A Look Ahead: Ulysses, Tolkien, and the High Summer Read-a-Thon

Posted June 10, 2012 by in Read-a-thons, Read-alongs / 19 Comments

Good afternoon, folks! I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend and a relaxing Sunday so far.

Before I get into what’s going on in my reading world over the next few weeks, I’d like to take a minute and thank all of the wonderful people at Armchair BEA for a fantastic event last week. I had so many great people visit my blog, and I found so many great blogs to add to my reader. I had a lot of fun interacting with everyone, and I’m looking forward to keeping in touch with all of you through our blogs and Twitter. Thank you to everyone who took the time to check out Between the Covers and leave comments–I appreciate every one of you.

On to my reading plans…

There are a lot of great events going on all over the blogosphere this month, three of which have caught my interest. I’m going to share the basic information here, in case anyone else is interested in joining, and then I’ll write more specific posts about them as they take place.

James JoyceClick to learn more and to sign up

The Bloomsday Readalong

June 16th is Bloomsday, the day on which James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place. (It’s also my parents’ anniversary, so Mr. Joyce should feel very honored…even from his grave.) O of Délaissé is hosting a readalong of Ulysses in honor of Bloomsday, and participants can choose to read the whole book, part of the book, or a different book by Joyce (if they’re not ready to read Ulysses). This book has been sitting on my TBR bookcase since last year, and I keep making excuses to pass it over. No more! I’m not sure how far I will get, and I know for sure that I won’t be able to keep to the schedule for reading it in one day, but I’m going to do my best and get as much of it read as I can on the 16th. I should be able to finish it by the end of the month, at least. If you’re interested, you can get more information by clicking on the above picture of Joyce, or by clicking on the above link to O’s blog.

High Summer Read-a-Thon(button design: Michelle of The True Book Addict)

The High Summer Read-a-Thon

The High Summer Read-a-Thon is hosted by Michelle of The True Book Addict, and will take place June 16-22 July 16-22 this year. I haven’t participated in one of Michelle’s read-a-thons in quite some time, so I promised her I would participate in this one. I don’t think I’m going to make a list of the books I plan to read–it puts too much pressure on something that’s supposed to be fun–but Ulysses will obviously be part of I end up reading. I don’t think Michelle has posted the details or a sign-up page yet (please correct me if I’m wrong, Michelle), but she should be doing that soon. If you’re interested in joining us for the read-a-thon, keep an eye on her blog over the next week for more information.

(I have since edited this post to reflect the ACTUAL dates of Michelle’s read-a-thon, because I apparently can’t read and thought it was taking place this month. It takes place in July.)

Puttin' the Blog in Balrog buttonClick for more info

Puttin’ the Blog in Balrog, baby!

I haven’t read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series in many, many years (20?), but I put it on my Classics Club list because it’s a series that I’d really like to re-read and reacquaint myself with. Imagine my excitement when I found out that sj of Snobbery re-reads the series every year, and that she’s hosting a (re)readalong on her blog! SCORE! Needless to say, I’ll be joining sj on her epic Middle-earth journey. The quest will start on June 23rd with The Hobbit, and end on or near August 11th when we finish Return of the King. If you’re interested in joining us, you can get more information (including the reading schedule) by clicking on the Puttin’ the Blog in Balrog button above (designed by sj), or by clicking on the link to her blog that I’ve provided above.


So that’s what I have going on over the next few weeks, in addition to the other things I’m reading. I also have a ton of reviews to catch up on (I see some mini-reviews in my future). I CAN DO EET!

Do you have anything exciting going on this month? Are you participating in any cool bookish events? 


  • sj

    Yay! (I swear I’ve been all loud and squee-y over so many posts and comments during the last week, it’s almost embarrassing.)

    Anyway, I’m SO GLAD you’re participating! There are more people interested than I’d even hoped when I first thought to do it, so that makes it feel even more amazing. <3

  • You’re going to be busy! I like the look of the Lord of the Rings readalong, I’ve only read the series once, and that was quite a few years ago….

    • Yes, June has been–and will continue to be–very busy. Hahaha!

      I’ve been meaning to re-read LotR for a long time now, but I just never seem to get around to it. The readalong gives me the excuse I need to pick it back up now. I’m really looking forward to it. sj would be happy to have you join in if you have time!

  • Ooh, I might have to make the High Summer read-a-thon my first read-a-thon! Looks like a fun (and busy) few weeks for you!

    • We’d love for you to join us!

  • Wow, Ulysses. lol. I tried reading that a couple of months ago and failed utterly. It’s such a chore to read. I mean, I read it…I understood the words, but I could not make any sense of the sentences and paragraphs put together. I admire anyone who actually got through that and understood it (without the use of a reading guide). Good luck!!

    • I’m definitely looking into reading guides before I start. I’m hoping to find a good online reading guide so I don’t have to purchase one. Thank you for the good wishes! Haha!

      • A friend recommends this reading guide: The New Bloomsday Book: A Guide Through Ulysses by Harry Blamires.

        • Ah, thank you. I will check that one out.

  • 1) I’m planning on reading Ulysses this year, last minute addition/upgrade to the Tea and Books challenge – but I have to get through Anna Karenina first which I’m actually quite enjoying.

    2) I wish I weren’t already over committed or I’d definitely join in with LOTR – maybe I’ll hitch on next year. They’re also on my Classics Club list (if not I’ll have to add them and hike that number up to 100 rather than just 85).

    Good luck!

    • I really enjoyed Anna Karenina, too. Ulysses scares me a little, but I’ll just take it one page at a time. Haha! I’m sorry you can’t join us for LOTR this year, but definitely keep it in mind for next year!

  • I’m totally on board with Puttin’ the Blog in Balrog… thanks again to SJ for doing it and for creating such a great icon to go along with it. If y’all haven’t been by her site to see what she’s writing about The Silmarillion, you really should…

    • I’m very glad she’s writing those Silmarillion posts, too, because I don’t have time to read it right now. We have a lot of great folks joining the readalong–should make for some great conversations.

      • I once took a whole summer just to sift through The Silmarillion and all the First and Second Age stuff, JUST to prep for reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Wish I had that kind of time now! I’m going to post on the total-nerd Tolkien reading plan soon… 🙂

  • I don’t have anything exciting happening this month but I think I need to join in the High Summer Read-a-thon or something like it.

    • I’d love to have you read-a-thonning with us!

  • Best of luck with Ulysses. I still don’t have the guts to try.

    • Thank you, Ryan. I purchased a book of annotations, so hopefully that will help.