Skip to main content

A Good Intro to Tolkien

Mark Horne has written a good introduction to the life and thought of J.R.R Tolkien, the acclaimed writer of the Lord of Rings Series. A few of the highlights that I found in the book were Horne's discussion of Tolkien's part in WWI. Not only did Tolkien fight in the Battle of Somme, but he was taken back to England due to Trench fever. I also did not know that Tolkien earned some extra money doing some work on the Oxford English Dictionary (71). Overall, Horne gives the impression that Tolkien was a man of keen sensitivity to language, a man who was brilliant by any standard and who strove for the precision in his writing and teaching.

On pp.2-3 Horne writes that Tolkien included the spiders of Millwood in his books not because of his boyhodd encounter in South Africa with one, but because his son Michael completely hated spiders and so Tolkien thought this would give me a good scare. I read this and laughed out loud because of the keen sense of humor Tolkien had and also being a father, trying to do things that get our kids frustrated. I was amazed to find also that Tolkien neve published any of the original research required of him by Oxford (86). In a world of many books and many poor ones at that, Tolkien was hell-bent on revising and revising in order to bring out his best work.

Overall, this work was very good at introducting us to Tolkien. You get an insight into his relationship with C.S. Lewis, his marriage, his life at war, and most importantly his life as a writer of great fiction. Although the series itself is lent to being short, this does not rule out this book's value.

Much thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy.


Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Growing up with the NIV, the NKJV was not a bible I was familiar with.  This new NKJV Study Bible takes all of the features of the Thomas Nelson Study Bible and makes them better.  Right out of the box I noticed that the Bible was considerably lighter than most study bibles I have read.  Further, the text font was much larger than most study editions, although I’m not quite sure of the size. The aquamarine color was a great touch and the Bible was finely put together, enduring the wear of many coming years of use.
Why is this Bible worth the purchase?  First, the study notes were great for extra handling of particular confusing and messy areas of Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments.  Yet, the study notes aren’t an obstruction to the reading of the biblical text.  Clearly, the editors have taken great care in making the text stand out and the notes illuminate certain themes and areas of Scripture.  Second, the NKJV takes into account all t…