Since I have no one to discuss books with and since I refuse to join a book club (I don’t think I would be able to keep up and I might not like what they read), I now use the SparkNotes guides as my trusty book-friend, the one who informs me of things that I might have missed or misinterpreted while reading. It works but it’s a one-way street since I can’t return the favor. As stated before in a previous review, Sparknotes is a great guide to use. I highly recommend it!
Sparknotes was a reliable companion while I read The Fellowship of the Ring. Again, it did not go in depth with the analyses and did not give away everything in its summary of the chapters, but you are able to get the gist of what happens. It is no substitute for reading the actual story, but it’s a great guide to have to piggy-back ideas on or to confirm your suspicions with if you happen to be a not-so-recent, still broke, college grad with an English major who lacks friends who like to read and analyze novels as much as you do.
I especially like that it gives some background information on the author. Sure I could just google the dude but I like having things available in one place: summary, analyses, background information, sample essays, quotes, and other cool stuff to know. After I read about Tolkien in the Sparknotes guide, I then googled his name to get more information and read essays that discuss his work. That might sound boring to some people but it was fun for me 🙂 (Ha! Isn’t it interesting that I find that fun now? It sure wasn’t fun when I had to do it for a grade).
The guide that I picked up contains summaries and reviews for all the books in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I plan to continue to refer to it as I force my way towards completing the trilogy.