I used to have a very beautiful copy of "Dubliners" by James Joyce. I purchased it in a second-hand bookshop in Cambridge, U.K., where I was studying as a postdoctoral fellow. The book came with lots of photos of the old Dublin, possibly from the time of Joyce. I was very fond of the book, and would read excerpts in my bed before I go to sleep. I somehow lost the copy and my favorite pictures are gone.
I think the first encounter with Joyce was The Boarding House. It was given as a reader for the summer vacation at senior high. I still remember one word; "delirium". It was in the phrase "They used to kiss. He remembered well her eyes, the touch of her hand and his delirium...."
The novel goes on to say "but delirium passes". In my case, somehow the delirium stuck with me, and I still read Dubliners from time to time. "Dubliners" for me represents the best in English prose.
I have not yet challenged the more intimidating pieces of Joyce. They should be good, coming from such a genius.