Sunday, May 7, 2023

Sunday Salon


Another salon-like room, this time from Dublin Castle

On the Blog

Not much. A funny poem by Jonathan Swift. 

This Week in Books

Two books finished this week: first David Damrosch's Around the World in 80 Books. I read the appropriate Jules Verne a while back for the first time so I could read this. It was a Christmas gift from friends, though for various reasons it didn't actually arrive in the house until March. Pretty good! Not that I need another book telling me why I should be interested in other new, different books...
Eighty books is a lot for a book like this and so a bit shallow in some ways. I found him most interesting on those books I'd heard of, but haven't read. (Farid ud-Din Attar's The Conference of the Birds, Lu Xun's The Real Story of Ah-Q, Sor Juana, Rabindranath Tagore's The Home and the World).

Then I reread Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's Watchmen. It shows up on lists of the best 20th Century novels and graphic novels. If you'd asked me before I first read it, would it be something I'd like, I'd have said, no. Superheroes! Comics! Not my thing. But, in fact, I find it pretty great.

I watched the movie not so long ago with my brother (it is his sort of thing) and then thought I'd reread the book. The movie was fine.  I found the book equally great on a second reading. It has a mystery plot, which appeals to me. The movie is gorier than the book (unsurprisingly) and the book's complex politics get washed out a bit in the movie.

Otherwise, a bit of a slow week. How about some more pictures of...


Look at all this incredibly improbable sunshine. This is Kilkenny Castle, destroyed on the opposite side by Cromwell.

A magpie in Iveagh Gardens in Dublin:

More literary tourism: James Joyce's statue on St. Stephen's Green in Dublin:

President Biden left Ireland the day we arrived and we saw Air Force One on the tarmac as we were flying in. But he signed the guest book at Dublin Castle:

Messing around with bokeh effects on my new phone:

Hope you had a good week!


  1. A long visit to Ireland including castles sounds delightful! I've never had enough time in Dublin, though I once saw a great exhibit about Yeats and (on the other coast) went to his tower.
    best, mae at

    1. Two weeks and there were still definitely things I wanted to see. Until the next time!

  2. I hope you will continue to post more pictures about your Ireland trip. There's something about Joe Biden signing in at Dublin Castle that makes me feel happy.

    I tend to stick to reading books set in the US. I added to my personal Around the World in 80 Books challenge by using the books from Around the World in 80 Books. I've been working on this challenge for eight years, but I still haven't read a lot of books set in other places around the world.

    1. Oh, there are more pictures!

      I always find it nice to travel via books as well as via feet, and then if they go together...

      And you may have been known to read a French book or two, I think...;-)

  3. Love all your pics from Ireland. It's such a beautiful country! I'd love to go there someday.

  4. I second Deb, we need more pictures from your Ireland trip, pleaseee! :D
    Oh, seeing Biden's signature on the guest book must have been wonderful for you.
    Love the magpie picture!