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Ulysses by James Joyce


4/5 stars (2 stars for overall enjoyment)

Ulysses is considered to THE modernist novel. Divided into 18 episodes, the novel is loosely based on Homer’s the Odyssey. Events and characters from the Odyssey are transformed into events and characters within a 24-hour period in Dublin in the early 1900s. The majority of the novel uses stream-of-consciousness and follows protagonist Leopold Bloom who represents Odysseus. However, each episode uses a different type of technique and much of it seems chaotic and unstructured on first read. Within the book you’ll find an episode written in the style of a play, one episode written as a series of questions and answers, one written as a series of hallucinations, one in a pompous, old fashioned style, and one episode representing the gestation of the English language –where Joyce starts off with more archaic styles then ends with slang all within the same chapter.

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The Reader's Room

Welcome to my book blog! I hope you join me as I make my way through Boxall’s 1001 Books to Read Before you Die list. My goal for 2015 is to read 125 books. I have a variety of other personal reading challenges that I’ll write about later. Although one main focus is the 1001 book list, I do plan to read a mix of other books too. I’ve found that Boxall’s list consists of a lot of very depressing books so for my own mental health, I like to sprinkle in a lot of other types of  books into the mix.

This is my first attempt at a blog and I have some ideas for how it will ultimately look but i’m looking for your feedback on what sorts of things you’d like to see here. So far, I’m envisioning the following types of posts.

  1. Book reviews
  2. Guest blogs (I read mostly literary fiction and many are 1001 books. So, I’ll be asking trusted sources to contribute an occasional post that would cover other sorts of books that may be underrepresented in my reviews — science fiction, etc)
  3. Book-worthy news (to include lists published elsewhere, book awards, etc)
  4. Children’s corner: I’d like to have a page for reviews of books that I read with my 4 year old daughter including her “review.”
  5. Random book-related posts (silly things like my thoughts on wine – book pairings, etc).
  6. Challenges: I’m thinking I can post challenges to other readers. Maybe even a monthly book that we can all read together and discuss.

I’m thinking that ultimately several of these types of posts would be done on a schedule. For example, a monthly children’s corner post, a monthly guest blog, and a weekly book review. Then the random posts would be probably posted when I have something to write about.

I’d love to get all your thoughts on what type of things you’d like to see in a book blog. Which potential topics (listed above do you like? Not like? would like to see?). Please send me your comments and feedback so I can work on getting this up and running in a way that works best!