Launched in 2003 Tolkien Reading Day event has sparked interest in reading and reading groups across several nations and ages, from primary schoolchildren to university students and library users of all ages. 25th March has significance to Tolkien’s readers, as it is the day of the Downfall of Sauron at the conclusion of the ‘War of the Ring’ in The Lord of the Rings.
According to the Tolkien Society, the theme this year is ‘Home and Hearth: the many ways of being a Hobbit.
Lovely topic for this year’s Tolkien Reading Day! Of course reading the book or watching the movie for the first time you’re immediately drawn to the actions surrounding the world of Men, the Elves, the Dwarves, etc. But as the years go by I find myself more and more appreciative of hobbits and their life and their appreciation and love of home and food and family and friends and all in all the quiet life.
I’m just going to leave this video here because it pretty much embodies what I mean about hobbits:
What do you think about hobbits, lol? How will you be celebrating Tolkien Reading Day? If you’re a regular follower of my blog you know that I’ve been just so busy lately. But I’ve been meaning to re-read LOTR so despite of everything that’s going on, I’ve settled in and started re-reading The Fellowship of the Ring. Good times 😀
The Flight of Gemma Hardy By: Margot Livesey Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
When her widower father drowns at sea, Gemma Hardy is taken from her native Iceland to Scotland to live with her kind uncle and his family. But the death of her doting guardian leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and it soon becomes clear that she is nothing more than an unwelcome guest at Yew House. When she receives a scholarship to a private school, ten-year-old Gemma believes she’s found the perfect solution and eagerly sets out again to a new home. However, at Claypoole she finds herself treated as an unpaid servant.
To Gemma’s delight, the school goes bankrupt, and she takes a job as an au pair on the Orkney Islands. The remote Blackbird Hall belongs to Mr. Sinclair, a London businessman; his eight-year-old niece is Gemma’s charge. Even before their first meeting, Gemma is, like everyone on the island, intrigued by Mr. Sinclair. Rich (by Gemma’s standards), single, flying in from London when he pleases, Hugh Sinclair fills the house with life. An unlikely couple, the two are drawn to each other, but Gemma’s biggest trial is about to begin: a journey of passion and betrayal, redemption and discovery, that will lead her to a life of which she’s never dreamed.
Set in Scotland and Iceland in the 1950s and ’60s, The Flight of Gemma Hardy—a captivating homage to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre—is a sweeping saga that resurrects the timeless themes of the original but is destined to become a classic all its own.
Two things piqued my interest in this novel: the fact that it was a sort of modern re-telling of Jane Eyre and the fact that it was set in Scotland and Iceland. I eventually picked up the eBook maybe two years ago but it did take me some time to get around to reading it. But I eventually did, lol.
Someone to Love (The Westcotts #1) By: Mary Balogh Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune that will forever alter the lives of everyone in his family—including the daughter no one knew he had…
Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage in Bath knowing nothing of the family she came from. Now she discovers that the late Earl of Riverdale was her father and that she has inherited his fortune. She is also overjoyed to learn she has siblings. However, they want nothing to do with her or her attempts to share her new wealth. But the new earl’s guardian is interested in Anna…
Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, keeps others at a distance. Yet something prompts him to aid Anna in her transition from orphan to lady. As London society and her newfound relatives threaten to overwhelm Anna, Avery steps in to rescue her and finds himself vulnerable to feelings and desires he has hidden so well and for so long.
I read a few of her books from the Survivors series and loved them. I ended up picking this book up in a sort of whim as it was on sale at the time, but given how much I enjoyed the other two books, I figured I would enjoy reading another book of hers 🙂
Edgedancer (The Stormlight Archive #2.5) By: Brandon Sanderson Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase
Three years ago, Lift asked a goddess to stop her from growing older–a wish she believed was granted. Now, in Edgedancer, the barely teenage nascent Knight Radiant finds that time stands still for no one. Although the young Azish emperor granted her safe haven from an executioner she knows only as Darkness, court life is suffocating the free-spirited Lift, who can’t help heading to Yeddaw when she hears the relentless Darkness is there hunting people like her with budding powers. The downtrodden in Yeddaw have no champion, and Lift knows she must seize this awesome responsibility.
I picked this book up because it was pretty cool that the novella got its own hardback. On the other hand I am woefully behind in The Stormlight Archives and still have the second book sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. But eh, I figured I can go ahead and read it, should be enough of a standalone to read.
Iceland’s Bell By: Halldór Laxness, Philip Roughton (Translator) Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Sometimes grim, sometimes uproarious, and always captivating, Iceland’s Bell by Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness is at once an updating of the traditional Icelandic saga and a caustic social satire. At the close of the 17th century, Iceland is an oppressed Danish colony, suffering under extreme poverty, famine, and plague. A farmer and accused cord-thief named Jon Hreggvidsson makes a bawdy joke about the Danish king and soon after finds himself a fugitive charged with the murder of the king’s hangman.
In the years that follow, the hapless but resilient rogue Hreggvidsson becomes a pawn entangled in political and personal conflicts playing out on a far grander scale. Chief among these is the star-crossed love affair between Snaefridur, known as “Iceland’s Sun,” a beautiful, headstrong young noblewoman, and Arnas Arnaeus, the king’s antiquarian, an aristocrat whose worldly manner conceals a fierce devotion to his downtrodden countrymen. As their personal struggle plays itself out on an international stage, Iceland’s Bell creates a Dickensian canvas of heroism and venality, violence and tragedy, charged with narrative enchantment on every page.
I had been eyeing a book or two from Halldór Laxness for a long time but it wasn’t until I travelled to Iceland last year and seeing his books everywhere that I decided to pick a book of his up. I decided to go with this book because of its expansive scope of 17th century Iceland and its ties to the Danish kingdom at the time (Denmark being the other place I went to last year). So here we are 🙂