Sunday, January 28, 2018

BW5: Brit Tripping

Photo © Richard Croft (cc-by-sa/2.0)


Next week, the Great Mysterious British road trip will begin and and will affectionately be called Brit Tripping from here on.  The trip is hosted by Sandy and Amy and they are here to explain all about the rules, the ranks, trips, and the schedule.

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This year we’ll be following the Roman roads through England with the intent of reading a book from each of the 45 counties with a few extra trips to London. At the beginning of the week we’ll check in with our route and we’ll post what we’ve read. Pack your bags and kindles and audiobooks and get ready to Brit Trip!
One of the challenges we discovered in planning was that the counties change frequently and in many places overlap with other counties and then there’s some disagreement on what is and isn’t a county.
General rules:
  • Join in for as much as you want. This is supposed to be fun.
  • Let us know if you are in so we know who we are caravanning with!
  • Rereads are allowed.
  • No page number minimum.
  • Please follow us on Goodreads. We’ll be shelving our Brit Tripping reads on their own shelf. To see what counties are included you need to go MumtoTwo’s page and click on SETTINGS next to the search box and check the box for RECOMMENDER. Then at the bottom of the beige box click on CLOSE.
  • Our expected itinerary will be posted every Sunday.
  • The complete schedule for the year is available in the England Mystery road trip link above. 
  
Join a bus:

  • The Detectives (Mystery reading)
  • The Rebels (Mixed genre reading)

All those who joined us for our adventures will earn a rank based on number of counties completed.


And the final level is The Bertram Wooster. That is earned by reading one book set in England of any genre but failing spectacularly at all other challenges. A good attitude must be maintained despite numerous hardships. Employing a Gentleman’s Gentleman is optional but encouraged. Bonus points awarded if you are accidentally engaged multiple times during the year.


Schedule:

Ermine Street
  • 2/04 - London (Scotland Yard)
  • 2/11 – Cambridgeshire
  • 2/18 – Huntingdonshire
  • 2/25 – Bedfordshire
  • 3/04 – Northampton shire and Rutland
  • 3/11 - Nottinghamshire
  • 3/18 - East and West Riding of Yorkshire
  • 3/25 – York

Dere Street
  • 4/01 – North Yorkshire
  • 4/08 – Durham
  • 4/15 – Tyne and Wear
  • 4/22 – Northumbria

Ichnield Way
  • 4/29 – Isle of Wight
  • 5/06 – Dorset
  • 5/13 – Hampshire
  • 5/20 – Berkshire
  • 5/27 – Buckinghamshire
  • 6/03 – Herefordshire
  • 6/10 – Essex
  • 6/17 – Suffolk
  • 6/24 - Norfolk

Fosse Way
  • 7/01 – Cornwall
  • 7/08 – Devon
  • 7/15 – Dorset
  • 7/22 – Gloucestershire
  • 7/29 – Derbyshire
  • 8/12 – Lincolnshire

Akemam Street
  • 8/19 – London
  • 8/26 – Oxfordshire
  • 9/02 – Wiltshire
  • 9/09 – Somerset

Watling Way
  • 09/16 – Kent
  • 09/23 – Sussex
  • 09/30 – Surrey
  • 10/07 – Spooky London
  • 10/14 – Worcestershire
  • 10/21 – Warwickshire
  • 10/28 – West Midlands
  • 11/04 – Staffordshire
  • 11/11 – Shropshire
  • 11/18 – Cheshire
  • 11/25 – Merseyside
  • 12/02 – Manchester
  • 12/09 – Lancashire
  • 12/16 – Cumbria

Christmas in London

We hope you enjoy traveling around England with us!

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Please link to your specific post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up  Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link or comment on the current week's post.




Sunday, January 21, 2018

BW4: River by Shuntaro Tanikawa

Courtesy of Wikipedia



River 

by 




Mother, 
Why is the river laughing? 
Why, because the sun is tickling the river


Mother, 
Why is the river singing? 
Because the skylark praised the river's voice


Mother, 
Why is the river cold? 
It remembers being once loved by the snow. 


Mother, 
How old is the river? 
It's the same age as the forever young springtime. 

Mother, 
Why does the river never rest? 
Well, you see it's because the mother sea
Is waiting for the river to come home. 



Learn more about Shuntaro Tanikawa from Japan Times Newly Selected Poems,  Roger Pulvers, the Guardian's Poem of the Week as well as the Skinny's Escaping West.

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Please link to your specific post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up  Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link or comment on the current week's post.



Sunday, January 14, 2018

BW3: Travels along the Silk Road

Courtesy of Silkroutes.net


I've had an interesting time exploring Japan, but the pull of the Silk Road is drawing me away. There are a number of directions to go since the trade route runs from China across Central and South Asia, through the Middle East, and into Europe.  Let's take a step back in time with China Discovery's Classic Silk Road Tour.  

Shall we follow in the footsteps of  Xuanzang, a seventh-century Chinese monk




"The Silk Road Journey with Xuanzang tells the saga of the seventh-century Chinese monk Xuanzang, one of China's great heroes, who completed an epic sixteen-year-long journey to discover the heart of Buddhism at its source in India. Eight centuries before Columbus, this intrepid pilgrim traveled 10,000 miles on the Silk Road, meeting most of Asia's important leaders at that time. In this revised and updated edition, Sally Hovey Wriggins, the first Westerner to walk in Xuanzang's footsteps, brings to life a courageous explorer and devoutly religious man. Through Wriggins's telling of Xuanzang's fascinating and extensive journey, the reader comes to know the contours of the Silk Road, Buddhist art and archaeology, the principles of Buddhism, as well as the geography and history of China, Central Asia, and India. The Silk Road Journey with Xuanzang is an inspiring story of human struggle and triumph, and a touchstone for understanding the religions, art, and culture of Asia."




Take a historical fiction journey full of dragons and ghosts



"SILK ROAD takes you into the golden age of China's multi-cultural Tang dynasty. Aided by ghosts, goddesses, dragons, and her own determination, the heroine becomes a courtesan, a musician, a runaway, a wandering swordswoman, a poet, and more.




Discover Buddha's hidden Library in Journeys on the Silk Road 



"When a Chinese monk broke into a hidden cave in 1900, he uncovered one of the world’s great literary secrets: a time capsule from the ancient Silk Road. Inside, scrolls were piled from floor to ceiling, undisturbed for a thousand years. The gem within was the Diamond Sutra of AD 868. This key Buddhist teaching, made 500 years before Gutenberg inked his press, is the world’s oldest printed book."  



Explore the Cave Temples full of Buddhist Art



"The Mogao grottoes in northwestern China, located near the town of Dunhuang on the fabled Silk Road, constitute one of the world’s most significant sites of Buddhist art. Preserved in some five hundred caves carved into rock cliffs at the edge of the Gobi Desert are one thousand years of exquisite wall paintings and sculpture. Founded by Buddhist monks in the late fourth century, Mogao grew into an artistic and spiritual center whose renown extended from the Chinese capital to the far western kingdoms of the Silk Road. Among its treasures are 45,000 square meters of murals, more than 2,000 statues, and some 50,000 medieval silk paintings and illustrated manuscripts."

Immerse yourself in the poetry of the Silk Road



"Journeys Along the Silk Road is a fascinating poetic journey meandering along the ancient Silk Road featuring some of most exciting poets of our generation. The poems in the book reflect the great diversity of the cultures and people of the Silk Road. Drawn from countries traditionally associated with the ancient road they offer a fascinating snapshot of life along the Silk Road in the twenty-first century."




Happy Travels! 

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Please link to your specific post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up  Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link or comment on the current week's post.





Sunday, January 7, 2018

BW2: Miyuki Miyabe and Haruki Murakami

Courtesy of Goodreads

Our author choices of the month are Miyuki Miyabe and Haruki Murakami.


Miyuki Miyabe was born December 23, 1960 in Tokyo, Japan where she still lives at present.   She began writing classes at the age of 23 while working in a law office. Her  debut short story Warera  ga rinjin no hanzai (Our Neighbor's Crime) was published in 1987 and won the All Yomimono Mystery Prize for new writers.  

She has written short stories, a horror anthology - Apparitions: Ghosts of Old Edo,    numerous adult crime and thrillers plus  science fiction fantasy novels for children. She has received numerous awards for her work including Mystery Writers of Japan in 1992,  Japan SF Award in 1997, and The Best Japanese Crime Fiction of the Year in 1992. She also won the U.S. Batchelder award  for Brave Story as the most outstanding children's book, translated into English and published in the U.S.   

Several of her novels had been made into tv dramas and films.  Brave Story was also adapted into a children's animated film in 2006 and  nominated for an "Animation of the Year" award for the 2007 Japanese Academy Awards. 

Her most recent best selling novels are St. Peter’s Funeral Procession , as well as Solomon's Perjury which has yet to be translated. 

Learn more about Miyuki through Reuter's interview Japan Writer wants world to see new face of Toyko as well as Miyuki Miyabe and Japanese Noir.  

If you are feeling really ambitious, check out Noriko Chino's doctorate dissertation from 2008 on Miyuki Miyabe's Place in the Development of Japanese Mystery Fiction



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Courtesy of Time 



Haruki Murakami was born January 12, 1949 in Tokyo, Japan and will be 69 this year. He began writing at the age of 29, inspired by all things, a baseball game. Hear the Wind Sing, his first book in Trilogy of the Rat, was published in 1979 and he won the Gunzou Shinjin Sho, the Gunzo New Writer Award for new writers, established by Gunzo Magazine.

He soon followed up with two more books in his Trilogy of the Rat:  Pinball 1973 in 1979  and A Wild Sheep Chase in 1982.  He won the Noma Bungei Shinjin Sho (Noma Literary Award for New Writers) for A Wild Sheep Chase in 1982.  During this period of time he sold his bar, Jazz Cats, which he had opened in 1974, and began writing full time.

In 1985 he wrote Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the Year  for which he won the  Junichi Tanizaki Award.  In 1991 he moved to the United States where he taught at Princeton and also wrote The Wind Up Bird Chronicle which was published in 1994. He won the prestigious Yomiuri Literary Award.

He moved back to Japan in 1995 and has gone on to write numerous novels both fiction and nonfiction, including his latest short story collection released in 2017 - Men Without Women.

If you want to find out more about Murakami -  Check out his website, follow him on facebook, peak into his interviews in Japan Times including articles on  musicjazz and the brain, and danish award


Join me in reading both Miyuki Miyabe and Haruki Murakami this month! 


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Please link to your specific post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up  Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link to the current week's post.






Monday, January 1, 2018

BW1: Welcome to our Open Roads Reading Adventure



Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. 
They are the destination, and the journey. 
They are home.” ~  Anna Quindlen



Happy new year and welcome to Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks. Welcome to all who are joining me for another round and all who are diving in for the first time.   The rules are very simple and the goal - Read 52 Books.  How you get there is up to you. 

We are going around the world again and to aid us in our venture, we have several optional challenges listed in the link bar above.  Our monthly itinerary may be found in Armchair Travels and Authors. Along the way, we are going to stop and spell the roses with Blossom Bookology, or entice your reading taste buds with another round of 52 Books Bingoas well as delve into mysteries with the Great Mysterious England Road Trip.  

You may decide to engage with the greats through the Well Educated Mind or Nobel Prize Winners of Literature,  or fly through the world of science fiction and fantasy with Mind Voyages  You may choose to read alphabetically with Alphabet Soup, finally dive into those dusty and chunky books that are probably yelling at you by now, or Feed Your Muse with poetry, essays and short stories.   As always, you may choose to travel along with me or follow your own path.  

Grab your walking shoes, backpack and maps as we begin our Open Roads Reading Adventure on the Silk Road which extends from the west coast of Japan to the Middle east. We'll begin our travels in Japan with our author choices of the month:   Haruki Murakami and Miyuki Miyabe.   

It has become a tradition to start our reading year with Haruki Murakami.  Join me in going back to his beginnings and read his debut Trilogy of the Rat -  Hear the Wind SingPinball, and A Wild Sheep Chase - or choose one of his other books if you've already read them. Learn more about Miyuki Miyabe and dive into her debut story, All She Was Worth or one of her many other novels.   I currently have her paranormal story The Gates of Sorrow waiting in the wings. 

Our Blossom Bookology's reading challenge begins in ancient times.  The flower of the month is Chrysanthemum which was cultivated in China in 15BC, brought to Japan in 8AD and became the symbol of the Japanese emperor and the imperial family, then introduced in 17th Century to the western world. It comes in a variety of colors and represents longevity and happiness.  

There are a number of directions to go with this challenge. You may choose to spell out the word, reading one book per letter using either the title and/or the first or last name of the author.  Yes, you can mix it up.  You may read a book with the name of the flower, color of the flower in the title or on the cover.  Another possibility is a book which takes place in the time period or flower's country of origin or has some cultural significance and/or symbolism of the flower.  The choices are unlimited.  Have fun following rabbit trails and see where it takes you. 

Cheers to a wonderful, flower filled, adventurous new reading year! 



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For the first week, link to your I'm participating post, reading plans or to your most current review. Please link to your specific  post and not your general blog link. In the Your Name field, type in your name and the name of the book in parenthesis. In the Your URL field leave a link to your specific post. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment telling us what you have been reading.   Every week I will put up  Mr. Linky which will close at the end of each book week.  No matter what book you are reading or reviewing at the time, whether it be # 1 or # 5 or so on, link to the current week's post.