Saturday, September 10, 2011

Six Sentence Saturday - September 10, 2011 & 'The Fellowship of the Ring' Read-Along

Welcome to Six Sentence Saturday.
Where I try to express my thoughts on recent reads using only 6 sentences!!!!.
At the end of each review I will post a
rating scale of 1-5 using the cute and original (lol) Playing Cards.
Rating scale will be as follows:
5 of Hearts- You must read this book NOW!!
4 of Hearts- A great read, put it on your TBR list.
3 of Hearts- Glad I read but no big deal
2 of Hearts- Why did I finish this?
Joker Card - Don't bother (why did I?)

Six Sentence Saturday is an idea that I occasionally borrow from Staci at Life in the Thumb.

First Flight by Mary Robinette Kowal

Completion Date: May 30, 2011
Reason for Reading: It was offered free...
The past is another country, in Mary Robinette Kowal’s tale of time travel and aviation history. "First Flight" is a finalist for the 2010 Locus Award.

The winner of the 2008 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of short fiction published in Strange Horizons, Cosmos, and Asimov's. Her first novel, Shades of Milk and Honey, will be published by Tor in 2010.
I was browsing the free books on the website when I first bought my e-reader and this was one of the books offered. In May I was feeling like I was neglecting me e-reader, so I decided to read a bunch of the shorter stuff to see what I had and use my e-reader a bit more. I really enjoyed this short work! It was a bit of a twist on the time travel idea and intrigued me greatly about what this author had to offer. If I was picking a winner for the Locus Awards, it would have been this book. It is the story of an older woman who gets to time travel and watch the first flight of Wright Brothers first flight and get an interesting spin on events, which makes me a bit jealous!

Eros, Philia, Agape by Rachel Swirsky

Completion Date: May 30, 2011
Reason for Reading: It was offered free...
Originally published on, Rachel Swirsky's contemporary tale of love in all its forms and of one robot's quest to know it, and himself, on his own terms is a finalist for the 2010 Hugo Award and the 2010 Locus Award.
Do you like romance novels? Then you will enjoy this short fiction about a woman who falls in love with a robot. It is a bit of a heart-breaking story, but so good at the same time! The couple falls in love and has a child together, but the robot wants more out of his life. The robot, Lucian, is never meant to have free-will, but Adriana loves him and grants him it. Lucian may be a robot, but he is on a path to discover himself just like everyone else.

Overtime by Charles Stross

Completion Date: May 31, 2011
Reason for Reading: It was offered free...
Introduced to readers in the novels The Atrocity Archive and The Jennifer Morgue, the Laundry is a secret British government agency charged with preventing dark interdimensional entities from destroying the human race. Now, in "Overtime," the Laundry is on a skeleton staff for Christmas — leaving one bureaucrat to be all that stands between the world and annihilation by the Thing That Comes Down Chimneys. Written especially for’s holiday season, Charles Stross’s novelette is a finalist for the 2010 Hugo Award. Charles Stross is the Hugo-winning author of some of the most acclaimed novels and stories of the last ten years, including Singularity Sky, Accelerando, Halting State, the "Merchant Princes" series beginning with The Family Trade, and the story collections Toast and Wireless.
I have heard of Charles Stross, but this is the first time I have read anything by him. This novellete makes me think that it will definitely not be my last read by him. This is in essence a Christmas story, but it is the most original take on Christmas traditions I have ever seen. There is one guy and he is up again something that comes down a chimney. You can use your imagination on that one and then go out and read the story! I wish all holiday stories were this creative!

A Memory of Wind by Rachel Swirsky

Completion Date: May 31, 2011
Reason for Reading: It was offered free...
The heroes are eager to sail to Troy for war, but the wind is still. To fill their sails and set out, they must sacrifice Agamemnon's daughter Iphigenia--and how does a human girl become the wind?
Another fantastic story by Swirksy! She really has a gift for conveying a lot in a short work. This story takes place just before the Trojan war, which is something I really enjoy reading books set during. They are attempting to do battle, but the wind is not there and so they are planning to sacrifice the daughter of Agamemnon to the goddess Artemis in order to be granted their wind. Swirsky is a very good author and I am not even a big fan of shorter fiction, but these two times reading her have really impressed me. The story is also a bit depressing, but you will enjoy it!

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Completion Date: June 3, 2011
Reason for Reading: Reread.
"The Yellow Wallpaper" is a 6,000-word short story by American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in January 1892 in New England Magazine. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the 19th century toward women's physical and mental health.
I actually originally read this in university, but a few other bloggers I knew were reading it and I thought I would see what I thought of it after a bit of time has gone by. It frankly continues to bother me. The young woman is obviously having some problems, but her husband believes that essentially bed rest and isolation are the correct cure. We see in the mind of the woman as she is struggling with her problems. I believe in this day and age we would, hopefully, see this as post-partum depression following the birth of her child. The story is really creepy, but illuminating.

All of these books receive this card:
Lord of the Rings - Volume 1: The Fellowship of the Ring Read-along - Part 1
'The Fellowship of the Ring' is the first part of JRR Tolkien's epic masterpiece 'The Lord of the Rings'. This paperback edition has the classic black cover featuring Tolkien's own design and includes the definitive edition of the text. In a sleepy village in the Shire, a young hobbit is entrusted with an immense task,. He must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ruling Ring of Power - the only thing that prevents the Dark Lord's evil purpose. JRR Tolkien's great work of imaginative fiction has been labelled both a heroic romance and a classic fantasy fiction. By turns comic and homely, epic and diabolic, the narrative moves through countless changes of scene and character in an imaginary world which is totally convincing in its detail. Part of a set of three paperbacks, this popular edition is once again available in its classic black livery designed by Tolkien himself.
I was never a huge fan of The Hobbit, but I loved these books when I was younger. I think when I read then for the first time it was the longest book I had ever read each time. I chose these covers because I wanted a matching set. I have to admit I have been tempted by other pretty covers since. I have not reread the books since the movies were released. I always plan to, but then it never happens. I remember the first time I read the trilogy I read all three books in a row. Nowadays, I have a very hard time doing that. I actually think that this is the trilogy that changed me from a sci-fi fan to a fantasy fan. I remember, though, that even when I was in love with this trilogy after reading it the very first time; I was disappointed by the female showing. I think that had a lasting impact on me. Tolkien does try, don't get me wrong, but I was still hoping for more, I guess. I was young. I will be curious how I think now. I am excited to read the book instead of watch the movies...

This read-along is hosted by Little Red Reviewer and Geeky Daddy. This weeks questions are provided by Little Red Reviewer.

1. Hobbits seem to have songs for everything! I didn't realize this was a musical. . . . how are you liking all the songs?
I didn't remember all the songs, to be honest. I knew there were some, but when I got reading it surprised me there were so many present. Frankly, I could live without songs and poetry in books. I have this thing where I see they are going to do one or the other and I skim. I know I shouldn't, but I do... It is instinct. I have been trying to do better with this reread, but I bet anything I never read the songs any of the other times I have cracked open this book.

2. I love that we learn about Gollum and his past so early on. It gives a dark and foreboding (dare I say, perilous?) feeling to the whole thing. Were you surprised that the story took a dive towards the dark and scary so quickly?
Not really. I remember the movies the best, but I do still remember some aspects of the book and I knew some things played out a bit earlier in the books than in the movies and vice versa. Frodo is still kept in the dark, but he is given a bit more info than in the movies. Note to self, when contemplating a reread of these books, don't rewatch the movies. I fear my posts will basically compare the two. That being said, when the movies came out, the book was recent enough in my mind for me to compare the two. I was apparently a bit annoying...

3. Tom Bombadil! what and who is he??? If you met him in a forest, would you trust him?
One of the things that I really regretted about the movies is that they cut Tom Bombadil out. He was a fun character and I would have enjoyed seeing him played out on the screen. I was never quite sure what to make of him, though. He is not like anything else you see in the book. He says that he is very old, so it make it seem like he was there for the very beginning. I thought about him as a sort of male version of Mother Nature. He is connected to the natural side of things.

4. What did you think when Pippin, Merry and Sam told Frodo about their "conspiracy", and that they pretty much knew what he was planning from the beginning?
I wasn't really surprised. Tolkien had to come up with some way to start the Fellowship. I really enjoy Pippin and Merry, so I am glad they are included. Frodo was making some huge life changes and all it really took was someone to be observant to figure out what was going on. Merry and Pippin are not as... scatter-brained... as they are shown in the movies. Hobbits are actually quite smart and this proves it.

5. What's your favorite part of the book so far?
Tom Bombadil. His appearance has always been one of my favourite scenes in the book overall, so I was happy to visit with him again. He adds a bit of lightness to a darker tone. I have always been very curious about him, too. There are a lot of unanswered questions in regards to who or what he is, so he just intrigues me.

I also enjoy the atmosphere of this section. I enjoy the dark mood of the 'haunted' woods. It seemed fitting for this time of the year and the R.I.P. Challenge. I really enjoy books where trees play such a big part, so it was not surprise that I loved those aspects in my original reading of this book.


  1. I am a big fan of trees as well and love the role that nature, and especially trees, plays in the book. It does really feel fitting to read these during this season of the year. I'll have to go back and see what months I read them in the first time I read through them.

    Even though I am more tolerant of Tom this time I am not sure he would have worked in the film, especially with the serious nature the films took. The humor that the Hobbits provided seems more in keeping with their character, but I think Tom was just too odd to work in the film and be taken seriously. I don't feel that as much about his this time reading the book.

    One of the things I liked that Phillipa Boyens (one of the LOTR screenwriters) said, as she was also lamenting Tom's absence from the screen, is that you don't know that the Hobbits didn't meet Tom in their trek to the Prancing Pony. We just don't see it. I like that.

    I didn't remember there being that many songs at the start of the story either, but as you saw in my post I like them quite a lot, for a variety of reasons. I am glad they aren't that frequent throughout the story, but I appreciate them much more than I think I did the first time.

  2. I have so many free ones on my Kindle that I feel I should start a 12-step program to break my addiction!!! I'm glad that they were actually pretty good!!! I've only read The Hobbit..would love to eventually read the other ones.

  3. **Carl: Trees extend into my home life, too. We have a tree that the cc really wants to cut down, but I defend that tree yearly... :)

    I know. I am not sure that Tom would have worked in the movies either, but that didn't mean when I watched the movie for the first time I wasn't disappointed to see his absence. I am a huge fan of elves and Tom may not be an elf, but he has elvish qualities that are a bit intriguing.

    There are lots of things that you don't actually see play out that could still easily have happened. I liked that, too.

    I know that when I watched the movies the first time through I nit-picked the second one the most. As I am writing this, I can't remember why, but at the time things bothered me a lot. It isn't to say I didn't enjoy the movies, but they can never be perfect... When you read you get a vision of your own... The movies didn't always meet my vision.

    And, yes, not a big song fan myself, but that's a personal thing...

  4. **Staci: oops! I was answering Carl and you were commenting it seems... I actually didn't enjoy The Hobbit that much. There was a reread of it last month and I skipped out. It just doesn't compare to these books for me. I probably should reread it because my biggest complaint was it read too young, but I actually read YA nowadays... I might not mind it any more.


Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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