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

  • Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The Peoples of Middle-earth - Book 12 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Edmund Campion by Evelyn Waugh
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Career by Yevtushenko (poem)
  • Human life in this century by Yevtushenko (poem)
  • Willow by Anna Akhmatova (poem)
  • Sonnet LXVI by Shakespeare
  • Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son (poem)
  • Fair Jenny by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • MacPherson's Farewell by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • World's End, the collected Sandman No. 8 by Neil Gaiman
  • O Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast by Robbie Burns (poem)
  • The War of the Jewels - Book 11 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • The Rolling English Road by G. K. Chesterton (poem)
  • The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
  • A Tradition of Eighteen Hundred and Four by Thomas Hardy
  • The Hierophant by Lee-Ann Dalton (short story)
  • The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
  • beta read!
  • Ode on Venice by Lord Byron (poem)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Lucky by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Trouble by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Homage to Switzerland by Ernest Hemingway (short story; reread but I really don't remember it after 20 years)
  • The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier (reread)
  • Sing a Long Children's Songs
  • Emily's First Christmas
  • Up At the Villa by Somerset Maugham (novella)
  • Telling Stories by Tim Burgess
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern
  • Sophie's Throughway by Jules Smith
  • Baby Animals (Little Golden Books)
  • The House That Jack Built (Little Golden Books)
  • Scuffy the Tugboat (Little Golden Books)
  • The Saggy Baggy Elephant (Little Golden Books)
  • Morgoth's Ring - Book 10 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Who's A Pest by Crosby Bonsall
  • Mine's the Best by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • The Case of the Hungry Stranger by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • extracts from the diary of John Evelyn (Volume 1 of 2)
  • extracts from Lord Byron's letters about Villa Diodati
  • Pippin the Christmas Pig by Jean Little
  • Ite Missa Est by Anthony Martignetti
  • The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Red Angel by G. K. Chesterton (essay)
  • Emily's Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary
  • The Boy Who Set Out to Learn What Fear Was by the Brothers Grimm
  • The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • secret beta read!
  • Preludes by Wordsworth (extracts read aloud)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves
  • Dance Me A Dream by Kait Nolan (ARC)
  • Once Upon A Coffee by Kait Nolan
  • England and Switzerland, 1802 by William Wordsworth (poem)
  • Once Upon A New Year's Eve by Kait Nolan
  • short story by Becky Morgan (http://forums.compuserve.com/discussions/Books_and_Writers_Community/Writers_Exercises/Becky_Morgans_December_X/ws-books/85291.1?nav=messages)
  • Blood In Blood Out by Brenda Novak (short story)
  • That Hell-Bound Train by Robert Bloch (short story)
  • Distraction by J. L. Campbell
  • Humble Bundle Peanuts collection (strips by Charles Schulz)
  • Peanuts Volumes I to VI (bought via Humble Bundle; very disappointing as it's mostly new strips -- how is that even allowed?!)
  • Sandals and Sangria by Talli Roland (short story)
  • Over the Hump by Talli Roland (short story)
  • issues of Journal of Inklings Studies and Amon Hen and Mallorn (Tolkien Society)
  • Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier
  • Babar and his Family by Laurent de Brunhoff
  • Illusions Lost by Byron A. Maddox (short story)
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • Lost My Name book for Emily (https://www.lostmy.name/)
  • Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne
  • When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • Neil Gaiman comics on Sequential app
  • Moranology by Caitlin Moran
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2015/12/annual-books-read-statistics.html
  • 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