a couple of great christmas songs and a bonus story

Well I am having a rather quiet ,uneventful christmas this year we coming of a bad year and decide to hold back and go big in 2014 on our christmas then .But I must admit Christmas does always bring me to a few of my favourite christmas songs the first is obvious as it was recently voted the nation favourite christmas song and also is in the single charts for the umpteenth year (always tickles me with Shane McGowan birthday falling on Christmas day ,he must make a tidy sum year on year from  this classic ) The song is a story of a couples american dream falling apart around christmas and for me it’s as much about being in love and yes your dreams fail at times but you have each other and have your memories to fall back on .

The second song was from a few year ago and it was from the Bob Dylan christmas album it turns out after listening to the theme time radio hour Bob did on christmas he is a fan of christmas he even told every one on that show how he made his figgy pudding ,I ‘m sure this theme time show is online somewhere but couldn’t find it this evening .The song is called “it must be santa ” is also actually is rather Irish in its tune as well, has a feel of a reel as the song winds up and seems to speed up just as a reel does when it is played .The video was fun for this ,wouldn’t we all love bob at our Xmas party?

Now I promised you a story ,I do think in some ways  literature is the poor relation of christmas ,I know there are a number of christmas stories but it isn’t as big in novels as it is for singer and filmmakers both of whom seem to draw inspiration from the festive period more than writers .But one writer that did try a different take on the Christmas story is Paul Auster with his long short story Auggie wrens Christmas here it is read on a npr show from 2004 , by the writer himself .The story also form part of a film that Auster made with Wayne Wang an interlocking series of stories all connect with Auggie wren and his tobacconists ,if you haven’t watched it do as it has two great lead roles from Harvey Keitel and William hurt ,also a Forrest Whitaker tour de force as a father discovering his son for the first time .

Have you a favourite Christmas story or song ?

Happy christmas from Winston and I to you all ,I will be back with my Humbook choices tomorrow .

What Book Blogging means to me

Third day of book blogger appreciation week and todays topic is what does book blogging mean to me .Now this is a tough one I don’t really like to turn the spotlight on myself as a blogger ,as I feel well know I m not the best .My grammar is poor and maybe I could do with more depth in my reviews I feel in the three years I ve blogged thou my writing has improved .What I feel I bring to blogosphere is passion ,raw passion for world literature and translation 85% of the books on the blog are translations and many haven’t been covered on other blogs  .The blog has help me promote so many books and translators that I love .I ve connected with other bloggers with passion for world literature tonyGary ,Mark  and Max .I also made bloggers that only once in a while blog about translation to remember to put the translator down as well as the writer .Bloggers I really admire that I ve connected with people like Simon , Lisa  ,Sue and Simon .But for me the best thing of all is actually meeting fellow bloggers face to face like I have Rob ,Simon and Mark having a coffee and chatting books ,for a book bore like me these are the only ones I can really let rip about books with is my  fellow blogger .I ve also started some great meme’s,on  twitter every thursday runs #translationthurs hashtag to tell everyone what books from round the world you have been reading and it  has been up and running  for a couple of years now and gets a fair number of people joining every week  .Earlier this year I held the first Henry Green week as he is my favourite modernist writer  ,which went really well and gave Henry Green some much-needed limelight round the web .Then with Richard I hosted Spanish language literature month which we will be doing again in January as it is very hot in the summer where Richard lives .so blogging has helped a middle age man find a purpose for himself .I just hope I ve made some people want to step out side the normal reading and maybe try a translation every now and then if so I feel I’ve done a little part to promote literature in translation .As I say not great one for talking about my self sorry if this isn’t the best post but I leave you with a great song about books

Reading and blogging

Today’s BBAW task is all about reading and how blogging effects your reading .
Well I ve always been a reader . But the main thing blogging has brought to my reading is the need to read to keep in order To blog what u read , so I tend to read a bit longer than I used to and more often than I did preblogging .The other thing I have found through blogging is variety in books never much of a genre reader myself since my teens when it was the odd sci-fi crime and fantasy books I would try since then it has been mainly lit fiction til recently when I ve read more crime novels after see how much my fellow bloggers like boof get from them so I ve been trying some more in translation rob inspires me to try short stories as his passion for them oozes from  rob around books as Mel does on her blog  ,I started #translationthurs on twitter I get lot suggestions via that meme .Tony and Richard inspire with read so many books in the original language I wish I was brave enough to do so my self and had the knowledge to do so but hopefully over time I can gain that knowledge . So yes blogging does effect my reading and sure it will continue to do so for many years to come .I love seeing what other bloggers are reading as lot blogs I follow are so different in their taste than mine which I find very inspiring and wonderful way of having my eyes open female writers in particular is an area of reading I m very weak people like Violet,Iris and Amy have all shown me great female writers .

My own habits are I like to read hundred pages a day and that adds up to between eight and ten books a month sometimes more other times less .I read 132 books last year and am on course for same total this year .As for my ripple effect in world of blogging just hope I ve inspired people to look at translation in a better light and hopefully try a couple of books in translation .

How has blogging effect your reading ?

B.B.A.W TASK ONE COMMUNITY

Well last year there was a similar topic I highlight Rob of robaroundbooks and Simon of inside books two bloggers that made me want to start blogging over two years ago .So this year I ll highlight two bloggers that I enjoy -

Parrish lantern – Gary of Parrish lantern is like me a fan of all things in  translation he tends to review a lot of german and Japanese books ,he is my most regular commentor and I have over last few months built a bond with him on twitter ,oh and he likes whiskey real ale and poetry which makes him a real star in my eyes ,so why not go over and check him out                                                                                                                                       The second blogger I want to mention is Richard of  caravana de recuerdos – Richard is a thoughtful blogger who’s post have great depth and often bi lingual as he use his second language spanish to cover his books ,as you may imagine he tends towards all thing spanish and latin american which are two of my favourite area’s to read from .so if you like the sound of richard go check him out .

Who did you choose ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desert island disc -take two the reload

Late last year I did a desert island disc post but since then the choices have puzzled me and a recent chat with an old friend on Facebook has made me re think the list and also in the time in between I ve really found my personnel voice and find writing posts flows easier for me so want to redo list now and flesh out choice with reasons .I love desert island disc and since the archive has come online spent a lot time looking at choices of past guests have made in the show .so for take two here are my choices and the reasons for them .

1.Better together – Jack Johnson – I choose this last time I know ,it is a mellow tune but is the first song we had at our wedding and is Amanda and I song .Because we are better together I feel like I ve lost an arm when we re apart ,we get on so well together every minute together is precious to me .so it will always be here in a desert island disc list .

 

2.Blue ridge mountains by Fleet foxes – I fell in love with the voices of the fleet foxes when I first heard them ,it was one of those moments you hear a song and know the band will be in your collection for ever ,this track from the debut album make me think of the wild places I ve been in my life ,a windswept beach in Donegal ,the moor in Northumberland or driving through the highlands on a summer day .

3.When I ‘m dead and gone – fury in the slaughterhouse ,the german rem or u2 they’ve been called this from the bluesy album mono ,a dark album about death mainly this song  about how your remembered is my favourite by them .This to me is a secret band not well-known here ,I found out about them in the time I lived in Germany and it reminds me of that year there .

 

4.Drowners – suede – this was huge when it came out the new smiths was the take ,gritty lyrics and clashing guitars made it a teenage anthem ,I remember buying it in Kirkcaldy in a small indie record shop there and listening to it at my aunties ,it reminds me of summers in Fife with family strange for a dark song but I always make connections between time and places with what I listen to so if this is dark it makes me think of happy times .

5. Fake empire – the national – this was used as part of Obama campaign ,I got into national via a track on a magazine CD .This is an album that is always on my I-pod nano so it makes me thing of Winston for some reason this album boxer and this track in particular is great dog walking music ,especially on a dark night .

6.I wanna go to marz – John Grant – this is a soulful song about a childhood sweet shop but much more than that ,from an album that I ve played to death since I ve got it ,John grant was the lead singer of the czars and I got their album via my best friend Steve so in some ways this albums reminds me of the great night s of my twenties when Steve, Leon ,my brother Duncan and I went out every friday and saturday drinking round town .I remember the characters we meet the bars and route we took week after week .

7.Late night ,Maudlin street by Morrissey – Well anyone that knows me knows I couldn’t go to a desert island without Morrissey or the smiths I have had a love /hate relationship with him and his music I was a smiths fan and love his debut solo album which this is from this is one of his longest songs and I think one he revealed some of his own life on a song set in the seventies about urban life .I m reminded of the day I brought the album at beat route records in Congleton and the fact for a long time after they had an australian copy with a title misprint on of “education in reverse ” the run out groove message on the vinyl album ,not “viva hate” the actual title .

8.Mfwany by Sir John Betjeman – This is one of his poems set to music ,he record these in the seventies but it took twitter to get to me ,although Morrissey had used a different track as a show opener on his tour .I just love his voice the tone of it and this song in particular .

Book – essays by Ben Okri – a change I choose Proust but I feel this would keep my mind alive Okri essays in his two collections the first of which I ve read m\ke you question books myths ,utopias and the Arcadian myth to name some .

Luxury – same as last time a digital photo frame with my wedding the best day of my life   and a couple of pictures of Winston so I’ll  have all I love and hold dear to look at .

There I feel this is a better post than the first ,my friend on Facebook said I live on   memories and I do but also live for today because as some one said you have to see where you’ve been to see where your going ,that is very true I think .

What would you choose and why ?

 

Literary blog hop for 7-10th July say it in letters

The girls at The blue bookcase have set the question of a literary device you like and give an example ,well I ve choosen the Epistolary novel .thus a novel told in documents be it letters ,diary entries ,reports or even newspaper stories .From Clarissa through dracula and bellows Herzog this has been a form that has provided some of the greatest work of literature as it usually gives and insight into peoples minds rather than tells us .But in the modern age how is it going to move on with letter writing becoming a dying art ,well I ll point you in the direction of my selection the Austrian novel  Love virtually by the Austrian writer Daniel Glattauer a novel of a online love affair told in E-mails a mistaken e-mail sparks two married people to chat about there lives like never before and fall in love with the words they’ve written  ,if a lterary device has to move on lik,e the epistolary novel will in the modern age this book surely is one of the first of a new wave ,with e-mail and blogs being the new ways of recording our lives ,with face book and twiiter charting our lives this form has a bright future I look forward to the first novel to use twitter ,for more on the book read my review of it here .

What is your favourite epistolary novel ?

Four things for a sunday

I ve seen this Meme on thomas at my porch and Amy reads so had a think and have  choosen my choices -

Four jobs I ve had in my life -

  1. Barman – worked in a busy pub when I was 18 ,great fun at the time .
  2. packing person – I work in a german factory packing things ,it was boring but great fun as co workers mainly students and refugees so wonderful banter .
  3. bike repair man – this also in germany in a charity workshop ,learnt how to fix a bicycle .
  4. support worker – current job I love it ,great to see what good we can do for the people we support .

Four books I would read over and over -

  1. Ring of Saturn W G Sebald – A book that gives every time you read it .
  2. Ulysses by James Joyce – I feel I could read this a hundred times and still not get fully !
  3. The complete Holmes – I read a bit of him every few week a short story here and there ,I watch the films all time ,just love Holmes .
  4. Don Quixote by Cervantes – a book for sure I m going to reread over the years .

Four places I ve lived -

1.Poyton where I grew up til early teens a small village on edge of peak district

2.Alnwick – famous for its castle featured in Harry potter films and its home to barter books one of the UK largest secondhand bookshops which opened whilst I lived there .My flat was just behind the castle on the non pretty side .

3.Kleve – home of anne of Cleves and the german artist Joseph Beuys ,a pretty town centre and great market .

4.Chesterfield where I live now is a wonderful market town and living two mins walk from work is wonderful .

Four books I would recommend -

1.Underworld by  Don DeLillo  - a wonderful insight into 20th century america .

2.Suitable boy by Vikram Seth – like underworld but about india and four families there .

3.Fado by Andrzej Stasiuk – A journey round eastern europe post communism .

4.The plague by Albert Camus – The full spectrum of human life in this book .

Four places I ve been -

1.Donegal – I stayed in a thatched cottage with family ,my dad goes back every year or two. A peaceful place with great cliffs and wonderful beaches .

2.Torquay – spent my honeymoon with the lovely Amanda here .

3.Elie – spent my youth here on beaches ,walking playing sport with my younger brother at our grans

4.portugal – I love the place been once want go again !

Four favourite foods -

1.hand made pasta in a simple tomato sauce – mmm

2.soda bread – toast with cheese on .

3.wheaten bread with jam .

4.salmon with a nice salsa .

Four favourite drinks -

1.coffee – dark with out milk ,most of all double espresso with a good creme on top .

2.Jaipur IPA – a local brewed beer to me ,easy tasting but very strong .

3.ravenswood lodi – a mid price red wine from old vines ,wonderful flavours .

4.colheita -Andresen is brand I ve drunk in past ,a gift from my younger brother .

Four places I d rather be right now -

1- nowhere at home with Amanda at moment best place to be .

2. Elie – A place full of happy memories for me .

3.Torquay – same as Elie our honeymoon .

4..in a bookshop .

Four thing special in my life -

1. Amanda – most important thing in my life .

2. Family – got some great family .

3 . Winston  - he is a one-off and may be naughty some times but love him all the same .

4. My job – every day we help people we support ,help them achieve the best they can.

5 . Books – a fifth thing they are important but family is more so !

Thanks what would you choose 

Bloggiesta wrap up and a question

Well my quiet Bloggeista was a success .What I did -

  • updated what I m reading and put all challenge badges up
  • updated blogroll
  • Start working on about me ,want make this perfect this time so another day or two to muse
  • wrote two reviews
  • commented on new blogs

This was quite productive given the time I had ,I also finished a book and read my first bit of war and peace .

Question -

I m not a huge audiobook fan but would like to try one or two anyone any suggestions on the line of what I read anyway or something simply brilliant that you’ve listen too in the past ? All suggestions welcome .

 

Bloggiesta 2010

well bit late of mark .but got few goal ,

  • update photos
  • update blogroll
  • update about me
  • do some reviews

A simple list I enjoyed last years bloggiesta found some fun blogs .A breif intro I m stu a late thirties male ,dog owner I support people with learning disablities .I love world lit and blog mainly about this .

books in pictures -hadrian the seventh

 

Cornflower books today did a post about starting to read stoner by John Williams and the fact that the picture american gothic pop straight in to her head and wonder if other people could  think of books that have same experience .Well I had a short think and straight away the book and image that came to mind was Frederick Rolfes  Hadrian the seventh and Francis bacon screaming pope series .

PICTURE -

Well Bacon used the pope image on numerous painting the picture itself is influence by Velazquez pope innocent X . the image is huge in real life I went to see it when it visited Sheffield a few years ago ,like Rolfe bacon dabble with a lot of religious icons in his painting and also had a very traumatic life ,also the screaming pope relates to Hadrian’s struggle in the book when he becomes the second english pope by sheer chance .

The book –

The book revolves around Hadrian a middling english priest that is elevated to this highest office in the roman catholic church that of pope ,in which he struggles with church beaurcats and sinister characters .I was introduced to this book by my good twitter friend @iamamro Amro Gebreel he is one of the most well read people I know .The book is published in  a lovely edition by New york review of books classics .Rolfe was a strange man the flirt with the priest hood and sometimes called himself baron Corvo .

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