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The Wisdom of the Shire: A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  383 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
In The Wisdom of the Shire, Noble Smith sheds a light on the life-changing ideas tucked away inside the classic works of J. R. R. Tolkien and his most beloved creation—the stouthearted Hobbits.

How can simple pleasures such as gardening, taking long walks, and eating delicious meals with friends make you significantly happier? Why is the act of giving presents on your birth
ebook, 224 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,805)
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Dec 11, 2012 Melody rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for a review where the reviewer overlooks niggling errors because the text is so inspiring, move on. If you are looking for a review where the reviewer fails to mention egregious errors regarding the source material, click on through- nothing to see here!

If you've read many of my reviews, you know I'm a Tolkien, um, fan. I can see that Noble Smith is also a fan, but he's a fan in need of a fact-checker. Especially because of assholes like me, who get all twitchy the instant s
Mar 03, 2013 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, tolkien
This is a unique and engaging self-help book, perfect for any fan of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Noble Smith encourages readers to take a step back from their hectic lives and the many problems that they deal with on a day-to-day basis, and live in a more simplistic manner, just like the hobbits of Middle-Earth.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have been completely enamored by the hobbits and their way of life ever since I first picked up Tolkien’s books. Good food and cheer, what could
May 06, 2013 Emma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this. I made it through the first three condescending chapters and a randomly selected chapter in the middle before returning it to the library.

Its biggest failure is one of the worst mistakes an author can make: it does not know its audience. You do not need to retell The Hobbit to an audience of readers that chose to pick up a book called "Wisdom of the Shire". Clearly, that reader is already a superfan, and doesn't need to be reminded about the circumstances of Bilbo's departure from
This is one of those delightful little books that “does exactly what it says on the tin.” It explores the Shire and visits with the Hobbits who live there like old friends, as well as stopping by various other places in Middle Earth and introducing us to elves, wizards, dwarves, and even ents, as we get to know them better and discover exactly what it is that makes Hobbits so, well, Hobbit-ish.

Hobbits, of course, are some of the best-loved characters in literature, and there is barely a person y
Markku Kesti
Itse kootut viisaudet olivat pahinta näennäisnerokastacoelhonallepuhhumanismia ("Kanna sormustasi vain niin kauan kuin tarpeelliselta tuntuu. Kun oikea hetkitulee, heitä se tuleen ja vapaudu taakastasi."), mutta muuten jorinat siitä mitä hyvää eläminen hobittityyliin voisi tarjota meille oli ihan mukavaa luettavaa. Kaksi ja puoli tähteä ja noiden luvun mietinnät sisältävien idioottitiivistysten takia siis vain kaksi.
Feb 22, 2013 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Uniquely original and profoundly thought-provoking, this fascinating perspective that draws from JRR Tolkien’s works is astonishing!

Since childhood devouring ‘The Hobbit’ and other Tolkien’s works such as ‘The Silmarillion’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ I was naturally really excited, upon being presented with the opportunity of discovering Noble Smith’s ‘Wisdom of the Shire’ which contains references to JRR Tolkien’s epic creation. Journeying into the heart of the Shire and exploring Hobbiton, I fel
Dec 06, 2012 Britta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tolkien
I recently had the pleasure of reading Noble Smith’s The Wisdom of the Shire (“a short guide to a long and happy life”), which came out last month. Having heard many good things about this book from critics and fellow readers alike, I was more than eager to read it myself!

In The Wisdom of the Shire, Noble pulls us away from the craziness of our own lives and sticks us in the heart of the Shire, where its Hobbit citizens live simple, yet rewarding lives, and whose Hobbit holes are the true defin
Jan 17, 2013 Lesley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whether you're a well seasoned Tolkien fan, or brand new and just curious, this book is such a wonderful find. I've read quite a few "self help" books, but this definitely isn't like the rest. It doesn't point out your faults, but rather it goes back and forth telling stories and the author even sharing his own mishaps. When I was first introduced to Tolkien's lengendarium, all throughout my high school years, I wanted to be an Elf. Ethereal, graceful, beautiful, etc. But I was always dismayed b ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as an ARC from Goodread's First Reads program.

while it's obviously helpful to know the basic story of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy while reading this to get the references, they are not required to get the life lessons Mr. Smith imparts as "wisdom of the Shire." I want to say I ascribe to almost everything that was suggested or have tried to in the past, which makes me feel a bit like a Hobbit, which is a compliment in my humble estimation.

I've read the actu
Anne Gazzolo
Apr 21, 2013 Anne Gazzolo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Noble Smith rocks! This wonderful guide proves that practically all you need to know about how to live a moral, happy, and fulfilling life you can learn from hobbits and other inhabitants of Middle-earth. Smith points out the many things that have gone wrong with our lives and our world and then shows us how we can heal the wounds by living more like hobbits. We can replace selfish ambition with selfless service, greed with contentment and simplicity, lust with love, betrayal with faithfulness, ...more
This review is for the audiobook version of The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith, read by Simon Vance.

This book had me utterly charmed at the dedication, which is a hint at all the goodness that lies ahead. There is no way to put the book down after reading that gem.

Much of the wisdom presented is common to 21st century denizens with any civic conscientiousness and environmental awareness- reuse, recycle, eat local, make nice with your own personal Gollum- but presented through the lens of Ho
Jan 04, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't review books regularly, or at all, to be fair. This is the first review I'm writing on here, but this book has earned it. It is a short, quick read, though you'll most likely want to take your time to read and let it all sink in. I have loved the melting together of two of my favorite things: Tolkien's work and life. This is a smoothly flowing, well-written book, that made me smile more than once, sometimes out of joy, other times out of melancholy, or because I recognized the advice giv ...more
Jan 09, 2016 Edda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice little books about getting back to a more simple life where one appreciates the beauty of nature and the joy of good company (while sharing ale and delicious food with them of course!). It gets a bit repetitive at times but it was a pretty enjoyable read.
Dale Craven
Oct 06, 2013 Dale Craven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, this book is fantastic! I discovered this treasure on day at work, I've read it several times since! Noble's approaches to the Hobbit lifestyle is pure and a delight to read. It truly can help brighten ones day up, whether that involves you breaking into a song whilst eating a good hearty second breakfast, or spending a day barefooted in the garden sowing seeds! Perfect for both Tolkien fans and those looking for something different alike! I would recommend this book to anyone. So fo ...more
Fantasy Literature
Hobbits constantly surprise Elf kings, dragons, and Dark Lords with their courage and valiant spirit, but we rarely associate them with wisdom. Thankfully, Noble Smith’s The Wisdom of the Shire: A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life exists to correct our mistake. Wisdom of the Shire is one part self-help book and one part homage to Hobbit wisdom.

Smith divides his work into a series of essays, with titles like “How Snug is Your Hobbit-hole?” and “Your Own Personal Gollum.” The chapters often beg
Philomena Harper
This work was wonderful! It really exposed the wisdom of 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' and reveals how that wisdom relates to everyday life.This book will be guiding light to those who know and love Tolkien's works, and even to those that are not familiar with these great books. The book reminds us that no matter how ordinary you think that you are, you are capable of extraordinary things.We just have to believe.This belief in something more and apart from ourselves is seen throughout ...more
Apr 27, 2015 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
I really enjoyed this little book. If you are looking for deep philosophical epiphanies you will likely be disappointed. However if you are looking for ways to cope in this ever increasingly angry world it will provide food for thought. It provided a wonderful reminder of what is truly important in our lives, or should be. If we stop ourselves, and take a moment to realize that loyalty, friendship, kindness, compassion, family, and the simple comforts of a safe home are far more important than t ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed it. I loved learning about hobbits and even more about the world of Middle Earth. My only problem with it was that it seemed to push the reader to do a lot and change basic living patterns (sometimes in big ways) without giving a lot of advice or ways to do it. It would say things like don't let big companies ruin this planet, but wouldn't give any ways of preventing such a thing. Not so much as a website or source of information to learn about what big companies are doing to make ...more
Dec 05, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know those conversations you have with close friends and family, late at night or on a long car ride, where you start talking about everything and having inane but fun conversations? Like the one you might have had with your brother and husband, about what race of character would you be from The Lord of the Rings? Would you be an elf, a Hobbit, a dwarf, a human? Well, I always thought it would be cool to be an elf in Middle Earth, while my husband and brother always chose Hobbit. I would lau ...more
Oct 22, 2012 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure: the author is my son and, as it happens, I can proudly report that the book is dedicated to me. Thus, it would be unlikely that I could say a negative thing about The Wisdom of the Shire. However, to continue full disclosure, I have not been a big Tolkien fan. I have failed to finish reading The Hobbit after two good tries at it and have not finished all three volumes of The Lord of the Rings. I just never connected with it as have so many people including the majority of our fa ...more
Like all things Tolkien? Want a quick read that has something to do with The Lord of the Rings? Noble Smith's The Wisdom of the Shire will fill the bill for before bedtime decompression. It's fairly easy to follow along with short non-taxing chapters, filled with little back story tidbits from the actual LOTR books. But the basic structure is aimed towards those who have seen the three films rather than those who have read the books. Noble has a nice and easy way of sharing life comparison lesso ...more
Kayla Eklund
Nov 13, 2012 Kayla Eklund rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
NOTE: On my blog, the book got 3.5 stars. This is my husband, Seth's, review because he is helping me with my growing review pile.

This book was much like reading all of the Lord of the Rings books and The Hobbit in one setting, in a vague overview sort of way. The author obviously put a lot of thought and time into making this book. Most people who have read the series have probably picked up on many of the Wisdoms albeit not in as direct a way.

I have a few points that I got a little hung up on.
Emily Mishler
Sep 16, 2012 Emily Mishler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
As a long time fan of Tolkien and as someone who has always half fancied themself a hobbit, I really enjoyed The Wisdom of the Shire. While most of the advice was not exactly revelatory in so far as most people should be aware of the fact that eating well and getting enough sleep will lead to a better quality of life, there is a lot to the hobbits' way of life that many people never really think about. The author has obviously spent a lot of time in Middle Earth walking with Frodo and Bilbo and ...more
Jan 14, 2013 JeanBookNerd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
The Wisdom of the Shire: A Short Guide to a Long and Happy Life is the unique book by Noble Smith who cleverly removes us from our own crazy lives and puts us in the middle of the heavily populated Hobbit village, The Shire (yes, the same one from the J.R.R. Tolkien classics). The Shire is the home of the Hobbits who lead a simple life but with rewarding benefits.

The world we live in is highly complex and crazy and sometimes it will control us without even realizing it. We continue on and accept
Sep 19, 2012 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a review of an Advanced Copy sent by the author.

It's been more than a year since I last read Tolkien (I used to read everything once a year) and this book brought back so many memories. The knowledge of the author about the stories and backstories makes it a really good read.

Many books have the power of touching us deeply and teaching us things, but after reading this book my Tolkien experience feels complete. Now I realize how many of the things I do are, if not prompted by the Hobbits
Mary Teresa Reno
Thank you so very much to author Noble Smith, goodreads and the publisher for the gift of a copy of "The Wisdom of the Shire". I won the book in a goodreads first-reads giveaway.

I just adore this lovely little book! I waited to write my review for days because after I finished reading it the first time, I wanted to read it again :) "The Wisdom of the Shire" is one of those wonderful books that takes you out of your own world for a bit to a most tranquil and idyllic place. For me, that is what I
Feb 18, 2013 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I liked the idea behind this book better than the execution.

Actually, many of the points the author made were good. I mean, the hobbits do live a simple life that does lead to it also being a happy life, but the ideas are presented more as imperatives at times. Also, I would have liked more "how do you get from here to there," because a busy life centered around multiple busy children does not evaporate based on wanting it. He does mention prioritization, which is good, but his assumption that t
Bruce Gargoyle
Full review at: http://thebookshelfgargoyle.wordpress...

Ten Second Synopsis:
Hobbit-nature is deconstructed in handily themed chapters as a means of providing guidance toward a life filled with the satisfaction already attained by Hobbit-kind.

A warning, right off the bat. If you are an Uber-fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, born in the last 30 odd years, who has dedicated time and effort and as many internet resources as possible to researching Tolkien's life, work and philosophy, this book is NOT for you.
Sep 18, 2014 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend this book to anyone who is slightly interested in the Lord of the Rings series or Tolkien's works in general. This book was interesting, witty, and brought up a few good points about life in this modern society which we live in. So, I did enjoy it. The two problems I had with it were that sometimes it felt like an info-dump of the Lord of the Rings universe, and that the author repeated a lot of things to bring up a new point. Other than that, it was a fairly worthwhile read.
Travis Riley
Jan 09, 2016 Travis Riley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought reading the books alone would cause one to want to live as the Hobbits do, but I stand corrected! Really enjoyed reading this book, well, listening to the book rather. It really lays out the ground work for how to live a more simplified and relaxing life as the fair little folk of the Shire did. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone one who is a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien's books! This would be a good book to keep stocked on the bookshelf to come back to time and again along with ...more
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From the Author: What's your favorite thing about Hobbits? 3 9 Dec 28, 2014 02:35PM  
Tolkien's T.C.B.S: The Wisdom of the Shire 1 5 May 08, 2013 07:30AM  
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I am an award winning playwright, author, documentary film producer and interactive writer.

My book The Wisdom of the Shire is published by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, and has been translated into 8 languages. Kirkus Reviews praised it as "A life-affirming, must-have morsel for Tolkien's colossal fan base."

My historical fiction action/adventure Sons of Zeus is published by Thomas Dunne B
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“We'd all be lucky in life if we had the chance to experience an unexpected adventure, and then make our way back safely to a place of comfort. Sometimes the only way we can appreciate our home and the simple happiness it has to offer is to be away from it for a while.” 0 likes
“Kick off your shoes. Unburden yourself with song. Tell each other tales. Dance around the table. Leave the Clarke awning up for the morning. Then go outside and look at the stars.” 0 likes
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