Winstons music Spike Island

On sky this week was the film Spike island a fictional take on four young lads in a band taking the trip to see the legendary Stone Roses gig on Spike Island , I could have gone to this gig back in 1990 a number of my friends went , I was a fan of them , not a big fan then as I was till a mad smiths fan back then .I did have a few stone rose t-shirts at the time , also the baggy jeans and Joe Bloggs sweatshirt that were the fashion .The film brought back the times for me , I remember hearing the stone rose for the first time at a friend’s house who had recorded them on a Tony Wilson show on  tv , i think it was called after dark , which at this time he had all the up and coming bands from Manchester the Happy Mondays and inspiral carpets were also both on it .I enjoyed the remind of my teen years , any fans of the music or growing up at the time will love the film it is steeped in the time and of course has loads of stone rose songs in it .I like being on the very edge of this time the Madchester scene , I had a friend at college that wrote the fanzine for Inspiral carpets for me the most underrated of the madchester bands , closely followed by the new fast automatic dafodils , that burnt out to soon .

Where you a fan of the madchester scene ?

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The dawning of a new age welcome to chrome

IMG_1931

Well for last eighteen months I had been blogging on my laptop with a broken screen (that I had broken myself by carrying it downstairs by the screen ) with two-thirds of it actually useable ,but as time has gone on the pizels have start to disappear ,as little threads of  black started spreading across the screen making it slowly hard to see my wordpress page and navigate it ,so I had a bit of luck this week when my father gave me some money to celebrate the birth of of my brothers new babe my new nephew Jack .So I decide it was time to try a new OS the Chrome OS as a chromebook is cheaper than a basic laptop and for my needs mainly blogging is perfect so  I give you my new babe the tosihiba chromebook ,I like to think it looks a bit like a macbook air at a glance which is great as it cost a lot less .So hopefully I’ll be able to blog a bit more as the chromebook has such a quick boot up time I will be free to blog in a spare few mins to get a few more post written every month hopefully .

Happy Sunday I’m back Winston’s lasting legacy

winston 001

Well as many of you know I took a break and a few days after my poor boy ,had to be put to sleep its been a really hard week and more since and I’m still finding it tough .But I need to get back to the blog and the books in Translation I love ,keeping this going will be a legacy to all he meant to me and all I love in my life .So he lives on in the blog name and its avatar .Anyway I have been busy trying to get a few books read for Women in Translation month .But I feel I had want to do all female writers this month but with a backlog of books in the twenties I need to be covering everything I’ve read  recently and add the translations from female writers throughout the month .Any I want to thank everyone for the kind words in comments and on twitter it meant a lot and tomorrow I will be back with the first of many reviews !!

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 .

Hello all, I ‘m back

Dad , Milly  and Myself

Well I have been off-line for over two weeks which I think is the longest break I have had since I started this blog .Now return after that time I find myself rather like a new starter feeling my way again ,I feel a slight lose of confidence ,but I have had a busy few weeks I found out my father had collapsed at home and need to have a pacemaker fitted ,this has played on my mind a lot recently and was actually the icing on the cake of 2013 that has leapt from one thing to another all year . But as you can all see from the updated books read in 2013 I have been reading as much if not more than normal as I have passed 100 books read for the fourth year in a row .I have found solace in my books ,they offer me a way to forget my own personnel woes and escape into another world ,I have also spent  time with Amanda and visiting my dad for the day as he lives quite far from me .So I return to the blog after all this looking forward to joining in German lit month but also with a real sense of wanting to clear my backlog of read books and transform them into reviews before time runs out on 2013 ,so 2014 can be an easier year with less catch up on my blogging  and in general as I feel 2013 has been a bad year for myself .So tomorrow I return with a review of Stoner by John Williams  ,a book which I have tossed and turned over how to review .I will be slowly commenting on everyone’s posst as I am now off work for ten days .

C90 memories

Well today is the first national Cassette store day .I still have a few cassettes about and both the hifi’s in my house can play them ,so its a shame we haven’t a record shop here to join in .So I decide to share a few cassette memories .I got my first cassette player when I was about 12 a toshiba twin deck in red with four band radio it led me into a world of buying albums but also recording tracks I loved on John Peel at night .So I will share some fond memories of five songs from that time .

19 – paul hardcastle- This was my first album the album was called Paul Hardcastle it had a number of dancer track than this one but it was this song that made me buy this Album .This song was so big that summer and one of the first big purely from sample hits .This song maybe also made me wonder about poltics and life given it subject people dying young due to war .

Some people -The Farm .Before there huge change in direction with Alll together now and the baggy influence on them the farm where a left leaning  indie band and thanks to my friend Jamie I got into them and there live tape I brought from their fan club was one of my favourites in the summer of 1987 .I loved the tone of these early songs they had a bittersweet quality that they never quite matched later on .

Suedehead – Morrissey well anyone that new me in 1988 would have known me as a huge Smiths fan even down to a trade mark Quiff ,Levis and specs I never really needed  .So when I heard  John peel played this weeks before its release on single and I got it down that night I was listening to it till it wore out .Also my favourite video by Morrissey as I like him had a huge James Dean fan thing going so him wandering round  Dean’s home town was great .For me his music gave a shy boy a world to fall into ,one that felt he knew me and I knew him .

Mercy seat – Nick Cave and the bad seeds – This was maybe the first time I ventured outside what my group of friends listen to after hearing this the first single from the album on the radio .I went to Beatroute in Congleton( my all time favourite record shop a mecca for a budding indie fan ) where I lived and brought this album on tape .for the next two years it was probably my most played tape .by this time I had been given a brand new my second Walkman this was a tiny one from boots not much bigger than my tapes with auto reverse and a graphic equalizer so seemed the bees knees to the 16yr old stu .

The way the world is by Pale saints

1990 and this album was that summer favourite a warm and memorable summer ,maybe one of the lesser known bands from the shoegazing movement .I always found this album The comfort of madness near prefect album for drifting on sunny days .That Christmas saw my first CD player arrive so even thou I still had tapes brought tapes they became less important barring old mixes of songs II had made featuring most of the songs mention here .

What are your tape memories ?

 

My prizes an accounting by Thomas Bernhard

my prizes Thomas Bernhard

My Prizes an accounting by Thomas Bernhard

Austrian non fiction

Original title Meine Presie

Translator Carol Brown Janeway

Source personnel copy

Well I am running late these days I was meant to have posted this last week but I’ve had a lot on at home and not been able to thinking to write posts .But I’ve decide to just sit today and try to write a post about this short work by The great Thomas Bernhard .The book is made up of nine pen sketches of events or reasoning’s about the events surround the nine major prizes he won during his writing career .Now as one imagines there is a lot in here for such a small book .

I picked the best-known gentleman’s outfitter with the descriptive name Sir Anthony , if I remember correctly it was nine forty – five when I went into Sir Anthony’s salon ,the award ceremony for the grillparzer prize was at eleven ,so I had plenty of time .I had intended to buy myself the best pure-wool suit in anthracite ,even if it was off the peg ,with matching socks ,a tie ,and an arrow shirt in fine cloth striped blue and grey .

If only getting all this was so easy .

My prize starts at the first prize he won the Grillprazer prize .We see how he describe thinking two hours before the show maybe a suit might be required to attend so he rushes to buy a suit for the event visits a well-known shop but actually a simple task is harder that it first seems  .Elsewhere we maybe gather some real insight into why he hates the arts in Austria so much for when he wins a later prize the Austrian state prize for literature ,we gain an insight that he had asked for money at an earlier date and been turned down by them .I could easily pick bits up from each of the pen sketches of the prize-winning but that for me would spoil the joy of you as a reader discovering this little gem and in turn supporting a small publisher as it is published by Noting hill editions a specialist in non fiction .We also get three of his speeches for winning city Bremen prize ,Austrian state prize and the largest prize he won the Georg Buchner prize which is a German language prize .Needless to say reading between the lines in these we can see a lot of bile and also just about that wry humour .

Honoured ministers ,honoured guests ,

There is nothing to praise ,nothing to damm ,nothing to accuse ,but much that is absurd ,when one thinks about death .

We go through life impressed ,unimpressed ,we cross the scene ,everything is interchangeable ,we have been schooled more or less effectively in a state where everything is ,mere props but it is all in error

the opening words of his Austrian state winning prize .

Well this happen to sync  nicely with another book I was reading at the same ,that I had  been sent by Pushkin press called the parrots by the Italian Flippo Bologna ,  that follows three writers in the build up to a big book prize that they are up for, so it was quite interesting comparing the fiction  story of writers up for prizes and the factual version of these accounts .I feel thou short  this book ,we do get a lot of clues to what made Bernhard the man he was ,yes he hate prizes ,but needed the money to carry on living as a writer .So he was caught in a catch 22 situation ,in not really like the whole prize system but having to take part to make a living .His often frank words a refreshing we all see the prize system from the outside and I have been lucky to have been to three prize nights ,have spoken to writers but to get Bernhard’s insight into this is amazing he really is a writer that doesn’t .But we do see other parts giving so money he won to a charity .A shock as well he did really like one of the prizes ,now I won’t say which but he did go to Hamburg to see it given out .

Do you like writers writing about the prize process ?

Happy days when blogging works

I ve often moaned about my places in the blogging world  .But I was just thinking I m in a purple patch of blogging feeling on top of things and my lot in the world  .I feel as thou my interaction in the blogosphere is at its best  level since I started blogging over three years ago .Its much  easy to write a post letting steam off ,as  I am now struggling to write a positive post about my joy in blogging  .I think what I m trying to say is that after a number of years struggling to wonder where my voice and blog belonged in the grand scheme of things .I have decide maybe it belongs where I am at moment . A fair bit of content and taking part in great projects like Man Asian with Matt Lisa and Mark or my own shadow iffp with Gary Mark Lisa and Tony . Then another part is joining in thing like Lizzie and Caroline German Lit month ,Tony’s January in Japan.I think I wanted to be Fonz when I started blogging but I never was the cool kid at anything ,so I m happy being a Richie I want feel part of a family and I finally feel that I am part of the blogosphere .Anpother joy is the people I ve meet over last few years people like Mark ,Simon ,Rob my fellow bloggers ,Nikesh and the book trust folk ,Meike ,Maddy ,Henry ,Fiona and Beth from the world of publishing and of course Frank one of my favourite translators .All in All for a lad from  Chesterfield that start this as a project to do something in my own small way ,I feel I have .

So thanks to all that have stuck with me in lkast few years and here is to many more

That was the month that was January 2013 – a quarter million milestone

snowy treeWell the nights are starting to lighten its been a busy month here at Winston’s tower ,some how shocked how I managed to get 14 books read this month but a number where rather short .I had a number of night shifts and was off for the last five days of the month .I managed to have a little more time than normal to read .Any way favourite book of the month Train to Budapest by Dacia Marani ,which I shall review early next month ,other honorable mentions go to The eleven by Pierre Michon and the two Donald Antrim reissues I read .A good book finding month as many of you may know I tend to have tight book finances ,when it comes to what is available to spend sad to say I had to return to Amazon after nearly a year just because of cost and availability of the books I want for three books ,I hope in summer trips out to cities with Amanda will mean I can buy books in shops I want .But the other side of this is I am a huge second-hand buyer and this month saw me hit gold with a number of penguins a Roman Gary ,Andre Gide ,Henrich Boll and a Samuel Beckett novel .Which eased my conscious re using amazon as some of  these books  are out of print and will be reviewed on here which I hope will get people to find them all out as they are   all writers I feel the need to read and think other people should these are the ones that explain modern literature in France and Germany as they tend to inspire or have been read by most modern writers in these countries .So the month ahead well here at Winston towers two dates spring to mind ,the first is valentines day as a romantic at heart I’ve my book ready for the day and will be spending time myself with the darling Amanda .The other date in my diary is Amanda’s birthday which may not be so bookish as she isn’t a huge reader but sure we will have a lovely time and I ll get her some great gifts .For the blog I sit on the verge of a quarter million views in my stats sometime today or tomorrow I will pass that total so thanks to every one who visits on a regular or just once all welcome  great that you all come and visit the blog .The picture at the top was taken in the middle of the month out with Winston in the middle of the snow .

What was your favourite book last month ?

Plans for next ?

 

Maclehose is five years old lets celebrate by reading their books

The Maclehose Press  is five week 20th – 27th January 2012

Maclehose Press is five years old this year .Christopher Maclehose set the press up after he left Harvil when they were sold to random house .Together with his wife he has brought us a wonderful  mix of well-known writers from the world many of those in translation , established names  Cees Nooteboom to  newer names Marie N’diaye ,many of which have won the big prizes around the world .Here is an interview from the guardian with Christopher Maclehose about setting up Maclehose press and how they choose books . To find a book you may like here is a link to their web site which is really easy to get round .So at the end of this month 21-25 January they will spend time celebrating their five wonderful years and hopefully to many more .so I ask you to join me and  post a review of one or more of their books .sign in here  I’ve add the custom WordPress form .

 

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