BBAW 2011 (Monday) – These Are A Few Of My Favourite Blogs

Welcome, one and all, to another round of BBAW themed posts.  If you’ve dropped by this way before, nice to see you again – if you’re a newcomer around these parts, thanks for stopping by!  Today, it’s our chance to spread the love and tell the world (or, at least, the blogosphere) all about those bloggers who make our online existence just that little bit sweeter 🙂

My blog is not one of the most popular blogs out there, and the type of books I prefer to blather on about are not everyone’s cup of tea.  It’s no surprise then that the bloggers I want to talk about today might also be described in this way – which is not to say that they’re not popular (they are), or that they’re not excellent (because they definitely are).  It’s just that they’re, well, a little different.  In a good way.  So, without further ado, let’s go and meet my wonderful choices…

The first person I’d like to introduce you to is Violet from Still Life With BooksViolet is a Kiwi living in Australia, and her blog, as well as presenting occasional reviews of literary fiction, is focused heavily on non-fiction.  Personally, I’m not a big fan of reading about things that have actually happened, preferring instead to immerse myself in someone else’s imagination, but Violet does a wonderful job of making her choices (often biographies of writers, painters and other notables of times past) sound enticing, even to someone like me.  One particular area of interest is the Bloomsbury group of writers, so if you have a hankering for knowing more about the lives and loves of Woolf and her contemporaries, this is a great blog to peruse at your leisure 🙂

Next, we’ll move on from a diet of biographies and memoirs to one of (mostly) fictional delights – but mainly from the nineteenth century.  The enigmatically named Amateur Reader, from the aptly-named Wuthering Expectations, is one of my favourite sources for new avenues to explore when it comes to all things classical.  In addition to the obvious wealth of knowledge concentrated in one person, the other feature of this blog is the intense focus on literary works which is displayed.  Where the majority of blogs will devour, digest, review and move on in a very short time-frame, Wuthering Expectations is a forum for a prolonged, detailed discussion of aspects of a particular work of fiction.  Now if five consecutive posts on dialogue in one of Trollope’s Barchester Chronicles doesn’t appeal, I will understand.  If, however, that sounds perfect for you, well, you know where to go…

My third choice today tends towards the (slightly) more contemporary, but still opts for more than his fair share of left-of-centre choices.  Gary, from The Parrish Lantern, produces an eclectic range of reviews on all manner of literary delights, with a growing preference for translated fiction and (especially) poetry.  He has been very active with the Japanese Literature Challenge and has tempted me into thinking about giving certain writers (e.g. Bolano, Borges) a go – writers I really should have looked at by now 😦  It’s always good to have people like Gary to give you a bit of a shove when you need it…

…and when it comes to people giving you a friendly tap on the shoulder, reminding you to take a peek outside your own little corner of the world, there are none better than the incomparable, and inimitable, Stu Allen – or, as he is otherwise known, Winston’s Dad.  The owner of the most famous bulldog in the blogosphere is a fierce champion of translated fiction, devouring dozens of novels, novellas and short-story collections originally written in a language other than English, whilst also promoting the publishers who are game enough to venture into this area.  With his idiosyncratic style, his frequent posting and his unwavering resolve to get good foreign writing out there (to the extent that he recently apologised for posting about too many books from the U.K and U.S.!), Stu is a vital part of the blogging world, and one whom many would miss were he to decide to spend more time with his family – or his dog 🙂

I wish I had the time, the space and the energy to go on and mention several more special bloggers, but (bluntly speaking) I don’t.  There are many other bloggers I could have mentioned here (Eva of A Striped Armchair and Iris of Iris on Books are two I may have chosen were they less popular!), but these are the ones I thought perhaps don’t get a lot of press.  These four people produce wonderful work in niche areas and don’t get the praise, and attention, they deserve.  Let’s hope that changes today 🙂

21 thoughts on “BBAW 2011 (Monday) – These Are A Few Of My Favourite Blogs

  1. I love your selection Tony! I admit I spend too little time at Wuthering Expectations this year, but the other three are frequently visited by me (Btw, I would disagree with calling my blog popular but it is flattering nonetheless :P).


  2. Love your description of Stu & Winston & like most people here I've an interest in all the others, all with their own range of interest.
    Also a big hearty thanks for mentioning me as it means a lot coming from someone whose one of my favourite bloggers & who treated me to a virtual German holiday this year.


  3. What fine company – thanks, Tony. Popular! Yuh huh.

    I can explain the enigma of my name: Amateur = no money.

    Playing by the book: I do kids' books! PeterPan, George MacDonald. Look for my week on Laura Ingalls Wilder. That went somewhere, and was perhaps my favorite series of posts from the last year.


  4. Ohhh: I'm off to explore Violet's blog! I can tell BBAW is going to be hell on my reader. 😉 And thanks for the parenthetical shout out: I love our Twitter convos and your blog is in my favourites folder! So right back at you. 😀


  5. Thanks for all the interest, and I can only reaffirm my advice to visit all these bloggers 🙂 I'm not going to reply to everyone individually, but I will try to return the visit shortly!

    Heidenkind – I am well aware of Colleen; hers was the first blog I ever saw and one of the things that got me into blogging!


  6. I read Cecelia's interview with you and I think your blog sound pretty interesting!

    I share your disinterest in vampire and werewolf books. I swore i'd never read one. But I sort of lied because I am reading The Radleys by one of your countrymen, Matt Haig. In my defense this isn't a typical YA vampire/werewolf book (I don't think there are any werewolves in the book ~ I hope not!). It's about a family of vampires trying to live a normal, non-vamoire life!

    I was an english major and, although I haven't been reading many classics recently or as much literature as I want to, I'm going to be working my way back there. I have several Haruki Murakami books to read, DH Lawrence books I want to read, some Kafka and so on and so forth!

    I don't know most of the blogs you singled out but will be visiting them soon. I visiy Iris' blog and Eva's occasionally and think they're both great.

    I also love many things British…do you think you'll ever move back to England? Do you have more of an Australian accent now or is it strictly British?!


  7. Thanks Amy 🙂

    Please do visit the blogs mentioned – they're all wonderful!

    As for my accent, Aussies think I'm quintessentially English while my family considers me to have gone native! I have the Anglo-Australian equivalent of a trans-Atlantic accent – trans-African, perhaps?!


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