Tag: the lord of the rings

Five Ways to Fight Reader’s Block

Do you live under the looming weight of the sword of Damocles that is your TBR pile? Does it watch you day and night, unconquerable and ever growing? Do you fear you’ll be crushed one day if you close a door too hard? This article is for you.

Image result for loving books
Image via Dr. Bristol’s Prescription

It happens to all of us. Plenty of good books to read, at least a little time (there’s always time for books), and yet, do books get read? There are a thousand comics about how many MORE books we’ll buy, even when the TBR pile starts to take on a life of its own. I don’t know what’s to be done about that, but I do know some tricks for getting out of a slump and back to what matters.

 

Read Something Shorter

Image via Deposit Photos

It can work! Have you been reading every LOTR book back to back like I tried to when I was twelve? I was a FOOL, and you are too, no offense. I know why you’re not reading. Get yourself out of a rut with something lighter, or even just physically smaller. I like to pick up poetry chapbooks for this, but anything will do, poetry, short stories – try and pick something with bite sized pieces, so you can feel accomplishment with much less focus.

 

Borrow from the Library

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Image via Stamma

I know, I know, you have them in your house! But hear me out. No, It’s not about the fines, though I obviously don’t want to pay the fines either. If I keep library books too long, I feel bad! They expected it back! Someone might be waiting for it! I gotta get it back on time. This might be more of a me thing, but do you want to let librarians down? Please. The ticking clock might lead you to finish the book quickly. Plus, checking out books proves that people use libraries, making it harder to cut their funding.

 

Try Audio Books

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Image via Medium

I’ve never been an audio book person – at least since I was a kid – but they’re great for reader’s block, or if you’re super busy. You can cook, or clean the house, or listen on the bus. Plus, if you just don’t find yourself reading, an audio book takes almost no effort to experience. If you’ve ever felt like you don’t read like you used to when you were a kid, this might be a good way to get back in your stride, and quickly check a few things off your TBR.

Also, and you didn’t hear it from me, you can get audio books from libraries for free. Ask a librarian!

 

Try a New Genre

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Have a huge pile of science fiction you can’t seem to get through? Maybe grab a biography or a graphic novel. Too much historical fiction got you confused on who had affairs in real life and who was made up? Read some manga or get a book that’s pure fiction. If your book is already all biographies or something, try something a little less dry, throw a thriller or some high fantasy in the mix. Maybe even a genre you really don’t read. Shake it up!

 

Reread a Favorite

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Image via Book Riot

Everyone has a handful of books they could read a thousand times. Even if it doesn’t feel productive, rereading a book you love can get you back in the swing of things, and remind you what you love so much about reading. Plus, it’s always nice to revisit an amazing book, whatever the reason. After that, you can go on and find a new favorite book, or three. I miss reading. Let’s get on this, friends.


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Featured image via Shutterstock

Ranking “The Hobbit” Covers From Best to Worst

Alright, so you can’t buy the one above, or it’s super expensive or something, but this isn’t a practical article. This is like those emoji rankings, but with The Hobbit covers, because one of the movies came out on this day, but we’re certainly not gonna talk about that.

Oldschool

IMAGE VIA ALAMY

Okay, this is the edition I have at home, so I might be biased. Or I just have NO control in museum gift shops. Definitely the second one. But it’s good! Simple, classic, has elvish, plus, I can tell you the dust jacket is a nice soft matte. 9/10

 

Hoard

Image via Paste Magazine

Smaug’s got GOLD. As a dragon myself, I approve. I mean, as a totally human person, I like the authenticity. And the glowy-ness. It really gives you an idea what it was like for Bilbo to just roll up to this huge hoard. There’s a sense of grandeur. 8/10

 

Modern

Image via Amazon

This one is also good, at least to me, because it’s simple and classic. The mountains are good! We got the eagles! The Hobbit might not be that dark, but it’s maybe a warning about the Lord of the Rings. It’s got style. 8/10.

 

Watercolor

Image via Pinterest

Again, I might be biased, because my mother had this edition, so it’s nostalgic for me. I think the illustrations are a little nostalgic in themselves, though. You get the sense of Middle Earth in a more peaceful time. 7/10.

 

Graphic

Image via Pinterest

Sure, it looks like someone’s graphic design project, but I’m saying that seriously, not like Graphic Design is my Passion. But it’s modern, it incorporates a lot of elements, and it does something different. Good colors. 7/10

 

Illustrated

Image via Penguin Random House

Sure, Bilbo looks like a toddler instead of just a shorter type of person – look at those chubby cheeks! But the landscapes are good, and Gandalf is nice and mysterious. Still, a little silly. 5/10

 

Cloth-Bound

   
Image via Biblio

I love a clothbound, I really do, but but this is lame. The grey makes no sense, I don’t know why the leaves are falling, and I’m frankly baffled by the butterflies. Do I have The Hobbit memory loss? I just don’t get it. 4/10

 

Movie Version

Image via Amazon

Every movie version is bad, but this is just extra bad. It looks like it was illustrated in 2005. The focus on feet is weird. I guess the door is supposed to make me think of the ring, but it doesn’t. It makes me mad. 3/10

 

Whatever This Is

Image via Nerdalicious

This is a horror. Was Gollum ever supposed to be that tall? Or… pointy? It’s dated, it’s weird as hell, and I don’t know how to even begin to describe Bilbo. He looks like a potato, and Gollum looks like a triangle. 1/10

 

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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 

Five Book Opinions from Cats

We all have some hot book takes, and what’s better than a good take? A hot take from a cat. Sure, they’re funny, but they’re also relateable. Well, some of them. Hopefully not #3. Any opinion from a cat is a quality opinion, and here are a few about your favorite books.

 

 

1. When you love nothing

Image via Planet eBooks

 

I hope you like more than two things, but if you’re gonna keep the list short, books are certainly top pics. Kind of makes you wonder which tow, doesn’t it? Relatable when all you want is to jump into fiction to escape your real world problems. Rest in peace, Tardar Sauce.

 

 

2. We’re still not over it

Image via I Can Has Cheeseburger

 

MASTER gave Dobby a SOCK. Seen here, a tabby kitten cosplaying her favorite Harry Potter character. Her ears might not be big enough, but 13/10 for effort, and she’s certainly mastered the huge eyes. Does Dobby ever bite the sock? Time for a reread. RIP Dobby. Yikes.

 

 

3. Don’t touch my things

Image via Book Bub

 

I know the ring makes you really protective, but do you get the sense Smeagle had siblings? “Mom said it’s my turn on the one ring!” – Smeagle, probably. Regardless, he’s attached, and this cat has captured his covetous energy perfectly.

 

 

4. Finely aged memes

Image via Book Bub

 

Sure, this meme format is basically antique, but memes age like fine wine. Besides, it’s hard to argue. I was an Aslan stan as a child, and can say that this is a good impersonation, if the scale might make it less convincing in person. I definitely want to pat the fluff.

 

 

5. Misleading book titles

Image via Book Bub

 

Finally it seemed like there was some literature he could really appreciate, so imagine the disappointment of getting two thirds through the book, and realizing it’s never going to be about bird hunting. Top ten anime betrayals of all time.

 

 

 

Featured image via Melanie Rockett

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