Category Archives: J.R.R. Tolkien

Bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts (Oct 4)

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‘Bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts’ is hosted by Christine at Bookishly Boisterous. It’s just a round-up of bookish and other things from the previous week. Share a link there if you want to participate.

1. It’s October already, but the weather has felt more like summer. This weekend will be one of our more warmer Thanksgiving weekends for a few years. Time flies on and before we know it Christmas will be here!

2. I spent last weekend building two more IKEA Billy bookcases and rearranging my books once more. The picture at the top of the post isn’t of my new bookcases, but is instead my rearranged Tolkien and Lewis shelves.

3. We’re looking forward to a couple of weeks of holiday from this Friday onwards. Some of my family members arrived from Scotland yesterday, so we’ll be able to spend some time with them. Also our daughter will be home on Friday for a five day break. Added to this is her high school graduation ceremony on Friday night.

4. I haven’t had that much reading time this past week due to getting things ready for our visitors and finishing off a number of things at work before our holiday time. I’m hoping I’ll get some quality reading time in during my time off. I have some books lined up I’d like to get into, so hopefully I’ll find the time.

5. It was a great opener for the Leafs tonight – a 7-2 road win against the Jets. Hopefully it’s a sign of a great season ahead. Added to this is TFC claiming the Supporters’ Shield last weekend. Unfortunately, the Jays didn’t make the playoffs this year, but maybe next year instead.

6. The shooting tragedy in Las Vegas earlier this week just makes me numb. It’s time for our southern neighbours to take a serious look at gun control. These kinds of shootings are becoming far too frequent.

7. I rewatched ‘Michael Clayton’ for the first time in a while last weekend. I’d forgotten just how great it is. It’s probably my second favourite George Clooney movie behind ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’

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Happy Birthday Bilbo and Stephen

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If you’ve been reading any book blogs or visited bookstagram today, you’ll have realised that today is the 80th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit and is also Stephen King’s 70th birthday. The Hobbit is, of course, my favourite book of all time, whereas Stephen King is someone I am slowly rediscovering again. He was my favourite author in my teen years, but I got away from reading him for about 25 years.

I discovered The Hobbit in the early 70s, when Bernard Cribbins read it on Jackanory for a week. I can remember rushing home from school to see it – no VCRs in those days – because I didn’t want to miss a word of it. The same year we read it as a class at school and I was hooked. In the early 80s we got a Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer and one of the first games I got was The Hobbit adventure game, which came with the copy of the book pictured above. I don’t think I ever finished the game and seem to remember that things used to go awry whenever I got into Mirkwood. The Hobbit is a book that I read at least once every three years and I never grow tired of it. I haven’t watched the recent movies yet and have written enough about it here and elsewhere, so I don’t need to go over my reasons why again.

My first encounter with Stephen King came when I was about 14 or 15. If I remember correctly, I think the first book of his I read was Salem’s Lot. I had never read anything like it before and for the next few years I read anything of his that I could get my hands on. My favourite book of his at the time was The Dead Zone. I got it round about Christmas one year and read it in less than two days. I read it once again the following year, but haven’t read it since. I’d be interested in reading it again to see how much I like it now.

In the mid-80s I read Skeleton Crew and it is still my favourite King short story collection. Included in it is the story that still freaks me out, The Monkey. A character in one of the Toy Story movies brought back memories of it to me again and I had to search out the story again. Sure enough, it still freaked me out as much as it originally had.  Reading that collection again ignited my interest in King’s books again and I slowly got back to his books again. The problem is that in the ensuing years he has written so much more that I’m having a hard time catching up. My favourite book of his from recent years is the one in the above picture, 11/22/63, which is an awesome read. I haven’t seen any of the recent King movie adaptations yet, but I intend to watch them eventually. I’d like to read The Dark Tower series first and try to reread It as well, because it is so long since I read it.

So, happy birthday to two literary ‘giants’ that have had a huge impact on my reading life. I look forward to catching up on the Stephen King books I have missed and also to many more still to come. I also look forward to many more readings of The Hobbit, but I don’t think it will ever be knocked off the top of my favourites, although there are perhaps Stephen King books that come close.

Top Ten Tuesday – I’ve Started, So I’ll Finish (June 6)

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This week’s topic is ‘10 Books From X Genre That I’ve Recently Added To My TBR List.’ Rather than choosing a particular genre, I’ve chosen ten books on my currently reading list at Goodreads. These are books that I started a long time ago and for some reason or other I never got back to them. So I’ve made a separate TBR pile for them and hopefully this might inspire to pick them up and start reading them again. For some of them it’s been so long ago that I started them that I’ll have to go back to the beginning and start all over again. Here are the ten I picked:

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  1. If I Had Lunch With C.S. Lewis:Exploring the Ideas of C.S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life by Alister McGrath
  2. Soccer in Sun and Shadow by Eduardo Galeano
  3. Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs
  4. Daddy Lenin and Other Stories by Guy Vanderhaeghe
  5. The Story of Kullervo by J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. Convictions Matter: The Function of Salvation Army Doctrines by Ray Harris
  7. In the First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  8. George MacKay Brown: The Wound and the Gift by Ron Ferguson
  9. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  10. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

It seems like a daunting list, but hopefully I’ll get some of them read soon.

Top Ten Tuesday – Unread (Jan 24)

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This week’s topic is ‘FREEBIE’, which means I can choose anything. I checked out the list of previous Top Tens and decided to go with ‘Top Ten Books on my Shelves tat Remain Unread.’ I buy a lot of books with good intention, but unfortunately there are some really good ones on my shelves that for some reason or another I haven’t got around to reading yet. By listing these ones here it may give me the inspiration to actually crack them open and get them read. We’ll see! In addition to this, one of the challenges I signed up for this year is The 2017 Mount TBR Challenge, which I’m also hoping will inspire to get some of these unread books read.

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  1. Magnus – George Mackay Brown
  2. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
  3. A New Kind of Christianity – Brian McLaren
  4. The Living – Annie Dillard
  5. The Ragamuffin Gospel – Brennan Manning
  6. A Life of Jesus – Shusaku Endo
  7. The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. In The First Circle – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  9. The Last Crossing – Guy Vanderhaeghe
  10. Heretics/Orthodoxy – G.K. Chesterton (I guess that this is technically two books, but it is still a volume that sits unread on my shelf)

Quite a few of these have bookmarks in them, which means that I did start them once upon a time, but for some reason I never got back to them. I’ll have to start them from the beginning again, as I can’t remember much about any of them. The Solzhenitsyn one seems the most daunting, whereas the Gaiman one looks like the easiest of the pile. I should choose one of them soon and get started. Check my Reading Challenges page for my progress, of which I hope there will be some at least.

Musing Mondays (Dec 26)

mondayMusing Mondays is a weekly meme, hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker, that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Did you get any good books for the holidays?

I’m just going to answer the random question this week.

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I got 6 new books pictured above for Christmas this year. They are as follows:

I have already started reading the Tolkien one and am looking forward to getting to the rest of them soon.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Christmas Wishlist (Nov 29)

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This week’s topic is ‘Holiday Gift Guide freebie (ten books to buy the YA lover in your life, 10 books to buy for your dad, etc.)’ Mine will only be top seven, as I only put seven books on my Christmas Wishlist this year. My family always ask for a list and suggested it might be a bit briefer than previous years, so I put the following seven books on my list:

  1. Rescuing Jesus: How People of Colour, Women, and Queer Christians Are Reclaiming Evangelicalism – Deborah Jian Lee
  2. A Life in Parts – Bryan Cranston
  3. Wenjack – Joseph Boyden
  4. Finding God in the Waves: How I Lost My Faith and Found It Again Through Science – Mike McHargue
  5. Letters From Father Christmas – J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances – Neil Gaiman
  7. The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right – Lisa Sharon Harper

It will be interesting to see which ones I get and I’ll probably share that on here at some point.

Musing Mondays (Nov 21)

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Musing Mondays is a weekly meme, hosted by Jenn at Books And A Beat, that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Are there any particular worlds in books in which you’d like to live?

It’s been a really long time since I did one of these posts, so I’ll answer a few of the prompts, as well as the random question, instead of choosing just one:

I’m currently reading: I always have too many books on the go, but one that I’m currently reading and enjoying is Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship by Trevor Hudson. It’s the first book in this year’s Renovaré Book Club, which I joined again this year. Another book I’m trying to get through is The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov. This selection of classic short stories is the first I’ve read by Asimov. So far it’s a great read.

I can’t wait to get a copy of: either Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue or Rescuing Jesus by Deborah Jian Lee. They are both on my Christmas wish list and are two I’d really like to read soon.

Now the random question: Are there any particular worlds in books in which you’d like to live? There are two: Narnia or Middle-Earth. Both of these imaginary worlds are so different to where I am now, but Lewis and Tolkien created two vivid alternative worlds that would be exciting to live in, plus I think I’d make a good Hobbit!

 

Musing Mondays (Feb 8)

musingmondays51Musing Mondays is a weekly meme, hosted by Jenn at A Daily Rhythm, that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: What would you say is the best children’s book you’ve ever read?

I’m just going to answer the random question:

the hobbit favouriteIn my opinion the best children’s book I’ve ever read, which is also my favourite book of all time is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I first read it when I was about ten years old and loved it right from the start. I’ve read it many times since, and I think that this year I’m due to read it again.

I still haven’t seen the three Peter Jackson movie adaptations yet, but that may change soon. My son now has all three extended version on blu-ray and I did say I would watch them with him at some point. I may run out of excuses soon for not watching them! Maybe I’ll read the book again soon and then offer to watch the movies with him after that. I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to write about on here then.

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in a hole in the ground(source: http://quotesgram.com/)

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on this day in 1892. The above is the best book beginning ever.

Top Ten Tuesday – Christmas Wish List (Dec 22)

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted inviting the participants to come up with a list of ten things to do with the topic.

This week’s topic is ‘Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year’. I haven’t posted here much for a while now, due to a number of reasons I won’t get into right now, but I thought this would be a fun topic to get restarted with.

Every year round about the end of September I give my family a wishlist of books that I wouldn’t mind getting for Christmas. Usually there are about 12 books on the list and I’m usually fortunate enough to get at least half of them. Even though I come up with this list, it’s still lots of fun on Christmas morning discovering which ones I actually received. This year I came up with an initial list of 12, then added another later on that I had forgotten about. So this week’s top ten will in fact be a top baker’s dozen!

  1. The Buried GiantKazuo Ishiguro
  2. Undermajordomo Minor – Patrick deWitt
  3. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto – Mitch Albom
  4. Simply Good News – N.T. Wright
  5. Daddy Lenin And Other Stories – Guy Vanderhaeghe
  6. The Sherlock Holmes Book – DK Publishing
  7. A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War Joseph Loconte
  8. Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir – Stan Lee
  9. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams: Stories – Stephen King
  10. Yes, My Accent Is Real: And Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You – Kunal Nayyar
  11. Stitches: A Handbook On Meaning, Hope And Repair – Anne Lamott
  12. The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People – John Ortberg
  13. The Story of Kullervo – J.R.R. Tolkien

It’s quite a varied list and I look forward to reading some of these very soon!

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