the human relationships within this book. The book being The Elephant Vanishes.

library-rc-12010 support your local library challenge this is run by by J. Kaye at  Home Girls Book Blog and is one I was really keen to support, as libraries are some of the greatest assets this country has, and in the current economic climate they aren’t safe ( as was discussed in the Guardian by Andrew Motion back in June) . This was also  me being to big for my boots, I chose the 100 books + challenge, and managed 74.
Back to the trite question, of the seventy four books I posted, there were plenty of authors, that I could place here, books that just blew me away, that changed my conception of literature, books like 2666, or Master of Go, books such as Illustrado or The Barnum Museum (fantastic Cluedo short story), but in the end, I’m choosing a book that was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010 (although it lost out to The Finkler Question) This book being  Tom McCarthy’s C and a book-post  in which I forgot to thank Stu (Winstonsdad’s blog) who put me onto this. So a belated thanks to you Stu.

LiteraryBlogHop-1The Literary Bloghop  run by the Ladies at  The Blue Bookcase. This has been my latest expedition in the Blogworld, and my latest source of fun. The premise of this Hop is to primarily feature book reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion. and has now gone fortnightly with a different question each time, and even featured one of mine, which was favourite poet/poem. This is also still on-going.

So nearing the end of the 2010, and I am still in love with blogging, or more particularly book blogging, also I’ve learnt a valuable lesson, I once thought that books and reading were a solitary experience. That  the very nature of reading negated company, made it a pursuit that obviously had to be solitary in nature - Well foolish me, after discovering challenges, readathons, hops etc. I’ve realised  reading can be as solitary or as full of companionship as you want, the only criteria necessary is a love of  the written word, in  whatever format that may take. This amazingly leads me onto 2011 and what challenges are coming,
But that’s another post………..
one not decided yet  although there is a couple, I’ve got my eye on.
Open a book and you are at
    the gate of a new City   

  old Hebrew saying

Greetings on a New Year
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~T.S. Eliot,


gina said...

Happy New Year, Parrish!

Novroz said...

Happy new year Parish :)
You read more J-lit than I am :)

Mel u said...

Happy new year-I am very glad you discovered blogging-it changed my life also-and Savage Detectives is a great book!

Book Bird Dog said...

Glad you found the world of book blogging. Happy New Year of Reading!

Bellezza said...

Parrish, it has been such a joy to blog with you in 2010. I'm so glad you discovered the Japanese Literature Challenge 4, and hence me, as I don't venture out of my Dolce Bellezza blog very often. I'm anxious to read the story from The Elephant Vanishes which you spoke of here; 2011 will be the time for me to read a lot more of what I want, and a lot less of what I've accepted to read for others (publishers and the like).

You certainly have ventured wide and far into the blogging world, in the process enriching us all. Blessings on your New Year, and I hope that your knee is nicely recovered by now. (I love bicycling, and pray that injuries such as you described continue to avoid my path. An avid sportswoman or reader? I'm clearly the latter.)

Anonymous said...

thanks for the mention ,all the best for the coming year

@parridhlantern said...

Happy new year Gina & i'm not back to prison(work) until The 4th.

bahagia tahun baru, Novroz (hope it's right)I wish I read more J-lit than you, I've read your posts.

Hi, Mel U, best wishes for the new year & that Bolano bloke got a lot to answer for eh, I'm guessing you've entered Rise's Bolano Challenge?.

It's mutual Book Bird Dog, and happy new year.

Hello stu, No problem it was merited, and best wishes for the new year.

Hi Bellezza, have reall y enjoyed
Japanese Literature Challenge 4, and am in agreement in reading on ly what you want.Also Thanks knee's recovered fine, in fact have broken my wrist ( another bike prang) since then & that's pretty much back to normal. but I was averaging 150 miles a week, and up until last year had been doing that for about 6-7 years without problem. but still more reader than sports dude.

Rise said...

Happy new year, parrish! For a first year book blogger I think you've covered a lot in this space. Like you, I also realized that I keep writing exclusively on books than the other topics I planned to cover in my blog!

I may have to finally start on a Shusaku Endo, finish The Elephant Vanishes, reread some Bolano, and just about read.

All the best that 2011 offers!

@parridhlantern said...

@Rise: Thanks, I think I had a good start because of my accident, this allowed me around 6 months to work out how Blogger worked, and also gave me time to Investigate a load of good writers, also a load of good blogs. Such as your own.
Thanks & may 2011 offer all that you want.

Em said...

Happy 2011 reading and blogging!