Sunday, 24 March 2013

Tolkien Reading Day, New Neil Gaiman Story, and Cover Spy London

Hey look!

A new, free, story from Neil Gaiman! On the Guardian page! It's called Down to a Sunless Sea, and reminds me of Bruce Springsteen's version of Mrs McGrath:



I was clearing out some old emails (I actually deleted a few, imagine that!) and came across a link to this tumblr page (from back before I had my own): Cover Spy London - covers of books being read by commuters on the London Tube!

Fellow writer news - Theresa Milstein has a short piece in Twisted Endings!

Tomorrow is the first day of the new year - if you live in the Fourth Age of Middle-earth, that is. For the rest of us, it's Tolkien Reading Day!

(that map and the bottom righthand image aren't his, obviously)

The theme of this year's reading day is Tolkien's landscapes. The best Tolkien landscape I've seen is Hurst Green, where I walked the Tolkien Trail.

What better way to explore a Tolkien landscape than on Radagast's Rhosgobel rabbit sleigh?

No, I'm not kidding. I made fun of this when reviewing The Hobbit the movie, but have since stumbled across this wonderful essay from a dogsledder, all about the plausibility of Radagast's sled, and sled-pulling animals in general. Even featuring a cat in a harness...

The Tolkien Society has a "reading pack" with suggestions for games and leading questions and so on. You needn't even read only Tolkien - anything about trees or Oxford or WWI and WWII or something else related to Tolkien will do, I'm sure. I just got a copy of Simon Tolkien's latest book, for instance!

As for landscapes, though, if I had to choose an illustrator besides Tolkien, I'd go with Pauline Baynes:

(Yes, some of those are Narnia images. Odd Google search...)

At the moment I'm on my yearly reread of The Lord of the Rings, and I'm also rereading the Twelve Books of Middle Earth; on Book Five at the moment, which features The Lost Road (a sort of travel-through-time story) and etymologies of Elvish words and names. Just this weekend I read the chapters featuring the Old Forest and Tom Bombadil; I love the forest as a foreshadowing of Fangorn, and its 'contained' wildness as a barrier between the orderly, well-tilled, comfortable Shire, and the wild world outside. Interesting that Bombadil, too, has a self-determined contained dominion, over which he is Master, even though he's been in Middle-earth - and presumably visited a wider landscape - since the beginning.

I switched ROW80 gears this week, as I'm busy editing a short story for the Sunlounger competition! I hope I can finish tweaking in time. And keep an eye out for a visit from Laurel coming on Wednesday!

What will you read for Tolkien Reading Day? Have you entered any competitions lately?

10 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations to Theresa!
Can I cheat and watch The Hobbit DVD tomorrow?

Carol Riggs said...

Best wishes for the Sunlounger competition! Hope your tweaking is productive and done in time. :)

J.L. Murphey said...

Ah yes, time to break out my hardbound copy of the Hobbit.

Good luck with Sunloungers.

Liz Fichera said...

I regret to say I've not read any Tolkien lately nor have I joined any contests. I've been very boring this year, clearly. :)

Good luck with your short for the writing contest!!!!

Nas said...

Congratulations to Theresa!

And all the best with your writing contest.

M Pax said...

Yay for Theresa!

I should reread Tolkein... if I ever get my TBR under control. I recently entered the L Ron Hubbard contest... again.

Cherie Reich said...

No Tolkien reading this year, but I did watch The Hobbit again on Friday. That has to count for something. :)

belledamesansmerci said...

Best of luck with the Sunlounger submission!
I've changed gears this week, because I've come down with some sort of spring cold--boo!
I'm pampering myself--Tolkien sounds just the ticket, so here I come Hobbit!
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

alberta ross said...

am re-reading books of my life this year for A-Z challenge - of course tolkien will be there - not as a first re-read but as - oh I don't know the 50th/60th time :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks for visiting everyone! Coming by your blogs tonight!

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • La Verite sur l'affair Harry Quebert by Joel Dicker (loving this!)
  • How To Be A Man (and other illusions) by Duff McKagan
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • Journal of Inklings Studies
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Pop-up Peekaboo: Farm (DK publishing) (board book) (duh)
  • Paddington Bear Goes to Market by Michael Bond (board book)
  • Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai
  • Bible stories and puzzles (in French) (board book)
  • The Last Chance Ball (a Word Wenches christmas anthology featuring Jo Bourne, Jo Beverley, etc.)
  • Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • CassaFire by Alex Cavanaugh
  • First and Second Things by C. S. Lewis
  • Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • So Anyway... by John Cleese
  • The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl
  • Slowly, silently now the moon by Walter de la Mare (poem)
  • I can't work like this by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh
  • Death of A Century: A Novel of the Lost Generation by Daniel Robinson
  • The Fly by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • Tyger, Tyger by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • The Christie Notebooks by John Curran
  • The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • secret beta 2!
  • The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
  • Chu's Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman (reread, many times)
  • Sacred Inwardness by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
  • New Statesman issue guest edited by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman (I don't usually include magazines in this list but I read this one cover to cover)
  • The North Star is Nearer by Evelyn Eaton
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (loved My Pretty Pony)
  • Every Month Was May by Evelyn Eaton
  • Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan
  • secret beta!
  • Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
  • In Two Aeroplanes Over the Sea by Amanda Palmer (poem)
  • Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Finding Fraser by kc dyer
  • Mother Tongue -- The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson
  • The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  • Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie
  • The Lord Fish by Walter de la Mare
  • The Going To Bed Book by S Boynton
  • The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang
  • In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
  • Subterranean Scalzi Super featuring To Sue the World (an original, very short Redshirts story available nowhere else) Muse of Fire Mallet of Loving Correction Lock In, Lost Chapters (available nowhere else) How I Proposed To My Wife: An Alien Sex Story An Election Judge Sn Goes Golfing Questions for a Soldier The Sagan Diary The Tale of the Wicked The God Engines You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi
  • Emily Goes to Market by William Mayne
  • Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (reread)
  • Colours Are Nice (Little Golden Book)
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo by Judy Blume
  • The Wars by Timothy Findley (reread)
  • The Captive Diary of Catherine Logan by Mary Pope Osborne (Dear America)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (reread)
  • The Poky Puppy (Little Golden Book) (abridged)
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (reread)
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • secret beta read 2
  • Pre-Fix: A Ciel Halligan Short Story by Linda Grimes
  • Hidden by Catherine Mackenzie
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
  • But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
  • Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M. R. James (short story) (1904)
  • Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
  • Usborne board books
  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (so lovely)
  • Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
  • secret beta read!
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
  • HELP! Food Allergies Coming To Dinner by Kait Nolan
  • This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka
  • Aunt Sass by P. L. Travers
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (actually a few pages of the story, written by John Green for the film of his novel The Fault In Our Stars)
  • January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge (poem)
  • Kissing song by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • The Mother by Nettie Palmer (poem)
  • William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
  • The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  • Mes P'tits Contes, legends of Swiss cantons
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2014/12/books-read-in-2014-review.html
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2014/01/toast-to-professor-books-read-in-2013.html
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-hobbit-review-and-year-end-books.html
  • see the 2011 statistics on http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011-statistics-fourth.html
  • see the 2011 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011.html
  • see the 2010 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-read-in-2010-listed-here.html
  • see the 2009 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-ii.html
  • also in 2009 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-iv.html
  • see the 2008 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-ii.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-vi.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-iv.html