Skip to toolbar

We Sleep At Night Because America's Armed Forces, Police and Fire Fighters Never Do

A bit of this and a bit of that

Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

*** Anyone who has read The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings knows that Professor Tolkien was a genius, but was he also an archaeologist? If the findings concerning the so-called hobbit found on the Indonesian island of Flores are correct, it would seem so. Will we soon find the mummified remains of tall hominids with pointy ears? Or huge reptiles with wings? Heck if I know, but wouldn’t that be fun?

I wonder if scientists have any way of discovering whether this little fellow had an English accent.

The remains of a Took or a Baggins, perhaps?

*** The English have a new hobby: guessing what books are on Tony Blair’s shelves. It seems that the Blairs had their Christmas card taken in front of their bookshelves, so now there’s a fad trying to read the titles to see what they read.

How many can you identify?

*** As always, if there is anything you would like to see more or less of in this blog, let me know. No guarantees, of course, our budget for purchasing new material is fairly small, but I’ll do what I can.

*** BBG has to admit that he’s not a Harry Potter reader. It’s not that I have anything against Harry, on the contrary, I love the movies, but for some reason I never felt the need to read the books. I suspect that I might have found myself comparing them to LOTR and that would not have been fair, Rowling isn’t Tolkien, nobody is, but that should not even be an issue. Anyway, I haven’t read them but I greatly admire Rowling for what she has done. And with The Tales of Beedle the Bard she has turned her fame into a great boon for children in need.

Rowling raises big bucks for kids

If you happen to live in Edinburgh, or are visiting, a drop in to see the hand-written version of this book on display is a must.

*** Nothing is sacred. First came the sequel to Gone With the Wind, then the makers of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies had the elves show up at the Battle of Helm’s Deep and now Victor Hugo has the ignominy of having his classic Les Miserables spawn two sequels, additions that are now officially approved by a French court. Good grief. What’s next, Sherlock Holmes books written by others than A. Conan Doyle?

Oh, yeah, that’s right. There are lots of those. I even like some of them, the ones by Laurie R. King.

Okay, but still, Les Miserables? It seems heretical.

Victor Hugo spinning like a top six feet under


Baseball, World War II and other recipes


Winter, Westlake, Wodehouse & weirdness


  1. It’s funny how memory will trick you, isn’t it? I remember that part completely differently, Ann. Now maybe it’s time for me to re-read!

  2. Ann

    Well, I simply had to check… So I ended up rereading the entire trilogy (how could I resist).

    Frodo did NOT make Sam leave – not at any time during their entire journey. Here is what happened:

    Gollum vanished from sight just after they entered Shelob’s tunnel. Frodo and Sam continued through alone and began using Galadriel’s light. They drove off Shelob. Frodo had Sam hold the light while he cut a web blocking the exit. Frodo saw the end of the tunnel and ran ahead. Gollum grabbed Sam from behind, but ran off again when Sam fought back. Sam continued and found Shelob binding an unconscious Frodo. Sam grabbed up Sting from where Frodo had dropped it, and using it and Galadriel’s light fought off Shelob successfully.

    Sam believed Frodo to be dead and took the One Ring, Sting and the light to continue the quest. He soon discovered his error when Orcs came and picked up Frodo. Sam followed them invisibly and heard them discussing Frodo being only unconscious. As Sam had repeatedly said that he never would leave Frodo, and as in the book he never does, I found the event as presented in the movie so far out of character that it made me very upset.

    The Elves helping out at Helm’s Deep was not so out of character, IMO – and I was able to tolerate the substitution of Arwen for Glorfindle. I still don’t see why they felt Aragorn tumbling off a cliff enhanced the movie in any way, unless it was to emphasize the mortal/immortal choice Arwen was making. I think that may also have been why they chose to have Elves die at Helm’s deep. And, btw, I found NO comments in the book regarding any Men being angry that Elves were not there to help in the Helm’s Deep Battle; the only comments along this line were between Gimli and Legolas wishing they had a few of their folk to help out. The Appendices made it clear that both the Dwarves and the Elves had their own wars with Sauron going on at the same time as the events in the main books.

    There were many changes made in the movies that were not in the books, but most of them were acceptable to me as within “creative license” – all but Sam’s abandonment of Frodo. I might have been willing to accept it if Sam had chosen to follow at a distance instead of going back down Dimrill Stair. They just went too far for me.

  3. You know, it’s not that I don’t want to read the Harry Potter books, for some reason I just never have. Maybe I will, though, if time permits.

    A passing tought: have you read Zelazny’s Amber series? If so, then you know, if not, hihgly recoomend.

    I did think that the extended versions of the LOTR movies were drastically better than the theatrical release, partly because there was more interplay between Legolas and Gimli, but also because too much was left out otherwise. In the first one, Fellowship, in the theatrical release, they didn’t even show Galadriel giving them all her gifts. That’s pretty important.

    But I did think Peter Jackson did a great job, in the main.

    As for Children of Hurin, oh yes, read it for certain. Parts will feel like the Silmarillion, but in places it feels a lot like LOTR. Very well worth the effort.

  4. Well, I just knew I should have double-checked, but I didn’t find my copy instantly. How they presented it in the movie just felt totally wrong (and still does, even if the facts are right) – it’s strange what we remember, or don’t, even in a well-loved, well-reread book. What I remember was the separation because Bilbo ran ahead too quickly… Ah, well – me wrong again. I regretted they didn’t have enough time to really highlight the great interplay between Gimli and Legolas, but overall I gave the movies an enthusiastic thumbs-up for managing to translate The Lord of the Rings to movies as well as they did. I hope they plan to do the Hobbit as well.

    No, I haven’t read The Children of Hurin. I take it you recommend it? I tried to read the Silmarillion (sp?) but found it heavy going and little fun and gave it up. Maybe I might like it more now that I’m older?

    Regarding Harry Potter… I suspect from reading your Beatles comments, that you, like me, kind of instinctively avoid the way-too-popular. However, I must assure you that you should at least treat yourself to reading the first Harry Potter. Her fame and success are, IMO, thoroughly deserved, although quite a surprise as well. The book is in no way derivative of anything else I have ever read, though it feels totally comfortable as well. She is an excellent writer, and the book is a great read. The series also maintains a high standard as far as I have read (I think I haven’t yet read the last one). I do like young adult fantasy, but this one feels a bit more adult, actually. I have loved Narnia and E. Nesbit and The Dark is Rising and Lloyd Alexander, to name a few of a similar caliber to Rowlings. Anyway, I suggest you give it a try if you find yourself in a fantasy mood. And, of course, the movies (as well-done as they are) are not as good as the book – just not enough time in a movie.

    P.S. Where’s CJ? 😀

  5. PRG- How are you? THanks for stopping by. As for Sam, this is what happened in the books. Smeagol/Gollum warped Frodo’s mind and he made Sam leave. That’s how they were separated when Frodo bitten by Shelob.

    In the books, Men were bitter because the Elves did not come to help when they were needed.

    Have you read The Children of Hurin? I was fascinated by this tale from the First Age of Middle Earth.

  6. Re the elves at Helm’s Deep – I didn’t really mind that so much, what I truly was offended by was having Samwise abandon Frodo, even temporarily. That was so out of character!

Spread your wisdom here

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén