The Empty Family

Of course, I read an amazing, wonderful book…and I have to follow it up with a terrible one. It never fails, does it?

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I’ve had The Empty Family on my shelf for awhile–it was one I picked up from the $1 shelf at Half-Price. I had liked Brooklyn, so I thought I’d pick something else up from Toibin. I didn’t realize until I got it home that it was a collection of short stories.

Which, ok, short stories do not always doom a book. But, I just have such a hard time with them. There’s never enough time to get into anything. Some authors are great at this. Most just don’t cut it for me.

If you’ve been around for awhile, you know how much I HATE JAMES JOYCE. Nothing EVER happens in his stories. These were a lot like modern day Joyce. There is a main person, usually a gay male, has a very vague problem to solve. There’s some tragic backstory that we get very little of, but it really is super important to the whole underlying issue. It’s all very dark and sad and it’s supposed to be beautifully depressing, but mostly it just comes off limp.

Next please!

WWW Wednesday 3/4/2015

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What are you currently reading?

Selected Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Divergent by Veronica Roth

 

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Dream Lover by Elizabeth Berg

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Dubliners & A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

 

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Cecilia by Fanny Burney

Cress by Marissa Meyer

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

Dubliners & The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Well, I’ve finally done it. I can finally FINALLY say I have read James Joyce.

Or…at least skimmed James Joyce.

Good God Almighty how I HATE James Joyce.

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I know, I KNOW. That’s somewhat of an unpopular opinion in the literary field, but I just really really hate James Joyce. I’ve had this book forever. And I’ve tried to read it at least half a dozen times. This is the first time I’ve gotten through the whole thing to completion. And it’ll probably be the last. I might burn it. Honestly.

It was that bad. (No…I’m not REALLY going to burn it. Put down your axes.)

First–Dubliners. I don’t have much to say about this section of Joyce’s work. A bunch of short stories where nothing ever happens in any of them. Meh. Some people like that sort of thing. I don’t. It’s why I find short stories to be dull most of the time. Every once in awhile I’ll find a really brilliant one, but they just aren’t for me usually. *shrug*

The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a whole other ball game of loathing. As I swore to myself I would–I read a chapter a day once I got to this section. Every day I fought against the urge to give up.

There are two major notations I had while reading this, make of them what you will. I couldn’t make heads nor tales of the actual story. I know it’s about an Irish coming of age story in a boarding school. That’s about all I’ve got.

1. Joyce is an author trying to write YA fiction, but he doesn’t understand teenagers at all. The voice sounds more like a kindergartner than a middle or high schooler, so I can’t figure out how old the boy is, except for the title I would think he were a toddler. (This note was written in the earlier chapters, I did figure out later he was in his later teens based on some of the sexual references and his desire to become a priest. I still found Joyce’s writing method very patronizing.)

2. While I find Catholic history/lore intriguing, I do not so much love to read lectures–and maybe that’s why I find Joyce so utterly impossible read. His writing is just one long sermon. When I read a book I do not want to be preached at.

My last thought about Joyce before I stop my rant is how much I hated his formatting. I think that is the #1 thing that made this book so hard for me to read. My brain could absolutely not comprehend that I was reading dialogue, when all of his paragraphs were cut up into dashes at the beginning of his indentations. Nope nope nope. My brain reads those as bullet points and lists, not speech, and what do I do with lists? I scan!

Ok, I’m done here. Moving on!

 

Fulfills Boxall #76

Fulfills PopSugar #20:  A book at the bottom of your to-read list

WWW Wednesday 2/18/2015

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Trying to get back in the swing of things–read Rothfuss’s two mega novels to kind of get over my vacation hangover and catch up on reviews, now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

What are you currently reading?

Dubliners & A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Purge of Babylon by Sam Sisavath

The Slow Regard for Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

WWW Wednesday 2/11/2015

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What are you currently reading?

Dubliners & A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Wonders by Paddy O’Reilly

Watch for these two reviews today and tomorrow!

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

The Empty Family by Colm Toibin

 

WWW Wednesday 1/28/2015

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My friend Sam has taken over WWW Wednesdays, hence the new image! Be sure to click the button above and go give her some love!

 

What are you currently reading?

Dubliners & A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

 

What did you just finish reading?

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by Ben Montgomery

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Wonders by Paddy O’Reilly

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

 

72HR Read-A-Thon | TBR List & Reading Goals

The Lovely Sara over at Trees of Reverie is hosting a readathon this weekend, just in time for the 24 hour Readathon Day tomorrow. I’ve got a lot to do this weekend to get ready for our vacation, along with 3 hours of yoga (!!!!), but there’s going to be plenty of reading in there too.

I haven’t set a page goal, because I have so much going on, but I’d like to get through at least 2 books, maybe three, along with the normal shorts that I read on Fridays. Here’s what’s on the list:

My normal reading from James Joyce Dubliners and Short Story Fiction that I have planned today.

Books on the upcoming list:

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

 

I’ll also be doing the Daily Bookish Challenges that Sara posts, and I’ll probably be reading in some of the sprints that Becki posts too. You can always follow along on Twitter and Tumblr, you know I’m always active on those two sites during these events! Tomorrow is going to be a big reading day for the whole Booklr community, I can’t wait!

WWW Wednesday 1/21/2015

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What are you currently reading?

Dubliners & A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

 

 

What did you just finish reading?

The Iliad by Homer

Pearl Harbor:  FDR Leads the Nation Into War by Steven Gillon

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Some Kind of Wonderful by Barbara Freethy

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

 

We are going on vacation beginning late next week, so depending on the timeline/how quickly I’m reading/internet connection/etc…my blogging may be sporadic for a bit. Please be patient with me. I’ll be back to normal after the second week of February!