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Book Review

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The Lays of Beleriand by JRR Tolkien

on Sun, 10/26/2014 - 19:04

The Lays of Beleriand by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had read volumes 1 & 2 of the History of Middle Earth many years ago. I've more recently read volumes 6 through 12, leaving 3, 4, and 5 left for me in the series of edited works by Christopher Tolkien of his father's work.

I really enjoyed the books on LOTR as it allowed me to see how the story developed over time.

Volume 12 provided two previously unreleased stories, which were intriguing to me.

Volume 3, however, has become my favorite of the series.

Ten Books that Have Stayed with You

on Sun, 08/31/2014 - 20:11

A friend on Facebook recently had a post about ten books that have stayed with her. These didn't have to be the best books, but instead the ones that have impacted you in a special way.

I thought it was a great topic for a post of my own, so here goes, and I'm keeping to fiction only, and as I went I realized I have to break it up between adult and childhood and by childhood, I'm going with elementary school with the exception of Tolkien, who I first read in 6th grade, but most of what I read was after that:

  1. Tolkien's Middle Earth, I simply can't break this out into individual books.

Book Review: The Exodus Quest

on Wed, 07/23/2014 - 15:50

The Exodus Quest by Will Adams
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I've read a lot of books that focus on uncovering hidden mysteries by way of a quest.

I'm typically pretty open to how far the author is willing to go provided it stays within a realm of being believable. So what is that? I don't think there is a hard and fast rule, but as I'm reading (or watching) it has to have some level of consistency that allows me to continue to believe it.

I couldn't keep believing this story and as a result I can't give this book more than two stars.

The story reads fast, but it is almost too fast as if the speed

Book Review: Lost Christianities

on Sat, 03/08/2014 - 13:18

Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never KnewLost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew by Bart D. Ehrman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had read this book around ten years ago and decided to re-read it.

I'm not a theology student, but for whatever reason I find the period of time of Jesus' death and the two centuries immediately following very intriguing.

This interest led me to reading several of the books that never made it into the New Testament, which led me to wonder why?

Bart Ehrman's "Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew" introduces some answers and explanations to

Book Review: The Unfinished Tales

on Mon, 02/17/2014 - 18:19

Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had wanted to read History of Middle Earth (HoME), and re-reading the published version of each became a pre-requisite to refresh my memory. So I read The Silmarillion and then decided before HoME, I'd read The Unfinished Tales. I last read this book roughly 20 years ago so re-reading it was essentially a new experience.

While HoME is definitely for the dedicated and hardcore fan of Tolkien, Unfinished Tales is a bit different.

Book Review: The Silmarillion

on Sun, 01/19/2014 - 17:02

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For starters, this book is for fans of Tolkien who want to better understand the back-story of the events in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. It is not for a casual reader.

I hadn't read The Silmarillion in probably fifteen to twenty years, so in my working through The History of Middle Earth series (HoME) it only made sense to re-read it prior to tackling HoME related volumes.

The Silmarillion is a compilation of not quite completed works of JRR Tolkien written over the span of fifty years by his son Christopher.

I view the

Now Reading: The Information by James Gleick

on Thu, 12/26/2013 - 21:09

I started reading James Gleick's The Information over the break. I had checked it out once previously and simply didn't find the time to get into starting it.

I previously read and own his book "Genius" and want to read "Chaos".

This one is a 400+ page look at information and its quantification. Published in 2011, Gleick took on the subject before "big data" was thrown around on a regular basis.

It is very early in the book so far, roughly 30 pages, but I'm struck by the approach taken to the story.

Book Review: The Island of Dr. Moreau

on Tue, 12/10/2013 - 02:15

The Island of Dr. MoreauThe Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished reading The Hobbit on a flight back from Germany and had this book on my Kindle app from the Gutenberg Project.

I read nearly all of it on the return flight and found it to be scary good.

This edition was based on the 1896 edition of HG Wells' classic novel.

The story is a report of a man lost at sea for nearly a year in 1887. He was deemed to be demented based on his account of his time lost.

I found this work to be very intriguing, and by design, disturbing.

Edward Prendick was the man lost at sea, saved, and nearly lost

Book Review: The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

on Sun, 12/08/2013 - 17:53

The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a quest story with the unlikeliest of heroes, a Hobbit, named Bilbo. He is recommended to serve the role of burglar to a band of dwarves set on recovering their ancestors' gold from the dragon Smaug, by the wizard, Gandalf.

I've read this book multiple times throughout my life, as a child, in HS, college, to my daughter as a bed time story, and most recently last week. Each read has been at a different phase of my life and thereby has been viewed from a different perspective.

This time, I wanted to revisit the story for two reasons,

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