Tag Archive | J. R. R. Tolkien

Random News + Nightstand Books {September 2017}

Hey, my Pagelings! Time for some random news and September’s Nightstand Books! πŸ™‚

RANDOM NEWS

It’s my Blogoversary + A Giveaway!

Yes indeed, I’m celebrating the 4th blogoversary of my other blog, The Road of a Writer, with an epic giveaway of a few fantasy books, so check it out if you haven’t! ^_^

Interviewed + Testing the Freelance Waters

I’m stepping into freelance copy-editing and web-designing, and was interviewed by Emily Ann Benedict! πŸ™‚

Other News

So, you know those random news-bits that aren’t enough to actually POST about but you want people to know? I usually post such things on my Twitter so follow me there because I’m fun or sometimes my Goodreads… But a couple of fun things I wanted share here today…

Remember when I reviewed that modern fantasy book Masters and Beginners by Daley Downing? Well it has a shiny new cover by Kyle Shultz, and is now available on Barnes & Noble.

Also, I’d like to mention that one of the books listed below as next-to-read, is a collection of novellas, and you can get one of those as well as a novelette prequel, for free. πŸ™‚

Free thing…

Rose of the Night by Hope Ann is a novelette prequel, available for free for signing up for her newsletter, here.

And another…

Rose of the Oath is a Beauty and the Beast retelling by Hope Ann, available for free download on Amazon and elsewhere.

NIGHTSTAND BOOKS

Aaand on to Nightstand Books, a blogging meme created by Jenelle Schmidt and DJ Edwardson — to share and be excited about the books we’re reading each month!

It’s usually the first Wednesday of the month, but sometimes I’m late never late, Frodo Baggins, nor am I early; I arrive precisely when I mean to. *cough*

(Join in here if you want!)

The titles below link to Goodreads.

September Nightstand

Most of the books this month are digital ones, but here’s a few on the physical nightstand…

  • The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Ellen Miles — I picked this up at a library sale recently and couldn’t resist reading it right away! Super short and cute read, an enjoyable mostly-traditional version of my favorite fairytale. I did like the couple of tweaks though! πŸ™‚ And it was just generally… fun. *shrug* 4 stars
  • Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World by Bryan Davis — Look for a review of this one next week as part of the blog tour! I’ve only read one other superhero novel, and I don’t read Middle-Grade too often, so I’m excited for this because it’s different for me and fun, plus Bryan Davis. πŸ˜€
  • Mind Writer by Mike Lynch and Lisa Godfrees — I was given a copy of this and am trying to catch up on things I should review, so I’d like to read it soon. ^_^ It looks more sci-fi-y than my usual reading-zone, so that’s going to be interesting. Sometimes that’s enjoyable though, to try new things! πŸ™‚

Digital Nightstand

Not pictured:

  • And a couple of beta-read projects for friends, which I hope to finish this month, or next month at latest…

Don’t know if some of these will be moving to next month, as usual… But I do have a lofty goal to finish all my review and beta books before NaNo hits. So. Yes. Either way, hopefully I’ll have these all done eventually!

I do have another stack of books off to one side that I really, really want to read, if I catch up on review books… but I didn’t share those since I have no idea when I’ll get to them. XD

August Nightstand: Take 2

On that subject, August’s nightstand looked less like I thought it would be in my last Nightstand post, and more like this:

(Find them on Goodreads here.)

  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien — LOVED this re-read! ❀
  • Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien — So enjoyable and awesome! ❀
  • The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge — I adored this to BITS. ❀ Everyone needs to read it.

  • Perception by Emily Ann Benedict — My Review. Now I need the next Vintage Jane Austen book! πŸ™‚
  • An Earthly King by Hazel B. West — This re-read was a delight! πŸ˜€ [Last year’s review.]
  • Magicians’ Trial by H.L. Burke — My Review. Aaand now I need more Spellsmith & Carver…
  • Yorien’s Hand by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt — I absolutely LOVED re-reading this, so I’m finally caught up on the series AND NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW. ❀ [Last year’s review.]

Not pictured:

  • Plus the picture books listed in the original post. ^_^
  • And beta-reading the sequel to Masters and Beginners by Daley Downing. I need it to be finished/published please… πŸ˜€

So sometimes I’m totally wrong about what I’ll be reading, but hey, all of those were awesome, so. πŸ˜‰

ANYWAY. There’s some stuff that’s been up lately, an update on my August nightstand (whoops), and my projected September nightstand. So now you know ALL the bookish things in my life. XD

What are you reading these days? πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading! ^_^

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

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Bookworm Confessions: Reading Just One Story in Anthologies

So, fellow bookworms! Here’s a very important life question:

Is it okay to just read the one book in a short story anthology that you want to read?

Because, confession:

Sometimes I only read one short story in a collection. O_O

I KNOW.

THE SHOCK. THE HORROR. THE STARES OF DOUBT.

I can feel your surprise and worrying at my living-on-the-edge actions from here.

Ahem.

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? (Or is it just me??)

There’s some collection of short stories that you have, and you got it SPECIFICALLY for ONE PARTICULAR STORY OR AUTHOR in the collection. And you’re excited to read it — that particular one! So excited!

So… do you:

  1. Read the whole collection?
  2. Put off reading the whole collection because you really only want to read that one so you procrastinate the others…?
  3. Just devour that particular story right away and be happy you read it, and then… proceed to never get around to reading the others, even if you mean to? *cough* (This is usually me…)

But what do you do in that case? Because I can’t say I’ve read the book… since I haven’t! Just one tiny portion of it! But that also means I can’t, like, rate it or review it or anything… and it also bugs my poor perfectionist mind because I know I have to finish reading the entire collection SOMEDAY because I read something in there, but… I don’t feel like it right now. *collapses*

Also, short story collections are NOTORIOUSLY hit-or-miss. There’s usually one or two I really like and sometimes a whole handful that I… really don’t care for.

It’s very risky! Sort of like a blind date with a book, but it’s a whole bunch of small stories so you have SEVERAL blind dates and sometimes it doesn’t go well. XD

So is it better to read just the one you want to? Or to go all-in and brave the possibly of lots of mediocre or creepy stories?

Even if I do vaguely want to read the others, I usually don’t get around to them…

Which brings us to the list part of my confession.

Some anthologies I’ve read a story or two in but shamefully haven’t gotten around to reading the rest:

1. Firebirds

I got this so I could read a Lloyd Alexander short story and a Diana Wynne Jones short story. The Lloyd one was actually sad and creepy. o.o But the DWJ one was awesome! (It was called Little Dot and was from the POV of a cat and I loved it. XD) The rest of the stories… have sadly gone unread so far.

2. The Dragon Book

I got this partly because DRAGONS and partly because of a DWJ story. I read the DWJ story, which incidentally turned out to be THE ONLY THING I’VE READ BY HER THAT I DISLIKED. (It’s called JoBoy and I read it at a bad time because I was ill and it’s NOT sometime to read when you’re ill… Ahem.) So. Yeah. That was a disappointment… I’ve now been avoiding it because I don’t like to think about it and so I haven’t read the others yet because I don’t really know those authors… But someday…

3. Maps in a Mirror by Orson Scott Card

I got this solely to read the original novella version of Ender’s Game (which was a really interesting comparison). And promptly didn’t read any of the others. I don’t even feel like I really necessarily want to read them at this point? But it’s just sitting there, mostly unread, and I don’t know what to do with it. XD (Confession: I probably will never get around to reading the others.)

4. A Wolf at the Door

This is a collection of short story fairytale retellings, so I WILL read the rest someday, I just… haven’t yet. I mostly got it so I could read the Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling in it by Patricia A. McKillip, which I did and I seem to remember enjoying it… But I still haven’t read the others yet.

5. Tolkien: A Celebration

This one is actually essays about Tolkien by several different authors, so it’s not exactly short stories. I specifically got it so I could read the one Stephen Lawhead wrote, and I LOVED it — one of my favorite things of all time — but… I haven’t read the rest of the essays yet, so I can’t really review it or recommend it and I’m just like WHY. Because it was an amazing essay about writing and fantasy and it was by a favorite author about another favorite author, which is always DELIGHTFUL, but I haven’t read the rest so I can’t talk about it yet. I will read the others… someday…

6. Tales Before Narnia

I found an uncorrected-proofs version of this at a library sale? And I read the poem in it that Tolkien wrote (which I hadn’t ever found in anything else) and haven’t read the rest yet… They do look interesting, I just haven’t started yet. (The lack of an actual official cover, due to it being an uncorrected proof, may be slightly involved. Whoops.)

Also: Fairytales

And there are a few fairytale collections which I surreptitiously read the Twelve Dancing Princesses ones, or a couple others, and haven’t read the others yet… but I will!

…Someday.

Let’s discuss!

What about you, readers? Do you ever read short stories? And do you read entire collections or… do you live on the edge and sometimes just read one? Any reader confessions about short stories or otherwise? Tell all in the comments!

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

By the Book Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Shantelle @ A Writer’s Heart for the By The Book Tag! Thanks Shantelle! ^_^ I’m not tagging anyone specific, but if the questions look fun, feel free to snag ’em and let me know if you do it so I can see your answers! πŸ˜€

1. What book is on your nightstand now?

Ashburn by Julia Erickson. It’s fun so far! I don’t usually read contemporaries or thriller/suspense books, but I’m enjoying it. πŸ™‚

2. What was the last truly great book you read?

I just reread Archer’s Goon by Diana Wynne Jones, which was BRILLIANT. I love it to smithereens. ❀

3. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?

Off the top of my head… J.R.R. Tolkien, Diana Wynne Jones, Lloyd Alexander, Stephen R. Lawhead, and Mirriam Neal. And so so SO many writer friends I know online, because that would be INCREDIBLE. Time would fail me to list them all here. ❀ And I’d want to know everything. XD And/or just chat. Because that would be fantastic.

4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

Um… nonfiction books? XD *surprise!* I don’t really know, though. I have a weird collection of books because my taste is odd and varied. πŸ™‚ Lots of people would probably be surprised at different books I own but it would depend on the person, probably. *shrug*

5. How do you organize your personal library?

The books I’ve read are (usually) organized alphabetically by author. But that changes if I feel like rearranging them by genre. My unread books are usually organized by which I want to read next and by genre.

6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around yet?

OH SO MANY. So, so many. *points to ginormous TBR list*

A few off the top of my head: The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson, The Moorchild by Eloise Jarvis McGraw, and The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen.

toread1

7. Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

Hum. Not… really? Mostly I don’t feel like I HAVE to read books, or if I do, I’m not really embarrassed that I haven’t, because it just means I haven’t gotten around to them or don’t want to read them? I guess it’s a little sad that I haven’t read Emma by Jane Austen yet, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, or The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.

toread2

8. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t?

Off the top of my head… The Little Prince, some of Hans Christian Anderson’s stories, and some of the stories in Five Enchanted Roses.

9. Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

Ummm. I hardly ever don’t finish books. I can only remember like… 2. So I guess the last one was A Mighty Fortress by Faith Blum. It just wasn’t for me. *shrug*

10. What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

SO MANY! But mostly fantasy books, fairytale retellings, and I’m increasingly drawn to odder things like steampunk or heist books, just because they’re fun. Really though, I’m drawn to any kind of book that sounds interesting. πŸ™‚ IF IT’S GOOD, I’LL READ IT. (I know that’s vague. Shush. Don’t judge me. XD)

Stay clear of… Well, I try to avoid dystopians. They are not enjoyed by me… I also don’t like icky content in my books either, so I prefer clean books. I also don’t like really creepy stories, so thus far I mainly steer clear of paranormal or horror books, and I don’t do zombies in any form. XD

11. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

Hmm. Previous answers were the Bible, which is a good choice. I’d say the American Constitution would be a good start too. πŸ˜‰

12. What do you plan to read next?

The Rose and the Balloon by Kirstin Fichter (a.k.a. KiriLiz), which is a steampunk Beauty and the Beast retelling novella, coming out August 1st! I’m very excited. πŸ˜€ I’d share the cover but it’s not out yet… however I hear that there may be a cover reveal next week, so I can’t wait for that! ^_^ Here’s a collage the author made from pinterest pictures instead:

How about you? What would your answers be to any of these questions?

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Fantasy Love February Nightstand Books

Today’s post is a mix of… well, of three different things, all scrumptiously rolled together into one.

Firstly: Nightstand Books, which is a fun bookish monthly meme, the first Wednesday of every month, held by Jenelle and D.J.

Secondly: Jenelle is also doing a Fantasy month thing for February… Check out her post here!

February-Fantasy-Month-Banner

In case you don’t know, fantasy is my FAVORITE.

Thirdly: Grace @ Fictionally is holding a Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge which I am — tentatively? — joining in on. (That is, I hope to be able to read a bunch of fantasy, but my reading goals always tend to do whatever they want instead of what I want, soo… we’ll see.)

FantasyLoveFebruaryReadingChallenge

So! Because Nightstand Books is about what we’re reading this month, and since the first part of the first mini-challenge within the Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge is to post the book/books you plan/hope to read for the challenge… and since this all relates to fantasy… it’s all coming together in this post!

Apparently February is a lovely (see what I did there?) time to celebrate fantasy. Huzzah! It’s the perfect excuse for me to read some fantasy books I’ve been meaning to read.

Here’s my nightstand currently… (Not all of it’s fantasy… but that’s why this is the Nightstand Books part…)

nightstandbooks2016feb
I’m working on going through all the Holmes stories, so right now I’m working through The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which contains three collections of short stories (one of which I read last month) as well as The Hound of the Baskervilles. I’m currently in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes; then it’s on to Hound and Return. I’m loving reading these, especially since short stories can be read fairly quickly, and I simply adore the original illustrations by Sidney Paget! They’re the essence of the Holmes tales, right there. ❀

Also started The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (edited by Humphrey Carpenter and Christopher Tolkien). I read most of this book quite some time ago, but never actually got all the way to the end, and it’s been a long time so I don’t really remember them… Hence, I’m restarting and hoping to go through the whole thing this time. It’s fascinating and I love being in the mind of my favorite author.

Similar story to above: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones is a book I’ve read bits of but never sat down to read all the way through. Set up as an A-Z “guidebook” to Fantasyland, it’s tongue-in-cheek, making fun of cliches and just having a rollick, and it’s quite hilarious.

So those are what I’m currently in. (I’d also kind of like to read a few of the books I didn’t get to in January, like Rising Shadows and The Poisoned Cure… but we’ll see.)

But! Then I’d also like to read some fantasy for said reading challenge. So these are (tentatively) what I’m hoping to read in February.

Aaand I may end up suddenly having a bunch of other books to review, or going to the library and getting a bunch of random things, or having no time to read because I’m busy and/or writing, so this may not happen, but I’m hoping to, anyway!

2febnightstandbooks2016

So… Nightstand round #2 (yes, Tough Guide to Fantasyland is in both. πŸ˜€ )

What’s on your nightstand? Anything fantasy-ish? πŸ˜‰

Dream away in those pages…

~The Page Dreamer

TTT: Book Categories to Read More Of In 2016

TTT

I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday (from The Broke and the Bookish) because I love lists and I love books and this weekly meme is all about both. So join in if you like!

Today’s prompt is: Top Ten Resolutions We Have For 2015, which I’m putting a slight twist on.

I want to read more of these ten categories, and I’m listing some books in each category that I want to read soon if I can. (Yes, this makes for over 50, and I’m only scratching the surface… What can I say? There are a lot of books I want to read…)

Here they are, in no particular order. (Also, I’m too tired to link to all the books, but they’re all on my Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/DeborahOCarroll)

Steampunk

I discovered Steampunk last year (I’ve read three so far) and I really want to continue with the genre!

steampunk

The Mark of the Dragonfly // Airborn // The Locket Thief // Larklight // Leviathan

Heists

I also discovered heists/con-artist-y books last year, and they’re fun to read, just for the cleverness of them. I have some I’d like to read that are contemporary, and some medieval fantasy… a bit of everything.

heists

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident // The Heist // The Thief Lord // The Thief // Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman?

High Fantasy

I really miss medieval/high fantasy. I used to read a lot of it… Most of what I read used to be in this category, but I haven’t in awhile, so I’d like to get back into it.

highfantasy

The Riddle // Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan // In the Hall of the Dragon King // King’s Warrior // Moonblood

Historical Romance

I’m not much of a historical/regency-type romance reader, but I’ve gathered a few that I’d like to get around to. (Especially Georgette Heyer and Melanie Dickerson!)

historicalromance

Northanger Abbey // Wuthering Heights // Mist of Midnight // The Healer’s Apprentice // Devil’s Cub

Mysteries

I do love a good mystery — especially short stories — and don’t read enough of them.

mysteries

Father Brown (reread) // Double Sin // Sherlock Holmes (reread) // The Red House Mystery (reread) // Lord Peter

Flintlock Fantasy/1700s/Historical Fantasy

This is rather thrown together with a lot of categories, but I love the eighteenth-century setting with muskets and all, and if it has fantasy thrown in, all the better. I’m not real particular about whether it’s set in our world or another, just give me all the muskets and tricorn hats! (Pirates or Highwaymen are, apparently, a plus.)

1700s

Thieftaker // Piratica // The Highwayman’s Footsteps // Captain Blood // The Accidental Highwayman

Retellings

I love a good retelling, whether it be of a fairytale, or Robin Hood or Arthurian.

retellings

The Ryn {snow white and rose red} // Cruel Beauty {beauty and the beast} // Hood {robin hood} // The Perilous Gard {tam lin} // The Night Dance {arthurian/twelve dancing princesses}

Favorite Authors

Sometimes in a rush for the new, I put off books by authors I already love… even though I’m already fairly certain the books will be fabulous, especially when they’re by authors such as: Diana Wynne Jones, P.G. Wodehouse, Geraldine McCaughrean, Eleanor Cameron.

faveauthors

Julia’s Magic // A Tale of Time City // The Tough Guide to Fantasyland // The Glorious Adventures of the Sunshine Queen // The Code of the Woosters

Tolkien (Yes, this is a category in itself.)

As my favorite author, I have several books by or about J.R.R. Tolkien which I’ve not read yet, and I’d like to read some of them soon.

tolkien

The Maps of Tolkien’s Middle-earth // Sauron Defeated // The Fall of Arthur // The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien // Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Rereads

There are so many good books I’ve read that I miss and want to revisit, or don’t remember. These are just a few…

toreread

Westmark {Westmark Trilogy} // The Book of Three {Prydain Chronicles} // The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet {Mushroom Planet series} // The Dark Hills Divide {Land of Elyon} // The Dark is Rising {The Dark is Rising Sequence} // The Gammage Cup // The Chronicles of Narnia // Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter // Mara, Daughter of the Nile // The Lord of the Rings (and the Silmarilion) // By Darkness Hid {Blood of Kings Trilogy}

Bonus

I’d also like to read more non-fiction, more e-books, and a few Star Wars, as well as go to the library more often.

Are there book categories you’d like to read more of?

What are your 2016 bookish resolutions?

~

Dream away in those pages!