With words, that is.

Today is Bloomsday. So today, we will visit a library and take a walk.

The library belongs to Gabriel Byrne, of course. In an interview with the New York Post (no, not the New York Review of Books, darn it!), Mr. Byrne notes four titles that remind us of his attachment to the Irish word–a love affair, if you will. They include:

  • Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin
  • Roddy Doyle: The Commitments
  • Nuala O’Faolain: Are You Somebody?
  • Colm Tóibín: Brooklyn

He must have been truly limited to four; otherwise it seems certain Edna O’Brien’s Saints and Sinners would be on this list! And how coincidental that McCann has just won the 2011 International Impac Dublin Literary Award for Spin. It is a great book from an original and authentic voice. Which, come to think of it, is true for all of the books on Gabriel’s list.

Have you read any of these? All of them? Are there others you think he should have put on his list? And just what are YOU reading now, anyway? Please add a comment!

Now, on to the walk. In honor of Bloomsday, let’s take a virtual walk of Dublin, according to James Joyce:

Walking Ulysses is a free, Web-based application that takes users on a detailed, virtual tour of Dublin, allowing them to follow in the footsteps of Leopold Bloom, the novel’s protagonist and the character whose name gave us Bloomsday, today’s June 16th holiday that celebrates Joyce’s life and work.

“We’re playing with time and space,” says Mr. Nugent, an assistant professor of English who has been teaching Ulysses for the past four years.

Users of the interactive tool can follow along either chapter by chapter or jump around, stream-of-consciousness style, as Bloom makes his way across Dublin. Click a chapter title: “The Lotus-Eaters.” Then move along through the streets of old Dublin, pausing to view an archival image of the city and listen to a passage from the novel. Then await instructions on where to go next.

Read the rest of this Chronicle of Higher Education article and learn a bit about how this walk was created!

Happy Bloomsday to you!




  1. It is great to know what books Gabriel recommends. I have only read Brooklyn written by Tóibín. I loved that book so much that we will read it in the Reading Society in the library where I work. I will tell the other members about Ireland and Tóibín when we have a meeting about this book.
    I just finished yesterday to read Crooked house by Agatha Christie. Wanted to read that book because Gabriel will be in the new movie about that book.
    I can recommend Norwegian Wood, a Japanese book written by Haruki Murakami.Wonder if Gabriel reads books from all over the world…
    But as a Norwegian it is nice to know that Gabriel has been in a Ibsen play.

  2. Kim Serrahn

    Call me dumb but I can’t login to gallery. Am I already logged in. Like I said just call me dumb. HELP

    • Kim, as noted in the Forum, the global password for accessing the Gallery is:


      Note the zero in ph0tos.

      Let me know if you continue to have problems!

  3. Kim Serrahn

    But I don’t have a global password didn’t know there was such a thing. How do I get one???? And can I get to the gallery from the home page by clicking gallery????

  4. Kim, breath. No reason to panick. Read Stella’s response. She noted you the password. There is one password for everyone. We did take note that there are still some problems for a few members. We’re working on it.

  5. Yes, our designer is scoping out the problem in the Gallery. She has set the permissions to allow everyone to have access. BUT I think you may need to clear your browser history for this to work. If you need help with this, please email me at:


    I will give you instructions based on which browser you use: Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.

    Thanks for your patience!


  6. Kim Serrahn

    OKAY. I’ll try tomorrow and see what happenes and I’ll email you if I need help. THANKS TO BOTH oooxxx

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