Sunday Sum-Up

Sunday Sum Up

It never rains but it pours, and I mean that in more than one way. First off, we had ten inches or more of rain in the first part of the week, which caused minor flooding along the streams and rivers, and the lake I like to visit after work completely flooded the park and its baseball fields. The water nearly covered the very busy street running along its eastern edge! I drove through the park yesterday, and while much of the water has receded, it’s definitely not back to normal.

Secondly- I work with cameras and photography, and a few weeks ago I decided to buy an old film camera and shoot some film for the first time in ten years. I didn’t get a camera right away, though, and it’s a good thing I didn’t. A few days later, someone gave me their old Canon AE-1. It was still working, but they didn’t want it anymore, so they decided to give it away to someone who would use it. A few days later, an acquaintance gave me one of his old Olympus OM-2s cameras, which was in excellent condition. And then on Thursday, someone else gave me her Canon FTb and a 135mm f/3.5 lens to go along with it! Each of the cameras had a 50mm F/1.8 lens attached to it, so in the past month, I have been gifted three film cameras and four lenses, and they are all clean and in great working order! I’ve already shot through a couple of rolls of film, but I won’t get either one back from the lab for a few days. I’m looking forward to seeing what I shot, but I’m not sure if I read the light meter correctly on the Olympus, so the photos might be completely messed up. I guess we’ll see!

Thanks to the rain, I didn’t get to go out and take very many pictures.

I had a long weekend because of Labor Day, and because the rain kept me inside for most of it I did a lot of reading. Mostly, I finished books I began back in August.

  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, audiobook narrated by Rob Inglis
  • The Road to Middle-Earth: How J.R.R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology by Tom Shippey
  • Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think About Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth by A.O. Scott
  • The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A History, A Memoir by Lewis Buzbee
  • Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Baillie Tolkien
  • J.RR. Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter

The Fellowship of the Ring is one of my favorite books of all time and has been since I was eleven years old. I had never heard the audiobook version of it, and I was happy to find it at my local library. Rob Isling is the narrator, and though I found some of his singing to be annoying or straight up weird, I loved listening to it during my commutes to work. I picked up The Two Towers at the library a few days ago, and have been enjoying it so far.

Better Living Through Criticism provides the reader with a way to think about art, literature, and criticism itself from the absurd to the sublime. It is a book I will likely refer back to in the future since it pushes me to think more deeply about the books I read.

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop serves as both a history of bookstores and the bookselling trade and a memoir for Buzbee’s life in bookshops and as a reader. It’s a lovely ode to booksellers through the ages and provides a rather more optimistic view of the future of bookselling than other writers have given.

Letters from Father Christmas is an absolutely charming collection of letters that Tolkien, posing as Father Christmas and the North Polar Bear, wrote to his children. They describe the adventures of the North Polar Bear, and how he often accidentally messed things up for Father Christmas, who had to work very hard to set things right before Christmas came. As Tolkien’s children grew up, the older ones figured out that their father was actually writing the letters, but they never spoiled the story for the younger ones. If you’re interested in reading this book, make sure to find an edition that has reproductions of Tolkien’s illustrations, which are both beautiful and funny illustrations of the North Polar Bear’s adventures.

Current Reads:

  • The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston (NetGalley ARC)
  • Scandinavian Folk and Fairy Tales
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien, audiobook narrated by Rob Inglis

I’m planning to get through most of the rest of The Little Shop of Found Things later today. I’m enjoying it, but it’s not amazing so far. I’m 30% of the way through, so that might change. I’ve been reading a few of the stories from Scandinavian Folk and Fairy Tales before bed, so this isn’t a book I will get through very quickly, and that’s okay. The Hobbit is a buddy read with a good friend, and it’s wonderful coming back to it for the first time in ten years or so, especially with the insights I’ve picked up after listening to The Prancing Pony Podcast. It’s like reading a new book!

I have a lot of work to do this week to get ready for my Lord of the Rings ReRead project, which is starting soon. I have a couple of short, introductory posts planned, as well as a Q&A regarding my history with Tolkien’s works. I haven’t gotten to all of the books I wanted to read before starting this project, but given that I plan to wrap things up at the end of March 2019, I have plenty of time to get to all of them!

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