Friday, December 30, 2011

Well? Hello 2-12 - The Traditional End Of Year Round Up Post-

Or what I managed, or almost managed,
in this my 2nd years Blogging -
(Subtitled a Bluffers guide
to semi-literate blogging- Pt2).

I started The Parrish Lantern on the 2nd of April 2010, never expecting to be still here in 2012, but here I am, still here, still learning the ropes, still finding out what works and what I want to say, but still loving it! Last year, I wrote 84 posts, from Winnie the Pooh day through to World Poetry day, I posted on 10 collections of poetry ranging from poets as diverse as Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Derek Walcott, W.G. Sebald, James Joyce and Roberto Bolano. I also started a poetry anthology on Twitter @pomesallsizes, complete with it’s own page here on the Lantern. I also posted on books from Japan, Italy, Romania, The Nederlands, The Philippines, The Caribbean, Bulgaria, USA, Spain, Iran, Chile etc. But it’s not all been plain sailing, in 2011 I got ambitious,  as I did so well the previous year I upped my game and entered seven, year-long Challenges, which I either failed miserably at or crawled on my belly over the finish line – so a big sorry to the hosts of those challenges. Now I’m a tad older, have pretensions to a degree more wisdom and with tail tucked firmly between my legs (held in place by an undergarment) I’ve decided to downsize this year, will only take part in a few big challenges and maybe enter a few of the smaller ones if time allows.  Another big change since I started this is that I am now owner of a Kindle, which is different (strange) as in back in June 2010 I stated that that it would never replace a book for me, but due to certain circumstances this situation changed & I’ve since come to love my Kindle, although this hasn’t stopped me purchasing books.

 The Circumstance

The major Challenges
this year will hopefully be. stressed
2012 E-book Challenge hosted by Sarah from Workaday Reads. I am starting at CD = 10 e-books, but will try to aim higher.
The Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge hosted by Shelleyrae from Book’d Out, the aim of the Challenge is to push one a little outside the comfort zone by reading up to 12 books during the year from 12 different genres. This ones a bit scary!
2012 Sci-Fi Challenge hosted by Ellie from Curiosity Killed the Bookworm.The definition is: fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component.

My Final Challenge Will be one I’ve taken part in for the last two years and will be delighted to take part in again, this being Japanese Literature Challenge 6. Starting on June 1st 2012.

A Personal Literary
“Highlights of the Year” – or
the books I most liked.

Favourite Poetry AnthologyOf Gentle Wolves  This collection of Romanian poetry, I described  as like a good snapshot, you want to find out more beyond the image fixed on the slide.
Favourite single Poetry collection – I’ve decided to choose two here, as both collections astounded me when I read them, so The Juno Charm - Nuala Ní Chonchúir  and  What The Water Gave Me, Poems After Frida Kahlo. -Pascale Petit are joint favourites, both choose different paths, but both fulfil the expression “Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful”.
Favourite Short Story Collection is Órfhlaith Foyle’s Somewhere in Minnesota and Other Stories, followed closely by, Maybe This Time by Alois Hotschnig, both amazed, horrified & astounded me in equal measures.
Favourite novella (short novel) is another from that wonderful publisher Peirene press, this wonderful visceral book, had me racing through the pages as fast as its main protagonist was racing from their troubles - Tomorrow Pamplona by Jan Van Mersbergen.
Just checking my index and it appears I’ve not read a great deal of non-fiction this year. The plus side to this is my choice is easier, my favourite non-fiction book is Oxford University Press’s Very Short Introductions – Modern Japan by Christopher Goto-Jones, closely followed by Alberto Manguel’ s A Reader on Reading.
Leaving me with the book that gave me the most joy, some of you who follow me regularly will probably already know the answer to this one. I described this book as “a fantastic, capricious, incredible, wonderful, hallucinatory, delight, it made me think, it made me laugh, really laugh”. This was not just in the reading but in writing the post on it, which took me about a month of evenings and became slightly addictive, I would be heard chortling away to myself, if I created a phrase that I particularly liked - had my wife & daughter worried for a bit – The book, A Void by Georges Perec, Trans Gilbert Adair (who sadly died earlier this year).
As you can see, I’m obviously a man who finds it easy to be succinct and decisive, so I’ll go before  your illusions are shattered and I feel the urge to re-write all of this with a different  selection of writers and books.funny_warning_signs_35
My aims this year are to continue promoting Poetry, from all corners of this wonderful globe of ours and to keep writing about the books I love wherever they are from. To try to improve The Parrish Lantern, so those that have Joined will have no reason to fault their decision, for which I’m ever grateful, So a big Thank You to all who follow The Parrish Lantern and feel free to add your own ideas. As a polite introduction to a new idea, whether its a Book ,a Poem, or your favourite writer is always welcome. Thanks Parrish.

PS. Also had a poem of my own published in an E-book - What is Inspiration? (Thoughts on Life) a mini-anthology of poetry drawn from the pages of a writer's workshop called MWW (My Word Wizard)(Kindle),this year.Also featured in their magazine, The Poetorialist.


  1. Thanks for the recap of your great year. here is mine:

  2. Hope you are enjoying 1Q84. It was one of the starred books in my Wrap Up List.

  3. I love your recap! You did loads.

    And... we're as-good-as twins! I started my blog on April 17th, 2010. I always think everyone has been around longer than me except for the blogs that I have seen rising and shining since I started.

    Hope you have a good year and that the challenges turn out to be not too challenging.

  4. Glad you joining me for the Eclectic Reader Challenge Peter!
    I look forward to seeing what you choose to read - don't be too scared :)

    Congrats on having your poem published!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  5. Sorry - that was supposed to say Parrish not Peter :)

  6. Thank you for having my stories on your list, Parrish and Happy New Year - Órfhlaith

  7. I very grateful for your poetry recommendations as I will join a poetry challenge next year.
    The Eclectic Reader is something I had in mind myself. I'll have look.
    I wish you a great 2012.

  8. a great year Gary here is to many more ,all the best for the coming year stu

  9. Kudos on your decision to increase the poetry traffic, Gary. Love the poetic touch.

    Despite the apparent fail or belly-crawling of your participation to the challenges, I think you've succeeded in many ways in this blog. Keep it up!

  10. Great recap, Parrish! I love how my Kindle gives me access to classics, often for free. I'm planning on being thrifty and reading lots of those in 2012. So maybe I should check out the Eclectic Reader Challenge myself! Happy 2012!

  11. Thanks wordsandpeace. but not as thorough as yours.

    Hi,Harvee, yes slowly working my way through it thanks, will check out the post.

    Hi judith, the same I presumed you'd been doing this a lot longer. thanks for your comment & the best of Wishes.

    Hello Shelleyrae, yes I ummed & ahhed about which challenges but this was about exiting my comfort zone, so Scared I maybe, but partake I shall & thanks for the congrats.

    Hi Órfhlaith, it earned its place, so thank you for allowing me to read & post on it & the best for the Coming year.

    Hi Caroline thanks & what poetry challenge, would love to know. As to the poetry will hopefully post a lot more & a wonderful 2012 to you also.

    thanks Stu & here's to another one for you & yours.

    Hello Rise, thanks for your comment & poetry definitely will feature more on the blog, although there still will be my favourite books regardless of genre etc. Also the same sentiments for your wonderful blog.

    Thank you Col, yes although I still keep buying new ones, as for thrifty it's amazing how many freebies there are out there. Also may your 2012 hold all you wish for.

  12. Good stuff Parrish. Your blog has gone well and has a high degree of visibility considering its relative newness - you must have worked hard at this.

    I keep well away from challenges having found that my attention is so easily diverted onto my latest reading fad.

    Have a great new year.

  13. Thanks for your comment concerning the blog Tom, I think my visibility, what there is of it, is down to the fact that although I don't post a lot, I try to answer every comment & visit every blogger that comments, that & my occasional bouts of poetry spamming ;~)

  14. Am loving these roundups ... must read Perec one day. And, I keep ordering Peirene Books to give to others based on blogger reviews but haven't bought one for myself. That has to change.

    Happy blogging in 2012 Parrish.

  15. Congrats on another year in the blogosphere! While I haven't been commenting as much as I used to, I still regularly read your stuff. Best in 2012!

  16. I failed miserably at all the challenges I signed up for, so am restricting myself to two, which tend to overlap a bit. Getting smarter! Good luck with your challenges, and congratulations on having your poetry published. :)

  17. Great recap. It's wonderful that you are still blogging. Continue to do so! Perec, Perec, Perec; he is everywhere I turn these days and I simply have to read him and soon. Enjoy your reading in 2012.

  18. Hi Whisperinggums, treat yourself to one of the peirene series you know it makes sense,

    Hi Pete,Thanks & just glad your still blogging, hope to see some new posts.

    Hi Violet, that's how I'm playing it with my challenges & thanks for your comment.

    Hi Kinna, for someone who loves poetry, you should love the language of Perec. Thanks for your comment.


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