Category Archives: The Hobbit

Top Ten Tuesday – Unique Titles (Oct 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 ‘Top Ten Unique Book Titles’. Quite often book titles tend to be bland or too similar to others already published.  Although it’s important that the actual content of the book be worthwhile, a unique book title can also draw a person in. Here are ten books from my shelves that have, in my opinion anyway, titles like this:


  1. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls – David Sedaris
  2. Optimists Die First – Susin Nielsen
  3. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce
  4. 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense – Michael Brooks
  5. When Did Wild Poodles Roam the Earth? An Imponderables Book – David Feldman
  6. A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18 – Joseph Loconte
  7. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession – Allison Hoover Bartlett
  8. The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
  9. The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius – John Joseph Adams (editor)
  10. Undermajordomo Minor – Patrick deWitt

I haven’t read all of these yet, but for most of them it was the title that first drew me in. My favourites from the list would have to be the ones by Jonas Jonasson and Patrick deWitt, both of which were very funny and unique.


Happy Birthday Bilbo and Stephen


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.

Musing Mondays (Nov 21)


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!


Booking Through Thursday – Multiples (Feb 11)

btt2This week Booking Through Thursday poses the following questions:

Do you own multiple copies of any books? Why? Is it the format? Size? Just because you love it?

There are some classics that I have hard copies and e-books of, mainly because the digital copies were free. Besides these, the only books that I have a significant number of multiples of are The Bible and The Hobbit.

For The Bible it is handy, not to mention essential, to have different translations and paraphrases for my work and studies. One of my favourites would be a copy of The Living Bible that I received as a prize for being the highest boy collector in a Sunday School sponsored walk when I was 10.

As I have said many times before, The Hobbit is my favourite book of all time, so when I see unique or different additions I am often tempted to buy them. My favourite is the first copy I owned from almost 40 years ago. It’s in fairly rough shape, but I’d not want to part with it now. I can’t read it now for fear of it falling apart, but that’s what my other copies are for.

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.

The Hobbit

in a hole in the ground(source:

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!

Top Ten Tuesday – Fall TBR List (Sept 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 On My Fall TBR’. Unfortunately most of my books are packed in boxes in a storage container next to our house as we await renovations to take place. I thought we would have had them unpacked by now, but I do have some unread books sitting around, as well as enough in both my Kobo and Kindle apps. Add to that the fact that the library is two minutes walk from our house, then it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to find things to add to my TBR list. I’ll just have to make some adjustments to my original reading ideas and everything will be alright. So, here is my list:

  1. Doctor Who: The Shakespeare Notebooks – Justin Richards. I picked this one up at Fan Expo earlier in the month. It looks like a fun read.
  2. Shattered Glass – Teresa Toten. I received this one from LibraryThing Early Reviewers a couple of months ago. I started it and forgot about it, but I should read it soon and get it reviewed.
  3. The Day it Rained Forever – Ray Bradbury. This is a collection of short stories I picked up this summer. I love reading Bradbury, so this is one I should enjoy.
  4. Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus – C. Christopher Smith, John Pattison, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. This one has been unread on my Kobo forever, so it’s time I got around to reading it.
  5. Convictions Matter: The Function of Salvation Army Doctrines – Ray Harris. This is yet another one I’ve had for too long, although I did start it and got distracted by something else. I’ll get into it again soon for sure.
  6. The Turn of the Screw – Henry James. I am already about half-way through this one, as it is on my list of 50 books for The Classics Club. I’m a bit behind in my classics reading, so finishing off this one should help me get back on track.
  7. Candide – Voltaire. This is another one on my classics list. I downloaded a free copy to my Kobo, so I have no excuse to leave it unread.
  8. The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum – Temple Grandin. I read a couple of chapters of this one last year, so it’s time to get back to it. It’s on my Kobo, so there’s no problem in accessing it.
  9. Lectio Divina – The Sacred Art: Transforming Words & Images Into Heart-Centered Prayer – Christine Valters Paintner.  Over the past couple of years I’ve been attempting to incorporate Lectio Divina into my daily living, so I’m hoping this book will help me in my continuing endeavours.
  10. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien. This is my favourite read and it’s been a few years since I last read it. I’m keeping my pocket edition handy, so that I’ll not be stuck for something to read wherever I am.

IMG_0212If I get stuck for choices, I also have the first twenty Penguin Little Black Classics to read, which I received as a gift yesterday.

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – The Hobbit (Sept 11)

It has been over 4 months since I took part in either of these Friday memes, so I thought it was time to participate again. The Hobbit is my favourite book of all time and I figured it was time for a reread, as it is about three years since I last read it. I still haven’t seen any of the movies yet, but I have promised our son that I will watch them with him this winter. I’m not sure how that will go, but I really can’t have an opinion on them if I haven’t watched them. Although I mostly enjoyed the LOTR movies, I wasn’t impressed with a lot of the things that Peter Jackson did with the stories, but that’s something I’ve discussed at length elsewhere.

The following is from the slipcover of a pocket edition I bought not so long ago to replace my favourite copy that is beginning to fall apart:

the hobbitBilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End.

But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon.

Bilbo is most reluctant to take part in this quest, but he surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and his skill as a burglar!

Anyway, on to this week’s excerpts:

BB.ButtonBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of The Hobbit:

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

I love this opening and I love this book. There’s not much else I can say, really!

The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.Friday 56
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of The Hobbit:

So they laughed and sang in the trees; and pretty fair nonsense I daresay you think. Not that they would care; they would only laugh all the more if you told them so. They were elves of course.

Apart from the hobbits themselves, the elves are among my favourite characters in this book. Hopefully, I’ll get the opportunity to read a fair chunk of this book over the weekend, but I’ll see how it goes.

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