Today – June 16 – all over the world and especially in Dublin, fans of literature are celebrating Bloomsday, the day on which the masterpiece James Joyce’s Ulysses is set. Since I did my thesis work on the pubs in Ulysses I think this day should be celebrated with a pub crawl!
(If you want to know more about Bloomsday and why it deserves a celebration, first read my post on reading Ulysses and celebrating Bloomsday.)
If you, like me, happen to live where no one else (that you know of!) is celebrating Bloomsday, it is entirely possible to pay tribute to the pubs of 1904 Dublin in your own city, assuming you have a decent variety of pubs and gathering places from which to choose.
As Leopold Bloom has shown us, it is even possible to stay sober during this adventure if you so choose!
Here’s your itinerary to celebrate Bloomsday (exact timing is optional):
For my very first blog post on LesliesBookcase.com one year ago today, I wrote about why I love old books.
Before this blog, I had not read “new books” in many years because I had been working on my M.A. in English Literature, specifically studying Joyce’s Ulysses, and after that I was trying to read through my bookcases.
So for several years, decades even, best sellers and new releases were not on my radar, but now…
In the past year thanks to this blogging adventure, I have discovered how much I ALSO LOVE NEW BOOKS.
So in honor of my “blogoversary” here are 5 reasons I love new books. I apologize to my old books; please do know I still love you and plan to read you too (but maybe not as much).
Last week I finished the book “Moonglow” and saw the movie “Moonlight.”
My double moon experience was a coincidence, but it left me contemplating these vastly different life stories with references to the same moon.
Moonglow: A Novel
Moonglow was on my Fall-Winter reading list and it has since been named as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. It is based on the death-bed confessions of the author’s grandpa, including many stories he heard for the first time in the last week or so of his grandfather’s life.
The title here references the grandfather’s passion for space travel. I will never look at the official photo of the Challenger space crew the same due to one of the stories told in this book! Also, the first time he saw his wife was by “moonglow.”
I used to read one book at a time. I thought I owed it to each book to give it my undivided attention, and I wasn’t sure I could concentrate on multiple books at a time.
I’ve since discovered that reading multiple books simultaneously (what I am going to call “multi-booking”) makes me a more efficient and even a more thoughtful reader.
How can this be?
The Multiple Choice cover characterizes the book as well as possible: It reads as fiction, non-fiction, possibly poetry, and all of these genres together yet unlike any of them.
It’s not very often I can write that a book is completely different than anything I’ve ever read, but today I can.
Reading Multiple Choice is an experience I recommend to anyone who enjoys the study of literature, whether your study is formal or not. I expect this book will pop up on many modern literature syllabi.
As the title implies, the book reads in the format of a standardized test.
Literary cameos in HBO’s “The Night Of”
“Survival in here is all about your alliances….Those husky dogs knew that.” – Freddy from HBO’s popular new series “The Night Of” in reference to Jack London’s Call of the Wild
I get really excited when I see references to literature (or intertextuality) usefully inserted into an already great story line – it makes me pause, rewind, quote, and blog. So here goes:
If you are not watching HBO’s new drama “The Night Of” I STRONGLY recommend it (no serious spoilers here).
I want to reflect on a scene from episode 4 that offers some fascinating literary cameos when Naz, a soft-spoken university student who is in prison awaiting a trial for murder, meets with Freddy, a smooth, smart, and powerful longtime inmate who is essentially running the prison.
First, Freddie “educates” Naz on the “two most popular books in the prison library.”
Books in a bookcase stand at attention, physically touching, yet unable to share their content with each other.
Or so it appears…
Do you celebrate Bloomsday on June 16?
June 16, 1904, is the day on which Leopold Bloom – hence Bloomsday – walks around Dublin in James Joyce’s Ulysses.
(If you have already read Ulysses and already celebrate, you may enjoy my tips and tricks for drinking in Ulysses.)
The history of this post, which will attempt to convince you to read Ulysses, goes back more than a decade:
I ended up, by accident, at a Bloomsday festival at Mike & Molly’s beergarden in Champaign where people who apparently had read Ulysses and appeared to like it were taking turns reading it from a stage. The book’s language was tedious, and I honestly remember joking to my friend (a detail I left out of the intro to my thesis defense), “Well…I never need to read that book.”
When we were house hunting, it came down to two houses. One had a three-car garage, was on a lake, and had built-in bookcases. The other, which we now live in, didn’t have these particular things, but was great in other ways.
My husband gave up his dreams of fishing out of his back yard and keeping all his trailers and boats on-site.
And I thought I was giving up my bookcases.