September 21, 2017

"The Hobbit" Turns 80

Today is a very special day. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien turns 80 years old.

As monumental as The Lord of the Rings was for fantasy; those volumes wouldn't have existed if it weren't for The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings initially began as a sequel to The Hobbit, but the tale grew in the telling, as Tolkien often said.

The Hobbit somewhat did, as well. It is slightly long - for a children's book. The Hobbit wasn't planned, or initially part, to be joined with Tolkien's mythology he was devoted most of his life to. It was in The Hobbit that he dropped hints, breadcrumbs, and planted seeds. These would grow and flourish in The Lord of the Rings (if you read them back-to-back, you'll see). It was intended to be fire-side reads for his children, as well some other fare, most of which can be found in Tales From the Perilous Realm.

Not only did Tolkien write one of the best stories ever, he also gave it life. Tolkien provided artwork, runes, and maps himself to accompany the text. There have been many editions since 1937, although the ones that feature Tolkien's material (namely, his artwork, on the book's cover and within the interior) is seen as the 'classic' edition.

As part of the celebration, I'm going to look at some notable Hobbit editions, and related books that truly stand out during those 80 years. What I've selected is a mix between quality, availability, and 

The Book Itself
I'm going to begin by showcasing notable editions of The Hobbit, as well follow that up with supplementary books. The following editions of The Hobbit may or may not match with other books by Tolkien. I'll indicate if they do with a " * ". See the legend at the very bottom of the post for details. 

Deluxe Edition *

This deluxe slipcased edition of The Hobbit, printed and bound using superior materials including a silk ribbon marker, features the definitive text, plus Tolkien's paintings and drawings in full colour, and a special fold-out version of Thror's Map./
ISBN: 9780007118359

Classic Hardback *

The definitive edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's most beloved book, sporting a facsimile of his original cover design and complete with colour plates of his own paintings, brand new reproductions of all his drawings, and colour versions of both maps./

Classic Paperback *

...this definitive paperback edition features nine illustrations and two maps drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien, and a preface by Christopher Tolkien./

Those three above I just listed above all contain the definitive text, and, depending on the format, extra goodies as well (the paperback is the most basic, the deluxe edition the most extravagant).

Illustrated Hardback Edition (by Jemima Catlin)

The first new illustrated edition of The Hobbit for more than 15 years contains 150 brand new colour illustrations. Artist Jemima Catlin's charming and lively interpretation brings Tolkien's beloved characters to life in a way that will entice and entertain a new generation of readers.

ISBN: 9780007497904
Deluxe Slipcased Edition ISBN:

This illustrated edition is just lovely. Most illustrated editions of The Hobbit are, but the artwork is charming and whimsical, much like the text itself.

Facsimile First Edition

The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937, with a print run of 1,500 copies. With a beautiful cover design, nearly a dozen black & white illustrations and two black & red maps by the author himself, the book proved to be popular and was reprinted shortly afterwards. History was already being made.

The scarcity of the first edition has resulted in copies commanding huge prices, way beyond the reach of most Tolkien fans. In addition, subsequent changes to the text particularly those to chapter 5, when Tolkien decided in 1947 to revise the text to bring it better into accord with events as they were developing in its sequel’, The Lord of the Rings - mean that the opportunity to read the book in its original form and format has become quite difficult.

This special printing reprints the first edition, so that readers of all ages not just children between the ages of 5 and 9’, as Rayner Unwin famously declared in his report on the original submission can finally enjoy Tolkien’s story as it originally appeared.
ISBN: 9780007440832

Supplementary Books

Now, for some great companion books to The Hobbit, which go with what I've showcased above, or any other edition you may have.

The Annotated Hobbit (Revised and Expanded Edition)

The definitive edition of this beloved children?s classic, featuring a wealth of accompanying illustrations and notes which take the reader further into both the story, and the tale of how it was written.
Seldom has any book been so widely read and loved as J.R.R. Tolkien?s classic tale, The Hobbit. Since its first publication in 1937 it has remained in print to delight each new generation of readers all over the world, and its hero, Bilbo Baggins, has taken his place among the ranks of the immortals: Alice, Pooh, Toad.
As with all classics, repeated readings continue to bring new detail and perspectives to the reader?s mind, and Tolkien?s Middle-earth is a vast mine of treasures and knowledge, its lode being folklore, mythology and language. The Hobbit is, therefore, an ideal book for annotation: as well as offering a marvellous and entrancing story, it introduces the reader to the richly imagined world of Middle-earth, a world more fully and complexly realised in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.
ISBN: 9780007137275

I consider this book to go into the supplementary or reference listing, due to the annotations and extra material included within the book, despite the fact it contains the complete text.

History of The Hobbit (Revised Edition) **

For the first time in one volume, THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBITpresents the complete unpublished text of the original manuscript of J.R.R.Tolkien's THE HOBBIT, accompanied by John Rateliff's lively and informative account of how the book came to be written and published. As well as recording the numerous changes made to the story both before and after publication, it examines - chapter-by-chapter - why those changes were made and how they reflect Tolkien's ever-growing concept of Middle-earth.THE HOBBIT was first published on 21 September 1937. Like its successor, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, it is a story that "grew in the telling", and many characters and story threads in the published text are completely different from what Tolkien first wrote to read aloud to his young sons as part of their "fireside reads".As well as reproducing the original version of one of literature's most famous stories, both on its own merits and as the foundation for THE LORD OF THE RINGS, this new book includes many little-known illustrations and previously unpublished maps for THE HOBBIT by Tolkien himself. Also featured are extensive annotations and commentaries on the date of composition, how Tolkien's professional and early mythological writings influenced the story, the imaginary geography he created, and how Tolkien came to revise the book years after publication to accommodate events in THE LORD OF THE RINGS.Like Christopher Tolkien's THE HISTORY OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS before it, this is a thoughtful yet exhaustive examination of one of the most treasured stories in English literature. Long overdue for a classic book now celebrating 75 years in print, this companion edition offers fascinating new insights for those who have grown up with this enchanting tale, and will delight those who are about to enter Bilbo's round door for the first time./

The Art of The Hobbit ***

To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, a sumptuous full colour art book containing the complete collection of more than 100 Hobbit sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, he was already an accomplished amateur artist, and drew illustrations for his book while it was still in manuscript. The Hobbit as first printed had ten black and white pictures, two maps, and binding and dust-jacket designs by its author. Later, Tolkien also painted five scenes for colour plates which are some of his best work. His illustrations for The Hobbit add an extra dimension to that remarkable book, and have long influenced how readers imagine Bilbo Baggins and his world.To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, the complete artwork created by the author for his story has been collected in The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Including related pictures, more than one hundred sketches, drawings, paintings, maps, and plans are presented here, preliminary and alternate versions and experimental designs as well as finished art. Some of these images are now published for the first time, and others for the first time in colour. Fresh digital scans from the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford and Marquette University in Wisconsin allow Tolkien's Hobbit pictures to be seen more vividly than ever before.The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien has been written and edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, two of the leading experts on Tolkien and authors of the acclaimed J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, and The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.


This is a fantastic treasure trove of designs, sketches, drawings, paintings, maps...pretty much everything created by Tolkien for The Hobbit on an artistic and visual level. Pairs really well with any edition of The Hobbit, but most especially either the classic hardback, classic paperback, or deluxe editions mentioned above.

As you can see, there have been notable editions of the book, as well as material relating to it over the years. This is of course just a small sampling. Any and all of those titles I recommend (which is why I gave the ISBN's, so you can search by those and get the exact copy/edition/format). Ultimately, it does not matter which you have, or choose to get, as long as you enjoy the book, and raise a glass of whatever beverage you prefer, and celebrate 80 years and counting of The Hobbit.

As a bonus.....

Other Worthy Mentions

Illustrated Edition (by Alan Lee) ****

Hardback ISBN:
Alan Lee's illustrated edition perfect compliments his illustrated treatment of the three-volume Lord of the Rings. The art style, is of course, similar. Also, it pairs quite well with Tales From the Perilous Realm.


Another paperback edition I recommend. If I'm not mistaken, aside from the maps, does not feature Tolkien's art, but opening chapter sketches in pencil by another artist. 
I highly recommend this edition if you're gifting.

Collector's Edition 

This deluxe collector's edition of Tolkien's modern classic is boxed and bound in green leatherette with gold and red foil rune stamping on the spine and cover. The text pages are printed in black with green accents. It includes five full page illustrations in full color and many more in two color in addition to Thror's map -- all prepared by the author. 
ISBN: 9780395177112

This edition gives you a nice edition of the book at a decent price. I highly recommend this edition if you're gifting.


* = matches with other deluxe, hardback and paperback editions of other Tolkien books, in the same style

** = matches with The History of Middle-earth (12 volumes in 3 hardbacks, also part of a boxed set consisting of the 3 HoM-e books), both volumes of J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide (Reader's Guide and Chronology) by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.

*** = matches The Art of the Lord of the Rings

**** = matches the 3-volume illustrated hardback editions of The Lord of the Rings, also by Alan Lee, as well as the illustrated hardback edition of The Silmarillion by Ted Nasmith. 

September 19, 2017

Wishful Thinking:"The Hobbit" 80th Anniversary Hardback Illustrated Edition

When The Lord of the Rings 60th Anniversary Illustrated Edition came out a few year's back, I noticed how it was essentially an updated version of the Centenary Edition. I thought it would be neat if The Hobbit and The Silmarillion also got editions to "match."

This post examines how I would like an 80th edition to be presented, and contain with that in mind. Please note, this is all wishful thinking on my part.

- transparent slipcase
- re-scanned paintings
- chalk-white paper
(original text?)
- unjacketed book: the iconic image of Smaug on the front cover, Gandalf leaving the company at Mirkwood on the back cover
- Thror's map as front endpaper [reverse of board] and Map of Wilderland as rear endpaper [reverse of board]
- 1/4 bound burgundy ["spine colourization"]
- dimensions would match the 60th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings illustrated by Alan Lee

I think this would make a great edition, and would match quite well the 60th anniversary illustrated edition of The Lord of the Rings.  

September 17, 2017

A Long-Overdue Update

Good day all!

I'm back. Well, I never left.

Things have been busy, so apologies that I have not been posting and writing as much as I wished. Looking for work, domestic life, and enjoying my self (reading, shows, movies and games) has put my blogging onto the back-burner.

Let's see what's new......

Let's start with TV.

I watched Game of Thrones Season 7, which is always entertaining. I watch the show to enjoy the spectacle of it. At this point, and looking back, I think it's safe to say that the show and the books have differed greatly ever since the Red Wedding has happened. I'm looking forward to both Season 8, as well as Books 6 and 7, and any other Seven Kingdoms material that Martin publishes. Regardless of when Book 6 is published, I'm going to re-read Books 1-5 anyway. I finished Book 5 sometime in 2012, so it's been awhile. That, and the books and the show are so different, by starting fresh with Book 1 again, it'll be better for my mind.

I've also picked up Suits again, going through Season 3. New on my watching of TV is Ray Donovan, of which I've seen seasons 1 and 2 thus far. Next up on my list of ones to watch that I haven't seen yet is Black Sails. I recently finished reading Treasure Island  - Black ails is a prequel to that book.

Now for movies.

My lady and I have seen a few movies here and there. At the cinema, I believe around the time that I left you, we saw Pirates 5. After that, was King Arthur. I enjoyed both, but I'd like to talk about King Arthur for a moment.

Because of the style of which the film was made in, I believe if the director did a Robin Hood movie instead, it would have worked better. Or, if it was its own unique fantasy. If you're attempting to build a cinematic universe, and your first entry doesn't feel stand alone, or 'sequel teases' too much, it may not work well at all. I can understand the complaints about the film, however I enjoyed it.

In terms of reading, as I mentioned above, I have just finished reading Treasure Island, which I immensely enjoyed. On the e-reader, my next read will be The Heritage of Shannara by Terry Brooks. On "Hobbit Day" (Sept. 22) I'm going to start reading my copy of The Annotated Hobbit, followed (or possibly with) Exploring the Hobbit.

So, what's next??


Suits Season4
Ray Donovan Season 3
Black Sails Season 1
Vikings Season 5 [Part A]
Knightfall (new series)
Outlander Season 3


Kingsman 2
Thor 3
Planned Reading, in no order:

The Annotated Hobbit
Exploring the Hobbit
Various ebooks
Various Myths and Legends
an eventual re-read of His Dark Materials
an eventual re-read of Harry Potter
re-read of A Song of Ice and Fire (starting the day after the show ends)
Some classics
More Tolkien (The Children of Hurin, Beren and Luthien, Tales From the Perilous Realm, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, The Fall of Arthur, Beowulf and The Story of Kullervo....)

So that's an update for the time being. I do wish to blog more, and more often. I have a few Tolkien related posts coming up in the near future to watch for, but after those I plan on posting about a few other things.

Sorry for the delay and silence, all! 

September 16, 2017

Wishful Thinking:"The Silmarillion" 40th Anniversary Hardback Illustrated Edition


When The Lord of the Rings 60th Anniversary Illustrated Edition came out out a few years back, I noticed how it was essentially an updated version of the Centenary Edition. I thought it would be neat if The Hobbit and The Silmarillion also got editions to 'match' that.

This post examines how I would like a 40th (or 50th or beyond) edition to be presented, and contain with that in mind. Please note, this is all wishful thinking on my part.

- transparent slipcase
- re-scanned paintings- the most recent, and accurate, text setting of The Silmarillion [including Tolkien's letter]
- chalk-white paper
- unjacketed book: the iconic image of Maglor casting a Silmaril into the Sea on the front cover; Beren and Luthien being flown to safety on the back cover. 
The Realms of the Noldor and the Sindar map is located on the last integral page. The Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North coloured by H.E. Riddett appearing on both endpapers.
- 1/4 bound bright terra cotta ["spine colourization"]- dimensions would match the 60th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings illustrated by Alan Le
- Contains the following plates by Ted Nasmith:

Earendi Searches Tirion [as a frontispiece]
The Sea
The Lamps of the Valar
At Lake Cuivienen
The Light of the Valinor on the Western Sea
Fingolfin Leads the host Across the Helcaraxre
The First Dawn of the Sun
Maedhros's Rescue From Thangorodrim
Eoel Welcomes Aredhel
Felagund Among Beor's Men
By Moonlight in Neldoreth Forest
Luthien Escapes Upon Huan
Morgoth Punishes Hurin
Turin and his band are led to Amon Rudh
Turin Reaches the Abandoned Homestead
Up the Rainy Stair
Finduilas is Led past Turin at the Sack of Nargothrond
Ulmo Appears before Tuor
Tuor Follows the swans to Vinyamar
Tuor and Voronwe see Turin at the Pools of Ivrin
Earendil the Mariner
The Eagles of Manwe
White Ships to Valinor
The Ships of the Faithful

As I said, this is all wishful thinking on my part, however I do believe it would make for an awesome edition!  

September 15, 2017

"The Silmarillion" Turns 40

Today is a special Tolkien-related day: The Silmrillion is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

As of this writing, there doesn't appear to be any celebratory editions, related publications or events; however, I wished to make note of the occasion.

The Silmarillion is the myths and legends of Middle-earth, and includes the epic history of the elves. It is a book, yes, but not neccessarily a "novel" in the sense that it has a narrative. The books reads more like a historic account, or more akin to mythic fantasy; much like The Bible, and other religious texts.

Because of this, it is a slightly more difficult read than The Lord of the Rings, because of this (as well as the fact that it also covers the events from The Lord of the Rings) it is recommended to read The Silmarillion after The Lord of the Rings; including the Appendices and post-story material.

Other the years, there have been a few editions of The Silmarillion (thought not as many as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, sadly).

Here, I shall share some of the recent note-worthy editions:

Definitive Paperback

ISBN: 9780007523221

Definitive Hardback


ISBN: 9780261102422

Definitive Deluxe


ISBN: 9780007264896

Illustrated Edition


ISBN: 9780618391110

Other Notable Editions

Alternate Hardback:


ISBN: 9780618135042

Finally, I'll close this post by sharing some of my favourite images from The Silmrillion

Please note that the following images credit the artist, the name of the piece, and, when possible where linked directly to the piece's page on their website.

Túrin and his Band are Led to Amon Rûdh by Ted Nasmith

The First Dawn of the Sun by Ted Nasmith

At Lake Cuiviénen by Ted Nasmith


Lamp of the Valar by Ted Nasmith


Maglor Casts a Silmaril into the Sea by Ted Nasmith

Eärendil Searches Tirion by Ted Nasmith


The Fall of Gondolin by John Howe


July 10, 2017


In the past, I have been salty about the fact that the Nintendo Switch has gotten so many wii u games ported over to it. I understand that the wii u 'failed.' I personally quite enjoy mine and myself and my lady have a decent selection of games on it. So, to us, it wasn't a 'fail.' The wii u was essentially....a half and half, or an in between - it shares things in common with both the wii and the switch, but it just couldn't decide what type of console it wanted to be. This was mostly due to the marketing, also responsible for naming it "wii u." However, I can sort of see why it is. Heck, even trying to figure what games need the gamepad in terms of multiplayer is confusing. It honestly does vary game by game.

So, for me as a wii u owner, I kept saying "Why would I want a Switch?? So far it has all the games the wii u does!"After all, we buy new gaming consoles to play new games. That said, because a few people missed out on the wii u's games, I'm going to suggest some. This list, from a wii u owner, shows the console's strengths. Of course, any parts of the game that feature or make use of the gamepad would have to be removed.


New Mario Bros. U + New Luigi U

If one were to port this over to the switch, it obviously wouldn't have the "u" in the title. "New Mario Bros. Switch" implies that it is a whole new game, just for the Switch. I propose that if it makes it over to the Switch, to call it "New Mario Bros. 3." The reason behind this is, on the DS we had New Mario Bros. Then, on the wii, we had New Mario Bros. wii. After that, on the 3DS, came New Mario Bros. 2. Then of course, New Mario Bros. U for the wii u. So calling it the 3rd one makes sense, naming-wise to me. Unless they come up with a better title. And hey, why not throw in New Luigi U in there as well?? On the other hand, "New Mario Bros. Switch" [all new] would also be a welcome addition.

Sure many are looking forward to Mario Odyssey, however having this game on the Switch would a great opportunity for more Mario - especially if one isn't fond of 3D Mario games.

Mario 3D World + Captain Toad

Ah, Mario 3D, one of the reasons why I bought my wii u.... it's similar in design and engine to the 3D Mario game on the 3DS. This was one of the games I was hoping would sell a lot of consoles. The game is fairly large, offers multiplayer a la the New Mario games [all players all at once]. This is a 3D Mario game, but not really. You can move in and out of the background, but the levels do follow the 'left to right' pattern for the most part. It would also be neat if they included Captain Toad in the same game cart, or made it a 2-in-1 deal. 

This game was one of the wii u's strongest games, and I think it would do well on the Switch.
Possible title on the Switch: Mario 3D World DX, Mario 3DX World, Mario 3D World + Captain Toad


Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze

One of the wii u's best games. Nothing says "Nintendo" like classic Donkey Kong action! Due to the nature and sales of the wii u, this is somewhat of a 'hidden gem', even though it's part of a larger franchise - Donkey Kong!
Possible title on the Switch: Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze DX
Also welcome: a new Donkey Kong game, in the vein of Donkey Kong Returns, as well as this title.

Xenoblade X

Sure, the Switch is getting Xenoblade 2, however, to build up hype, offer a bundle etc, I see that as a perfect chance for Xenoblade X to get transferred over to the Switch. It could include all DLC. Prior to Zelda: Breat hof the Wild, this was one of the best, most-recent open-world games there were.
Possible title on the Switch: Xenoblade DX, Xenoblade X - Complete Edition


These (this?) game(s) I discovered while attempting to obtain an NES Classic. At that point, I knew that the wii u wasn't doing so well, and that there wouldn't be a whole lot more games coming out for it....which meant even less for me to get. So, I used some of my eshop balance and got both NES Remix and NES Remix 2. They were two games, available only on the wii u's eshop at first, and then on the 3DS as Ultimate NES Remix, and a physical disc copy for the wii u called NES  Remix Pack.

The games are a series of speed-challenges taken from a selection of games that were on the NES. There are some challenges that mixes them together, such as using Link in a Mario level.
Possible title on Switch: NES Remix Deluxe
Also welcome: Super NES Remix and possibly even Nintendo 64 Remix  


The Legend of Zelda HD Collection [Wind Waker + Twilight Princess]

The HD version of Wind Waker really showed what the wii u could do. It was colourful, vibrant, and the use of the gamepad was top notch. The imagine with the HD version of Twilight Princess HD left a bit to desired, but it was a vast improvement over the original - just not vast enough. I think dual release of the remasters would be great on the Switch, offering those who enjoyed Breath of the Wild a little bit more of a sampling from the Zelda series, if Breath of the Wild was their first Zelda game.

Smash Bros U

As much as I'd like there to be a "Smash Switch", I would not argue with the wii u version coming over - as long as the Switch will get a new installment.

The Switch edition can contain everything from the wii u edition [and perhaps the 3DS, as well??] making it a complete edition.
Possible title on Switch: Smash Bros: Championship Edition, Smash Bros. Ultra [or some such]

I will close off with some ideas. First up.....

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD [remake??]

It seems that the next Zelda game to be remastered on the check-list would be Skyward Sword. However...that game was built on motion controls, which is its downfall. One of a few. Nintendo could work around forcing motion controls, in favor of having it playable on the Switch. On the other hand, they could also re-build the game, as well.....

Some other full on remakes I'd like to see would be:
Zelda 87
Zelda: A Link to the Past
Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

When I say full-on remake, I'm not talking about remastering or enhancing what is already there, but essentially an all-new game, in that aspect. much like Square Enix is doing with Final Fantasy VII. It is still "Final Fantasy VII" but the game is completely redone.

As mentioned above, I'll recap some of my ideas here:

- Super NES Remix
- New Mario Bros. Switch
- Captain Toad 2
- Donkey Kong Switch
- F-Zero Switch
, or a HD version of the Gamecube game.
- Earthbound Collection
- Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door HD, or a new game
- perhaps a few more Gamecube and wii games!

July 5, 2017

The Legend of Zelda: Master Trials [Trial of the Sword] Hints and Tips

So I won't spoil or give anything away here, but I was one of the lucky, or first few, to complete The Trial of the Sword, part of the new DLC for Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

I managed to complete it on July 2nd. I didn't do it my first attempt, either. Due to my experience of trying it a few times, as well as how I play the game, I have general hints to help any who may still be struggling, as well as those who have yet to make an attempt:

- practice cooking. I'm sure you know how to cook, but I'm saying this so you can practice getting the most out of what you put into your dishes, as well as types of dishes. Just remember that a dish can't have two 'effects'.
- When possible, use your bombs. This will keep your weapons strong and going. Also, bombs are useful for fighting, as well as knocking over trees.
- knock over as many trees as you can. You'll get acorns and apples, which you can later cook with.
- thoroughly check each section before moving onto the next. In the final trials, I had a total of 9 Ancient Arrows. You can too, if you search hard enough.
- practice shield-parrying against Guardians. With your weakest shield, it's possible to one-shot the stationary variety with a successful deflection.
- try and save any ancient arrows you get for really though foes....such as lynels and Guardians
 - make sure you have Bombs+ and Stasis+. Stasis+ is great for un-horsing mounted foes, as well as temporarily freezing some foes for you to get 'that' shot in.
- try to 'pull' singular enemies towards you
- take your time, and carefully observe each room (floor, whatever) before you proceed.
- use the mid-air effect with your bow when possible. This allows for greater aim, which in turn saves you arrows, and weapon durability.
- do your best not to get hit. Weapons and arrows seem plentiful enough. But clothes, not so much.
- the trial is somewhat a mix of Eventide Island, and the all-star mode from Smash Bros, to give you an idea. You bring nothing with you, and come out with nothing, in terms of items you find. HOWEVER: before you begin the Trial, choose the Rito-down bed, or the full spa treatment to get additional hearts and stamina. ALSO, make and eat a dish that grants high defense seconds before starting the trial to give yourself a boost. These effects will still be active upon beginning of the trial.

Be patient, use your wits and your head, and best of luck!!

July 4, 2017

Tolkien Tuesday: Major Events

I discovered, and began a Tolkien fan, in 2001-2002. Because of that, I'm a little bit new to the game. That also means, in the years since, I've witnessed a few major events in the Tolkien area. Or, major publications if you will: deluxe editions and calendars celebrating a new book, or a new version of one.

Here they are, since when I became a fan:

2005: The Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary. The book was corrected and reset, the new text has now become the new standard. The initial publications consisted of hardbacks, deluxe editions and calendars, among other items.

2007: The Children of Hurin. In a story that has been told before, in such place as The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, The Tale of The Children got its own stand-alone release in 2007. Initial publications consisted of hardbacks, deluxe editions, and calendars for 2008.

2009: The Silmarillion illustrated by Ted Nasmith: calendar. It was high-time that Ted Nasmith's artwork from The Silmarillion, which he illustrated and was published in 2004, got released in calendar forma. It's a few years after the initial publication of the book itself (Ted Nasmith's illustrated edition, I mean) but it is fantastic and fits perfectly beside Alan Lee's illustrated The Hobbit and also Lee's The Lord of the Rings boxed set.

2013: The Hobbit illustrated by Jemima Catlin. As much as I adore Alan Lee's artwork, Jemima Catlin's bring a fresh, whimsical and enchanting take on "Tolkien art"; and it suits the book quite well. Many consider The Hobbit to be a "children's book." If that's the case, then Catlin's artwork blends in perfectly with the charming text. Her artwork, and the way it's incorporated into the text, will remind you of classic 'story books', or books such as The Wind in the Willows. The event was celebrated with hardbacks, a deluxe edition edition, and a calendar for 2014.

2017: The Hobbit 80th Anniversary. The 80th anniversary was celebrated with the release of The Hobbit facsimile first edition boxed, as well as a calendar of Tolkien's black and white artwork he illustrated himself for the book.

2017: Beren and Luthien. Possibly the last Middle-earth book (not counting future anniversary (example: The Lord of the Rings 75th anniversary edition) or illustrated editions) to ever be released, the event was celebrated by way of publishing the book in hardback, deluxe edition, and a calendar for 2018. 

So there you have it! As you can see, since becoming a Tolkien fan, I've seen quite a few interesting publication events. Who knows what'll come in the years to come....

Canada 150 Weekend

Well this weekend was quite a blast.

Lots of cities this past weekend were hosting large extravagant events for Canada 150 (the 150th anniversary of our country becoming a country). However, to the vast amount of traffic, as well as the fact that my lady and I missed out on The Epic New Year's Party, we decided to keep it small(er) and hang around the neighbourhood.

Some really good friends of the family (I consider them family, in fact) hosted their annual Canada Day BBQ Pool Party which they've been doing for the most part since they got their pool put in.....geez, quite a few years ago now. It was loads of fun.

Thanks to Red racer's two mix packs, Across the Nation (East and West) I took a drinking tour of Canada! I went from West to East. Sunday was recovery day (which should be renamed unofficially to Day of the Dead) and Monday was just lounging around. Today was back to reality.

So thank you Canada, and here's to another 150 years.

Oh, and that 150 logo? "The official emblem of the sesquicentennial was designed by Ariana Cuvin, a then-19-year-old student in the University of Waterloo's global business and digital arts program. It consists of 13 multi-coloured diamonds forming a maple leaf; Cuvin stated that the four diamonds forming the emblem's base represented Canada's four original provinces, while the others represented the provinces and territories that had joined since. The government officially described the emblem as reflecting Canada's unity and diversity."

June 26, 2017

"The Philosopher's Stone" 20th Anniversary

On this day 20 years ago, The Philosopher's Stone, the first book in the 7-book Harry Potter series was published.

I cannot say what others have already, or say it any better. I'm just going to acknowledge that thought in my post.

There really is nothing to say; other than thank-you to my sister, for persuading me to give them a try, to Jo for writing 7 amazing books, and for Bloomsbury / Raincoast for publishing them (and for putting out those nice, sleek, black dustjacket editions).


If you never read the books before, or are in dire need of a complete set, let me help you: (search by copying + pasting these ISBN's)

- 7 book paperback boxed set ISBN:  9781408856772
- 7 book hardback boxed set ISBN: