Tag: Books: General


Tolkien Reading Day!

Posted 25 March, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 10 Comments


(image source)

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.

more information about the event here

According to the Tolkien Society, the theme this year is ‘Poetry and Songs in Tolkien’s Fiction.

Interesting topic for this year’s Tolkien Day seeing as poetry and songs make up such a huge part of Tolkien’s fiction: The Lord of the Rings (review #1, #2, #3) alone is filled with both folk songs and ancient hymns, and all of the recently published, incomplete poems with his take on Beowulf and King Arthur shows just how steeped in old poems Tolkien really worked from. It’s quite informative reading these titles (see author tag) even as it can be frustrating that they are incomplete! He really loved old tales and mythologies, as he expressed in his essay about The Kalevala (review; and which I found myself nodding in agreement), and his love of these tales really shows in the poems he produced in his own works.

Oh, and if writing poetry and songs isn’t enough, he also writes them in the Elvish languages that he created, Sindarin and Quenya! I’m always in awe that he did this, it adds further depth and richness to the world and the story he created. One of my favourite poems from LOTR:

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-díriel
o galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
nef aear, sí nef aearon!

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
o menel palan-diriel,
le nallon sí di’nguruthos!
A tiro nin, Fanuilos!

(O Elbereth Starkindler,
white-glittering, slanting down sparkling like a jewel,
the glory of the starry host!
Having gazed far away
from the tree-woven lands of Middle-earth,
to thee, Everwhite, I will sing,
on this side of the Sea, here on this side of the Ocean!

O Elbereth Starkindler,
from heaven gazing afar,
to thee I cry now beneath the shadow of death!
O look towards me, Everwhite!)

source

Oh, and for fun, here’s an audio of Tolkien reciting “Namarie” sung by Galadriel in LOTR:

I suppose one can go on and on talkin about the poems and songs that Tolkien wrote about, as well as those old mythologies that he loved so much and attempted to re-write in his own perspective and grasp of language. And I guess that’s the root of it: not just his love of mythology and old stories but his deep grasp of language. It really reflects in his works (see: his version of Beowulf (review) compared to the version accesible to most).

What do you think of poetry and songs in Tolkien’s fiction? How will you be celebrating Tolkien Reading Day? I’m not entirely sure how I’ll be celebrating today; I’ve been wanting to re-read LOTR for some time now but with all the books on my TBR queue and some other books on my re-read queue I haven’t quite wiggled around some time to re-read LOTR. Maybe later this year? In the meantime, maybe I’ll re-read Bilbo’s Last Song, a song Tolkien wrote on Bilbo’s voyage to the Grey Havens and off to the West. Seems like the perfect way to celebrate this year’s theme 🙂

Tolkien Reading Day!

Posted 25 March, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 8 Comments


(image source)

I wasn’t going to schedule a post today as today is Good Friday but it’s March 25th, which means it’s also Tolkien Reading Day! 🙂 Here’s the description of what this day is all about:

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.

more information about the event here

According to the Tolkien Society, the theme this year is ‘life, death and immortality. The theme seems rather fitting given today’s event in the Catholic liturgical calendar, but it is also a very prominent facet of Tolkien’s works and of Middle Earth. It’s an aspect that permeates greatly in Tolkien’s stories, that defines some of the characters’ journeys and challenges.

The following contains some spoilers if you haven’t seen the LOTR movies…

Read More

Tolkien Reading Day!

Posted 25 March, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments


(image source)

It’s March 25th today, which means it’s Tolkien Reading Day! 🙂 Here’s the description of what this day is all about:

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.
more information about the event here

According to the Tolkien Society, the theme this year is ‘friendship in Tolkien’s works‘:

The theme of friendship was chosen for this year’s Reading Day to help celebrate the deep friendships that Tolkien developed in his own life and in his work. It is also on this date, 25 March, that Frodo and Sam’s friendship triumphed in Mordor with the destruction of the One Ring.

I guess it’s easy to start with the big friendship in Tolkien’s work, that between Frodo and Sam. For where would Frodo be without Sam? How far would he have been able to go without Sam beside him to support him and keep him grounded as the One Ring continued to worm his way in and burden him greatly. Frodo obviously doesn’t want to burden his friends, especially Sam, but Sam is committed to stay by Frodo’s side regardless of the dangers ahead.

There were a lot of great scenes between them but this I think is just the pinnacle scene for them, Sam carrying Frodo to his destination in Mount Doom. Well, there’s this scene and the other scene…before this one, I believe, where Sam gives him the last of his water, and Frodo asks what about for the return trip and Sam tells him that there won’t be one. I thought that was a powerful scene too because all this time Sam has been talking about how they would return home afterwards and to come to this point where he finally accepts/acknowledges that there won’t be a return trip back and is focusing their remaining resources and energies to getting Frodo to Mount Doom was just heartbreaking and powerful.

There are of course many other wonderful friendships that populate Tolkien’s works: Aragorn and Legolas and Gimli, Legolas and Gimli, Aragorn and Eomer, Merry and Pippin, Bilbo and Balin, and more going back into The Silmarillion. The bonds they shared, the experiences they had together, and the care they had for each other through such difficult times is quite amazing to behold.

So what about you, how will you be celebrating Tolkien Reading Day? What are your favourite friendships in Tolkien’s works?

Oh, and I know I said this last year and the year before but I have indeed started re-reading The Silmarillion some time ago 😛 Oh, and be sure to keep an eye out on my blog later today as my focus for this month’s So You Want To Read… feature is indeed on J.R.R. Tolkien’s works 😉

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Posted 10 July, 2014 by Lianne in Miscellaneous / 8 Comments

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).


This entry is brought to you by a casually-strolling Mario Goetz (not my gif, as always)

  1. Question: let’s say you won a book from a giveaway hosted by a blog and you never received it…do you email to inform the blogger about the situation? I know that some bloggers mention that it’s not their responsibility if the book never arrives or is lost and while this blogger never mentioned anything, I dunno if there’s any point to give the heads up anyhow…?
  2. Random shout-out/recommendation/pluggage: Lucy Clarke’s A Single Breath (review). A perfect summer read, IMO. And I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about the book 🙂
  3. In some bookish news: Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists (review) is going to be adapted for television by BBC. Interesting, interesting…
  4. Book haul! Okay, in the past week or so, a lot of my pre-orders and other assortments of books pouring into my mailbox (hurray! 😀 ) Suffice to say, my TBR pile is now bursting and there is no room in my new bookshelf for all of these books xP

  5. Okay, I’m normally not one to watch musicals and movies involving music (weird, as I do love music)–I still have yet to finish watching The Fiddler on the Roof and the only musical I’ve watched is The Sound of Music–so Begin Again starring Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley sort of fell out of the periphery for me. However, I decided to look at the trailer again after hearing Keira Knightley sing “Tell Me If You Wanna Go Home” for the soundtrack. It’s really catchy (I can’t stop listening to it! 😛 ) and I think she has a nice voice:
  6. Speaking of movies, as if I wasn’t excited enough for Guardians of the Galaxy (the soundtrack, by the way, looks amazing), they release this trailer:

And now for my World Cup section of this week’s thoughts. I’m placing them behind a cut again in case you’re not a football fan 😉

Read More

Books: Three Books That Define You

Posted 30 March, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

So an interesting tweet popped up on my feed on Friday:


Original tweet link, in case anyone wants or needs it

It had me thinking: what three books would I choose that summarises who I am, my life, my essence (so to speak)? At first I was wondering how to interpret this question but I guess they left it open enough to approach it in whatever way you want. I read through some of the replies and given Twitter’s 140 character limit, it doesn’t help understanding the choices people have made. So I’ve decided to dwell on the question a bit and answer it here on my blog 🙂

  • E.M. Forster’s The Longest Journey (commentary) — It’s hard for me to explain why I chose this book, actually; it was the first one that popped in my head when I started thinking about this question. The Longest Journey is one of his lesser-known works (perhaps his least known, much to my chagrin). I think I chose it because it both encapsulates my own feelings and sentiments about my goals and my dreams while at the same time serves as a sort of cautionary tale for what happens when you completely give up (in a spiritual sense?) in exchange for convention and expectation. I don’t know if that makes sense, but yeah, I hold this novel quite dearly to my heart for all of the themes and dreams that it holds.
  • Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (review) — Is it fair for me to say that all of us bookworms and book bloggers who read this novel more or less related to the character of Cath on some level? Because I certainly did! Cath’s involvement in fandoms very much reminded me of my high school/undergrad days and while I don’t interact as much with fandom these days, the feelings and occasional excursions to what everything is doing (the conversation, the speculation, the fanart and gifsets on Tumblr) were definitely captured in the book. Her attempts to write something of her own also struck a chord with the writer side of me.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (review #1, #2, #3) — No, I didn’t find a closet that led me to Middle Earth. Nor have a fought sword battles or climbed my way to a live volcano or was crowned king of a vast kingdom. Yes, LOTR is my favourite book, but it also represents a part of my life: my love of history and myths and lore, of languages (a later development) and of the imagination. I spent my high school years reading everything I can of everything Middle Earth related that it really is a part of my life even now.

(It could have easily been expanded to 4 or 6 books but I’ve managed to restrain myself today 😉 )

And so I pass the question to you: what three books define you as a person/your life/as a reader perhaps? Why did you choose those three books? Feel free to link up in the comments, I’d love to read your choices 😉