RIP Christopher Tolkien

It took self all of December to read one book, The Annotated Hobbit.

That book was the only copy in the San Mateo Public Library system, a label on the cover said: DO NOT RETURN IN THE BOOK DROP.

If only the library knew what far-flung places she had taken this copy to!

A few days ago, on 15 January, she heard that Christopher Tolkien, JRR Tolkien’s youngest, who was “a devoted curator of his father’s work,” had passed away. Amazingly, none of the nightly news remarked on it. Philistines!

Here’s a piece in The Guardian about Christopher Tolkien’s legacy.

Stay tuned.

Five Best Heroes Self Encountered in 2019 (All Fictional)

Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit

Frank Guidry, November Road

Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey

Niall Delaney, The Parasites

Sunny, Record of a Spaceborn Few

Quite a range of heroes, from a thriller, a romantic comedy, a du Maurier (who is in a class all her own), a fantasy, and a work of science fiction. Three of the five books that gave self her favorite heroes of 2019 were written by women.

Though self ended 2019 far below her Goodreads Reading Challenge goal, she is setting an even higher goal for 2020. Would you believe it if self told you that she used to be able to read 60 books a year?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Advice for Dealing with Dragons

“Every worm has his weak spot,” as my father used to say, though I am sure it was not from personal experience.

— Bilbo Baggins, The Annotated Hobbit, Ch. XII: Inside Information

The Annotated Hobbit, Chapter IX

In a great hall with pillars hewn out of the living stone sat the Elvenking on a chair of carven wood. On his head was a crown of berries and red leaves, for the autumn was come again.

The Annotated Hobbit, Still Ch. III

“Hmmm! It smells like elves!” thought Bilbo, and he looked up at the stars.

So they laughed and sang in the trees; and pretty fair nonsense I daresay you think it . . . He loved elves, though he seldom met them . . .

Love this book so much.

The Annotated Hobbit, Ch. III

O! What are you doing,
And where are you going?
Your ponies need shoeing!
The river is flowing!
O! tra-la-la-lally
here down in the valley!

O! Where are you going
With beards all a-wagging?
No knowing, no knowing
What brings Mister Baggins,
And Balin and Dwalin
down into the valley
in June
ha! ha!

Reading for the Times: Chapter II, p. 42 of THE ANNOTATED HOBBIT

More Hobbit thoughts with Relevance for the Year Upcoming:

Bilbo was sadly reflecting that adventures are not all pony rides in May-sunshine . . . There was a hill some way off with trees on it, pretty thick in parts. Out of the dark mass of the trees they could now see a light shining, a reddish comfortable-looking light, as it might be a fire or torches twinkling. When they had looked at it for some while, they fell to arguing. Some said “no” and some said “yes.” Some said they could but go and see, and anything was better than little supper, less breakfast, and wet clothes . . .

Why THE HOBBIT Still Matters

  • “The old maps are no use: things have changed for the worse and the road is unguarded. They have seldom even heard of the king around here, and the less inquisitive you are as you go along, the less trouble you are likely to find.” . . . Then the rain began to pour down worse than ever, and Oin and Gloin began to fight.

The Annotated Hobbit, Chapter II

Everyone should read this book in 2020! It will help you.

The Annotated Hobbit, Ch. II, p. 40

Not far ahead were dreary hills, rising higher and higher, dark with trees. On some of them were old castles with an evil look, as if they had been built by wicked people.

An Adventure! The Hobbit, Ch. 1

” … you could tell what a Baggins would say on any question without the bother of asking him. This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost the neighbors’ respect, but he gained — well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.”

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