This week was not as terrible as I thought it would be. We weren’t as busy at work as I thought we were going to be, so that made the week far less stressful, but I was so tired by the time Friday rolled around that I didn’t want to bother with making dinner. I decided I would try out a new restaurant that opened about a month and a half ago. It’s a combination gaming store/gaming space/bar & grill. One side is devoted to gaming, whether you’re playing board games like Settlers of Catan or role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons. The other side is the bar & grill, but you can play board games there, too. The tables are just smaller. It was refreshing to sit down at a table and not get weird looks from anyone when I pulled out a book. The hostess even asked what I was reading (a book about J.R.R. Tolkien), and we had a brief conversation about Tolkien. It’s a great place to be a geek! And the food was pretty good, too, so I will definitely be going back!
Once I got home, I watched The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which premiered on Netflix on Friday. It’s based on the novel of the same name, and while it’s not as deep as the book, it is very sweet (without being sentimental), and provides a lovely example of a found family. It’s definitely not my favorite literary adaptation, but it’s charming enough that I would be happy to watch it again.
Because I actually had a two day weekend (usually, my days off are split up), I decided to go to the big farmer’s market that I never get to go to on Saturday morning. It’s in the main historic/entertainment district downtown, and has dozens of vendors selling anything from kitschy wood signs to jewelry to fresh vegetables and honey. I splurged on a bouquet of flowers.
After that, I walked over the the used bookstore (they were having a sale. How could I resist?) where I found a hardback edition of The Lord of the Rings that I’d never seen before. Thanks to the sale, I got it for a whole $7.50. Score! I also picked up a trade paperback edition of Laura Elena Donnelly’s Amberlough.
Taking a detour back to Monday- a few thunderstorms rolled through after 5:00pm. One happened about an hour before I got off work, the other happened later in the evening. I went to the park between the storms to photograph the clouds:
Onto the books!
What I read:
- The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman
- Black Sun Rising (The Coldfire Trilogy #1) by C.S. Friedman
- The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by J.H Williams III, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein
The Sandman: Overture is a prequel of sorts to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. It also works as a follow-up to the series. Though it tells the tale of what happened to Dream immediately before the series begins, it won’t make a whole lot of sense unless you’ve read the rest of the graphic novels. That said, it is as dreamy as any story Gaiman has ever told, with interwoven story threads, complex characters with complicated relationships, and references to the rest of the Sandman series that won’t make any sense until you read the series. If you haven’t read The Sandman, go and read it. As soon as possible. Sooner than that, if you can.
- The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, selected and edited by Humphrey Carpenter with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien (211/502)
- Bright We Burn (The Conqueror’s Saga #3) by Kiersten White (27/416)
What I Plan to Read:
- The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes (The Sandman, vol. 1) by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III
- The Sandman: A Doll’s House (The Sandman, vol. 2) by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, Chris Bachalo, Michael Zulli, and Steve Parkhouse
- Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World by Verlyn Flieger
I stopped listening to the BBC Radio 4 production of The Lord of the Rings once I got to the last disc. I am not a fan of things that are too sweetly sentimental, and that’s how the last part of the production felt. When everyone was departing to go home, and all the good-byes were going on, everyone was talking on and on about how much they meant to each other, and going through endless good-byes (it all felt endless, anyway). I couldn’t take it anymore, so I put it away. I know what happens in the end and I’ve listened to it before, so I’m not missing anything. To follow that up, I picked up the audiobook of The Fellowship of the Ring, and I’ve been listening to that for the past few days. So far, it’s pretty good and the narrator is managing the various Hobbit voices very well. I’m looking forward to the chapter, ‘At the Sign of the Prancing Pony’, which is where the story really starts to pick up speed.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to this blog over the past couple of weeks, you’ve noticed that I’ve been reading and listening to all sorts of Tolkien material, whether it’s The Lord of the Rings itself or works about Tolkien’s legendarium. Why do you ask?
Well, I have an announcement!
I’ve been inspired by the Tor.com re-read blogs about Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga and Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, so starting in September (the 22nd, to coincide with Bilbo and Frodo’s shared birthday!), I’ll be doing a re-read/readalong series devoted to The Lord of the Rings, my favorite book of all time, covering 1-3 chapters each week. There are quite a few chapters so this will be a multi-month project. I don’t know what points I will cover from week to week and the topics may be inspired by reader comments and/or questions. So if you love The Lord of the Rings as much as I do, or you’re just interested in learning more about the story, keep an eye out when Saturday, September 22nd rolls around!