Tag: The Hobbit

Our Favorite Tolkien & Lewis Apocrypha

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.

 

 

2. Religion

 

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.

 

 

 

Featured image via J A Carlisle 

Summer Flings – 5 Fantasy Standalones

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).

 

 

Uprooted – Naomi Novik

 

Uprooted
Image via Amazon

 

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.

 

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown – Holly Black

 

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Image via Amazon

 

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.

 

Deep Secret – Danna Wynne Jones

 

Deep Secret
Image via Amazon

 

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.

 

 

The Replacement – Brenna Yovanoff

 

The Replacement
Image via Amazon

 

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.

 

 

The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

 

The Hobbit
Image via Amazon

 

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.

 

 

Featured image via inc.com

Did You Know These Species Were Named After Iconic Writers?

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

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

Shireplitis bilboi (Bilbo Baggins)

Shireplitis frodoi (Frodo Baggins)

Shireplitis samwisei (Samwise Gamgee)

Shireplitis meriadoci (Mariadoc Brandybuck)

Shireplitis peregrini (Peregrin Took)

Shireplitis tolkieni (J.R.R Tolkien)

 

Learning about this in high school would have made biology a lot more fun.

 

Avalanchurus

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 twaini

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.

 

Image Via Biography

Featured Image Via Variety

Feast Your Eyes on These Edible Books!

Feast your eyes on these books!

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.

 

Library manager Sharon Dykshoorn
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.

 

A bear surrounded by ring-shaped cookies

Image Via Sioux City Journal

See if you can guess what books these six deserts represent:

  1. 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.

Before I sign off, the answers are below.

 

 


 

 

  1. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

2. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

3. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

4. The Ring Bear by N.L. Sharp

5. The Hobbit by J R. R. Tolkien

Fun fact, this entry won Chuck Polk the popular vote as best entry.

6. Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

 

Featured Image Via JMEG

5 Times SNL Hilariously Parodied Classic Books

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.

 

SNL boxset

Image Via Amazon

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.

 

1. Peter Pan

 

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.

 

Tonker Bell

Image Via Gifer

Tonker Bell.

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.

Yes, Tonker Bell may be unpleasant, but in the book Peter was a devil! Really. J. M. Barrie and the Lost Boys: The Real Story Behind Peter Pan notes that when Sir George Frampton sculpted this masterpiece…

 

Peter Pan Statue

Image Via The Second Website of Bob Speel

 

…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.

If you want more examples, pick up J.M. Barrie’s 1911 book Peter and Wendy.

 

2. Oliver Twist

 

Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist follows 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.

Oliver Twist Cover

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…

 

Oliver Twist

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.

 

3. Cat in the Hat

 

Just like the Seuss’ book, this sketch opens up in rhyme. The twist? The Cat comes in just a bit too early. And turns out he knows the children’s mother!

The whole sketch builds from there. Why is the Cat in the Hat cut out from the pictures? The daughter can dance? And who is the children’s father? And will Thing One and Thing Two make an appearance?

This sketch, like the book, is a classic.

2. The Hobbit

 

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have much of the same characters, and the film adaptations have much of the same cast, so it’s only naturally we’d want to see them together. But how?

The Office is a good place to start. It’s a match made in heaven. Tolkien intended The Hobbit to be a children’s story, and The Office is basically a room full of children.

It might just be the best sketch yet, but that could because of Martin Freeman reprises his role as Bilbo Baggins.

 

Bilbo Baggins on SNL

Image Via Rebloggy

He’s basically Michael Scott. But that’s not the best part.

The best part is this…

Gollum SNL

Image Via Giffer

1. Game of thrones

 

Before the premiere aired, we already knew that more Game of Thrones spin offs than we could count were coming.

In case you wondering, we already know the details of two confirmed spin offs! Two! That’s almost the majority of my fingers on my writing right hand.

 

Game of Thrones-SVU poster

Image Via Deadline

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?

If you want to look at my thoughts when this sketch came out, you can read it here! And if you want more Game of Thrones parodies (and I know you do!), you can see my list here!

 

The great things about books is there are no commercials

Image Via Funny Jokes. Funny Quotes. Funny Sayings.com

Overall, these classic sketches based on classic works will make you laugh, cry, and then you’ll realize you’re crying because you’re laughing so much.

 

Featured Image Via SNL