Category Archives: Ulysses

Yeah, We’ll Rate it!

I am going to delay I,Claudius yet again.  I don’t know what it is about the book that I can’t bring on the prose.  I just can’t seem to get the words down on paper.  I did like it.  I am hoping this snow storm ‘cocooning’ causes some inspiration.  Instead, let’s discuss some additions to our blog!

First, I hope you don’t mind but I will add a different type of review to the blog – audiobooks.  I have a 1 hour and 10 minute commute to my new job.  (Which I really enjoy, by the way)  To help pass the time, I download audiobooks from the library to my iPod.  Plug it into the stereo in my Mom mobile and off I go.  Did you know you could do that?  Modern technology is awesome!  So far I have listened to six books and only one was awful.  I thought I would share with you my opinion.  Stay tuned for those to come.

Next,  we are adding a rating section.  Unbeknownst to me, if we read a new book and write a review it doesn’t ‘count’ unless we give it a numerical rating.  I guess the publishers can’t read and need numbers to know if it is good.  Being a numbers person, I get that but… really? (a nod to The Culture Monk)

Let me introduce you to our new rating scheme.  Heather and I emailed and texted crazy ideas for imparting our graduating rating scale.  Of course, stars or numbers are too boooooring.  Anyone can do that.  We are embracing EMME!

Each rating will be given a letter, the more the letters, the more we liked it.  That simple!  For all the teachers out there, this is our rubric.

Drumroll please….



E– Eek, spider! Luckily, this is the perfect book for bug squashing and table propping.

M– Maybe I could’ve finished sooner, but every distraction was an excuse to close this tome.

M – Make this one a bedtime book. It’s a great read, but I can close it, turn off the light, and zzzz….

E – Eventually I’ll get something done, but I can’t put this book down!!

!! – Interjection, hallelujah, hallelujah.  We’re singing Schoolhouse Rock for this one – love it!

(If you aren’t familiar with Schoolhouse Rock see 2:49 in the video.  Will always bring a smile to our faces from our youth!)

To help translate if I gave – oh let’s say – Ulysses by James Joyce an “E”.  It would be an “Eek, spider! Luckily, this is the perfect book for bug squashing and table propping.” or 1 out of 5 letters/symbols.  Get it?

We are ready to let you know what we think!

Grab a book, any book and READ!!

Loved Way of All Flesh!

I loved this book!! There enough said.

Okay that is another form of Bleating  short and concise, no work for me and you know I liked the book. You all should be sitting up in your seats wondering “Why did you love it? Tell, Andi Tell!!” Okay my blog readers I will tell!

Well there are few items that make this book a good for me. First and foremost, a happy ending. I love happy endings. I said it before and I will say it again – I love happy endings. Real life is has too many sad endings, I read for enjoyment, therefore, I want a neat and wrapped up ending (big, huge pink bow preferred). Next, Butler is a superb author. His command of the English language coupled with the ability to weave a story is superior. Heather and I discussed this one day. What made this book so great? Seriously, it is a book about yet another dysfunctional family. Why did we get sucked in? I think it is the way that Butler writes that does it. He starts with the great grandfather and then continues to wend his way through the history of the family.  It isn’t until he introduces our main character that he begins to write from the character point of view. He delves deeper as he draws you in closer to our ‘hero’. I wanted to know what Ernest wore, said, did, thought… everything. Yet as you look at the story from a 10,000 feet level it isn’t that intriguing. It is a story about a guy that doesn’t get along with his parents and doesn’t like his job. That is the story of most of the population. It is the prose, the words, the narrative…. the author that draws you in. Butler is fantastic! I was going to add in quotes but Heather did that in her post ( Heather’s Butler Post). (More Bleating!!) Chalk up another one for the Son-Mother issues list for this one. Wowza! I just hope my son doesn’t become a successful author. Odds are that it will be a mother issue that does it and what will that say about me?

A few deep thoughts from Andi’s brain on this tome –

We follow Ernest from his childhood through adulthood. He is brought up under certain beliefs (I won’t spoil the story for you) yet the beliefs are challenged each day as he matures. Butler addresses hard subjects such as religion, social classes and the family unit throughout the story. Religion seems as though it would be a boring and stuffy topic in a piece of fiction but not so. Butler has Ernest learn the most of his faith from a poor neighbor that would not be suspected to have read the bible but to have milled over the inconsistencies of the New Testament. Butler through the use of Ernest’s father to show the change in the religious ways during this time as well as the thoughts of Ernest to express questions of faith. One may think that questioning faith leads to atheism or some other nonsense. This is not the case, through Ernest’s struggles with his faith we follow his journey of not blindly following religion but that of questioning and finding reasoning to discover – yes there is a God. This is a very difficult way to write and not cross over into religious fanatic. Butler did it. (Yes, I will give the nod to James Joyce on being able to do this also.)

Next, was the notion that good people come from all classes of our society. We all know this in principle but Butler does a great job of showing it to us through everyday events. Ernest’s landlady is a Madam yet is one of the most trustworthy of people in his life. The rich and privileged Pontifex family had a lot to learn about parenting while the family Ernest entrusted with his children was of the working class. Just lots of great thought provoking yet readable (unlike Lowry) ideas. One of our Twitter followers said this was a satire, I don’t think I agree. What do you think?

I put this one up there as one of the best we read so far. I really enjoyed it!

Grab a book, any book AND READ!!