Tolkien Reading Day, Two New Books, A Book to Live In, and My New Schedule

Friday is Tolkien Reading Day!

"What is Tolkien Reading Day?

Tolkien Reading Day is held on the 25th of March each year. The date of the 25th of March was chosen as the date on which the Ring was destroyed, completing Frodo’s quest and vanquishing Sauron.

It has been organised by the Tolkien Society since 2003 to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages. We particularly encourage schools, museums and libraries to host their own Tolkien Reading Day events."

The theme for Tolkien Reading Day 2022 is "love and friendship".

The book I've chosen, Mr. Bliss, features friendship, and is also one that was published by Priscilla Tolkien, who passed away last month.
"Priscilla Tolkien has died at the age of 92. She passed away peacefully on 28 February 2022 after a short illness.

The Tolkien Society sends its deepest condolences to the Tolkien family and all Society members who knew Priscilla.


Tolkien Society Chair, Shaun Gunner, said:

'This is a very sad day indeed. Those who knew Priscilla will remember her as a kind and warm person who was incredibly generous with her time. As Vice President of the Society no one knew Society members and Tolkien fans better, where she would even invite members round her house during our Oxonmoot events. Those gatherings are cherished memories by attendees, just as for her publications like Mr. Bliss and The Letters from Father Christmas were delightful memories of her childhood and her father’s love and creativity. It is the end of an era, and we send our condolences to all those who knew and loved her.'"

Five years ago, I tweeted this photo of the young one reading Mr Bliss:

Which Book Would You Want to Live In?

I posted my answer nearly 13 years ago (!) and it's still valid:
"Last week, Nathan asked that question, and quite a number of people mentioned The Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter. Two other authors, Erika and Beth, mentioned Outlander, but they both wanted to steal Jamie from Claire.

Those books would be some of my knee jerk reactions, too, as well as the books of Susan Cooper and Madeleine l'Engle, among others. I think the world of Outlander would be much more fun if I was friends with Jamie and Claire both, instead of risking my life trying to separate them.

Then I got to thinking. I'm not sure I'd enter any of these books without setting some conditions. Hobbiton would be a grand place to live, and Narnia might be fun, depending on which age you jumped into. But Hogwarts while the Death Eaters are loose? You'd have to know beforehand which time you were going to and whether you'd be a main character...

On the other hand, where's the fun without a bit of risk? If it was just to visit, it would be exciting to be whisked into any of these books, at any moment in their timelines.

Of course, I wouldn't say no to a nice pub in 1930s Yorkshire with James Herriott, either. "

I would also really love to explore the nomadic society future depicted in The Actual Star by Monica Byrne!


Two new books I've recently read:

Rescued By a Bad Boy by Kait Nolan

"What's a little marriage between friends?

Mia has been Braxton's best friend for years. Even when they no longer lived in the same foster family, even after he'd aged out of the system, he'd continued to look out for the one person who got under his skin and made him care.

For the last six years, Mia's been keeping her head down, putting one foot in front of the other, unable to trust anyone with her secrets—including the foster brother who's been the one bright spot in her life, as well as her secret crush.

Just one more day until Mia turns eighteen—a legal adult. Brax doesn't trust her foster father and wants her out of that house. Is proposing a marriage of convenience to your best friend a little drastic? Maybe so. But what Brax feels is so far beyond friendship. Is it possible Mia feels it, too?

Please note that this is a backstory prequel. The adult second chance romance between Brax and Mia is covered in Mixed Up With A Marine, Book 1 in the new Bad Boy Bakers series, releasing April 8th."

For those who love prequels, this one is perfect! Just enough hints of the story to come, a strong romance, and a mystery that leaves you guessing. A great introduction to Mia and Brax. I always love the glimpses of previous characters, too.

A great teaser that's gotten me all excited for the next book!

L'Affaire Alaska Sanders by Joel Dicker

"Avril 1999. Mount Pleasant, une paisible petite bourgade du New Hampshire, est bouleversée par un meurtre. Le corps d’Alaska Sanders, arrivée depuis peu dans la ville, est retrouvé au bord d’un lac. L’enquête est rapidement bouclée, la police obtenant les aveux du coupable et de son complice.

Mais onze ans plus tard, l’affaire rebondit. Début 2010, le sergent Perry Gahalowood, de la police d’État du New Hampshire, persuadé d’avoir élucidé le crime à l’époque, reçoit une lettre anonyme qui le trouble. Et s’il avait suivi une fausse piste ?

L’aide de son ami l’écrivain Marcus Goldman, qui vient de remporter un immense succès avec "La Vérité sur l’Affaire Harry Québert", inspiré de leur expérience commune, ne sera pas de trop pour découvrir la vérité."

This is a sort-of sequel to La vérité sur l’affaire Harry Quebert/The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair: chronologically it's a sequel but Le Livre des Baltimore/The Baltimore Boys was published earlier (covering different timelines). Anyway, if you've read the first book (and if you haven't, go read!), you'll be very excited to re-enter the world of Marcus Goldman. A few years have passed in his life and he seems slightly older and wiser, enough to begin truly seeking to discover who he wants to be. In between, there are a couple of failed relationships, a growing friendship with sergeant Gahalowood, and a truly intriguing mystery to be solved.

It's kind of funny to read an author from Geneva writing books set in Montreal and various towns in New Hampshire, when I'm an author from Montreal writing books set in Geneva and various towns in Switzerland!

Speaking of writing, it's time for a new schedule!

My last revamped writing schedule was in August 2020, so I'm long overdue for a bit of focus.

Here's what life currently looks like (bearing in mind that I am not the primary caregiver until dinnertime, but am in the same room as everyone else three days a week):

Monday to Friday

6.30 to 8.30 a.m. wake up, breakfast, school run (on Thursdays, catch train to office)

9 to 11 a.m. work (on Fridays, 9 to 10 a.m. yoga, then catch train to office

11 a.m. work meeting online

12 p.m. lunch, pilates (adding, on Mondays to Wednesdays, cooking/baking, laundry; on Thursdays, blogging; on Fridays, checking or running errands)

1 to 4 p.m. work

4 p.m. work (on Thursdays and Fridays, reading on commute)

5 p.m. work (on Mondays to Wednesdays, pre-dinner walk)

6 p.m. dinner

7 p.m bath for the kids, bed for the younger

8 to 9 p.m. reading or playing cards with the elder, writing up journals

9 to 10 p.m. writing the last installment of The Future In Time (aiming to finish by end-April), reading

A few tasks for upcoming weekends: sort latest photo album, edit a beta read, start a new knitting project...

The main thing here is that I've pencilled in writing time and exercise, which I used to leave to if-it-happens. I could also try to write a bit in the mornings, which would add to my motivation levels!

How do you motivate yourself?

Which book would you like to live in?


Hi Deniz - very disciplined daily schedule - setting standards for the kids makes so much sense. I think I'd like to live back in the Angelique days in Paris ... but I'd need to be as pretty as she is, as lucky too, also clever!!! I'm sure I'd survive wherever and whenever ... I've usually been pretty good at motivating myself ... but really need to push out of the present lethargy of the last few years - at least Spring is well on is way - take care and enjoy life - that photo of the older littlie is delightful - cheers Hilary
Chrys Fey said…
That a cute picture of the young one reading Mr. Bliss.

Which Book Would You Want to Live In? Hmm...those book worlds that were mentioned definitely have their dark sides that I'd want to avoid.
Jeff said…
I read a lot of Tolkien in college, but not sense and never got into the movies. Maybe one day I will go back to him, but today I still find myself more drawn to his friend, Lewis. I did, however, recently read a new translation of the Norse tales, which reminded me of Toliken.
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for coming by, all!
I haven't reread Lewis in over a year now, so maybe he should be my next great reread...