On the Stack // August

On this blog, there's gonna be lots of book reviews.  I love reading, but sometimes it's really hard to fit it in, especially during the school year, when I'm swamped with reading for school.  :P  Hopefully, though, setting a goal for myself each month should help keep me motivated.

At the beginning of each month, I plan to show you the 2-4 books I plan to read that month and then review when I finish them... so about 2-4 reviews a month.  Thankfully, I'm a quick reader, so if I'm diligent with reading the books, that should work.  Hopefully.  Anyway, I'm calling this by the epic name of "On the Stack."  I have an ever-present stack of books leaning against my desk in my room, thus the title.  So, without further ado, here are this month's picks...

link to purchase
This is a book about hobbits and what they do in both LOTR and the Hobbit.  It is not exclusively about The Hobbit book.  It's about hobbits in all of J.R.R Tolkien's books.  I picked this up in May and I've started it, but I still need to finish it.  It's nonfiction, which is what I normally read, so it doesn't exactly grab your attention and leave you spellbound and breathless, but I love reading books about books.  Especially ones about Tolkien's stuff.  So I'm really excited to finish reading this one.  It is written from the Christian perspective, but the author stays very true to Tolkien's purpose, in that he doesn't claim that any of Tolkien's books are allegories, but instead examines the Christian worldview that is so heavily layered throughout the LOTR and the Hobbit.  From the couple chapters I've read, he is very thorough and makes me think about the books in new ways.  Here's the description of A Hobbit Journey on Amazon:
"The Lord of the Rings trilogy has delighted millions of fans worldwide in book and movie form. With the theatrical release of the two-part film The Hobbit slated for 2012 and 2013, attention will once again turn to J. R. R. Tolkien's classic works. In a culture where truth is relative and morality is viewed as old-fashioned, we welcome the chance to view the world through hobbit eyes: we have free will, our choices matter, and living a morally heroic life is possible.

In this engaging and thought-provoking book, Tolkien expert Matthew Dickerson shows how a Christian worldview and Christian themes undergird Tolkien's Middle-earth writings and how they are fundamentally important to understanding his vision. This revised and expanded edition of Following Gandalf includes new material on torture, social justice, and the importance of the body."
link to purchase
The next book is also about a book.  Whoops.  I got this one when I got The Hobbit Journey, and I have read probably about half of it.  Walking Through the Wardrobe is a devotional, so it is divided up into small, bite-size chapters.  Here's the description (via Amazon):
"Do you hunger for other worlds? Always looking for what's just around the corner? Do you long to go beyond this ordinary life, to find adventure in magical lands like Narnia? The quest is not to be taken lightly. You just may discover there is another Kingdom out there: closer than you realize, as near as your heartbeat, just through that door. Are you ready to take the first step?
Join best-selling author Sarah Arthur (Walking with Frodo) as she ventures through the wardrobe with the cast of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in the quest for the true Kingdom."
I have really enjoyed what I've read so far and I'm excited to finish it.

link to purchase
This is a book I got from the library late last month and I am obsessed.  Oh my goodness.  I love this book!  I've only read about three chapters, but it is a writer's dream.  Writing Tools is full of tools and tricks for writers to make their writing a little better.  I know this is a book that is going to get dog-eared, marked up, and full of sticky-notes.  Yes, I am a complete nerd.  Description ahead:
"One of America's most influential writing teachers offers a toolbox from which writers of all kinds can draw practical inspiration.

"Writing is a craft you can learn," says Roy Peter Clark. "You need tools, not rules." His book distills decades of experience into 50 tools that will help any writer become more fluent and effective.

WRITING TOOLS covers everything from the most basic ("Tool 5: Watch those adverbs") to the more complex ("Tool 34: Turn your notebook into a camera") and provides more than 200 examples from literature and journalism to illustrate the concepts. For students, aspiring novelists, and writers of memos, e-mails, PowerPoint presentations, and love letters, here are 50 indispensable, memorable, and usable tools."
Alrighty, that's it for this month!  I'd better get reading.  Hopefully I'll start the reviews by the middle of August.  Thanks for reading!  xo, Ella

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