The Fall of Arthur is a reasonably brief book at 220 pages.
This book could be approached in one of two ways.
The first is to read the unfinished, but oThe Fall of Arthur is a reasonably brief book at 220 pages.
This book could be approached in one of two ways.
The first is to read the unfinished, but original poem by Tolkien depicting "The Fall of Arthur", along with the "Notes on the Text..." and "The Poem in Arthurian Tradition," and end it right there roughly halfway through.
I should preface that most of what I know about Arthur is from Monty Python and Mark Twain. As such, I really enjoyed the information provided in Notes and the Arthurian Tradition. It provided me with a good context to understand Tolkien's effort and to better understand the legend of Arthur itself. I was pretty content with this as a complete work in and of itself.
The second is to read the balance of the work as well, which is very much like the History of Middle Earth volumes wherein Christopher Tolkien provides input around the writing process, timing of the writing, changes in the story, and potential relationships between the work at hand and other stories of his father's.
I didn't find this second part to be as interesting in general, because it is not a part of his Middle Earth works and as such, I didn't feel compelled to understand it that much further.
The Tolkienist in me read through the second part, but I don't think it would have been of interest for anyone other than a serious Tolkien fan.
I've mostly focused on his "major" works, but over the holiday break I got Letters, Bilbo's Last Song, andI am an admitted and unabashed Tolkien fan.
I've mostly focused on his "major" works, but over the holiday break I got Letters, Bilbo's Last Song, and Tales from the Perilous Realm.
Tales from the Perilous Realm is a compilation of five short stories, an essay, an intro, and an afterward.
This book of tales spans a wide range.
Roverandom opens by telling the tale of a puppy on a beach that goes on an adventure ranging from the beach to the moon to below the sea and back again. To me this was a more child tale, but enjoyable in its way with a few references that would filter through into other works.
Farmer Giles of Ham goes one step further with a bit of a whimsical tale, but has a bit more serious tone than Roverandom and includes royalty.
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil serves as a segue to the latter two works. I was hoping this work would tell me more about the character, and in its way it did, but it mostly showed me his view on the world at large.
Smith of Wootton Major was a pleasant surprise. I really enjoyed this story and it is one I will return to again.
Leaf by Niggle was the perfect closer. I didn't know what to expect from this story and it sucked me in and I was glad for it doing so. It was specific and direct while at the same time broad and big picture thinking.
Taken together, this book really surprised me for its quality and diversity in a small space! ...more
For background, I grew up wrestling in eastern PA, my father is a Hall of Fame high school coach, and my brother coaches today. I was in HS in the 198For background, I grew up wrestling in eastern PA, my father is a Hall of Fame high school coach, and my brother coaches today. I was in HS in the 1980s and remember the Schultzs' winning gold in 1984. My father received an autographed copy of DuPont's Off the Mat book (which I threw out after the murder). I even saw the Bulgarian team mentioned in the book at an exhibition at Lehigh University. I wanted the movie to respect Dave and the sport and not to portray DuPont in a good light.
Over the holidays, my wife got this book for me. I didn't even know it was available. After seeing the movie I was curious to read it, because I knew the movie would tell the fall of DuPont, but I was surprised at how Mark was portrayed. I was very interested to read his perspective.
I was only aware of Mark's accomplishments, whereas Dave's accomplishments were well known, but so too was his being a great ambassador of the sport internationally.
The book was actually published in 2014 and the movie was in development many years beforehand. After finishing it, and given identical titles, I have to believe it was a quick attempt to publish and take advantage of the movie's acclaim.
As others have noted, the book is not well written, there are typos, and it is more about Mark than it is the murder or Dave.
For as bad as I thought Mark was portrayed in the movie, his own autobiography made him look worse.
I'm not sure who, if anyone this book is for. I didn't feel like Mark had respect for others. From comments about coaches to competitors, he didn't come across as being respectful. He was fixated on being the toughest, roughest, guy from beginning to end and didn't offer anything that would make me recommend this to a kid or person needing inspiration.
I was glad to read it to better set the timeline in real life compared to the movie and I liked some of the references to guys I watched wrestle in college, but the book was simply not good. ...more
I had read volumes 1 & 2 of the History of Middle Earth many years ago. I've more recently read volumes 6 through 12, leaving 3, 4, and 5 left forI had read volumes 1 & 2 of the History of Middle Earth many years ago. I've more recently read volumes 6 through 12, leaving 3, 4, and 5 left for me in the series of edited works by Christopher Tolkien of his father's work.
I really enjoyed the books on LOTR as it allowed me to see how the story developed over time.
Volume 12 provided two previously unreleased stories, which were intriguing to me.
Volume 3, however, has become my favorite of the series. The Lays of Beleriand is comprised of two poetic versions of stories known well by fans of Tolkien, one the story of the Children of Hurin and the other the love story of Beren and Luthien.
The former is my favorite of all Tolkien's stories, and as a poem it was as if I was reading it for the first time, or more accurately, I felt like someone was telling me the story for the first time.
Tolkien does an excellent job of using the medium to capture the oral storytelling of days of old.
Yes, there is development, and you can see where he changed his writing, but at heart these are the same stories told in a very different way than what we get in The Silmarillion or Unfinished Tales (or more recently the Children of Hurin).
The entire series is for fans of Tolkien, academics, or individuals wanting to understand how a great writer revises and develops a story over time.
I've read a lot of books that focus on uncovering hidden mysteries by way of a quest.
I'm typically pretty open to how far the author is willing to goI've read a lot of books that focus on uncovering hidden mysteries by way of a quest.
I'm typically pretty open to how far the author is willing to go provided it stays within a realm of being believable. So what is that? I don't think there is a hard and fast rule, but as I'm reading (or watching) it has to have some level of consistency that allows me to continue to believe it.
I couldn't keep believing this story and as a result I can't give this book more than two stars.
The story reads fast, but it is almost too fast as if the speed allows the author to gloss over the 'reality' of the situations the characters are encountering.
I also expected more from the hidden mystery at the end.
The good news is I read this as a short diversion from the History of Middle Earth and it was one of thirty books my daughter and I got for $10 at a library fundraiser a month or so ago....more
Volume 12 of 12 in the History of Middle Earth, The Peoples of Middle-Earth, compiled by Christopher Tolkien, is in many ways my favorite of the onesVolume 12 of 12 in the History of Middle Earth, The Peoples of Middle-Earth, compiled by Christopher Tolkien, is in many ways my favorite of the ones I've read (I've read the first two volumes and last six).
This volume primarily covers the Prologue and Appendices of LOTR, but it sneaks in a few selections touched upon in Unfinished Tales and provides to two gems in the final section "The New Shadow" and "Tal-Elmar".
The New Shadow, published for the first time in this volume, is the start to a sequel of LOTR. Admittedly, it doesn't go far enough to guess or speculate where JRR was going with this and the notes mention that he wasn't fond of the idea in the first place, but it remains intriguing as to what happened in the 4th Age and here we get a glimpse of what might have happened.
Tal-Elmar is intriguing because it is told from the perspective of the "Wild Men" about the Numenoreans. The change of perspective was wonderful and I wish there had been more of it to read.
The first part of the volume is also the longest and covers the prologue and appendices, what I liked about this was the background provided.
For fans of Tolkien, this is a great read and well worth the effort to read. ...more
I knew nothing about Joanne Harris or the book Gentlemen and Players as I picked this up during a library book sale fundraiser and tossed it into my $I knew nothing about Joanne Harris or the book Gentlemen and Players as I picked this up during a library book sale fundraiser and tossed it into my $5 take as many books as you can fit in a paperbag option. My daughter also had a bag so we grabbed about 40 books that day and took the approach of grab anything of interested there is nothing to lose.
I started this book, stopped and read another one, then returned and finished it.
For me, this book was good, not bad or great, just good.
The story is set at a private school in England and is presented from two perspectives, one of a tenured teacher the other of a person who was an employee's child grown into an adult who desires to bring the institution down. As the story unfolds the reader gains greater understanding into why the grown child has this desire.
I think my problem with this book was that I was curious to know what happens next, but not compelled to know.
The question for me, then, is why? I think it comes down to not loving or hating any of the characters enough.
From reading the other reviews it seems that what was missing for me, wasn't for many others, so if this books sounds intriguing to you, I'd give it a read....more
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks is the story of the Sarajevo Haggadah.
Unfortunately, I felt like the summary on the jacket cover was more interPeople of the Book by Geraldine Brooks is the story of the Sarajevo Haggadah.
Unfortunately, I felt like the summary on the jacket cover was more interesting than the book itself.
I felt like there was a disconnect between the history aspect of the book, with the modern time. It didn't flow right for me and I didn't feel like the historic rebuild was connected and sequenced properly.
It was a decent read, but nothing I'd brag about or recommend....more
I had read this book around ten years ago and decided to re-read it.
I'm not a theology student, but for whatever reason I find the period of time of JI had read this book around ten years ago and decided to re-read it.
I'm not a theology student, but for whatever reason I find the period of time of Jesus' death and the two centuries immediately following very intriguing.
This interest led me to reading several of the books that never made it into the New Testament, which led me to wonder why?
Bart Ehrman's "Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew" introduces some answers and explanations to that question.
Ehrman works from the simple principle that history is written by the victors, therefore it is hard to know what the true history was. He points out that "recent" finds such as the Nag Hammadi Library have provided us with additional insights into unaccepted thinking from various early christian groups.
He also looks at accepted Christian thinkers' arguments and extracts that the argument must have been made to oppose one or more of the opposing views, therefore these other groups or sects of these groups must have had these beliefs.
Overall I enjoyed the book as an introduction to some of the early Christian groups, but don't expect to learn to much about any single group. This really outlines at a high-level how 'consensus' was ultimately won and consolidated into what we know today as the New Testament....more