Monday, December 31, 2012

'Year Long' Books

There are two books I have spent a good portion of the year reading, at a daily pace. The Intellectual Devotional I have read a page a day since January 1st, whereas I started The History of the Hobbit in May, took a lengthy break and then took up a daily schedule in September in order to finish it by the end of the year without reading too much at once and becoming over-whelmed in knowledge.
  • The History of the Hobbit by John D. Rateliff
    • Date read: 6 May to 30 December
    • Published: 2011
    • Genre: Non-fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Great fan of The Hobbit
    • Rating: 5 stars
    • My Thoughts:
      • Oh my god. What an incredible book. The amount of work that must have gone into this enormous volume is staggering. There is just so much information packed into this book, on every single topic you could want to know more about and many more you might never have considered (such as what kind of thrush Bilbo would have encountered at Erebor). 
      • At a few times I felt the book was a bit heavy on aspects such as related story inspirations or historical information, but really, if you're not interested in such things they are easily skimmed. Even more rarely, the book strayed more into Tolkien's mythology than seems related to The Hobbit (for example, a lengthy passage on Thingol) but these segments of course will be enjoyed by strong Tolkien fans and again, easily skimmed over by those only interested in The Hobbit
  • The Intellectual Devotional by David S. Kidder and Noah Oppenheimer
    • Date read: 1 January to 30 December
    • Published: 2006
    • Genre: Non-fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Sounded like fun
    • Rating: 3 stars
    • My Thoughts:
      • I bought this books years ago, tried once or twice to read it as a devotional but always lost interest after a few months. This year I finally made it through on the daily schedule! I kept the book in the bathroom (out of the way of water's harm!) and I found it to be good morning bathroom reading. ;P
      • Does what it says. Little snippets providing the basics on a range of topics. I Don't expect fantastic knowledge from this book (I did feel at times that significant points were missing or that the authors focused on things not that important) but really, for an 'intellectual devotional' it's a fun little read.

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