November 14, 2017

"Oathbringer" (Stormlight Book 3) Published Today





Today is a big day for fans of fantasy - Oathbringer, the third book in Brandon Sanderson's 10-book Stormlight series is published today.

Sanderson is one of the best new(er) authors in fantasy, proving himself with a strong debut (Elantris) the Mistborn series, and now with Stormlight. The first two books, The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, have both been well-received.

The Stormlight series is a different type of fantasy, with immense world-building and lore. It is the spiritual successor to The Wheel of Time series. They are both apples and oranges, however Stormlight follows down the path that The Wheel of Time began. They are not related by any means, I mean to say that the vein of fantasy is close. Please note that you can't (and shouldn't) compare Sanderson with Martin, or Stormlight with Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones.

So whether or not you've read The Wheel of time, if you like fantasy period, be sure not to miss the Stormlight series. Book 4 is expected in 2020.    



November 8, 2017

Another Update


Well, I promised you all an update, so here it is!

My lady and I took a one-week trip to Nova Scotia and Quebec City mid to late October. We drove from Ottawa to Quebec City, then Quebec City to Nova Scotia.

We enjoy taking trips, and thought we were due for one. Also, my uncle had a wedding during then. So, the purpose of the trip was for the wedding, although we greatly elaborated on it by doing more sight-seeing and vacationing. Needless to say, we both want to retire to Cape Breton Island [seriously – hop on google images. Or rather…don’t….the less people there the better!]

It was great, great fun – the entire trip. Our Escape performed admirably and kept us going along the way. As did McDonald’s – their coffee, muffins and other things for ‘road travel’ were definitely welcome. Plus, they also have the Monopoly going on, as well. So there’s that.

That aside, “life” has been happening! Hard to believe we already into November. Winter, and Christmas, are coming.

On the reading front: currently reading Exploring the Hobbit at home, as a book. When ‘on-the-go’ it’s The Heritage of Shannara on the e-reader. Will keep you posted about my reading habits following those books.
On the TV front: currently working my way through Ray Donovan Season 3 (I switch between that and Suits, once I finish a season of each.). Looking forward to the final season of Longmire coming next week, as well as The Crown in December.
On the movie front: This weekend is Thor 3, or “Marvel Movie #___”. Looks like it should be good.

The next “big” movie I’m really looking forward to is Fantastic Beasts: Part 2. The key thing is, that I’m “looking forward to” and that I’ll definitely see at the cinema. Sure, I’ll see Justice League and Star Wars: Episode VIII, but on ‘at home formats.’ One has to budget! Though of course there are other films I’ll see before Fantastic Beasts: Part 2 (which is out next November) at the cinema, I’m just really looking forward to what they’re doing with the IP. 

Let me think of what other ground I wish to cover…

Oh yes, video games.

Still not sold, or convinced, of Nintendo and the Switch. Couldn’t get a SNES Classic. Still hard to get amiibo. Sorry, guys – I’m finished now. I’ll keep getting 3DS games that interest me, but following that, my Nintendo support ends when the 3DS ends. Because of that, I won’t give them money for a Switch.

I beat Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Ganon, that is. With all the Divine Beasts, my Ancient Armor fully upgraded, as well as an Ancient Bow and Ancient Arrows…I made short work of him. Plus, Stasis+ does briefly work on him! Not long, but long enough to get a shot in.) Primarily, because a little bit more of the game opens up once you do so (a few more pictures, ‘boss’ tracker, etc..) as well as I believe the upcoming DLC#2 is meant to be played after the main game. So really, it was spoiler prevention, as well as being up-to-date. Sometime in the future I’d like to play it again, from scratch, with both DLC’s already being out to see how it differs.

For quick half hour gaming sessions I’m going through Mario Maker on expert, with the intent of unlocking more amiibo Mushroom characters. I really wish there was a way to filter out some crap courses. It’s a very good concept, Mario Maker – though more could have been done with it; primarily the ability to ‘fill in’ parts of a level with water. Or, choose what music you want to hear when. It’s no biggie, but it’d be neat to hear the different music tracks when playing through different level types. And speaking of Mario Maker, the wii u, etc – farewell, miiverse!! I’ve never really used you, but I enjoyed seeing the drawings, as well as the feedback on my levels that I’ve designed. So to anyone who has played my through my levels and contributed feedback and/or art via miiverse – thank you. My goal with the game was to create ‘faithful’ Mario levels while throwing in a few new elements here and there, primarily in regards to the tools available, as opposed to types of levels.  

I have decent backlog of my some 3Ds and PS4 games. The next games I’d like to get are: Fire Emblem Warriors, Hyrule Warriors, Mario Kart 7, New Mario 2 and Horizon: Zero Dawn Complete Edition. I’d also like to add Shadow of War, though the ‘complete’ version. Oh, and there’s the new Secret of Mana.

So that’s pretty much all I have to say….. Or can think of.

I owed an update. I could have done a few blog posts here and there, but, as I said – life!

Oh yes, and I’m working on a book on top of all that I mentioned.  

November 7, 2017

New Editions of "Fantastic Beasts" Published Today

I owe you a general update, but first up, is the info about the new illustrated editions of Fantastic Beasts.

The newly illustrated edition is now available in both hardback, and a special edition (hardback with slipcase).

“This glorious new edition of Newt Scamander's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (considered a classic throughout the wizarding world) features an extraordinary array of magical creatures, from Acromantula to Yeti via ten different breeds of dragon - all beautifully illustrated in full colour by the brilliantly inventive, Greenaway Medal shortlisted Olivia Lomenech Gill.
Famed Magizoologist Newt Scamander's years of adventure and exploration have yielded a work of unparalleled importance, admired by scholars, devoured by young witches and wizards, and even made available to Muggles in the early years of this century. With this dazzling illustrated edition, readers can explore the magical fauna of five continents from the comfort of their own armchairs. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is essential reading at Hogwarts.
This new edition features the fully updated 2017 text - which includes new profiles of six magnificent beasts that inhabit North America and a new foreword by J.K. Rowling, writing as Newt Scamander.”

The description for the deluxe edition adds: “This deluxe edition is a must-have for any Potter fan. It comes with a gorgeous art print in a beautiful slipcase”. 

Here is the cover art and info for the standard edition:


 




ISBN: 9781408885260
And for the special edition:

 

ISBN: 9781408890288

As you can see, they look as if they’ll match the illustrated Harry Potter books (both in hardback and special edition formats). As mentioned above, it features new and updated text compared to the original edition. The Tales of Beedle the Bard will also receive a new illustrated edition, as well [in both hardback and special edition formats.] which will arrive next year. Although, nothing yet for Quidditch Through the Ages, though it may be too early to tell at this point. Also, it’s too early to know if Beedle the Bard will have any changes to the text.

 




Also for next year, is the illustrated edition of Goblet of Fire.

It definitely looks like a great piece of art, much the same way that Jemima Catlin’s illustrated edition of The Hobbit is. 

September 30, 2017

An Update

Well, that was an enjoyable Tolkien Week, as well as Hobbit Day.
To celebrate, I organized a "Rather Merry Gathering" at the Mill St Ottawa Brewpub on Hobbit Day. I had a few pints of their Portage Ale on draught, and bought their fall mixed pack for take home. I ordered the most hobbit-y item on the menu: the mushroom flatbread. It was great to see everyone, as it's been a few months. I primarily did this, because "The Hobbit" turned 80. If it wasn't a milestone event or Tolkien anniversary - well, the pub still may have happened anyway, for Hobbit Day.
Then, I began reading "The Annotated Hobbit". Next time I open the book, it'll be onto Chapter 4. Following this, I'll dive into Corey Olsen's "Exploring The Hobbit". I'll check out the podcasts (Tolkien Professor, Mythgard and Signum) sometime after I finish the book. That'll be two books off my reading list! (on my Kobo ereader, for travel and commute, I'm currently on The Heritage of Shannara.) I think, after I finish "Exploring The Hobbit", I may delve into some of my mythology books....there's a few options on my bookshelves for me to go for.
I'll close off by saying that if you haven't read The Hobbit, or you need a new copy, or you want to get someone you know into Tolkien, I recommend this edition: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/…/t…/9780007458424-item.html… . And hey, speaking of Chapters - until Oct 1 they have 5X the plum points, as well as buy 3 get the 4th free.

And speaking of editions of The Hobbit, here are some other great ones, as a brief recap. If you want the most informative edition, opt for The Annotated Hobbit. If you want the most visually appealing, go for the illustrated edition by Jemima Catlin.

If you only want the book, then there’s the paperback editions, the classic hardbacks, as well as special editions. Depending on how much you want to spend, as well as what you want out of the book. All of these “classic” editions feature Tolkien’s artwork (some may contain more, others maybe less, depends on the edition) though they’re similiarily patterned.

But this isn’t a Tolkien or Hobbit themed post. Moving on.

This weekend I hope to get some writing in. Not sure how much, but some for sure. I definitely intend to work on the book. TV watching, it’s been a while since I’ve seen some episodes of
Suits, so I’ll most likely watch one or two. Speaking of TV shows, History has announced when the 10-episode first season of Knightfall is starting: Dec. 6. I was hoping for Oct. 13. Ah well. It looks promising, here’s hoping it turns out to be good. Either way, that and Vikings Season 5 [Part A] will help with The Long Night (the wait between Game of Thrones episodes. Next season, Season 8, is the last one.) In terms of upcoming goodies, here’s what’s on the horizon for myself:Game of Thrones Season 7 soundtrack CDSpider-Man blu-rayDunkirk blu-ray HP Lovecraft Canterbury Classics leather-bound

Tolkien Companion and Guide Revised Boxed Set by Hammond + Scull (I missed out on the original release, or found out too late, so I’m glad this new one is coming out and will get it)

A few random treat beers

Some Boxing Day spending (ultimately, things I really want under the tree that I may not get) Could also include various ebooks (
Earthsea, The Complete Zimiamvian, The Book of Swords, Edgedancer, etc.) The next videogames I want are Shadow of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn, both on PS4. HOWEVER, I want, and am waiting for, the ‘complete’ (“Game of the Year”) editions for both. Now I’ll talk a bit about books before I end the post.

I plan on re-reading the following titles:
His Dark Materials, Harry Potter, and A Song of Ice and Fire. The Book of Dust (Book 1) is coming out shortly, however, thanks to some authors like George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss (not a complaint, just observing long wait times between installments), I now wait for book series to be completed before buying them. So, I’ll wait for The Book of Dust (Part 3) from Philip Pullman, or a possible boxed set. I don’t even know, at this point, if Parts 2 and 3 are written yet and just need to be published, or if he still needs to write them. I’ll re-read the original trilogy before I read the side trilogy.
For Ice and Fire, I believe I finished reading Book 5 back in 2012 sometime. Because I’ve seen most (all?) of the show between when Books 5 and 6 are published, and due to differences from screen to text, I am in need of a refresher because a) the books and the show are different and b) it’s been awhile since I’ve read the books that are out. So, I intend to re-read Books 1-5 (regardless of when Book 6 publishes), the day after the final episode of Game of Thrones. Hopefully, if Book 6 isn’t out by the time I finish Book 5 of that re-read, it shouldn’t be too much longer. Ideally, I’d love to be able to go 1-6 in this re-read, with Book 6 being read for the first time after I finish Book 5.
In the meantime for reading, I’ll finish off The Annotated Hobbit, then read Exploring the Hobbit, then after that, who knows! Though I am eyeing some of my mythology books. And that’s it for the update!

September 26, 2017

Tolkien Tuesday: My Favourite Images

A picture is worth a thousand words, as the old saying goes. For as long as there's been Middle-earth books published (beginning in 1937), there have also been quite a few images over the years. Far too many to recount in a single post.

However, I wish to acknowledge some as my absolute favourites. Before I do so, I wish to say that I hope I'm not breaching any copyright. I am uploading, or linking, these images and giving the artists their well-deserved due credit. If I don't know the exact official title of a piece, I apologize. I do however know the artists' names. The images, where applicable, come directly off their official sites.

THE HOBBIT

I am going to showcase these art pieces in order of publication of the texts which have been illustrated on artistic level.



First up, is "The Hill: Hobbiton Across the Water" done by none other than Tolkien himself! Depending on the edition of The Hobbit you own, this could very well be the first piece of artwork inside a Tolkien book you come across - not counting Thror's Map, of course. I personally enjoy following the road with my eyes.



Also by Tolkien, though at the end of the story, is "Conversation With Smaug." There are a few others by him that I quite enjoy, however I have to say that Tolkien's classic image of Smaug is a definite must. It's a great art piece, and compliments the text quite well.



Alan Lee's famed Smaug (exact name of the piece unknown to me) definitely deserves a mention. Whether it's the cover of a book, a poster or art print on the wall, or nestled in the pages of the book itself, this is definitely one of the most eye catching Hobbit illustrations, for both The Hobbit, as well as Alan's work on a whole. Take a good 30-45 seconds to admire this before scrolling.



"Smaug the Golden" by John Howe. Another Smaug! Well, he is the chiefest of calamities, after all! This has to be my pick for my favourite John Howe Hobbit related image. You can get a subtle hint that Smaug's hoard is "precious" to him...



And of course another Smaug!! This piece (name unknown) is artist David Wyatt's version of the 'Conversation with Smaug' scene. I've also liked the way this image looks. Classic, yet 'new'.



Most recently, artist Jemima Catlin has illustrated The Hobbit, in a classic 'story book' manner that brings the charm and whimsy of Tolkien's writing out. This image is from the cover of the edition she illustrated. You may recognize the pose she chose for Bilbo here....: http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/files/2015/02/tolkien-tree.jpg . That's right, she's paying homage to the Professor himself.



A magnificent image again from Jemima Catlin, showing Bilbo leaving his his home and setting off on his adventure.




Another great image from Jemima Catlin's illustrated Hobbit is none other than Smaug himself. Because the book has been around for long, there exists many great versions of the great beast.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS

For ease of writing, and reading. this blog, I've chosen to select The Lord of the Rings as a single entity, rather than break it down.



"Rivendell" by John Howe. Quite the dazzling piece to gaze upon. It has some unique perspectives and angles.



"The Dark Tower" by John Howe. This piec eis something else: we get to see something from where the Dark Lord's land, we get a Nazgul and its Fell beast, and we get the eerie sky of darkness. Lots of nastiness (in the good way, of course!) in one image. We're definitely not in the comforts of the Shire or Rivendell, anymore....



"Watchul Peace" by John Howe. Howe takes us to the heights and beyond the clouds in the great city of Minas Tirith with this piece. The guards are on constant look out for any ill, something that comes with being so close to Mordor.....




"Gandalf the Grey" by John Howe. In The Lord of the Rings, we get to know a bit more about Gandalf...while equally being kept in the dark. This piece essentially defines the character of Gandalf in this image.



(name of piece unknown) by Alan Lee. Here, we have a Nazgul in flight atop a Fell Beast. This image appears in the illustrated edition(s) by Alan Lee, as a frontispiece to The Fellowship of the Ring, and as far as I can recall, is not seen with the text itself. I've always thought the image as is shown above, would make for an awesome print or poster, as well as a book cover.



Rivendell by Alan Lee. Please note, that the Alan Lee images come from the illustrated editions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King in 2002. This, without a doubt, has to be one of, if not, THE finest interpretations of Rivendell I have ever seen.



Orthanc by Alan Lee. An iconic Alan Lee piece, as well as one that's oft associated with both Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings.



The Battle of the Pelennor Fields by Alan Lee. Alan captures the chaos, fury, and....everything to do with that battle in a single image. Even a terrible battle is beautiful to gaze upon.

THE SILMARILLION

 

"Earendil Searches Tirion" by Ted Nasmith. A glorious piece showing an earlier Age.



"Maglor Casts a Silmaril Into the Sea." by Ted Nasmith. Another fantastic piece by Nasmith. Truly a stunning image to behold.



"The Fall of Gonlin" by John Howe. Hard to take one's eyes off the destruction of a city....

There a few more as well! However those images are some of my favourites out of Middle-earth that I have seen. Big thank you goes out to to the following artists for sharing your talents with the world: Alan Lee, John Howe, Ted Nasmith, Jemima Catlin, Michael Hague, Joe Gilronan.....and many many others. 

September 21, 2017

"The Hobbit" Turns 80




Today is a very special day. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien turns 80 years old.


As monumental as The Lord of the Rings was for fantasy; those volumes wouldn't have existed if it weren't for The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings initially began as a sequel to The Hobbit, but the tale grew in the telling, as Tolkien often said.

The Hobbit somewhat did, as well. It is slightly long - for a children's book. The Hobbit wasn't planned, or initially part, to be joined with Tolkien's mythology he was devoted most of his life to. It was in The Hobbit that he dropped hints, breadcrumbs, and planted seeds. These would grow and flourish in The Lord of the Rings (if you read them back-to-back, you'll see). It was intended to be fire-side reads for his children, as well some other fare, most of which can be found in Tales From the Perilous Realm.

Not only did Tolkien write one of the best stories ever, he also gave it life. Tolkien provided artwork, runes, and maps himself to accompany the text. There have been many editions since 1937, although the ones that feature Tolkien's material (namely, his artwork, on the book's cover and within the interior) is seen as the 'classic' edition.

As part of the celebration, I'm going to look at some notable Hobbit editions, and related books that truly stand out during those 80 years. What I've selected is a mix between quality, availability, and 


The Book Itself
I'm going to begin by showcasing notable editions of The Hobbit, as well follow that up with supplementary books. The following editions of The Hobbit may or may not match with other books by Tolkien. I'll indicate if they do with a " * ". See the legend at the very bottom of the post for details. 


Deluxe Edition *


This deluxe slipcased edition of The Hobbit, printed and bound using superior materials including a silk ribbon marker, features the definitive text, plus Tolkien's paintings and drawings in full colour, and a special fold-out version of Thror's Map./
/
ISBN: 9780007118359


Classic Hardback *


The definitive edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's most beloved book, sporting a facsimile of his original cover design and complete with colour plates of his own paintings, brand new reproductions of all his drawings, and colour versions of both maps./
ISBN:
9780261103283

Classic Paperback *

...this definitive paperback edition features nine illustrations and two maps drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien, and a preface by Christopher Tolkien./
ISBN:
9780261103344

Those three above I just listed above all contain the definitive text, and, depending on the format, extra goodies as well (the paperback is the most basic, the deluxe edition the most extravagant).


Illustrated Hardback Edition (by Jemima Catlin)


The first new illustrated edition of The Hobbit for more than 15 years contains 150 brand new colour illustrations. Artist Jemima Catlin's charming and lively interpretation brings Tolkien's beloved characters to life in a way that will entice and entertain a new generation of readers.

/
ISBN: 9780007497904
Deluxe Slipcased Edition ISBN:
9780007497911

This illustrated edition is just lovely. Most illustrated editions of The Hobbit are, but the artwork is charming and whimsical, much like the text itself.
.

Facsimile First Edition



The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937, with a print run of 1,500 copies. With a beautiful cover design, nearly a dozen black & white illustrations and two black & red maps by the author himself, the book proved to be popular and was reprinted shortly afterwards. History was already being made.

The scarcity of the first edition has resulted in copies commanding huge prices, way beyond the reach of most Tolkien fans. In addition, subsequent changes to the text particularly those to chapter 5, when Tolkien decided in 1947 to revise the text to bring it better into accord with events as they were developing in its sequel’, The Lord of the Rings - mean that the opportunity to read the book in its original form and format has become quite difficult.

This special printing reprints the first edition, so that readers of all ages not just children between the ages of 5 and 9’, as Rayner Unwin famously declared in his report on the original submission can finally enjoy Tolkien’s story as it originally appeared.
/
ISBN: 9780007440832


Supplementary Books

Now, for some great companion books to The Hobbit, which go with what I've showcased above, or any other edition you may have.


The Annotated Hobbit (Revised and Expanded Edition)



The definitive edition of this beloved children?s classic, featuring a wealth of accompanying illustrations and notes which take the reader further into both the story, and the tale of how it was written.
Seldom has any book been so widely read and loved as J.R.R. Tolkien?s classic tale, The Hobbit. Since its first publication in 1937 it has remained in print to delight each new generation of readers all over the world, and its hero, Bilbo Baggins, has taken his place among the ranks of the immortals: Alice, Pooh, Toad.
As with all classics, repeated readings continue to bring new detail and perspectives to the reader?s mind, and Tolkien?s Middle-earth is a vast mine of treasures and knowledge, its lode being folklore, mythology and language. The Hobbit is, therefore, an ideal book for annotation: as well as offering a marvellous and entrancing story, it introduces the reader to the richly imagined world of Middle-earth, a world more fully and complexly realised in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.
/
ISBN: 9780007137275

I consider this book to go into the supplementary or reference listing, due to the annotations and extra material included within the book, despite the fact it contains the complete text.


History of The Hobbit (Revised Edition) **


For the first time in one volume, THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBITpresents the complete unpublished text of the original manuscript of J.R.R.Tolkien's THE HOBBIT, accompanied by John Rateliff's lively and informative account of how the book came to be written and published. As well as recording the numerous changes made to the story both before and after publication, it examines - chapter-by-chapter - why those changes were made and how they reflect Tolkien's ever-growing concept of Middle-earth.THE HOBBIT was first published on 21 September 1937. Like its successor, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, it is a story that "grew in the telling", and many characters and story threads in the published text are completely different from what Tolkien first wrote to read aloud to his young sons as part of their "fireside reads".As well as reproducing the original version of one of literature's most famous stories, both on its own merits and as the foundation for THE LORD OF THE RINGS, this new book includes many little-known illustrations and previously unpublished maps for THE HOBBIT by Tolkien himself. Also featured are extensive annotations and commentaries on the date of composition, how Tolkien's professional and early mythological writings influenced the story, the imaginary geography he created, and how Tolkien came to revise the book years after publication to accommodate events in THE LORD OF THE RINGS.Like Christopher Tolkien's THE HISTORY OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS before it, this is a thoughtful yet exhaustive examination of one of the most treasured stories in English literature. Long overdue for a classic book now celebrating 75 years in print, this companion edition offers fascinating new insights for those who have grown up with this enchanting tale, and will delight those who are about to enter Bilbo's round door for the first time./
/
ISBN:
9780007440825


The Art of The Hobbit ***



To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, a sumptuous full colour art book containing the complete collection of more than 100 Hobbit sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, he was already an accomplished amateur artist, and drew illustrations for his book while it was still in manuscript. The Hobbit as first printed had ten black and white pictures, two maps, and binding and dust-jacket designs by its author. Later, Tolkien also painted five scenes for colour plates which are some of his best work. His illustrations for The Hobbit add an extra dimension to that remarkable book, and have long influenced how readers imagine Bilbo Baggins and his world.To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, the complete artwork created by the author for his story has been collected in The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Including related pictures, more than one hundred sketches, drawings, paintings, maps, and plans are presented here, preliminary and alternate versions and experimental designs as well as finished art. Some of these images are now published for the first time, and others for the first time in colour. Fresh digital scans from the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford and Marquette University in Wisconsin allow Tolkien's Hobbit pictures to be seen more vividly than ever before.The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien has been written and edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, two of the leading experts on Tolkien and authors of the acclaimed J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, and The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

/
ISBN:
9780007440818

This is a fantastic treasure trove of designs, sketches, drawings, paintings, maps...pretty much everything created by Tolkien for The Hobbit on an artistic and visual level. Pairs really well with any edition of The Hobbit, but most especially either the classic hardback, classic paperback, or deluxe editions mentioned above.

As you can see, there have been notable editions of the book, as well as material relating to it over the years. This is of course just a small sampling. Any and all of those titles I recommend (which is why I gave the ISBN's, so you can search by those and get the exact copy/edition/format). Ultimately, it does not matter which you have, or choose to get, as long as you enjoy the book, and raise a glass of whatever beverage you prefer, and celebrate 80 years and counting of The Hobbit.

As a bonus.....


Other Worthy Mentions


Illustrated Edition (by Alan Lee) ****





Hardback ISBN:
9780261103306
Alan Lee's illustrated edition perfect compliments his illustrated treatment of the three-volume Lord of the Rings. The art style, is of course, similar. Also, it pairs quite well with Tales From the Perilous Realm.


Paperback



ISBN:
9780007458424
/
Another paperback edition I recommend. If I'm not mistaken, aside from the maps, does not feature Tolkien's art, but opening chapter sketches in pencil by another artist. 
I highly recommend this edition if you're gifting.

Collector's Edition 

This deluxe collector's edition of Tolkien's modern classic is boxed and bound in green leatherette with gold and red foil rune stamping on the spine and cover. The text pages are printed in black with green accents. It includes five full page illustrations in full color and many more in two color in addition to Thror's map -- all prepared by the author. 
ISBN: 9780395177112

This edition gives you a nice edition of the book at a decent price. I highly recommend this edition if you're gifting.


Legend:

* = matches with other deluxe, hardback and paperback editions of other Tolkien books, in the same style

** = matches with The History of Middle-earth (12 volumes in 3 hardbacks, also part of a boxed set consisting of the 3 HoM-e books), both volumes of J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide (Reader's Guide and Chronology) by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.

*** = matches The Art of the Lord of the Rings

**** = matches the 3-volume illustrated hardback editions of The Lord of the Rings, also by Alan Lee, as well as the illustrated hardback edition of The Silmarillion by Ted Nasmith. 

September 19, 2017

Wishful Thinking:"The Hobbit" 80th Anniversary Hardback Illustrated Edition


When The Lord of the Rings 60th Anniversary Illustrated Edition came out a few year's back, I noticed how it was essentially an updated version of the Centenary Edition. I thought it would be neat if The Hobbit and The Silmarillion also got editions to "match."

This post examines how I would like an 80th edition to be presented, and contain with that in mind. Please note, this is all wishful thinking on my part.

- transparent slipcase
- re-scanned paintings
- chalk-white paper
(original text?)
- unjacketed book: the iconic image of Smaug on the front cover, Gandalf leaving the company at Mirkwood on the back cover
- Thror's map as front endpaper [reverse of board] and Map of Wilderland as rear endpaper [reverse of board]
- 1/4 bound burgundy ["spine colourization"]
- dimensions would match the 60th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings illustrated by Alan Lee

I think this would make a great edition, and would match quite well the 60th anniversary illustrated edition of The Lord of the Rings.  

September 17, 2017

A Long-Overdue Update

Good day all!

I'm back. Well, I never left.

Things have been busy, so apologies that I have not been posting and writing as much as I wished. Looking for work, domestic life, and enjoying my self (reading, shows, movies and games) has put my blogging onto the back-burner.

Let's see what's new......

Let's start with TV.

I watched Game of Thrones Season 7, which is always entertaining. I watch the show to enjoy the spectacle of it. At this point, and looking back, I think it's safe to say that the show and the books have differed greatly ever since the Red Wedding has happened. I'm looking forward to both Season 8, as well as Books 6 and 7, and any other Seven Kingdoms material that Martin publishes. Regardless of when Book 6 is published, I'm going to re-read Books 1-5 anyway. I finished Book 5 sometime in 2012, so it's been awhile. That, and the books and the show are so different, by starting fresh with Book 1 again, it'll be better for my mind.

I've also picked up Suits again, going through Season 3. New on my watching of TV is Ray Donovan, of which I've seen seasons 1 and 2 thus far. Next up on my list of ones to watch that I haven't seen yet is Black Sails. I recently finished reading Treasure Island  - Black ails is a prequel to that book.

Now for movies.

My lady and I have seen a few movies here and there. At the cinema, I believe around the time that I left you, we saw Pirates 5. After that, was King Arthur. I enjoyed both, but I'd like to talk about King Arthur for a moment.

Because of the style of which the film was made in, I believe if the director did a Robin Hood movie instead, it would have worked better. Or, if it was its own unique fantasy. If you're attempting to build a cinematic universe, and your first entry doesn't feel stand alone, or 'sequel teases' too much, it may not work well at all. I can understand the complaints about the film, however I enjoyed it.

In terms of reading, as I mentioned above, I have just finished reading Treasure Island, which I immensely enjoyed. On the e-reader, my next read will be The Heritage of Shannara by Terry Brooks. On "Hobbit Day" (Sept. 22) I'm going to start reading my copy of The Annotated Hobbit, followed (or possibly with) Exploring the Hobbit.

So, what's next??

TV:

Suits Season4
Ray Donovan Season 3
Black Sails Season 1
Vikings Season 5 [Part A]
Knightfall (new series)
Outlander Season 3

Movies:

Kingsman 2
Thor 3
Planned Reading, in no order:

The Annotated Hobbit
Exploring the Hobbit
Various ebooks
Various Myths and Legends
an eventual re-read of His Dark Materials
an eventual re-read of Harry Potter
re-read of A Song of Ice and Fire (starting the day after the show ends)
Some classics
More Tolkien (The Children of Hurin, Beren and Luthien, Tales From the Perilous Realm, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, The Fall of Arthur, Beowulf and The Story of Kullervo....)

So that's an update for the time being. I do wish to blog more, and more often. I have a few Tolkien related posts coming up in the near future to watch for, but after those I plan on posting about a few other things.

Sorry for the delay and silence, all! 

September 16, 2017

Wishful Thinking:"The Silmarillion" 40th Anniversary Hardback Illustrated Edition

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When The Lord of the Rings 60th Anniversary Illustrated Edition came out out a few years back, I noticed how it was essentially an updated version of the Centenary Edition. I thought it would be neat if The Hobbit and The Silmarillion also got editions to 'match' that.

This post examines how I would like a 40th (or 50th or beyond) edition to be presented, and contain with that in mind. Please note, this is all wishful thinking on my part.

- transparent slipcase
- re-scanned paintings- the most recent, and accurate, text setting of The Silmarillion [including Tolkien's letter]
- chalk-white paper
- unjacketed book: the iconic image of Maglor casting a Silmaril into the Sea on the front cover; Beren and Luthien being flown to safety on the back cover. 
The Realms of the Noldor and the Sindar map is located on the last integral page. The Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North coloured by H.E. Riddett appearing on both endpapers.
- 1/4 bound bright terra cotta ["spine colourization"]- dimensions would match the 60th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings illustrated by Alan Le
e
- Contains the following plates by Ted Nasmith:

Earendi Searches Tirion [as a frontispiece]
The Sea
The Lamps of the Valar
At Lake Cuivienen
The Light of the Valinor on the Western Sea
Fingolfin Leads the host Across the Helcaraxre
The First Dawn of the Sun
Maedhros's Rescue From Thangorodrim
Eoel Welcomes Aredhel
Felagund Among Beor's Men
By Moonlight in Neldoreth Forest
Luthien Escapes Upon Huan
Morgoth Punishes Hurin
Turin and his band are led to Amon Rudh
Turin Reaches the Abandoned Homestead
Up the Rainy Stair
Finduilas is Led past Turin at the Sack of Nargothrond
Ulmo Appears before Tuor
Tuor Follows the swans to Vinyamar
Tuor and Voronwe see Turin at the Pools of Ivrin
Earendil the Mariner
The Eagles of Manwe
White Ships to Valinor
The Ships of the Faithful


As I said, this is all wishful thinking on my part, however I do believe it would make for an awesome edition!  

September 15, 2017

"The Silmarillion" Turns 40


Today is a special Tolkien-related day: The Silmrillion is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

As of this writing, there doesn't appear to be any celebratory editions, related publications or events; however, I wished to make note of the occasion.

The Silmarillion is the myths and legends of Middle-earth, and includes the epic history of the elves. It is a book, yes, but not neccessarily a "novel" in the sense that it has a narrative. The books reads more like a historic account, or more akin to mythic fantasy; much like The Bible, and other religious texts.

Because of this, it is a slightly more difficult read than The Lord of the Rings, because of this (as well as the fact that it also covers the events from The Lord of the Rings) it is recommended to read The Silmarillion after The Lord of the Rings; including the Appendices and post-story material.

Other the years, there have been a few editions of The Silmarillion (thought not as many as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, sadly).

Here, I shall share some of the recent note-worthy editions:

Definitive Paperback


 
ISBN: 9780007523221

Definitive Hardback

 

ISBN: 9780261102422


Definitive Deluxe


 

ISBN: 9780007264896


Illustrated Edition

 

ISBN: 9780618391110

Other Notable Editions

Alternate Hardback:

 

ISBN: 9780618135042

Finally, I'll close this post by sharing some of my favourite images from The Silmrillion

Please note that the following images credit the artist, the name of the piece, and, when possible where linked directly to the piece's page on their website.

 
Túrin and his Band are Led to Amon Rûdh by Ted Nasmith



The First Dawn of the Sun by Ted Nasmith


At Lake Cuiviénen by Ted Nasmith

 

Lamp of the Valar by Ted Nasmith

 

Maglor Casts a Silmaril into the Sea by Ted Nasmith

 
Eärendil Searches Tirion by Ted Nasmith

 

The Fall of Gondolin by John Howe