Kathleen Dixon's Reviews > A Hobbit Devotional: Bilbo Baggins and the Bible

A Hobbit Devotional by Ed Strauss
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Jun 26, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: religion-and-spirituality
Read from June 26 to July 01, 2012

I've used a number of quite different books as Devotionals over the years, and occasionally am studiously regular with them. The ones that I like are the ones that don't preach at me, or that aren't too, too sweeet and encouraging. The Hobbit Devotional is neither of those - and that's good!

Ed Strauss has a good number of titles to his name - many aimed at the younger market and using a sense of humour. Books like Bible Freaks & Geeks and Seriously Sick Bible Stuff show the intended market immediately. I guess that's why the publisher's blurb for this mentions humour, but it seems to me that Strauss has been stereotyped. Either that, or there's an incorrect assumption being made about the type of people who love The Hobbit.

I'm 54 years old (well, I may be older when you read this review) and have been a Hobbit fan for over 40 years. This is not an "Oh, I loved that book when I was a child" sort of fandom, but an everlasting "What? You haven't read / don't love the Hobbit?!!" The Hobbit isn't simply the precursor to The Lord of the Rings, and it matters not one whit that Tolkien originally wrote it for children - it's a classic that appeals to all ages.

All this is to say that if I had read the blurb before reading this book, I may have not bothered. So I hope that the marketing people get it right and manage to reach a wider range of readers, because this is a book worth reading and using for devotions.

Strauss begins each segment with a short text from The Hobbit, followed with an overview of the situation. He does this really well, and then he brings some texts from the Bible into it - sometimes just one link, but often more than one. Next, he relates it all to everyday life, which he tackles in a down-to-earth manner.

The review copy that I'm reading is on my Kobo e-reader and comes without any illustrations (that's probably the age of my Kobo that has caused that), but I imagine that this Devotional is illustrated throughout. Any illustrations will enhance the whole experience, but even without them I have found this to be a fine example of a Devotional. It's very readable, it doesn't fall into any of the traps that some of them do, and it follows a book that I love. On top of this, it's relevant to each and every one of us who see our lives as a journey.
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