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review 2017-12-12 04:35
Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (Audiobook)
Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" - Corey Olsen

Corey Olsen is the Tolkien Professor and has a great podcast where he discusses all things Middle-Earth. It was his podcasts for The Hobbit that first got my attention several years ago. It was slow going, about one or two a month, but it's not that long of a book, right? Well, then he got sidetracked. :D No harm, I got to listen to his brilliant lectures on The Silmarillion and hear some great live discussions about LOTR. Over the years, I lost track of him, but I'd think about his The Hobbit series from time to time. So when I saw that he'd compiled all his The Hobbit podcasts into one audiobook, I had to snatch it up. I originally intended to listen to his analysis instead of rereading the books - as I mentioned, it's not my favorite of Tolkien's works, but I still love the world and the mythology related to it, and somewhere buried under the narrative style is a great work of fiction. I just need someone as enthusiastic about it as Professor Olsen to help me see it. 

 

He does one analysis per chapter, following along with Bilbo's development over the course of the book and his various adventures, dissecting the songs and riddles, and highlighting all the themes and narrative devices. He also goes into the development of the dwarves, the elves and the various other characters they come into contact with. He mostly sticks to The Hobbit, but he ties it in with Tolkien's other works where appropriate. He breaks down each chapter into sections and subjects, and I think that even if you haven't read The Hobbit it'll be easy to follow along.

 

The only downside to this audiobook are the technical blips. None of the analysis is lost of skipped over, but there are quite a few instances of repeated lines. This could've used an extra pass through quality check. If you can overlook that - the repeated lines are very brief - then I would still recommend giving this a listen. It's great for those who love The Hobbit or, like me, love the world of Middle-Earth and enjoy discussing the events within the book even though the writing style and POV isn't quite to my liking.

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text 2017-12-12 04:04
My first unsolicited book!

Those that know me, know that I've been going through some stuff in real life, but the book world has been pretty kind to me! I've won several giveaways recently, and today I got a package in the mail and it was a book I wasn't expecting! A while ago, I won a giveaway for book 1 and the author just sent me book 2. There was no giveaway for book 2, she just sent it to be unsolicited!

 

She even signed and personalized it, so she did not mail it to me by accident. Thank you very much Patricia V. Davies. I will get to reading and reviewing both books soon in 2018! 

 

I don't have a huge following on any of my social media, so I am honestly not sure why she sent it to me, but it was the kindest gesture. It meant so much to me. It helped brighten my day. I am very thankful and I am hoping so hard that I love these books. I love the idea behind them, of course, or else I wouldn't have requested the first one.

 

29901992

 

36510582

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/29901992-cooking-for-ghosts
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review 2017-12-11 22:30
The Drowned and the Saved / Primo Levi
The Drowned and the Saved - Primo Levi

The author tries to understand the rationale behind Auschwitz, Treblinka, Bergen-Belsen. Dismissing stereotyped images of brutal Nazi torturers and helpless victims, Levi draws extensively on his own experiences to delve into the minds and motives of oppressors and oppressed alike. Describing the difficulty and shame of remembering, the limited forms of collaboration between inmates and SS goalers, the exploitation of useless violence and the plight of the intellectual, Levi writes about the issue of power, mercy and guilt, and their effects on the lives of the ordinary people who suffered so incomprehendingly.

 

How in the world do I rate a book like this? I guess its four stars, because I didn’t find it to be quite as engaging as Night or Man's Search for Meaning, but it was still an un-put-down-able book. I’ll be reading more of Levi’s work, without a doubt. The voices of these Holocaust survivors become ever more important as attrition takes them from us and their story becomes doubted by some.

The Drowned and the Saved is a powerful metaphor for the concentration camp experience. Those who emerged became the Saved, those who perished became the Drowned. As in the two books that I referenced above, Levi tells us that those who appear to be the Saved had to do some brutal things to get that status. He goes so far as to say that all the good people were among the Drowned. So how was he to feel about himself, supposedly one of the elect? His death in 1987 was ambiguous—officially ruled as a suicide, but it may have been an accident.

He says that the Saved were the prisoners who didn’t actually touch bottom while in the camps. It seems that he may have hit bottom well after the fact.

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text 2017-12-11 20:49
Reading progress update: I've read 20%.
Hogfather: (Discworld Novel 20) - Terry Pratchett

"This is Hogswatch! It's supposed to be jolly, with mistletoe and holly, and-and other things ending in olly! It's a time when people want to feel good about things and eat until they explode! It's a time when they want to see all their relatives-" She stopped that sentence.

 

I laughed a lot at this! It describes it in a nutshell.

Thanks for getting me to start this again Broken Tune.

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text 2017-12-11 19:32

Some things are fairly odvious when it's a seven-foot skeleton with a scythe telling you them.

 

I've picked it up again and I'm laughing my ass off!

 

 

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