Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Blog Appreciation Week 2012- Day One

Book Blog Appreciation Week 2012
Day One
September 10 to 15, 2012

Book Blogger Appreciation week begins first in the Philippines!  We are 12 hours ahead of the east coast of the USA so the week starts first in Asia.   I hope lots of other Asian based book blogs will participate this year.

If you are a BBAW participant, please feel free to leave a link to your post in a comment.  I will try to return all visits and as a matter of policy I return all follows.

This is the fourth year in which I have participated in Book Blogger  Appreciation Week.   The biggest change this year is that there will be no awards.   I think this is a good idea.  Awards can be a great idea but there was too much appearance of cronyism is the process in years past, whether justified or not, so I am glad there will be no awards this year.    

BBAW is a virtual gathering of book blogs from all over the world.  

The Reading Life began three years ago just before BBAW Two.  My  blog focuses on short stories,  classics, modern fiction, Japanese novels and literary quality contemporary fiction.  I also publish short stories so if you have want you would like me to publish yours let me know.   I have special projects on Irish Short stories, short stories of the Indian Subcontinent and Filipino short stories.  I am open to joint project and events and I am willing to review new fiction also, including self-published.

Everyday the managers of BBAW have a topic for us.  Here are the topics for this year:

Monday: Appreciation! There are no awards this year, but it can still be hard to navigate the huge universe of book blogging. Share with your readers some of the blogs you enjoy reading daily and why.
Tuesday: Interview Swap 
Wednesday: What does book blogging mean to you?
Thursday: One of the best parts about book blogging is the exposure to books and authors you might never have heard of before. Endorse a book you think needs more recognition on this day. Get creative! Maybe share snippets from other bloggers who have reviewed it or make some fun art to get your message across.
Friday: Share a highlight of this year’s BBAW. Whether it’s a blog you discovered or a book you’re going to read or a way you felt refreshed, this is the day to celebrate the week!

I have about 200 blogs I follow closely.   A good book blog is an evolving work of art, not just a collection of book reviews!    Here are ten I follow very closely, in random order.

I have been following Suko's Notebook since before I began my blog three years ago.  Her blog was one of my inspirations.   I owe her a debt of gratitude for getting me into the short story, which is a very big part of my blog and reading life now.   She was also one of the very first persons to comment on my blog in the days when I could count my daily visits on my hands.  We also have a common bond of teenage daughters!   Her blog is very beautiful, very honest and a great source of reading ideas.  She does some of the very best author interviews around.  She is from Southern California.

The Parrish Lantern is a great literary book blog.  Gary does some of the best posts one will find.  From him I have learned of many new to me writers.   Here is the credo of his blog, which he totally exemplifies
I want this to be a place that when you join, you can express your own likes. This is where we can exchange ideas on Writers, Books & Poetry. So please feel free to join & 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.
Gary's approach to what he reads is one of a deep attempt to see the best in what he reads.   Harold Bloom has famously said that the best literary criticism is an attempt to appreciate the best writings in the world and this is what Gary's blog is about.  He is from the UK.

A Simple Clockwork by Nancy C. is the newest book blog on my list.   She is also in the Philippines, in Cebu, where I am in the capital region.  Nancy has a knowledge very few people have of the regional literature of the Philippines.  We have a joint project in which we post on short stories of the Philippines, focusing mostly on older stories.   To me these stories, written in English, are a nearly unknown literary treasures of a world heritage status.  They are also a great resource for students of colonial literature.   Nancy is very passionate about reading, justice, and life.   She has also started a year long event on the short story, The Short Story Initiative,  which I thing will be very exciting.   Her blog should be the first stop for anyone interested in learning more about the literature of the Philippines.

Beauty is a Sleeping Cat is one of my very favorite blogs.   Caroline  describes her blog as about "Books, Movies, Cats and Other Treasures".   In November she hosts German Literature month.  She reads several languages and posts on a wide variety of things.  She posts on a lot of classics, literary quality contemporary fiction and her most recent post is on an exhibit of contemporary Chinese art in London.  I would say she seeks out the best the world has to offer and shares it in a very erudite, highly intelligent and passionate fashion with her readers.  You can tell she loves what she is doing.     Her blog is also a work of art which can be appreciated even by those whose reading tastes are different from hers.  Her posts always get a lot of very good comments.   She is located in Switzerland.   

 Prashant C. Trikannad and I have several things in common.  We both live in steaming hot and at times very wet Asian mega-cities, we both like old movies and grew up reading classic comics.   Prashant posts on a wide variety of literary topics from the novels of Zane Grey to classics.   He also shares his thoughts on being a reader in India.  His series of posts on Indian libraries was fascinating.   When I see a new post on his blog I do not know in advance if it will be about a wonderful classic or a Charlie Chaplin film.   From him I got the idea of looking for stamps with authors pics on them to illustrate some of my posts.   He has lately been getting more into short stories.  I totally endorse his blog and think anyone who looks it over will want to follow it.    He is from Bombay/Mumbai.

I first began my virtual acquaintanceship with Che of From Kafka to Kindergarten through our mutual love of short stories.   We both participate in Nancy C's short story events.  She is very into the short story and whenever I see a new post from her I know I will probably be learning about another literary work I want to read.   Here is her description of her blog and reading life
  I mostly read what is known as literary fiction with the occasional biography or non-fiction work thrown in just to spice things up. In the real world I'm a stay-at-home mom to my three year old boy so I also read a lot of board books and Dr Seuss 
I like her blog because I can really tell she is into reading and loves literature.   Her posts on short stories are very insightful and I have learned a lot from them.   She is located in India.

Words Beyond Borders is a wonderful and delightful blog.  It is the only blog I know of that has posted on both Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day and the retirement of a great cricket player.  The curator of Words Beyond Borders posts on a lot of great literary topics, the most recent post is on One Hundred Years of Solitude.   You will find posts on lots of literary quality contemporary writers as well as posts on Homer and Indian literature.  You will find items on this blog that you will find no where else.    They are based in India.

I have left out a lot of blogs, which cannot be helped.

I hope there will be more participation from book blogs in South and South East Asia this year. There are at least 150 book blogs in the Philippines.   

My salute to the managers and behind the scene workers at BBAW.

I will not be participating in the interview swap but I hope to have a post on the other three days.

Happy BBAW.

Mel u


@parridhlantern said...

First, thank you Mel, for your kind words, you were one of my earliest supporters, back when I was first working out(still am)what this blogging thing was about & how it worked, so this means a lot. PS, how did you find out BBAW was on, I didn't hear a thing about it.
PS, glad the awards are gone, as blogging's not about prizes but about Love, the love of great Literature in all its myriad of forms

Caroline said...

Thank you so much for mentioning my blog and in such kind words.
Yours is one of the very first blogs I noticed. It stands out which is quite something as there are so many.
And I love that you focus on short stories one of my favourite genres.
I hope you're ready for November. This year we dedicate a whole week of German Literature Month to shot stories and novellas.

Mel u said...

Parish. Thanks so much for all your comments

Caroline. Last year just as your event ended i found a link to a number of 19th century German short stories and I also have an Ebook of seven Thomas Mann stories. I am looking forward to it. I also have my first Sebald novel set aside

WordsBeyondBorders said...

Thanks mel. Yes I am based in India and am the sole person who maintains this blog

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Mel, it's an honour to have my blog featured on yours, one of the most genre-specific blogs I have come across. This is not the first time you have done so. Thank you very much for the kind words, the appreciation, and the endorsement. You rekindled my interest in short stories and the diversity within the genre and though I read at least two every week, I don't get the time to write about them as I'd like to. Perhaps, I need to try harder. One of the major drawbacks of writing on more than one subject-matter is the lack of focus, particularly if you're vacillating between books, films and music. I need to brush up on my Libraries of India series, though. Thanks, also, for featuring the other blogs of interest of which I'm already following three. Good luck to you, Mel.

CHE said...

You've made my day Mel. Thank you for the very generous comments about my blog. You were among the very first blogs I followed when I started out and the one whose posts I most look forward to today. Your blog is my top resource for short story recommendations. Thank you again. Oh, and I am currently based in India too :)

Unknown said...

Mel, thank you! (I remembered posting a comment but I'm sad it didn't go through--must be another technical glitch on my part). I just want to say thank you for mentioning me here. It's an honor. Above all, thank you for your unwavering support in our joint venture on featuring old Filipino stories. Keep blogging!

Suko said...

Thank you for the very kind mention, Mel! I always enjoy my visits to your blog, and am astonished by the quantity--and quality--of your posts! You are a true reader and a great inspiration.

I'm not familiar with all the other blogs you mention, but I'll try to visit as many as I possibly can soon.