This one is from io9‘s post “Real-life House That Look Like They Belong in the Shire.” The picture above is of one of my favorite houses in the post. Apparently, it is a low-impact Hobbit house in West Wales. I think it’s the best of all the houses in capturing what the Hobbit house should look like. The inside is great as well and it seems very cozy. Click here to visit i09 to see more Hobbit inspired houses.
I’ve just finished reading Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World and I am blown away. I loved every minute of it and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!
I did not expect to like it as much as I did. My friend recommended it to me knowing that I enjoy reading fantasy novels. Since he has good taste in things, I decided to trust his judgment to try it but I was skeptical since many people likened it to the Lord of the Rings and though great, the Lord of the Rings can be a bore at times with the exception of The Hobbit. But I wanted to try something new so off I went to buy Jordan’s book.
I love Jordan’s style. It reminds me of Robin McKinley in how he takes his time to build his world, which he does by introducing us to the people who live in it. The first chapter sets the tone for the rest of the story and also gives us a glimpse of the situation that the characters will find themselves in throughout the story.
The story begins with Rand, a teenaged farm boy, battling strong winds with his father to get to the village to deliver brandy for the Bel Tine Festival. They walk guarded, on the lookout for wolves, so they are constantly looking over their shoulder. This tone continues throughout the story since Rand and his companions are always fighting dark creatures or on the lookout for them. They travel through the entire novel looking over their shoulder.
I’m so lucky to have found this article on FlavorWire soon after completing The Fellowship of the Ring. Curiosity made me click on the link to see the pictures of the structures inspired by books but I was surprised to see this one that was inspired by a novel that I recently read.
The picture here is of The Hobbit Motel in New Zealand. I like how the architect fits it into the hill as described in the novel and included the round windows and doors, well, the doors have round frames. All it needs now is the beautiful garden that Bilbo loved. Check out the other buildings here.
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.
Whew! Boy did this book take a long time to finish!
Towards the end, I began to get impatient with the narration, which focused most intensely on descriptions of the landscape. Though I understand the importance of these descriptions to the overall work, my appreciation for them fell short when I was about 300-100 pages from the end and all I wanted to do was close the book with a feeling of completion.
I enjoyed the story, but the narration drove me nuts sometimes, as I’ve mentioned before. The descriptions of the landscape and nature just seemed to drag on and on at the slowest pace imaginable. However, I fervently gobbled up all the action parts and dialogues.
There is so much in this book — facts, descriptions, and the lengthy story — that I now feel like I need to take a siesta from reading for a while. My mind is still broadcasting images from Middle-earth and is especially focused on what it believes Lothlorien and Rivendell to look like. The poems are still buzzing in my head and the fear of Sauron and the scare at the end caused by Boromir still cause me to shiver a bit.
I view this book as one of those that a person has to read with an intent. A person has to say to herself, “I am going to read this book and I will not stop until I get to the last page.” That’s what I had to do because the magnitude of descriptions provided made reading an arduous task at times. The first time that I picked up The Fellowship of the Ring to read (sometimes I just pick it up to admire), I gave up a quarter of the way into it because I did not have the patience to push through the descriptions. But this time, with the intention to read the entire thing so that I can truthfully say that I read it, I was able to complete the novel.
This is the first novel I’ve read by J.R.R. Tolkien and I love it. This is the third time that I am reading the The Hobbit and it is just as exciting and entertaining as the first.
The story opens with the main character, Bilbo Baggins, a lovable hobbit who resides in a warm, cozy hole in The Hill at Bag-End. By opening the story this way, Tolkien introduces the readers to hobbits, educating them on who and what hobbits are. Turns out that hobbits are just like us humans, though not noisy and ignorant of the beauty of nature. Also, hobbits are much more good natured. Though sometimes seen as silly and ignorant, from Bilbo it is learned that hobbits are tough and are surprisingly brave. Which is why Gandalf the Grey sends Bilbo on an adventure with Thorin Oakenshield (I love that name) and his band of dwarves to rescue their mountain from the dragon Smaug. Along the way, the group encounter various dangerous adventures and Bilbo makes new friends. He also happens to pick up a magic ring that turns him invisible and at the same time gained the enmity of a tortured creature called Gollum.