Tolkien and Lewis were both in residence at Oxford for many years, studying and teaching both. They were also close friends, even though they disagreed on almost everything. Sure, they had a shared interest in language, and in what we now call fantasy, but they disagreed on religion, and on the tones of their books. There are also a lot of stories about their friendship, few confirmed, but all amazing. Here are our favorites!
1. The Lamppost
Image via Dissolve
There’s a story that says Lewis specifically put the lamppost in Narnia because Tolkien said a good fantasy story would never have one. The sheer pettiness. What an icon. No fantasy story would have a lamppost? Well this one does! Please, TELL Lewis what his story can have. There’s no slowing him down. A lesson in spite we should really all take to heart.
Image via IOL
Tolkien was, as well as being a linguist and historian, quite Catholic, and Lewis found his philosophical suggestions appealing, becoming religious himself. Tolkien didn’t get what he wanted, though, because though Lewis became more religious, he was Protestant, and Tolkien didn’t at all appreciate how much religion was in Lewis’ books. Kinda played himself.
3. The Draft
Image via The Creative Penn
Apparently when Lewis first read his draft of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to Tolkien and a croup of friends, Tolkien hated it. He thought it was terrible and combined too many mythologies. He wanted more consistent world building, and I don’t have a good source for this, but I’ve heard he even told Lewis to stop writing.
As the summer draws to a close, here’s a list of the five best fantasy books you just have to read before autumn arrives! All these books aren’t set in the summer, but they’re still the perfect thing to pick up, no strings attached! Whether you like paranormal, high fantasy, or light horror, you’ll find the perfect book to read in the sun (without falling asleep).
If you’re not reading Novik yet, then you’re missing out! This is the perfect standalone to get you started. Set on the outskirts of a terrifyingly magical forest, this book has a dragon (arguably), an unexpected heroine, plenty of violence, and even more magic. If you want a glorious modern story with the feel of a classic fantasy, you’re going to love this book. It’s also got sense, heart, and writing that’ll make you wonder why anyone else even tries.
Black writes a lot of different moods, so if you read fantasy you’ve probably encountered her. The Coldest Girl is and isn’t like anything else. Whether you’re over vampires or completely obsessed, give this book a try. A strong, sensible heroine who never the less gets drawn into danger and horror she thought she’d escaped, this book has both the elegance and horror of the genre, the obsession and the disinterest, as well as characters who step off the page.
Jones is also outrageously prolific. Even if you haven’t read any of her work, you’ve probably seen the Miyazaki adaptation of one of her novels, Howl’s Moving Castle. This is something slightly different, but with Jones’ dry humor, sense of tangible magic, and deeply flawed characters you’ll still absolutely love. Royal succession, a secret magical society, and a digital curse make this book a classic, even if you may not know all the retro computer terms.
You probably don’t know Yovanoff, but you might want to. This book is a little gruesome, but only in the way some old fairy tales are. Sometimes children in Gentry are taken, and Mackie Doyle is what was left. Exploring sacrifice, familial love, and what it means to be different, this is an unusual book that’s worth your consideration. The protagonist is complex, and teeters between selfishness and alarming selflessness. My advice? Read it with the lights on.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Lord of the Rings fan or haven’t even seen any of the movies, The Hobbit is self-contained novel that stands on its own. This book is sweet, engaging, frighting, and funny. If you like modern fantasy, here’s it’s start. If you love Tolkien, you know this is a great read and reread, and if you never got into Tolkien and were too afraid to ask, this is a great place to start. Plus, they put the most gorgeous covers on this book now.
Did you know there are a great number of living creatures named after various writers? I really did not know how to react after looking at some of these, but I can imagine that it’s quite an honor to find out that you’ve had an entire species named after you. Throughout biological nomenclature, organisms are sometimes given scientific names with the intention to honor somebody. From insects, to plants, to even a variety of fish, there are a plethora of different types of organisms named after influential writers. These are the ones that left me quite confused, yet strangely compelled.
Shireplitis is a group wasps that are native to New Zealand. They are usually black or brown in color, and are about 2mm in body length with narrow wings. Although not clear at first, their genus name derives from the Shire, home of the famous hobbits in J.R.R Tolkien’s series of books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. There are five species of Shireplitis named after iconic hobbits, and one named after Tolkien himself.
Image Via Pixels
–Shireplitisbilboi (Bilbo Baggins)
–Shireplitisfrodoi (Frodo Baggins)
–Shireplitissamwisei (Samwise Gamgee)
–Shireplitismeriadoci (Mariadoc Brandybuck)
–Shireplitisperegrini (Peregrin Took)
–Shireplitistolkieni (J.R.R Tolkien)
Learning about this in high school would have made biology a lot more fun.
Avalanchurus is an extinct family of trilobites, which are a group of marine arachnomorph arthropods. The subfamily of Avalanchurus consists of four different species named after four musical icons. Avalanchurus garfunkeli and Avalanchurus simoni are named after Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, the legendary bestselling folk-rock duo. Avalanchurus lennoni and Avalanchurus starri are named after the singer and drummer of The Beatles, John Lennon and Ringo Starr. It a blend of fascination and surprise that this is even a thing.
Image Via Wikipedia
Although they are not necessarily authors, Paul Simon is well known as arguably one of the best songwriters of all time.
Sonoma is a subfamily of rove beetles that originated from North America. Appearing mostly from the Pacific Slope in Alaska to southern California, there are at least fifty-seven known species. There are many different names for these species, such as sonoma colberti, named after Stephen Colbert, and sonoma stewarti, named after Jon Stewart. Looking through the long list, however, I found sonoma twaini, approriately named after Mark Twain, the author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Why there is a family of beetles named after two talk show hosts and a legendary author, I really cannot say. Yet, these names really don’t get more random and erratic than this.
Literally. With eight books on display, students at Western Iowa Tech Community College had a chance to guess the title of the book and vote on their favorite before taking a bite out of literature. The school’s first-ever Edible Book Competition was organized thanks to eight students and faculty members so that finals weeks could run a lot smoother.
“It gives us an opportunity to share our love of reading and how books are important to us, and get to know each other a little better and share food, of course,” Sue Owens, the librarian who planned this event, told SiouxLand Proud.
Of course they’re not real books. Basically, students had an opportunity to make a tasty desert and make others guess what book that desert represented.
Image Via Sioux City Journal
Sioux City Journal spoke to library manager Sharon Dykshoorn, who said, “Anyone who wanted to vote for their favorite among the edible books could do so” and that , “the winner of the popular vote will be determined at noon and a small prize will be given to the top vote-getter.”
Dykshoorn had her own entry, which by all accounts was the hardest to guess.
Image Via Sioux City Journal
See if you can guess what books these six deserts represent:
A fish bowl inside of which are Swedish fish candies.
2. A plate filled with grapes
3. A Mars candy bar called “The Three Musketeers”
4. A teddy bear surrounded by wedding-ring-shaped cookies
5. A chocolate cake
6. A book-shaped cake covered in fondant and buttercream
Dykshoorn gave a hint for her entry: “[I]t represents an ancient book…[p]lus it was turned into a movie starring Robin Williams.” After guessing the titles for each book, students had the chance to dig in on the displays.
Books are weird. We have books about children who don’t grow, books about evil jewelry, books about people who really want to sit in uncomfortable chairs, books about cats who wear hats for reasons that are never explained, and books about orphans. It’s a lot to take in, but you know what makes it so much easier? Humor.
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And SNL is funny. It’s had its up and downs, but when your show is over thirty years old, of course there are going to be some duds. But when it’s good, it is amazing.
So, in honor of our love of SNL and our love of books, here are five times SNL paranoid classic books.
Peter Pan is back and Wendy and the gang are ready to go to Neverland. What could go wrong?
Well, Tinkerbell ain’t around. She was always kind of obnoxious with that I’m-going-to-sell-out-a little girl-to-a-one-handed-pirate thing she had going on, but that was a phase. Luckily, we can avoid bringing out dirty laundry because Peter Pan brought a new fairy.
Image Via Gifer
She’s gross. And lazy. And a whole other list of negative character traits. At least she’s not cruel though. That goes to Peter Pan himself.
…author Barrie noted, “It doesn’t show the devil in Peter.”
Let’s be honest: Peter Pan cut off a pirate hand and threw it to a crocodile. Why not just kill him? Why throw his hand to a crocodile? Was it because his last name was hook? That’s not funny, that’s just mean.
Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twistfollows the titular character who is born into poverty and grows up being forced to toil in the workhouse. It’s dark, it’s depressing, and it’s kind of fun.
It’s a match made in heaven for SNL.
Image Via Amazon
In this sketch, the cowardly Oliver is told to ask for more food because the poor orphans are hungry. Shaking, Oliver goes up but is…
Image Via Variety
…interrupted by a full grown woman who comes out of nowhere begging for food she doesn’t need. How selfish!
When Oliver gets the bowl, the woman insults him. Oliver, the pinacle of human goodness, offers to share because of course he does. But unfortunately for him, the woman takes the whole bowl. If you thinks that’s depressing, you should read the book.
But this sketch is a gem. It’s big, it’s long, it goes everywhere and does everything we want. The best part? We got SVU stars Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T investing the death of Oberyn Martell. Who could have crushed his death?