921f/1244826657-jasonlaurelhardy.jpgHoly shit there's a lot going on today, including a second Seattle reading by the guy who wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at University Book Store.

University Book Store is also hosting Wild Geese Players, who will be doing a reading from Ulysses to celebrate Bloomsday, a few days early. As far as I know, this is the only Bloomsday reading in town this year. In honor of Bloomsday, Charles Mudede wrote a great piece in the book section this week about James Joyce writing Ulysses as an act of terrorism against the English language:

And it is a strange attack indeed. Joyce does not battle English with the weapons of the Irish language, which was in a very weak state at the time the novel was set (the early 20th century), but with English itself. Joyce's extraordinary mastery (if not sorcery) over the colonizer's words mobilized a linguistic assault of unprecedented magnitude over a wide surface of the language's history and styles. There is nothing like this battle in any other book: Each sentence in Ulysses is packed with small or large explosives. Sometimes a sentence explodes into a brilliance of fireworks, other times into a spray of semen and salty water, other times into slime and shit, other times into blood and guts. This destruction radiates from a center, and that center is William Shakespeare, Joyce's ultimate target.

I really love this piece by Charles. I hope you'll read it.

Elliott Bay Book Company hosts two readings. Harvey Schwartz reads from Solidarity Stories: An Oral History of the ILWU, which is a union, and Vincenza Scarpaci reads from The Journey of the Italians in America. Nearby, at Saki Nomi, Joyce Lebra reads from her novel Scent of Sake, in which a determined woman takes over a male-dominated industry.

The Central Library hosts Paula Becker and Alan J. Stein, the authors of Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition: Washington's First World Fair. It's about a fair that happened at the beginning of Seattle's lifetime, almost exactly 100 years ago. Speaking of Alaska, if you need to know what it's like in arctic Alaska, you'd do well to read Shopping for Porcupine: A Life in Arctic Alaska by Seth Kantner. Kantner is reading up at Third Place Books today.

And the one-named cartoonist Jason makes an appearance at the Fantagraphics Bookstore in Georgetown. I reviewed the book here:

The five stories that make up Low Moon, Jason's newest collection of comics, call back to the classic golden age of film: One story is a western, another is a noir, a third is a sci-fi romp complete with flying saucers and aliens that could easily be men sweating away in molded rubber suits.

You can read the whole review here. Jason is really one of the best cartoonists at work today, and you should check out this reading.

The full readings calendar, including the next week or so, is here. And if you're planning on staying in and you're looking for personalized book recommendations, feel free to tell me the books you like and ask me what to read next over at Questionland.