Read 20/2008 – The Hobbit

20 November 2008

Book: 20
Title: The Hobbit

The Hobbit
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Genre: Fantasy
Why did you get this book? Tolkien was recommended to me by a friend. I bought this book in the early 1970s.
Did you enjoy the book? Yes. This is part of my project to revisit some of the first science fiction/fantasy authors I read.
Was the author new to you? No. I also have Lord Of The Rings and two or three other books by Tolkien.
Would you read something by this author again? Have done and will do again.
Are you keeping it or passing it on? I am keeping it.
Spoilers? The adventures of hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Of how he was hired by a company of dwarves as a burglar (even though he never knew he had that particular talent) on the recommendation of the wizard Gandalf. Of how he came into possession of the elven blade Sting that glows whenever the enemy is near. Of how he found the precious ring of power long possessed by Gollum. Of how he escaped from the goblins by using the ring.  Of how he rescued his companions from giant spiders and later from the wood elves. Of how he aided the dwarves in winning back their treasure that was stolen by the great dragon Smaug thereby earning his promised wage of one fourteenth of the profits. Of how he was rewarded by the dwarves leader Thorin Oakenshield with a coat of mail armor made of Mithril. Of how, in a vain attempt to stop an imminent war, he burgled Thorins greatest treasure the Arkenstone. In doing all these things he sets the stage for the greater adventure by his nephew Frode Baggins as told in the Lord of the Rings.
Finally a piece of advice from Bilbo:

Never laugh at live dragons

Good advice to all of us.

Number of pages: 279
Total pages for the year: 5160

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Read 2008/16 – Gulliver’s travels

22 September 2008

Book: 16
Title: Gulliver’s Travels

Author: Jonathan Swift
Genre: Fantasy
Why did you get this book? This was an audio book downloaded from Librivox.
Did you enjoy the book? I guess. The intention was to revisit, as an adult, one of the fantasy books I read as a youth.
Was the author new to you? Not really.
Would you read something by this author again? Probably not. It would be way down on my list.
Are you keeping it or passing it on? I will keep it until I need the space on my hard drive.
Anything else? Gulliver’s Travels was first published in 1726. It tells of Gulliver’s misadventures as a ship’s surgeon and later as captain. He relates the tale of four voyages. On his first voyage he is ship wrecked and washed ashore in Lilliput. The inhabitants of Lilliput are one twelfth the size of human beings. On his second voyage his ship is driven off coarse and he is abandoned on the island of Brobdingnag whose inhabitants are ten times the size of humans. On his third voyage his ship is attacked by pirates and he is marooned. He is rescued by the inhabitants of the flying island of Laputa. On his fourth and final voyage he is attacked by his own crew and abandoned in a landing boat. He arrives at the country of the Houyhnhnms where intelligent talking horses are the rulers. In this county the humans, known as Yahoos, are degenerate savages and the horses are amazed at Gulliver’s ability to learn their language. The book is a satire on human nature.
Number of pages: Ca. 193
Total pages for the year: 4370


Read 2008/15 – Threshold

10 September 2008

Book: 15
Title: Threshold (first published as The Beginning Place)

Author: Ursula K. Le Guin
Genre: Fantasy
Why did you get this book? I like Le Guins books.
Did you enjoy the book? Yes.
Was the author new to you? No. I have previously read The Wind’s Twelve Quarters, The Telling, The Dispossessed, The Eye of the Heron, Four Ways to Forgiveness and most recently The EarthSea Quartet
Would you read something by this author again? Yes.
Are you keeping it or passing it on? I am keeping it.
Anything else? The tale of two young people’s transition from adolescence to adulthood. Both have dysfunctional families and find escape in a parallel world where time passes more slowly than in reality. The hero Hugh, has recently discovered this strange place where it is always evening. He needs the place as a place to escape from a dull job and a manipulative uncaring mother. The heroine Irene discovered the alternative world several years ago. She has befriended the people who live in a village there, learned their language and basically has grown up there after being “adopted” by a family in the village. She feels possessive about the place and resents the intrusion of Hugh. Lately she has come to realize that all is not well with the village she visits. The people are trapped in the village because they experience an undefinable fear if the try to travel out of the village. Only Irene and Huge are able to travel in and out. Irene reluctantly accepts that she must help Hugh assist the village. In helping the village the two adolescents learn to rely and trust one another and thereby find a way to escape their own confinements in the real world.
Number of pages: 176
Total pages for the year: 4177


Read 2008/5 – Clash of the Sky Galleons

8 April 2008

Book: 5
Title: Clash of the Sky Galleons

Clash of the Sky Galleons
Author: Paul Stewart and Chris Riddel
Genre: Pre-teen Fantasy.
Why did you get this book?
I found it in a science fiction and fantasy bookshop having heard about it on a podcast.
Did you enjoy the book? Yes.
Was the author new to you? No. I have read the previous two books in The Edge Chronicles.
Would you read something by this author again? Yes.
Are you keeping it or passing it on? I am keeping it.
Anything else? This is the third book in the Edge Chronicles series. The book continues the story of Quint, knight academic and son of a sky pirate. Easy reading as were the first and second books. The Edge universe is fleshed out some more. A well written tale with fine illustrations makes a great combination .
Number of pages: 427
Total pages for the year: 1857


Books read in 2008 #3

2 March 2008

Book: 3
Title: Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code
eternity_code.jpg
Author: Eoin Colfer
Genre: Fantasy, Young adult.
Why did you get this book?
I liked the first book in the series.
Did you enjoy the book? Yes.
Was the author new to you? No. I have previously read the first two books in the series Artemis Fowl and Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident.
Would you read something by this author again? Yes. I expect I will read the next book in the series.
Are you keeping it or passing it on? I borrowed this book from my daughter so I will return it (and borrow the next book in the series hopefully).
Anything else? Artemis Fowl has to pit his wits against a criminal who steals his latest invention. He has thus endangered  the safety of the People. Is he finally going to realize that his actions can and do have serious consequences for the people he cares about?
Number of pages: 329
Total pages for the year: 1144


Books read in 2008 #2

6 February 2008

Book: 2
Title: The Winter Knights

The Winter Knights
Author: Paul Stewart and Chris Riddel
Genre: Pre-teen Fantasy.
Why did you get this book?
I found it in a science fiction and fantasy bookshop having heard about it on a podcast.
Did you enjoy the book? Yes.
Was the author new to you? I had previously read the first book in the series.
Would you read something by this author again? Yes.
Are you keeping it or passing it on? I am keeping it.
Anything else? This is the second book in the Edge Chronicles series. I generally like hard science fiction more than fantasy. I was interested to see how the interaction of story with illustration in this case worked out. It worked out fine in this case. On the whole a good read. I had some problems with the continuity of the story towards the end. The authors have created an interesting universe for their tales. This tale has a pleasantly unpleasant villain.
Number of pages: 395
Total pages for the year: 815


Books read this year #21

25 November 2007

Book: 21
Title: The Curse of the Gloamglozer

The Curse of the Gloamglozer
Author: Paul Stewart and Chris Riddel
Genre: Pre-teen Fantasy.
Why did you get this book?
I found it in a science fiction and fantasy bookshop having heard about it on a podcast.
Did you enjoy the book? Yes.
Was the author new to you? Both the author and illustrator were new to me.
Would you read something by this author again? Yes.
Are you keeping it or passing it on? I am keeping it.
Anything else? This is the first book in the Edge Chronicles series. I generally like hard science fiction more than fantasy. I was interested to see how the interaction of story with illustration in this case worked out. It worked out fine in this case. On the whole I enjoyed the tale. I seem to be reading a lot of children’s and young adult’s literature this year – soon time to change that.
Number of pages: 380
Total pages for the year: 7870