Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reading Notes

While the rest of the world is crying over the end of Harry Potter, I am lost in the land of Tolkien. I am afraid that I would much rather be with Tolkien than with Rowling. I am currently reading The Return of the Shadow, which is Christopher Tolkien looking at the first book of The Lord of the Rings. The Return of the Shadow is actually the abandoned title for The Fellowship of the Ring. I was shocked when my bookstore had this the other day, normally they only have the basics of Tolkien and that is it, so I had to pick it up. It is book one in the look at The Lord of the Rings, but in the overall history it is book six. I was on the computer today looking up the rest of the series because I am going to have to order the rest online, I am sure. I am trying to decide if I am going to finish this and then backtrack to book one, or if I am going to read the book that comes after this one, next. It's a tough decision, but I hope to read the entire series as soon as I can! If the bookstore had them all, I could finish one and then go get the next one, but I am not that fortunate.

I find myself comparing this book with John D. Rateliff's History of the Hobbit, as they are both after the same thing, they just talk about different books. I am learning a lot with this book, but I liked Rateliff's way better. He took a more in-depth look at The Hobbit and I felt I got to know Tolkien better. So far with this book, I am learning a lot, but not feeling like I am getting the same connection as I did with the other book. It is just the authors (editors?) different styles. I will be able to say more when I get around to finishing The Return of the Shadow. July is not turning out to be a very good reading month, that's for sure, I have been too busy to read! Anyways, it has been interesting to see that The Lord of the Rings was originally supposed to be a story about Bilbo, but then Tolkien decided it was going to be about Bilbo's cousin who he adopts as his nephew. The nephews name? Not Frodo but Bingo. I am so glad that he changed the name! Bingo would have been... wrong. The story elements are there, but I am loving seeing the gradual transformation from Tolkien's original ideas to the book that readers know and love today.

If I cannot read the rest of the series right away, I feel like rereading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but I feel like I want to read all the books about both so that I can see where the changes are made and take all that I have learned from Tolkien and Rateliff and put it into my reading experience. With The Lord of the Rings, it is also a matter of remembering the book separate from the movie because I have not reread them since the movies were made. (I promise to read something un-Tolkien after this book so I can talk about something else for a change.)


  1. How many Rowlings did you read?

    Enjoy your Tolkien!

    I love him, too!

    And admit he is a better writer than Rowling ... but I always wondered how far you got in Harry Potter.

  2. I read the first two books, 100 pages into the third, and then I picked up a later book because people told me that was where it got better, I read about half of it before I put it down for something else. I just don't like her style and I have tried. Of her 7 books, I have read two and read part of two others. For me, that's enough to say that I tried and it just did not work for me. (The later one was book 4, my friend told me that she did not like the series until that book, so I gave it a try.)

  3. lol, I actually laughed when I saw the name "Bingo"! I'm SO glad he changed that. It would have been so wrong.

  4. Nah stick with Tolkien ;) I have the Histories and aim to read them over the next couple of years. Like you I haven't re-read LOTR since the films came out, but I did read The Hobbit last year. I really enjoyed The Silmarillion and The Unfinished Tales so am looking forward to starting on The Book of Lost Tales soonish.

    Like Nymeth, the name Bingo just made me laugh! Frodo sounds much better and is a more heroic name somehow.


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