Monday, August 30, 2010

Ulysses Read-along, Week 1: Episodes 1-4

Congratulations! You've survived your first week/experience with Ulysses!! How was it? Did you make it all the way through the first four episodes?

First, some notes on the novel as a whole.

The action of Ulysses follows Leopold Bloom through one day in Dublin - June 16, 1904. The novel begins around 8 a.m. and concludes later that night. Fans of Ulysses and Joyce celebrate Bloomsday on June 16 each year.

Joyce based this novel off Homer's The Odyssey, the story of Odysseus' journey, wanting to show life as a journey. Whereas Odysseus runs into all sorts of epic dangers and intrigues - gods, monsters, massive storms - Bloom's "journey" is full of the dreariness and humdrum events of the everyday - eating lunch, getting drunk, etc.

A few things to think about throughout the novel:

1) Parallels to The Odyssey
2) Mocking of religion - Joyce was raised Catholic and educated by Jesuits, but he gave up the faith once he reached adulthood
3) The Irish identity - The late-19th and early-20th centuries brought a renewal of interest in Irish nationalism, folklore and history
4) The search for a father/son
5) Remorse
6) Compassion as a heroic quality

There are many, many more themes and motifs and things to think about throughout this novel, but these are some of the biggies that I've run into in both my reading thus far and my research on this novel. Any others that you think should be added to the list?

Now, I'll give some of my thoughts on the episodes individually. Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts!

Episode 1: Telemachus

The first thing I noticed when stepping into this novel was how different the Stephen Dedalus we meet here is from the Stephen Dedalus we've left at the end of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. That Stephen is overconfident, bohemian, and atheistic. We left him ready to take on the art world in Paris, but he has apparently failed to do just that in the two years between the close of Portrait and the opening of Ulysses, leaving him feeling a failure. In addition, Stephen has been rocked by the death of his mother, who asked him to pray over her deathbed. Stephen, no longer adhering to the church or any religious tendencies, refuses, leaving him with guilt that he still carries into the action of Ulysses.


There are a lot of references to Shakespeare's Hamlet in this episode, with direct parallels between Stephen and Hamlet. I just love any kind of Shakespeare references in literature. But where Hamlet broods over his uncle's murder of his father, Stephen broods over the loss of his mother. His mood isn't helped any by the cajoling of Buck Mulligan, who jokes that Stephen killed his mother by refusing to pray over her.

Perhaps the thing I noticed the most in this episode was the constant references to Irishness and Irish poets/history/folklore. Yeats is referenced constantly (Another thing that makes my geeky heart glad!), and Buck sings or quotes a few Irish folk songs. The Irish nationalism movement was big around the turn of the century, with Yeats leading the way trying to create a national literature. Sometimes, the constant referencing makes the narrative a little inaccessible, especially for anyone completely unfamiliar with Ireland, but a good annotation, and even an Internet search, helps a lot!

Episode 2: Nestor

Whew. Talk about an overload of things to think about! Two pages in, and I sat back in my chair and contemplated a little Aristotelian theory for a few minutes, mostly brought on by passages such as this:
It must be a movement then, an actuality of the possible as possible. Aristotle's phrase formed itself within the gabbled verses and floated out into the studious silence of the library of Saint Genevieve where he had read, sheltered from the sin of Paris, night by night. By his elbow a delicate Siamese conned a handbook of strategy. Fed and feeding brains about me: under glowlamps, impaled, with faintly beating feelers: and in my mind's darkness a sloth of the underworld, reluctant, shy of brightness, shifting her dragon scaly folds. Thought is the thought of thought. Tranquil brightness. The soul is in a manner all that is: the soul is the form of forms.

In the course of Stephen's lesson to his students, he thinks a bit about whether or not Pyrrhus and Julius Caesar were destined for greater things had they not been cut down in the prime of their lives. Was their destiny (and the destiny of others like them) just to become quickly rising stars snuffed out at the peak, or did one happenstance rob the world of the potential great things that could have happened?

There was a repeat of the near-constant focus on Irishness and maintaining and Irish identity in this episode, especially as Stephen talks with Deasy. Deasy babbles endlessly about historical events, blaming all the wrongs in the world on two major groups -- Jews and women. Instead of looking and moving forward, Deasy is stuck in the past (Not somewhere Stephen wants to be), remembering the famine and blaming everyone under the sun. I know that the anti-Semitism is going to come back to haunt us later on in the book (Leopold Bloom is a Jew, after all), so I'll have to get used to it, but I just could not wait for Deasy to get out of the picture. He just strikes me as one of those people that I don't like to be around in real life: Everything's everyone else's fault, never their own.

Episode 3: Proteus

Wow, was there ever a massive focus on death and decay in this episode, mostly because we're getting the entire episode (With the exception of one line of dialogue) through Stephen's mind. There's brown and decay and death and drowning men all over the place, which speaks a lot to Stephen's mindset. As I said before, this is a very different Stephen from the one we saw in Portrait: He's downtrodden and feeling like a failure, and he's watched his mother die. It's no wonder, then, that his thoughts while walking down the beach turn toward death.

There's also a lot of shifting in this episode, which is convenient since Proteus was a shape-shifting god (See what I did there? All nice and neat!). One of the major shifts is in Stephen's perception of his surroundings. The episode begins with Stephen contemplating his own reactions and perceptions of his surroundings. Since we're getting all of this through Stephen's interior monologue, we only get Stephen's perceptions as well. However, as the episode progresses, Stephen begins to perceive his surroundings in a much more real fashion, leading up to actual physical actions -- urination, picking his nose, etc. Stephen then uses this shift in perspective to actually create something: A poem inspired by the cocklepickers.

Episode 4: Calypso

Finally, Leopold Bloom arrives on the scene. We've returned again to the beginning of the day, and Joyce has Stephen and Leopold both observe the same cloud to give the reader a clue that Episodes 4 and 1 are taking place simultaneously. There are also a few other correlations between Stephen's and Leopold's narratives, including that both men fix breakfast for others, both are dressed in mourning, and both leave the house without their keys.

However, for all the similarities Joyce creates between the two episodes, there also are some striking differences. For one, Leopold is obviously a much more sympathetic, likable character than Stephen: He prepares Molly's and the cat's breakfasts before he makes his own without complaining, whereas Stephen almost angrily helps serve Haines his breakfast. There's also much more focus on Leopold's physical movements than there is on Stephen's -- Most of Stephen's narration is thought-driven. The two men's perceptions of things also differ. Where Stephen's perception of an object leads him to ponder some abstraction, such as the observation of the passing cloud leading Stephen to think of death, and that abstraction tends to lead right back to Stephen, Leopold's perception of an object causes him to ponder much larger concepts outside himself. In other words, even the way that Leopold thinks about things shows that he's a much more sympathetic, other-centered character than Stephen.



So, that's the end of the first section. How are you feeling? Are you still in this to win this?

What was your favorite/least favorite part of this first section? Did anything completely stump you? What are your thoughts overall about Joyce's writing? 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie

From That's A Novel Idea and Find Your Next Book Here
 




 Shalimar the Clown: A Novel

1 book I read: Shalimar the Clown

2 words that describe the book: Literary fiction (I don't have much insight beyond that!)

3 settings where it took place or characters you met:

Settings: Kashmir, India and Los Angeles, California

Max Ophuls - The former ambassador to India is murdered, in broad daylight, on the front steps of his daughter's apartment building by his new limousine driver. Ophuls, a larger-than-life man who holds the secrets of the underground intelligence world, isn't exactly as gregarious and innocent as he first appears. Throughout the novel, we learn the long series of events spanning nearly three decades that led to his murder.

Shalimar the Clown - A native of the Kashmir region of India, Shalimar mysteriously appears at Ophuls' door one day, looking for work as a chauffeur. We know from the beginning that he is Ophuls' murderer, but it's not until we are taken back through a story of deep love and devastating loss do we understand why.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

I liked, as always, Rushdie's writing. It's disjointed enough to make his books a challenge, but has a fluidity and a beauty that is unparalleled. There's a reason I've been leading a (joking) Facebook campaign for nearly five years to get the man a Nobel Prize for Literature.

I liked the character of Shalimar, even though he is a murderer. I didn't like him right at the beginning of the novel, but he was pretty quickly thereafter established as a sympathetic character whose plight we were meant to understand.

I liked the glimpse we get of a world I've never seen. Sure, Rushdie's portrayal of Kashmir may not be totally faithful to reality, but he makes the region and its people come alive.

I didn't like (and this is probably a failing of myself as a reader) that the book is blurbed as a work of magical realism. I didn't really get that part of the story, even though I was looking for it!

5 Stars or less for your rating?

I'm giving the book 4 stars. I would recommend this book to any fan of Rushdie, those who like literature set in India, or anyone looking for something interesting and complex.


The Whys and Wheres: My bookshelves

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge

Friday, August 27, 2010

Come Join the Really Old Classics Challenge!

Waaaaay back in March, I decided to get really ambitious and volunteered to help out with the Really Old Classics Challenge. Last year, it was run by Rebecca and Heather. This year, Heather's still on board, joined by me and Ryan.

We've got lots of fun in store, along with lots of great books! The challenge runs from September 1 to December 31, so you have plenty of time to participate!


Even though the challenge starts on Wednesday (Eek!), we're still working out a few of the finer details (Including how to navigate around Wordpress since the three of us are on Blogger). But, go visit the challenge blog, check it out, and start gathering up your Really Old Classics in preparation for this year's challenge!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review and Blog Tour: Licensed for Trouble (PJ Sugar #3) by Susan May Warren

Licensed for Trouble (PJ Sugar)Title: Licensed for Trouble (PJ Sugar #3)

Author: Susan May Warren

Pages: 369

Rating: 10/10

Source: LitFuse Publicity Group

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge

Summary (From LitFuse):

PJ Sugar receives shocking news that she's inherited the Kellogg family mansion. Though she has no idea why, the timing is perfect-PJ has clearly worn out her welcome at her sister's house. Unfortunately, the mansion is in shambles, and PJ is short on cash. Rescue comes in the form of Max Smith, a mysterious handyman willing to trade his services for PJ's investigative skills. But PJ already has a full docket with cramming for her PI license and nurturing a growing romance with her boss, Jeremy Kane. Can she take on Max's case without dropping the ball?
Find out more about book one, Nothing But Trouble and book two, Double Trouble.

My Two Cents:

I was absolutely pleasantly surprised and enchanted with this book. I don't know what I was expecting, but I just adored this book.

PJ is one of my favorite characters in a long time. She's fun, smart, and sassy, and she has just enough flaws to make her realistic. I loved that she somehow always manages to get herself into trouble, but there's always someone to help her out of the problem. Sure, that may not be absolutely "real life" (Honestly, how many times do people fall into a river and have a friend who just happens to be driving by just in time to save them?), but I liked that little detail.

I've not read any of the other PJ Sugar books, so it took me a little bit to get into all the back story, but I understood what was going on just fine without knowing any of that. So, if you haven't read the first two PJ Sugars, you can still read this one, but just because these are so much fun, I'd recommend reading the first two! :)

This was a nice, clean, quick read that I would recommend to anyone looking for a little fun mixed in with a tad bit of mystery.


Enter PJ Sugar's "Sweet" Giveaway




Enter PJ Sugar's

Licensed for Trouble, Susan's brand new PJ Sugar novel, is in stores now! To celebrate the release, we’re giving away a Kindle!! You can enter using Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail using the icons below.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a A SWEET Kindle prize package that includes:

  • A brand new Kindle (Free 3G, 6”, Latest Generation)
  • The entire PJ Sugar series by Susan May Warren




About Susan May Warren: Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning author of twenty-four novels with Tyndale, Barbour and Steeple Hill. A four-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Book of the Year.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!) A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at: www.susanmaywarren.com.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt

From That's A Novel Idea and Find Your Next Book Here
 


Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

 
1 book I read: Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare

2 words that describe the book: Speculative biography

3 settings where it took place or characters you met:

Well, this is nonfiction, so I'm going to tell you about some people we met.


William Shakespeare - The man who inspired this whole book. His story of going from glove-maker's son to the greatest playwright in history is one that has fascinated generations.


Anne Hathaway - Shakespeare's wife who was several years his senior. No one knows whether their marriage was a happy one, but they had three children and she spent most of their marriage in Stratford-upon-Avon while he lived in London. If what Shakespeare bequeathed her in his will is any indication -- his second-best bed -- then the marriage wasn't all roses and sunshine.

Christopher Marlowe - Nearly the exact same age as Shakespeare, Marlowe hit his play-writing stride earlier in life, finding great success. There are indications that Shakespeare admired and even envied Marlowe's success -- There are several allusions to his work in Shakespeare's plays -- but no real evidence the two had any direct contact. Marlowe's unfortunate early death (Barfight? Political murder?) cleared the way for Shakespeare to become the preeminent playwright of his generation.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

I liked that, since no one really knows any of the details, some of this biography reads like a novel. You're never really sure what's real and what's not, which you usually don't want in a work of nonfiction, but somehow the uncertainty works for a Shakespeare biography.

I liked that, even though Greenblatt used Shakespeare's work to inform his biography, and even though there are very few real records to go on, this whole biography wasn't just speculation drawn from Shakespeare's works. I've seen biographies that say, "Shakespeare's relationship with his mother must have been bad because he writes X in Y play." Uh, no. Not necessarily. Greenblatt didn't do that, which was refreshing, to me.

I didn't like how some of the chapters were laid out. Greenblatt would start a chapter talking about a historical event or social construct of Shakespeare's times, then move on to talking about one or a few of the plays. Then, he would go back to the historical event. I know this book is supposed to be about Shakespeare's life and not a historical criticism of his work, but I would have liked to see some of the history tied in a little better with the reading of the plays. Sometimes, I forgot what historical event I was supposed to be connecting to the plays.

I liked that I got to learn a little more about several of the other playwrights who were contemporaries of Shakespeare, but we don't really hear much about. Sure, we all hear about playwrights such as Marlowe and Ben Jonson, but I never really knew much about the minor players such as Thomas Dekker and Thomas Heywood.

5 Stars or less for your rating?

I'm giving the book 5 stars. I would recommend this book to any fan of Shakespeare and his plays.


The Whys and Wheres: Borrowed from my dad

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Review: Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

CrescendoTitle: Crescendo (Hush, hush Book 2)

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Pages: 427 (I have an ARC, so page numbers in the final copy, due out Oct. 19, could be different)

Source: Publisher

Rating: 5/10

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge

First Sentence: "The fingers of the thorn-apple tree clawed at the windowpane behind Harrison Grey, and he dog-eared his page, no longer able to read through the racket."

Summary (From back of book):

Nora Grey should have known her life was far from perfect. Even though her boyfriend, Patch, also happens to be her literal guardian angel (who, despite the title, is far from angelic), things are not looking up. First there is summer school and facing the nightmare of her enemy Marcie Millar as her lab partner. Then Patch starts to pull away with no explanation. And finally, she is having nightmares and visions about her father's murder.

As Nora chooses to ignore her better instincts and delves deeper into the mystery of her father's death, she also begins to question whether her Nephilim bloodline had something to do with it, which casts more doubt on her relationship (or lack thereof) with Patch. Does he know more than he lets on? Why does he always seem to be standing in front of the answers she is looking for? And if he really is her guardian angel, why is her life always in danger?

My Two Cents:

I should have prepared myself better for the letdown after liking Hush, hush so well. There's just something about sequels that just doesn't always live up to the first book in a series (There are some notable exceptions).

Now, Crescendo wasn't bad by any normal standards. It just wasn't as good as Hush, hush. And, it was kind of boring. And, there was very little Patch (You know how all the Twihards complain because New Moon has very little Edward? Yeah, this is the same concept). This series without Patch is like, well, peanut butter without jelly. Nora spends so much of this book being whiny and complaining all the time, that I almost didn't want to finish the book. She complained about things that were her own doing, such as the state of her relationship with Patch, but did nothing to correct them to the way she wanted them to be. Ugh.

I've seen people say that this book allowed them to get to know Nora and Patch more than Hush, hush did, but I just don't see that. I don't see how we got to know more about Nora other than she makes really stupid decisions and she likes to whine a lot. She just kind of exists in this book and doesn't really change.

On the other hand, Vee, who you will all remember I couldn't stand in Hush, hush, actually redeemed herself this time around. In fact, it's almost as if Vee's poor decision-making and air-headedness from Hush, hush is transferred to Nora this time around. I actually liked Vee.

I'm not meaning to be all Debbie Downer on this book, but I was just really disappointed by it. That's not to say that my experience with Crescendo will keep me from reading any further books in this series. Quite the contrary, actually; I plan to read any other books Fitzpatrick writes, as long as Patch is in them. :)

Perhaps I read the two books too close together?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

From That's A Novel Idea and Find Your Next Book Here
 




Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls, Book 2)
 
1 book I read: Linger (Wolves of Mercy Falls book 2)

2 words that describe the book: Paranormal romance

3 settings where it took place or characters you met:

Setting: Mercy Falls, Minnesota

Cole St. Clair is a new member of the pack of wolves in Mercy Falls. Unlike many of the others in the pack, he chose this new life in order to escape what he thought of as a horrible past. He spends much of his time wishing he could shift back into wolf form because that way, he won't remember anything about being human. Although he seems a little standoffish at first, he pulls through at a crucial moment to help others.



Grace Brisbane finally has her wish -- The wolf with the intense yellow eyes who has spent many winters staring at her from the woods behind her house is now her sensitive full-time-human boyfriend, Sam. But her parents, always hands-off in their dealings with Grace, suddenly decide to become involved parents and try to separate her and Sam. And there's the little problem of Grace running a mysterious fever and suddenly feeling as if she should be shifting into a wolf.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

I liked Stiefvater's writing. It's smooth and fluid, making this book an easy read, but it's got a lyricism behind it not often found in young adult literature even today.

I liked Sam, as always. He's the teenage boy every teenage girl wishes she could date -- sensitive, caring, attentive, creative. Oh, and he plays the guitar and writes songs about Grace. Who wouldn't swoon for that?

I didn't like this book as well as Shiver, which is definitely among my top reads for this year. I think we had to spend so much time in this book getting to know Cole and watching Grace's problems with her parents that the action just seemed secondary. There's a lot of stuff packed into the last 60 pages, but I think it could've been spread out a little more.

I didn't like that we could pretty much see the ending coming from a million miles away. The second Grace began complaining of a headache, pretty early in the book, I knew where the book would end up. Makes for a less-than-exciting read.

5 Stars or less for your rating?

I'm giving the book 3 stars. It's definitely not nearly as good as the first book in this series, which left me wanting more of Sam and Grace right now, but it's above par for a lot of the genre.


The Whys and Wheres: The library

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Review: The Outer Banks House by Diann Ducharme

The Outer Banks House: A NovelTitle: The Outer Banks House

Author: Diann Ducharme

Pages: 291 (I have an ARC, so page numbers in the finished book may be different)

Source: Publisher

Rating: 9/10

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge

First Sentence: "I was the first passenger off the steamboat."

Summary (From back of book):

When my daddy decided we should have a cottage on the ocean side of the Outer Banks, he hired some of our former slaves to build it. While overseeing part of the construction, Daddy hired a local, a "Banker" as they call themselves, to show him the best places to hunt and fish. This Banker, Benjamin Whimble, really impressed Daddy; so much so that Daddy volunteered my teaching services, telling him that I'd be more than happy to teach him how to read and write. As you can imagine, a seventeen-year-old lady like myself was none too thrilled at the prospect of endless summer days of sitting near such a dirty man -- a man who doesn't even own a single pair of shoes.

But there's something about his eyes -- blue like the ocean -- shining out from his sun-browned skin. And then there's the way he listens as I read him Robinson Crusoe; and how he questions many of my core beliefs, challenges me to think differently than my parents.


And come to think of it, pasty Hector Newman, with his top hat and gloves, doesn't seem like such a perfect match for me anymore, even though my parents would likely disown me if I refused his imminent proposal.

But there's something dangerous going on, something that's had Ben on edge lately, something involving my daddy, and I'm not sure if what will transpire will drive me to make a choice between a life on the Outer Banks with Ben or the eager arms of Hector back in Edenton.

My Two Cents:

At first, I wasn't so sure about this book. I think the tone of the summary on the back of the book kind of put me off, making me think that Abigail was a goody-two-shoes Scarlett O'Hara. But, as I read farther into the book, I grew to like it more and more.

It's obvious that Ducharme knows her setting intimately, even if she's seen it in another time. The descriptions of the ocean and landmarks of the Outer Banks area are rich with detail and make the reader feel the ocean breeze on his or her face. I often longed to jump into the water just as Abigail did!

Abigail makes a solid main character. She's quietly rebelling against the conventions of her social milieu even before we meet her by reading every book she can get her hands on. When she meets Benjamin, though, her rebellion kicks up a notch and takes a much more potentially dangerous turn. She questions the life in which she's been brought up and doesn't silently accept the path her parents have chosen for her.

I wish we could have seen a little more from the perspective of Abigail's father. We hardly ever saw him (He worked back at home during the week and visited the family on the weekends), and usually only heard about his nefarious dealings from other characters. I didn't get the sense of impending danger and doom that Ducharme wanted, especially since Benjamin seemed so afraid of Abigail's father, mostly because I never really saw what he was like until one major event fairly late in the book. I think the book would have been a little stronger had we seen more of Abigail's father and his plans.

This was a great book for those interested in post-Civil War literature and life in the South following the freeing of the slaves.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ulysses Read-Along: The Schedule

Anyone remember this post from (*ahem*) May?

The one where I proposed a read-along of Ulysses beginning August 1 and promised to have a schedule by the end of July?

Well, uh... I'm a slacker. No other excuse except that.

However, I have finally managed to break down the book into 9 chunks (There are only a couple longer than 100 pages, and not by much) for the read-along, if anyone is still interested.

So, starting August 30, we'll discuss one section of Ulysses each Monday, commiserate about our collective Joycean headaches and try to make it through this monster of a book.

All page numbers are based on my version of the book, which is this one:

Ulysses

You may have to do as I did and flip through your book (With the help of this Wikipedia article) and label each section. Mine always start with a line of all-caps, but not all the episodes are easily distinguishable. I have more than a few crossed-out episode names in my book.

I also have this annotation, which I think will be helpful in getting through this. You could borrow it from your library, buy it or e-mail me with questions that I can try to answer.

Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce's Ulysses [Revised and Expanded Edition]

Without further ado, here's the schedule:

August 30: Part I: The Telemachiad in full (Episode 1: Telemachus; Episode 2: Nestor; Episode 3: Proteus) and Part II: The Odyssey, Episode 4: Calypso -- Approximately 67 pages

September 6: Part II: The Odyssey, Episode 5: Lotus Eaters; Episode 6: Hades; Episode 7: Aeolus -- Approximately 80 pages

September 13: Part II: The Odyssey, Episode 8: Lestrygonians; Episode 9: Scylla and Charybdis -- Approximately 68 pages

September 20: Part II: The Odyssey, Episode 10: Wandering Rocks; Episode 11: Sirens -- Approximately 73 pages

September 27: Part II: The Odyssey, Episode 12: Cyclops -- Approximately 54 pages

October 4: Part II: The Odyssey, Episode 13: Nausicaa; Episode 14: Oxen of the Sun -- Approximately 82 pages

October 11: Part II: The Odyssey, Episode 15: Circe -- Approximately 180 pages (OK, I lied... This is a loooong one!)

October 18: Part III: The Nostos, Episode 16: Eumaeus; Episode 17: Ithaca -- Approximately 125 pages

October 25: Part III: The Nostos, Episode 18: Penelope -- Approximately 45 pages

Whew! I'd suggest getting started on the first couple parts ASAP to stay ahead of the game!

If you plan to join, just leave a comment on this post. You're not at all obligated to post on your blog about this, but feel free to do so. I think handling the read-along in comments is just fine!
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