So, I know what you’ve been thinking: “It’s been a long time since Jeff posted.” Well, that’s because I was traveling in England and France with my family. I have to say, I had an amazing time. Now, I could write about my travels, but this is Stuff Jeff Reads, not Places Jeff Visits. That said, I did poke around in some interesting bookstores and picked up a couple books.
The first bookstore I visited was The Tiny Book Store in Rye, which is in southern England. Rye is a beautiful old city and was home to Henry James. Going there is like stepping into a different century. Here is a picture I snapped in the cemetery.
Anyway, while perusing the Tiny Book Store, I came across an old, hardcover copy of Henry James’ Turn of the Screw. Since I had never read this before and I was in James’ hometown, I figured I would buy it. It has now taken its place in my stack of books waiting eagerly to be read.
My other book purchase was at the famous Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris.
This was one of the most amazing bookstores I have ever visited. This bookstore has a rich history and served as a central gathering point for writers such as Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Ezra Pound. In addition, James Joyce used the bookstore as an office. While I was weaving my way through the crooked aisles of books, I chanced upon Turning Back the Clock, a book by Umberto Eco which I had never heard of before. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It’s now keeping Turn of the Screw company atop my dresser.
So, while I have your attention, I thought it would be a good time to give you a heads-up on what I am planning for the near future. I mentioned the connection between James Joyce and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore. Well, I’ve decided to reread Ulysses, beginning in a couple weeks. I plan on going slowly and posting my thoughts after each chapter. If you are interested in reading (or rereading) what is arguably the greatest modernist novel ever written, you are welcome to do so along with me. I’ll be posting when I begin the book, for those who wish to follow along.
Until then, happy reading!!
8 responses to “Traveling in England and France”
Cannot wait for Ulysses. I’ve been to that bookstore in Paris. It’s awesome. About Henry James, I have been recently shocked to discover that he was a prolific poet and that he did not get the Nobel prize because of Yeats.
Really? I was unaware of that myself. I have to say, though, I would hate to be competing against Yeats for a poetry prize. 😉
He was supposed to get the Nobel prize for both prose and poetry but they eventually picked Yeats. Small wonder.
Yeah. The Nobel committee also turned down Joyce, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, all writers of the same period who made significant contributions to literature. Awards are totally subjective.
What a great trip, Jeff. Thanks for sharing the bookstore part of it. I did notice your blog’s silence. I wish I had time to join in the re-reading of Ulysses but my reading to-do list is already long with three books in progress and one to beta-read for another author. I’ll appreciate the second look at Ulysses through your eyes.
Hi Amber! I totally understand. I have so many books to read, I had to convince myself that rereading Ulysses is worth the effort. But I’ll share with you what an owner of a used bookstore once told me: Having lots of books waiting to be read ensures you will live a long life, because you can’t die if you have unfinished business.
As always, thanks for your comments!!
So glad your absence was due to something good like this. I’ve read Ulysses all the way through once and made attempts to do so several other times, but always get bogged down by one particular chapter (can’t recall which now). I’ll be looking forward to following your posts on that and reading it “with” you.
As you can see from the date, I’m not exactly keeping up with blog reading, either! Thanks as always for your thoughtful words.
Hi Nancy!! No worries. I’m trying desperately to meet a deadline this Friday, so I haven’t done much of any other reading lately, but I plan to soon. I’ll probably be starting Ulysses in a week or so. I’ll post when I do. I’m glad that you’ll be following along. I look forward to hearing your thoughts! Cheers