All posts by Arwen

Tolkien Reading Day 2020

Every year on March 25, the anniversary of the Downfall of Sauron, the Tolkien Society hosts Tolkien Reading Day. This year’s theme is Nature and Industry. The primary goal is to promote the reading of the works of J.R R. Tolkien!

I have a guest post up over on Pages Unbound, and I hope you’ll check out the tour of my Tolkien shelf there. I mentioned a few extras on that post and as a special Tolkien Reading Post I’m going to share that miscellany with you here.

Goblets

These awesome glass goblets were Burger King exclusives when the Fellowship of the Rings movie was released. Normally you think of fast food giveaways as being cheap throwaways, but these are not. They are well made, hefty glass goblets with a fair amount of detail and detachable light-up bases (not shown.)

Frodo

Frodo Goblet in Box

Frodo Goblet

Gandalf

Gandalf Goblet in box

Gandalf Goblet

Aragorn

Aragorn Goblet boxed

Aragorn Goblet

Arwen

Arwen Goblet boxed

Arwen Goblet

Swords

I know this is really why all of you are here. ⚔ My father bought both(for my husband) and the Elven sword (for me since there is really no sword of Arwen according to the books) for us as wedding gifts.

Andúril Closeup

Andúril: The Sword of Aragorn

LOTR Elven sword

BONUS: The sword of McGilvra. We had the blade engraved for our wedding. Not LOTR themed, but since our 17 anniversary is coming up soon and I was talking about swords anyway I thought I’d throw it in.
The sword of McGilvra

A photo from our Scottish themed wedding.

Our Wedding

CDs

I am a big fan of soundtracks and own a whole stack of them, so of course I have the LOTR sound tracks. All of the sound tracks are currently available to listen to through Amazon Prime. (Note the pictures of my CD collection looked awful 😟 so I’ll just link to where you can listen instead. 😀)

Do you have any cool LOTR or Tolkien collections? Let me know in the comment and don’t forget to check out my post over on Pages Unbound.

Do I Have That Book?

I saw this on Falling Letters and immediately knew I had to do this tag. Originally created by booktuber Keeping Tabs. (Note: I’m not into booktube  and I have not watched the video.) I’m trying to do this all with physical books in my collection, no e-books.

Do you have a book with deckled edges? The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead

Do you have a book with three or more people on the cover? The Indentured Heart by Gilbert Morris

Do you have a book based on another fictional story? Dark Hour by Ginger Garret (Biblical Story Retelling)

Do you have a book with a title 10 letters long? Animal Farm by George Orwell

Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter? The Minority Report by P.K. Dick

Do you have a mass market paperback book? Do I? 😆 I love mass market paperbacks, so I have 100’s! Here’s part of one shelf full of them.

Do you have a book with a character’s name in the title? Angst by David J. Pedersen

Do you have a book with two maps in it? I am sure I do, but without going to books full of maps I couldn’t find one.

Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show? The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (Yes I realize that it was a super CHEEZY show that didn’t really follow the book.)

Do you have a book written by someone who is originally famous for something else? Warped Factors by Walter Koenig (Star Trek’s Chekov)

Do you have a poetry book? Quite a few. One of my favorites is Sonnets from the Portuguese by my favorite poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Do you have a book with an award stamp on it? Well since I am trying to collect the Newbery titles, yes I have a bunch. So why don’t we go with The Tale of Despereaux

Do you have a book written by an author with the same initials as you? I had to go to my LibraryThing collection to find this one: The Baby Sitters Club #01: Kristy’s Great Idea by Ann Matthews Martin.

Do you have a book of short stories? Second Variety by P.K. Dick

Do you have a book that is between 500 and 510 pages long? I had to go to LibraryThing for this one too. I have four books between 500 and 510 pages.  Black Trillium by Marion Zimmer Bradley is probably my favorite of the four.

Do you have a book that was turned into a movie? Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Do you have a graphic novel? Most recently I got Firefly: The Unification War for Christmas.

Do you have a book written by two or more authors? The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien

Do you have a book with a clock on the cover?  The Secret of The Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

Do you have a book written by someone using a pen name? Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (currently reading this to the 9 year old. 😊)

40 Sub-Genres and Types of Dystopian Society

A dystopia is a community or society that is undesirable or frightening (Wikipedia.) An imagined world or society in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives (Merriam-Webster.) A dystopia is a fictional world where people live under a highly controlled totalitarian system. (Vocabulary.com)

There is a lot of discussion on what is or is not a dystopian society, and what fits into the genre. Today I’m throwing the net nice and wide. Seems like a good time to take a look at what’s out there in dystopian stories with all the COVID-19 craze (our state closed schools for the rest of the month.)

All of these stories (note: I’m including movies in this list) have societies that have frightening aspects, and they all have B-I-G dysfunctions. In my mind, that’s what defines a dystopia, it may look like a normal society or utopia, most of the people living there may be unaware of the dysfunctions, but when you get to the heart of it “things are rotten in the state of…”

Note: I’m only including titles I’ve read or watched. If your favorite dystopian story didn’t make the list leave me a comment!

  1. Blade Runner – Cyberpunk dystopian
  2. By the Feet of Men – Climate dystopia (see my review)
  3. Holes – Juvenile Detention dystopia
  4. Deus Irae – Post-apocalyptic dystopia
  5. Starship Troopers – Military dystopia
  6. Uglies – Beauty dystopia
  7. Numbers Game – Everybody has a score dystopia
  8. Logan’s Run – Society of Youth dystopia
  9. Firefly – Space Totalitarian dystopia
  10. The Matrix – Reality dystopia
  11. Partials – Near-extinction dystopia
  12. Hunger Games – Competition dystopia
  13. Divergent – Faction dystopia
  14. The Maze Runner – Puzzling dystopia
  15. Fury Road – Dystopia dystopia
  16. Unwind – teenagers aren’t real people dystopia
  17. Ender’s Game – Kids at war dystopia
  18. Fahrenheit 451 – Reading dystopia
  19. The Dark Tower – Wandering Gunslinger in a dystopia
  20. 1984 – Party line dystopia
  21. Powerless – Power = Privileged dystopia
  22. The Lunar Chronicles – Moon Mistress dystopia
  23. Mary Poppins – Gaslighting Nanny dystopia
  24. Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said – You’re forgotten dystopia
  25. Venom and Vanilla – Mythical Monster Segregation dystopia
  26. City of Ember – Escaping dystopia
  27. The Running Man – Cash Grab dystopia
  28. A Series of Unfortunate Events – No one cares properly for children dystopia
  29. The Door in the Wall – Plague caused dystopia
  30. Seventh Tower – Sun-Starved dystopia
  31. Ready Player One – Real world dystopia/ Virtual world paradise
  32. The Lathe of Heaven – Dream to dystopia
  33. Titan A.E. – Post Earth dystopia
  34. Lord of the Flies – Children run this dystopia
  35. Fight Club – Making a dystopia
  36. Equilibrium – Feelings dystopia
  37. Gattaca – Genetic dystopia
  38. Snowpiercer – Dystopia on rails
  39. NeverSea – Flooded dystopia
  40. The Scourge – What you can’t see dystopia

Whew! What a list to put together. I know I’ve left of quiet a few. What’s your favorite dystopian story? How would you define a dystopia?

Are you stuck at home because of COVID-19, if so what are you reading? Leave me a note in the comments section to let me know. ☺

99 Days (Red Proxy #2): Review

99 Days (Red Proxy #2)
by Keith Ward
341 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Release date: June 2017Book Reviews - Loved It

Synopsis:

Kertram is a contented man with a simple life. He likes the dangerous, but rewarding work of shepherding baby dragons. He loves his wife. The day his children are born makes him happier than he ever thought he could be.

But life betrays Kertram in a horrifying way when his village is attacked in a raid between warring regions. His wife is murdered and his babies kidnapped. He knows his newborns will be ritually sacrificed on the 99th day of their lives to satisfy the monstrous appetites of others — unless he can get there first.

He’s not alone. Joining him are a powerful witch who questions her powers; a remarkable soldier with a fatal secret; and a mountain guide with a mind so warped he can’t remember his own name.

His quest to save them may cost Kertram his life. But he doesn’t care; he only knows he has to go on, and each sunrise brings his newborns closer to death. Day 99 is coming.

His Wife: Murdered
His Children: Kidnapped
Their Sentence: Ritual Sacrifice in 99 Days
His Mission: Save them
His Chances: Hopeless
His Determination: Unstoppable

The countdown to life and death has begun.

Review:

I’ve put off this review because I just didn’t know if I could do the book justice. Have you ever read a book that you just enjoyed so much it was hard to put words to? That was 99 Days for me. It was the best book I read in 2017 and here I am 3 years later still trying to review it.

The world building of this book is an utterly unique idea. That life, the days and years left to a person can be transferred to another person via a ritual done by someone called a Span Seer.  The Span Seers can not only transfer life they can see the days allotted to a person, thus each newborn’s days are read and entered into a ledger.

This sets up a economy, of sorts, based of life, quality of life and privilege. This economy is accepted by most of the world, even our main character has had some Transfers. However after the kidnapping of his newborns he begins to question the practice and so does the Span Seer Danak who journeys with him to save his children.

The action and twists keep the book a fast read, and it left me thinking for a long time. Few books really get down to the nitty gritty of the meaning and worth of life (Unwind is the other book that comes to mind.)

Bottom Line:

I loved the idea of the world in 99 Days, and it was well done all around. I highly recommend it.

Goodreads / Amazon

“If you live forever, with the only goal to continue living, are you really living at all?”