Tag Archives: tolkien

Lord of the Rings Series Review

27 Jun

 

The Lord of the Rings series is a high-fantasy novel written by J.R.R. Tolkien and first published in 1954/55. I never understood what all the hype was about this series until my OH got it for me and finally read it. I will admit to it taking far longer than I wanted, to get through all three volumes but that can be blamed on life and not wanting to eat and read at the same time (i mean, the book is gorgeous, I didn’t want to get anything on it!) I finally caved though when I couldn’t put it down. Hefting that through the house as I took care of the dogs, made meals, etc was interesting but the world of Middle Earth and the amount of details he put into backstories, languages, etc, was fantastic.

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I had already seen the movies (totally did it backward) but I think it helped me, having an idea of who these characters were. Normally I don’t like that, it shapes what you think about them to the degree that when they are different in the book (as they inevitably are, movies tend to take SO much license…….) but, for some reason, it helped.

I also read some about Tolkien and the parallels of himself and others in his life in some of his characters, which added a whole other layer to it.

Yes, it’s violent (it’s a WAR, man!) so I wouldn’t recommend this for young readers – unless you’re reading aloud to them and then you could skip over those bits! Other than the violence ( in the mood for some head-lopping? Gimli and Legolas keep count.), this series is CLEAN.  Why can’t more writers keep it that way?

I was watching an interview of Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachan, two of Bollywood’s biggest stars recently and loved their answer when asked why they don’t kiss in their movies. “you have this intimate moment and then suddenly, snap, cut, you’re in the mountains singing and dancing. It’s a lot more interesting…I’d much rather that.”   I got so excited when he said that! People can fall in love – and express that love – without getting all physical and mucking up the whole story.

ahem. Sorry…. Stepping down off my soapbox…..

So. I so appreciate the little bit of love and romance in these stories, it’s romantic, sweet, honoring and respectful. And isn’t that the love we all dream of?

The Fellowship of the Ring – book 1 by J.R.R. Tolkien – Frodo Baggins had no idea just what he was inheriting from Bilbo that night. But soon he knew that the Ring Wraiths were hunting him and the Ring of Power that he had. The Ring that could change the future of Middle Earth. Sauron wanted it to spread his evil through the land. So Frodo, Sam and those who would help him, must destroy the Ring in Mordor – the dark land where Sauron reigned.

 

The Two Towers – book 2  by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fellowship has been scattered. Some of them are dealing with treacherous Saruman. Some are preparing for the onslaught of war against Sauron. Only Frodo and Sam are left to take the Ring of Power to Mordor. Their guide through the dangerous lands is Gollum, the sneaky creature whose mind is filled with the Ring.

 

The Return of the King -book 3 by J.R.R. Tolkien – The fight continues against the evil Sauron –  Aragorn has joined with the Riders of Rohan. Gandalf has returned and defeated Saruman.  Merry and Pippin, having escaped the Orcs,  meet the Ents. Frodo and Sam continue their perilous journey into Mordor guided by Gollum. Through it all, the armies of Sauron are massing.

Gah! Just writing the synopsis’ (or is that synopsi?) makes me want to read them all over again. I also highly recommend The Hobbit, which is the prequel. I am going to give The Silmarillion a try although I’ve been warned it’s pretty much a history book of Middle Earth.

These books are very easily attainable, I’d bet you could get them at almost any used bookstore you wander into. Or Amazon is always a great option!

Have you read LOTR? What did you think?

~Laura

 

 

 

 

Book Review – Feb 2016

29 Feb

Happy Leap Year Day! Which means we are less than a month away from Spring Equinox! Woot woot!( I’m SO very ready to start driving my classic VW again! ) But, while it insist on rain-rain-raining, I’ve got some great books to keep you happily indoors.

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Not Exactly Eden by Linda Windsor – After her fiance postpones their wedding, Jenna Marsten finds a mysterious wedding gift – and traces it to her father in the Amazon. Determined to  meet him, she leaves the glittering socialite life and grabs her courage for an adventure of a lifetime.

~ Windsor rarely disappoints and in this one she delivered a sweet romance without being too sugary sweet. The emotions of the main characters keep it from being too unrealistic and remind the reader that Christ never leaves us! 

 

Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings part 1)  by J.R.R. Tolkien – Inheriting Bag’s End, and the Ring, from Bilbo wasn’t what Frodo wanted but inherit them he did when Bilbo up and disappeared on his 111th birthday. Their wizard friend, Gandalf, comes with a fantastic story for Frodo about the Ring. It is the One Ring, forged to rule all rings and must be guarded from the evil that seeks its power once more. And so starts a journey that neither Frodo nor his hobbit friends had never dreamed of, or wanted. Joined by Elf, Man, Wizard and Dwarf, this company must help the Ring-bearer across Middle Earth to defeat evil.

~It’s really intimidating to write a synopsis for such a classic. I mean, REALLY intimidating. I am almost to the end of this book and lamenting the fact that I don’t have any more of the series! Tolkien’s world is fantastic – can I just go live in the Shire right now please?? 

 

Little Lord Fauntleroy  by Francis Hodgson Burnett– Seven-year-old Cedric is a kind-hearted boy growing up in New York with a circle of dear friends. But all that changes when he is told that he is to be an earl and his grandfather wishes him to come live with him in England. Deciding to be the best earl that he can be, Little Lord Fauntleroy faces even his selfish old grandfather without fear.

~ Can I just say that this classic children’s book is PERFECT?! It was originally published in 1886 and is now one of the most famous children’s books written. I quickly became enchanted with Cedric and his mother. I’d say this is a must-must-read for all. 

To Be a Jew by Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin – This has been acknowledged as the classic guide – full of information and daily inspiration – to Jewish attitudes, law and philosophy. From Shabbat to Succot, dietary laws to family life, birth to death and mourning, this book shines the light on how to live a devout life.

I will admit that I’m struggling getting through this one. Nothing against the book itself, though. While it is ‘meatier’ than God-Fearers was, it is still very well written. You might recognize this from December’s book review…. I am oh so slowly getting through it but am enjoying it. It often sparks conversations between me and my OH and we even pulled it out for the blessings for doing Havdallah the other night. 

Is your to-read stack of books going down at all or is it growing like mine seems to be doing??

~Laura

Book Review- June 2015 (part 2)

25 Jun

As promised, here is part two of this month’s book review.

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Wrangler in Petticoats by Mary Connealy (Sophie’s Daughters bk 2) – Sally Mclellan is a total tomboy, and proud of it. But when artist Logan Mckenzie rescues her, she realizes that wearing a dress and being a woman isn’t so bad. But can she survive the outlaws that are intent on killing her, the only witness to their murdering, in order to really decide about loving a man who loves to paint the land instead of work it? And can she let her guard down and flourish as a woman? ~ I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel set in these times about an artist out in farming/ranching country. Loved the story line. Loved the characters. Definite re-read!

Sharpshooter in Petticoats by Mary Connealy (Sophie’s Daughters bk 3) – After a disastrous marriage that has left her the focus of a feud, Mandy Mclellan Grey has sequestered herself and her children in order to stay alive. It will take everything Tom Linscott has to convince her to come to his ranch and marry him. The way he figures it, she should have as soon as she finished burying her worthless husband, five years ago. When Tom goes up the mountain to get Mandy, he gets a whole lot more trouble that he expected – a great deal of that from the deadly-accurate sharpshooter he loves. ~ The final book in this series, Connealy keeps the fun and suspense in this novel. While this one has a slight more ‘adult theme’ it is still very tastefully done. And of course, you get to catch up on Beth and Sally’s lives. Another great read.

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien – A precursor to the Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit  tells the story of Bilbo Baggins’ adventures with the dwarves that are going back to the Lonely Mountain in order to reclaim their homeland and treasure that was stolen from them by the dragon, Smaug. Through trolls’ snares, goblin tunnels, Mirkwood Forest and an angry Elvenking must they survive, before they even reach the deadliest of foes – the wily dragon who slumbers amid his horde of gold. ~ I just finished this a few hours ago and what a writer Tolkien is! I cannot wait to get the LOTR series now. The only part I didn’t thoroughly enjoy was the spider part –which makes perfect sense if you know me… An honest to goodness classic that I don’t know how I hadn’t already read.

The Bride Bargain by Kelly Eileen Hake ( Prairie Promises bk 1) –  Clara Fields is determined to get herself and her aunt to Oregon in order to start a new life there. But when they are booted from the wagon train, they must seek help in the small town along the Platte River. Striking a bargain with a shopkeeper, Clara agrees to help find his visiting son a bride in exchange for the shopkeeper’s house. The only problem is that  Dr. Saul Reed is not interested in getting married and settling in Buttonwood – he’s got a practice ready to start in Boston. ~ This is one of those I like to call ‘fluff’ books. Easy to read in a doctor’s office or a park but still well written to be worth reading and keep you interested. The circumstances throughout the book are laugh-out-loud ridiculous but definetly keep you turning the page. A very fun, quick read.

Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt –  Guiding you through each day with advice, encouragement and worksheets, this book helps you stay focused on writing a book in 30 days. It is put out by Writer’s Digest. ~Gasp. I am SO excited about this book. I am not committing to writing a book in a month, but i am using it more as a guideline and to help me get the momentum back on the novel I’m currently working on. Which can make it a little difficult, what with having almost 40 pages written, and the intent is to start on day 1 with a blank page…errr, blinking cursor/blank document. I am excited to keep working through it and working out the kinks in my novel along the way.

~Sorry there’s no pictures or links for these books this month, but I’m getting these written out and scheduled for I’m heading for vacation tonight! So, while it’s not necessarily a ‘pretty’ post, the reviews are genuine and the books are awesome! Enjoy!

~Laura

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