Juicy Joyce, and Chaucer’s choices

By Steven Libowitz   |   June 18, 2024

Turning from the stage to the page, it took a full century for Santa Barbara to buddy up to Bloomsday, the annual celebration of the life and work of Irish writer James Joyce every June 16; the day his 1922 novel Ulysses takes place in 1904, and named after its protagonist Leopold Bloom. Dublin’s been doing it up for 30 years, and other celebrations began back in 1924. Santa Barbara’s Bloomsday dives deep at downtown’s James Joyce pub – where else? – starting at 5 pm, when choice Joyce selections will be read by local actors, writers and other famous folks, including Michael Katz, Lark Batteau, and Roger Durling, to name a few. The readings, imbibing, and munching on Joyce-themed snacks will be followed by an Irish music concert by The Waymarkers, with donations at the door and a raffle benefiting the Santa Barbara Library Foundation. 

The library itself sponsors the Adult Summer Reading Kickoff in another watering hole, backing up the concept that books are for big kids, too, at Fox Wine Co. in the Funk Zone 5-7:30 pm on June 13. Adults can pick up SBPL Summer Book Bingo cards to keep track of books they read this season, get started by borrowing a few at The Library on the Go van, and create their own summer reading bookmark with provided collage-making materials. 

Fresh off leading her popular “The Way of Story” workshop at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, actress-turned-award-winning author Catherine Ann Jones talks about her new book East & West: Stories of India at Chaucer’s Books on June 18. The work examines contrasting and complementary aspects of Indian culture through stories of seekers, ordinary Indians, and heroes, frauds and victims. Chaucer’s also hosts local author Amanda Darcy on June 17 for a reading and singing of her debut novel Of Love & Beer, a romance novel that serves as a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Info at (805) 682-6787 or www.chaucersbooks.com.  


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