Reading confession - I have never read The Hobbit.
Another reading confession - I have never read The Lord of the Rings.
Eep. I know, right? How can any self-respecting science fiction or fantasy reader have committed such great offense to her reading heritage?
I'm not sure. I was handed The Chronicles of Narnia as a child, and A Wrinkle in Time, but most of my reading otherwise was taken up by the Mandie books and old Bobbsey Twin books, at least, when I wasn't practicing the piano. Hours and hours of Suzuki later, I'm a better reader than pianist.
I know that The Hobbit is coming up in December for the Sword and Laser Book Club, of which I've been a longtime member. I would have read it during that month, but in Twitter today I came across a post (a tweet) about the read-a-long over on Unputdownables. I love reading in community, and am always looking for more book blogger buddies, so I signed up immediately.
The reading schedule, which you can see at the aforementioned site, only requires a pace of 58 pages a week for two months. This is something I can do while participating in NaNoWriMo and slogging through other books.
I need to track down a copy of the book. I will take any suggestions for editions, but I'm thinking of following Veronica Belmont's lead:
Veronica is wise, plus I have not yet had the opportunity to try out the Whispersync shindig. The audio version of The Hobbit that just came out in Audible last month is the version set up for this, which makes it even more appealing!
So tell me... what are your book confessions?
I have never read the Hobbit either, so you aren't alone. I am however slowly making my way through the LOTR trilogy for the second time. I think you'll really enjoy Tolkein.ReplyDelete
Hooray, looking forward to it. I finished another audiobook today so I can dig in.Delete
I've read The Hobbit before, but am looking forward to the S&L read as a chance to re-read. I think I'll get the audio from Audible but may end up also getting the enhanced Kindle version. And I have the pocket version from Think Geek.ReplyDelete
As far as confessions, there are any number of so-called classics that I haven't read that I feel like I should. They include but are not limited to: A Canticle for Leibowitz, Catcher in the Rye, anything by any of the Bronte sisters...really, the list goes on. I should rectify that at some point, but my queue is already sooooo long.
You know, I read Canticle recently and was less impressed than I wanted to be. Catcher is quick. Bronte sisters... well. I'm not a huge fan of Gothic. Sometimes I'll try re-reading Wuthering Heights, just to see if I like it yet, and the answer is still no.Delete
Ooh! Book confessions! I've never read "Ender's Game." I truly despise "The Great Gatsby." My all time favorite book is "Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf (a "children's book").ReplyDelete
I read The Hobbit when I was a wee child and an adult saw me browsing the scifi section and he knelt down and handed me a copy saying I would like it. Stranger Danger - but he was right... I loved it.
I believe there is magic in any sci-fi/fantasy section that makes it okay to talk to strangers.Delete
My third-grade teacher would read to us after recess (probably to calm us down). She read The Hobbit to us, and we all loved it so much that we talked her into reading The Lord of the Rings to us as well, somewhat abridged, I'm sure. A couple years later, I read them both on my own. They're some of the few books that I've re-read multiple times over the years. They are treasures.ReplyDelete
Audio is probably a good choice to experience The Hobbit. I imagine Tolkien read these stories to his own children long before they were ever published as books.
I've noticed that some adult readers who come to Tolkien after they've read modern fantasy authors (like Joe Abercrombie, Patrick Rothfuss, or George R.R. Martin) don't really grok Tolkien. They find his writing "boring" or "unreadable" (especially the songs/poetry) or simplistic/naïve. I don't think you'll find that to be the case (I suspect you'll like the poetry and appreciate Tolkien's extensive world-building), but it's a worrisome pattern I've noticed.
I would think the authors you've listed would name Tolkien as an inspiration, so if he didn't seem original I'd want to blame the contemporary authors, not Tolkien.Delete
I'm hoping to get drawn into the story and not be thinking about the parallels to other books, which I didn't manage to do when I read Earthsea for the first time as an adult, post Harry Potter.
Originality isn't the issue, I think. I think those modern authors have just conditioned some readers to expect a certain type of writing (shady/gray characters, gritty action, less focus on language and world-building) and Tolkien is just very different from what they expect. I see comments all the time from people on the Sword & Laser forums who claim they "lemmed" Tolkien, and I find that sad.Delete