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JRR Tolkien: Author of the Century by Tom Shippey

on Sat, 04/02/2016 - 17:01

J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century by Tom Shippey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've read Tolkien's standards and they have always appealed to me and in some ways it was more a feeling than an actual understanding of why. I moved on to HoME and many of Tolkien's translations, such as Beowulf, Sigurd, and the Fall of Arthur with more to come, such as Kullervo and Sir Gawain.

I recently read Shippey's "The Road to Middle-Earth" and followed it up with "Author of the Century".

These books helped me better understand in some ways that feeling.

I always understood that there was a depth to his work.

The Bibliophile in Me

on Sun, 12/28/2014 - 19:54

I've always loved reading and collecting books. This holiday season, I put a lot of books on my gift list. As a result, I got several new ones and realized I needed to reorganize my bookshelves.

My den has two bookshelves on a wall, along with a five row bookshelf. For me, this is limited space so I shelved the closet in that room. 

The exercise undertaken resulted in having to move books out of the closet to the garage either to be donated to the library or stored if I couldn't give them up.

Now I have a shelf for Math/Science (top) and History (bottom):

A shelf for Religion:


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.

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

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,