I don't usually enjoy reading short stories but I wanted to give it another shot this month. I wanted to read a book by an Irish author for obvious reasons. I eventually chose Dubliners by James Joyce. I was a bit disappointed because these were more like character sketches than short stories. Some were only a few pages long and I found they ended too abruptly. I am thinking specifically about the first story, "The Sisters" which was about a boy and a mentoring priest who died. The boy and his mother went to a wake at the home of the priest's sisters--they'd taken him in and were talking about how it was no trouble to take care of him ... and the story ended. Huh? Some of the stories were quite effective. The one I found most moving was "Counterparts" about a ne'er do well type of guy who is verbally abused by his boss, hangs out and gets drunk with his friends, spends all his money, then goes home and beats the snot out of his son. Poor kid. Another one I was moved by was called "A Painful Case". A snobbish young man becomes friendly with an older married woman who shares similar interests in books and plays. This woman is neglected by her husband and is very lonely. Anyway, she and the young man meet together just to talk and books and things. One day, she touches his cheek with her hand and he freaks out, breaking their friendship. Four years later, he finds out she's thrown herself in front of a train. Does his miss her? No, he starts to get the heebie jeebies, wondering how he could ever be friends with such a "loser" in the first place. Whoa. If anyone is interested in reading classics and hasn't read this book, you might just enjoy it. Just because it's not my cup of tea doesn't mean that it isn't a work of art.